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I always loved the month of June. Maybe it’s because June signified the end of the school year and the beginning of an endless summer, or maybe because it is just a happy, sunny time of year, punctuated by joyous, exciting events such as graduations, weddings and anniversaries (including my own). Whatever the reasons, each year around this time I hear myself singing in my head the lyrics to Rogers and Hammerstein’s song “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” from one of my favorite musicals, Carousel.
This June I really have a good reason to break out into song, and that is because I have the privilege to serve as President of the Nassau County Bar Association for the coming year. Thank you so much for this honor. The NCBA is important to so many of us. For me, it has been a constant in my life since I first started practicing law. Between participating in charitable work through We Care, providing pro bono legal services, expanding my knowledge through CLEs, networking with other attorneys and professionals, and attending social events, the NCBA has not only helped me to grow as an attorney, but also to develop relationships with other members that have impacted me professionally and personally. It is one of my goals as President to facilitate this same experience for all of our members and those to come.
Like all bar associations, NCBA has faced challenges in membership, particularly among newer lawyers. Although we are still one of the largest suburban Bar Associations in the country, we need to address the needs of this generation of lawyers. It is incumbent upon us to encourage the next generation to join us and help them understand and take advantage of all that the NCBA has to offer.
The enduring nature of the NCBA is its ability to grow and adapt to the changing times. We at the NCBA are moving forward in establishing ourselves as the “Business Center of the Legal Community.” Included in our dues will be free CLE for all of our live programs. Not only will CLE be included in membership fees, we will also be initiating regularly scheduled Dean’s Cocktail Hours, which will offer a great opportunity to combine CLE and networking. This is an incredible benefit to all our members, making us a one-stop shop to meet our lawyers’ needs.
As President, my goal is to inspire our members to leave their desks and computers and gather at the NCBA. This is a time of transition for our society, where the exchange of information is primarily done online, and we should never take for granted the NCBA, which has been such a stable and supportive force. While we read about many brick and mortar stores closing across the country due to online shopping, we must remember the value of live interaction and cannot allow our Bar Association to follow suit. I ask you all to rise to the challenge and encourage attorneys to not only join, but to actively participate and attend events at the NCBA. Imagine how many new members we could have if each one of us inspired just one more person to join.
While there is much to do for the Association, I view these as exciting times. Together we can make momentous changes and developments. I look forward to working with all of you during the coming year to further the NCBA’s leadership role in the 21st century.