Baili B. Rhodes 2017-05-30 03:08:32
It’s a Pleasure to Serve For some of you, this will be the first issue of the Texas Bar Journal you receive as a newly licensed lawyer. It has been nine (gasp) years since I graduated from law school. In that time, life seems to have gotten busier. My husband and I went from being full-time students to full-time employees. We got our second dog. We had one baby—then two. We moved, then moved again. I learned to practice law; be comfortable in a courtroom; and to advise, manage, and obtain clients. We joined a church. I joined Junior League. I ran 12 marathons. I was elected to the TYLA Board of Directors and then as secretary, vice president, and president-elect. It is a busy, busy season, and my experience is far from unique. In a 1999 message to law students at the University of Oregon, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discussed professionalism and the role of service in the practice of law. She noted: [P]ublic service marks the difference between a business and a profession. While a business can afford to focus solely on profits, a profession cannot. It must devote itself first to the community it is responsible to serve. I can imagine no greater duty than fulfilling this obligation. And I can imagine no greater pleasure. Whether you have been practicing four months or 40 years, take those words to heart. Look beyond the busyness of the legal profession to the great duty of service that goes with it. I have recently had the opportunity to spend time with members of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the Texas Bar Foundation Board of Trustees. It is incredible to interact with so many seasoned lawyers dedicated to professional service. There is no doubt that each of them has found a way to recognize service as a necessary element to success in a legal career. I hope each of you will do the same. For many young lawyers, service is the hardest element to fit into already hectic lives. It can be easy to think that you will figure it out later. But in waiting to fit in service, you will miss one of the great opportunities our State Bar has to offer—getting involved with TYLA and your local young lawyer affiliate. You would miss the chance to form great friendships and professional contacts. Most importantly, you may miss the opportunity to develop a reputation as one dedicated to serving those around you. June is the month of the “baton handoff” at the State Bar. As I begin my year as TYLA president, I look with great admiration to the work completed this past year. I Was the First. You Can Be a Lawyer Too! introduces young people to accomplished and influential attorneys who were the first in their families to attend law school. Not a Victim provides information to survivors of sexual assault and the accused. The Professional Etiquette Guide and the Paralegal Guide provide professional interaction tips to young lawyers. During the coming bar year, the TYLA board will continue this tradition of excellence in service to our profession and Texans. I invite all of you to join us. Thank you to everyone who has given me the opportunity to serve as TYLA president during the 2017-2018 bar year. I can imagine no greater pleasure than fulfilling my obligation to service, and I look forward to working alongside you during the upcoming year. BAILI B. RHODES 2017-2018 president, Texas Young Lawyers Association
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