Allan K. Dubois 2015-09-30 02:13:18
Inside the University of Incarnate Word Rosenberg Skyroom, the sunset provided a spectacular view of historic San Antonio while 500-plus lawyers and guests gathered for the San Antonio Bar Association Installation Gala. President-elect Marty Truss made the 2015 event a tribute to SABA’s one and only executive director, Jimmy Allison, who is celebrating his fifth decade with the association. Past SABA presidents, elected officials, and members of the judiciary were present, and the festivities included video clips and photos that spanned decades. Truss presented a check to Central Catholic High School, Jimmy’s alma mater, to fund a scholarship in his name, while Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced that the Bexar County Law Library will be named in his honor. Sen. Carlos Uresti’s delivery of the Texas Senate Commendation and the State Bar of Texas Presidential Citation capped the tributes. Wearing a white dinner jacket, our honoree took the microphone. He spoke only of gratitude: for his family, starting with Barbara, his wife of 52 years; for his staff; for past and present SABA officers and directors; and for the attorneys of our Bexar County legal community. He recalled his first day on the job when he was given a wooden desk and chair and a broken typewriter in the county law library to commence this illustrious career. Jimmy was nothing but smiles as he reminisced. Andy Kerr, District 10, Place 2 State Bar of Texas director and a past SABA president, related that when he interviewed Jimmy about his career, Jimmy acknowledged that his goal was always to make things better for attorneys who practiced in Bexar County. One of his first actions as executive director was to join attorneys and legislators to increase the filing fees in civil cases to provide sufficient funds for the Bexar County Law Library, a resource that Jimmy has always worked to improve. By forming the San Antonio Bar Foundation, providing local CLE, upgrading and expanding the SABA courthouse offices, and establishing the award-winning Community Justice Program under the initial leadership of Judge Karen Pozza and former Justice Phylis Speedlin (both past SABA presidents), Jimmy surely met his goal. This local tribute to Jimmy’s service reinforced my commitment to reach out to senior attorneys. More than 7,500 active Texas lawyers have reached the age of 70. Many senior attorneys are solo or small-firm practitioners who have no mandatory retirement requirements and no pensions except Social Security. Regardless of their financial resources, senior attorneys want to continue contributing their talents and human resources. Most will follow Jimmy Allison’s example of serving well into the mythical “golden years.” While Trey Apffel and I were speaking to the 50-year lawyers at their reception during the 2015 State Bar Annual Meeting, many responded affirmatively when asked to do more to help our profession. Several lauded my initiative to reconnect our senior attorneys and employ our “seasoned” colleagues to work together to carry out the mission of the State Bar of Texas. Just imagine a real force of “not-so-young” attorneys assisting in pro bono and other community outreach programs; mentoring and partnering with young lawyers and law students; making sensible succession plans for their law practices; participating in CLE programs, committees, and sections; and coming together just to have a good time. Attorneys of my generation will remember the old military recruitment posters featuring Uncle Sam, exclaiming, “I WANT YOU!” The State Bar of Texas needs all attorneys—young and not so young—to be engaged. Let’s stay committed to service. It is not time for any of us to “ride off into the sunset.” There is much rewarding work left to do.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/President%E2%80%99s+Opinion/2283445/274824/article.html.