Allan K. Dubios 2016-04-23 12:42:46
MY YEAR IN REVIEW Taking pen in hand to ink my last President’s Opinion column, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and humility. There is no way I can capture in words what serving as president of the State Bar of Texas means. Perhaps sharing experiences from this past year will provide a glimpse of my term in office and serve as encouragement for others considering leadership roles in the organization. As president, I had the opportunity to: • Attend national and regional conferences where the State Bar of Texas is recognized as the “gold standard” of integrated bar associations operating efficiently and successfully under the governance of the Texas Supreme Court. • Join our Texas Supreme Court justices, Texas Access to Justice commissioners, American Bar Association representatives, and other bar leaders as we made our way through the halls of the U.S. Congress and the Texas Legislature, seeking continued and increased financial support for pro bono representation critical to realizing our mission of equal access to justice for all Texans. • Champion the new civility and integrity oath by taking the oath of office with newly inducted lawyers as they ventured forward as licensed Texas attorneys. • Experience the communication skills and integrity of Executive Director Michelle Hunter and the State Bar of Texas staff, and all of our directors and section leaders, responding to the many issues that the State Bar confronts daily. • Participate in Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans and other pro bono clinics witnessing lawyers in action providing equal access to justice for all Texans. Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, presented a moving story at the 2016 Champions of Justice Gala, as he stressed the importance of providing legal representation to our veterans and their families. • Present SBOT “101” at CLE programs highlighting the benefits that the bar offers to its membership. My emphasis was on the confidential work of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program and the 850-plus volunteer lawyers who make up Texas Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. • Witness the activation of our emergency relief outreach—lawyers providing legal services necessitated by natural disasters such as storms and flooding—and other extraordinary efforts to coordinate with local and minority bar associations. • Interact with Texas Young Lawyers Association members under the leadership of President C. Barrett Thomas and applaud all of the good work these attorneys generate. I also connected with young lawyers who are part of LeadershipSBOT. The future of our State Bar is strong because of these remarkable attorneys. • Accept the generosity of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, the Texas Bar College, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, many sections of the State Bar, and numerous attorneys who answered my request to fund the Sheeran-Crowley Memorial Trust that provides a safety net for attorneys who are suffering from mental health or substance abuse and need, but cannot afford, treatment. Our goal of raising $500,000 is currently 89 percent realized. I will continue to “pass the hat” until my last day in office. There were many other experiences, including a special one that did not make this list—you . Most vivid for me are the faces that have engaged me in conversation after watching the State Bar staff-produced video Courage, Hope, Help—TLAP is There, where three brave attorneys tell their personal stories and talk about the support provided by TLAP. I will also cherish the comments in response to my articles where I shared my story of recovery. My wish is that my presidency has provided a message that hope and help are available. I want to thank Pam, our four children— Chris, Andy, Lisa, and Becky—their spouses and children (our 12 grandchildren), and our many friends who have supported me in this role and worked behind the scenes to make this year incredibly rewarding. Pam and I will enjoy reminiscing about the people we have met and experiences we have shared. We will always appreciate the time with our friends Past President Lisa M. Tatum, Immediate Past President Trey Apffel and his wife, Karen, and President-elect Frank Stevenson and his wife, Helen. We remain committed to service and look forward to being a part of this legal community. ALLAN K. DUBOIS President, State Bar of Texas
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