Virginia Lawyer

VaLawyer_Apr 2014

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VIRGINIA LAWYER | April 2014 | Vol. 62 6 ONE THING EVERY FORMER Virginia State Bar president will tell you is that you shouldn't blink during your term — it's over before you know it. Another is that it is exhausting. Adding this job to your regular work- load is daunting. You can't do it with- out support from your colleagues, so I want to express my gratitude to all the employees at Sensei for their support — most especially my devoted chauf- feur/vice-president/husband John who shared the whole ride with me. Many mornings we woke up groggy with sleep and asked one another, "Where are we?" We shook thousands of hands from one end of the commonwealth to the other. We got to know which mile marker on I-81 has the most tractor trailer accidents. We made new friends in far-flung parts of Virginia, many of whom have become a continuing part of our lives. I would be remiss if I didn't thank Executive Director Karen A. Gould for always being there with patient support and sound counsel, and for being an excellent dining companion at innu- merable dinners. Her entire staff was marvelous throughout my year. Everyone wanted to help and everyone smiled through the chaos. It is a truly marvelous staff. My immediate predecessor, W. David Harless, promised he'd be there for me if I needed him. He fulfilled that promise time and again. No presi- dent ever had a better advisor. It was David who told me not to have an agenda because we had a good ship and just needed to keep her on course. I said OK at first, but not hav- ing an agenda just isn't me, so I found myself developing a list of goals within twenty-four hours of telling David I wouldn't. But that's part of the presi- dential experience — it is different for every president. It seemed important to me to reach out to Virginia's law schools, to forge ties with law school deans, and to speak to students who are very worried about their prospects. As I write, I've visited seven of the eight law schools (I hope to cross off num- ber eight by June) and received warm receptions. They have all asked for remarks on "The Future of Law," though my crystal ball is very murky at the moment. We should have con- nections with these students, who rep- resent our future. Most of them will practice law in Virginia. It's a good thing to make them feel connected to the Virginia State Bar before they begin their careers. After giving hundreds of CLEs in Virginia, I wasn't too surprised when I was deluged with e-mails and phone calls asking me to continue the effort to educate lawyers in Virginia, espe- cially about legal technology. With the help of the VSB staff, I beseeched my friends on the ABA TECHSHOW fac- ulty to come do a one day VSB TECHSHOW in Virginia on an expenses-only basis. Good sports and friends that they are, they agreed. As I write, the May 19 VSB TECHSHOW in Richmond is in the future, but I know it will be a great event. Being free, we expect a full house. In a time when so many people prefer to learn via video, we have been working to add short informational videos to our website. We produced and made available ten videos on The Lawyer Referral Service, The Senior Citizen's Handbook, the So You're 18 handbook, Fee Dispute resolution, the Clients' Protection Fund, Filing a Complaint, Wills, Marriage, Divorce, and Selecting and Working with a Lawyer. We are planning ten more videos — and all can be viewed with a Spanish translation. Our largest project is our Enterprises Content and Records Management (ECRM) system. While that may not sound sexy, we will be the first state bar in the country to have a full blown ECRM. This system will severely cut duplicate entries and afford an efficient and fast way to find, manage, and secure all of our data. This massive project has been ongoing for some time under the supervision of Deputy Executive Director Mary Yancey Spencer and it is expected to be completed in July of 2015. We have now completed an elec- tronic survey of our membership, with the able and modestly-priced assistance www.vsb.org President's Message by Sharon D. Nelson The Pasture Beckons: Reflections on My Year as the VSB President It seemed important to me to reach out to Virginia's law schools, to forge ties with law school deans, and to speak to students who are very worried about their prospects. Nelson continued on page 9 April2014VL_vl0414 4/2/14 4:41 PM Page 6

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