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Dear Bar Leaders,

During the term of many bar presidents, there comes a time when the association they represent must decide whether to take a position on a controversial issue.  One such time came last week for South Carolina Bar President Alice Paylor, when a South Carolina gubernatorial candidate’s opponents stated in a video advertisement that, in his work as a defense attorney, “[the candidate] protects criminals, not South Carolina.”  The South Carolina Bar went into action, directing its members and the public to S.C Lawyers: The Facts, its website aimed at providing factual information about the role of attorneys in the American justice system, including pointing out that defense in criminal cases is a Constitutional right.  President Paylor also issued a letter to the bar’s members encouraging them to help combat the negative political tactics that unfairly attack the profession. 

The advertisement drew the attention of ABA President James Silkenat, who wrote to the sponsoring organization’s president, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, to express concern that the advertisement vilified the candidate for his work as a criminal defense attorney. President Silkenat’s letter urged Governor Christie to reject the ad’s message, noting that the video “sends a disturbing message” to lawyers that defense of unpopular clients may have detrimental effects on their careers or future public service aspirations and to the voting public that such defense should be used as grounds for disqualifying a candidate for office.
NCBP President Carl D. Smallwood and ABA President James R. Silkenat at the NCBP Midyear Meeting in Chicago.
Issue Highlights:
2014 Annual Meeting
NCBP Committees
Council Nominations
Diversity Scholarships
Tips to Stay Healthy
Tips for Past Presidents

Legal Mentoring Event
Share President's Letters

Bar Presidents to Confer in Boston August 7-9

NCBP Members and leaders from bar associations from across the country will gather to share ideas and discuss the important issues facing bar associations and the legal profession at the NCBP 2014 Annual Meeting, August 7-9, in historic Boston. Members that register now before June 16 will save $50.

Preview a few of the educational sessions offered at this year's meeting below!

NCBP Workshop: Turning Out the Lights
In this session, the National Organization of Bar Counsel partners with the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs to discuss their findings in a new report about aging lawyers. Panelists will also discuss the North Carolina Bar Association's innovative program focused on helping lawyers retire. Read more...

NCBP Workshop: Membership
Membership seems like a simple concept. Without members, bar associations would not exist.  This session will highlight membership efforts aimed at law students and new lawyers. Read more...

Volunteers Needed for NCBP Committees

President-elect Rew Goodenow is preparing for his presidential year by accepting committee appointment requests for 2014-2015. Standing committee members serve one-year terms starting in August 2014 and play an integral role in the organization. Please keep NCBP moving forward by contributing your expertise. View the list of NCBP committees and volunteer now.

Nominees Sought for NCBP Secretary and Executive Council

The NCBP Nominating Committee is accepting nominations for 5 at-large seats on the NCBP Executive Council for three-year terms from August 2014 to August 2017. Seats are open to current and past elected officers from general purpose and special focus bar associations at the state, local (any size), and national level. The committee is also accepting nominations for the Office of Secretary. For criteria and to learn more about the nomination process for the Council and Office of Secretary, view the letter from Nominating Committee Chair Karol Corbin Walker here.

Scholarships Available for Upcoming Annual Meeting

The NCBP Diversity Committee is offering scholarship awards for attendance at the Annual Meeting to bar presidents of associations for lawyers of color, women attorneys, LGBT attorneys, lawyers with physical challenges, as well as smaller county bar associations. Scholarships include complimentary meeting registration (a $475 value) and a travel stipend for eligible leaders.  For more information about eligibility and how to apply to receive a scholarship, view the details here.

Freshman 10 = Presidential 20

By Lynn Ann Vogel, NCBP Executive Council Member and Past President, The Missouri Bar

This is not a new story, but it can always have a happy ending.  You remember going off to college with the admonition to avoid gaining those freshmen pounds.  For the first few weeks, it all seemed like an exaggeration but then finals start, stress piled on and there was no time to work out. Bar leadership is much the same, only we are older so everything is multiplied, including the pounds. Staying healthy during your year doesn't have to be a struggle. Click here for easy ways you can keep fit even after your term ends.

You're Past President, Now What?

So, you're past president. Now what? Those of you who have already completed your bar leadership journey may remember the first time it was over. The phone stopped ringing with urgent calls, and you became out-of-the-loop with the daily workings of your association. It may be difficult to let go of something you spent years building. Don't think that just because your term is over your expertise is not valued or needed. In the articles below, NCBP Executive Council Members Joe Sullivan and Tom Murphy share easy ways to remain connected to your association and the bar world.
What Happens When You Are No Longer President?
By Thomas D. Murphy, NCBP Executive Council Member and Past President, Maryland State Bar Association

What to do When the Phone Stops Ringing
By Joseph M. Sullivan, NCBP Executive Council Member and Past President, State Bar of Montana

Conference on Legal Mentoring Programs

If you are a leader of a bar association that is starting or has started a legal mentoring program, consider attending the 2014 National Legal Mentoring Consortium Conference. The conference will be held in Columbus, OH, May 1-3. Leaders from bar associations, courts, law schools, law firms, and other legal organizations are invited to attend. For more information and to register onsite follow this link.
Showcase Your President's Letters: Keep NCBP's resources current by sharing your president's letters or columns. Your resource will be shared on the NCBP Resources web page. Submit materials to Rebecca Green-Jablonsky at
Share News About You, Your Association, or an Interesting Topic: Send news of awards, new programs, and other news of your association or its leaders for NCBP News to NCBP Staff Liaison Rebecca Green-Jablonsky at


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