Adapting To Change
 
My father was born in 1925. He remembers when mer- chants in Brooklyn still made home deliveries in wagons drawn by horses that knew the route. While the merchant made his delivery, the horse would clip-clop along to the next house and wait. He also remembers the boom in production and sales of the affordable Model T that made automobile ownership common. The automobile was no longer an amusement for the rich; it was now the normal mode of transportation for a newly mobile society. Modern life was transformed. The prolifer- ation of the automobile presented economic and recreational oppor- tunities to many; but to the black- smith, it was an ominous devel- opment. My father has often said that the blacksmiths who learned to repair automobiles were the ones who survived.

This is a time of transition for our society and for our profession. Advances in technology, the chang- ing demographics of our communi- ty, and sustained economic pres- sures are changing the practice of law. The Bar Association must adapt to these changes in order to remain relevant, particularly to our newer lawyers, whose customs and expectations are a product of the new environment and an engine of further change. And because change now occurs at a breathtaking pace, we must anticipate changes and prepare to meet the chal- lenges of the future.

We are meeting these challenges in several important ways. Unlimited live CLE programs will now be a member benefit. This new approach, greeted with enthusiasm by many of our newer lawyers, will be coupled with increased networking and sponsorship opportunities. (see The New NCBA Dues Model article, pg. 1) We will shortly roll out a newly designed, more useful website and, for a modest fee, offer online viewing of recorded CLE programs. Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee continues to build momentum and enrich the Association by attracting new members and cultivating future bar leaders from under- represented segments of the legal community. A second specialty bar reception is planned for May 2. Our search continues for an Executive Director who will help us to preserve the highest ideals and best traditions developed over our 118-year history and to embrace the changes that will ensure that a strong and relevant Association will be our legacy to future generations of Nassau lawyers.
 
Compassion And Enlightenment

Last month, the Board of Directors endorsed a pro- posed resolution of the Nassau County Legislature that would require the Police Department to make reasonable efforts to identify veterans at the time of their arrest, in order that appropriate cases may be assigned to the Veterans Treatment Court. Thereafter, I made the follow- ing remarks to the County Legislature:
Mr. Presiding Officer and Honorable Members: It is my honor today to address you in my capacity as President of the Nassau County Bar Association. The criminal justice system is a blunt instrument for social change. It is, in the normal course, reactive and puni- tive, rather than preventive and remedial. Today, we have an opportunity to sharpen that instrument, and make it a tool for addressing the social issues that, for our veterans, sometimes lead to arrest. These issues often have their roots in the sacrifices those veterans made in the defense of our Nation. The Nassau County Bar Association applauds your efforts to repay those sacrifices with compassion and enlightenment. The adoption of this resolution will not only serve veterans in desperate need; it will also serve the community by deterring recidivism. The Bar Association, by a unan- imous vote of its Board of Directors, has endorsed the proposed resolution that is before you today. Therefore, on behalf of the four thousand, five hundred members of the Association, I respectfully recommend the reso- lution for adoption. Thank you.
 
A Role To Play

It is now nearly half a century since the Watergate scandal undermined public confidence in government. It has never fully rebounded. A conspicuously large number of lawyers were implicated, and public opinion of the legal profession also declined. Recent scandals in Washington, Albany, and here on Long Island have deepened the pub- lic's distrust of government. Public cynicism and govern- ment dysfunction feed each other in a vicious cycle that is malignant and symbiotic.
 
We have a role to play in reversing this trend, through ethics training and law reform advocacy. On May 4, we will host a government ethics confer- ence that will explore the means of restoring public confidence at every level of government. The United Nations Ethics Office and the Office of the New York Attorney General have already confirmed their partic- ipation. Other participants will be announced when confirmed.
 
We must persist in this effort. Calvin Coolidge succeeded to the Presidency upon the death of Warren G. Harding. He restored public confidence after the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding administration by, among other things, firing his Attorney General for failing to cooperate with a Congressional investigation. Here is his useful advice.

Nothing in the world can take the place of per- sistence. Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
 
A Short Poem

Here, for your enjoyment, is the short poem by Carl Sandburg, entitled "Lawyer".

When the jury files in to deliver a verdict after weeks of direct and cross examinations, hot clashes of lawyers and cool decisions of the judge.
There are points of high silence—twiddling of thumbs is at an end—bailiffs near cuspidors take fresh chews of tobacco and wait—and the clock has a chance for its ticking to be heard.
A lawyer for the defense clears his throat and holds himself ready if the word is "Guilty" to enter motion for a new trial, speaking in a soft voice, speaking in a voice slightly colored with bitter wrongs mingled with monu- mental patience, speaking with mythic Atlas shoulders of many preposterous, unjust circumstances.

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