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President's Message: To Those Who Came Before

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“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt –
So for me, today, that one thing is writing my first president’s column. Who would have thought that a soapbox and a captive audience would scare me? Someone far wiser than I once remarked that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, so I decided I would write about some of those people. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that, while I am one of the first hundred women admitted to practice law in Nevada (nicknamed “fossils” by Margo Piscevich, I believe), I am the seventh woman president. When I was first elected to the Board of Governors in 2001, John Mowbray was the president. What a great leader! I owe him a debt of thanks, and also the next presidents; all are wonderful role models who have led our organization through many changes: Gloria Sturman, Pat Flanagan, Ann McCarthy, Rew Goodenow, Vince Consul, Nancy Allf and Bruce Beesley. For the past eight years, I have had the privilege of working with Dara Goldsmith, who completed her lifetime term on this board in June, 2009. Her financial acumen has served us well in the governance of our profession and guided us these past eight years, and we all owe her our thanks. This issue will be published near the fourth of July and so it is especially fitting for me to thank some other shoulders on which we stand, especially those with epaulets, leaves and stripes, by paying tribute to those who have served and are serving in our nation’s armed forces. Like many of my colleagues, I am a daughter of the greatest generation; my father served in the U.S. Army in World War II in North Africa, Sicily (where I have retraced his steps from Trapani to Messina), and Italy, and rose to become a brigadier general in the Army Reserves after the war. His two brothers, both West Point graduates, followed in my grandfather’s footsteps as career Army officers. My family’s military tradition (including a family plot in Arlington and a name on the Vietnam Memorial wall) continues through my cousin, now a retired lieutenant
State bar of nevada
colonel, and his sons, one deployed in Iraq, one home from Iraq to attend special forces school, and a son-in-law in Iraq. I would like to acknowledge and thank all of our members who have served, or have loved ones serving, in the military. I am writing this column at my great-grandfather’s desk. His name was Mason Young and he practiced law in New York City 130 years ago. I am the first lawyer in the family since then, so I got the desk; some have suggested my going to law school was for furniture acquisition but I think “To Kill a Mockingbird” was a larger part of my inspiration. My mom inspired my love of reading. Running our bar association and our profession is a cooperative endeavor, and so there are other strong and able shoulders to assist. Executive Director Kimberly Farmer and her talented and hardworking staff are called upon to manage and direct the delivery of the three core functions delegated to us by the Supreme Court: admission, discipline and CLE. As a governing board, we are working with the staff to adapt our services (and especially the way we deliver those services) to the changes in our profession, especially in these troubled economic times. We promise to spend your money wisely and to make those services more useful and accessible. In August, the board will be meeting to craft a strategic plan for the next year and the years to follow. I hope you will help us by providing your input. I will report back to you in the fall. Over the past 30 years in which I have been privileged to practice law in Nevada, ours has become a more diverse profession. We need your help to make this association more responsive to your needs and transparent to your scrutiny. I invite and encourage your participation, comments, applause or criticism! Let me close by thanking you and especially all who have gone before me, on whose shoulders I strive to stand, for this opportunity.
Our mission is to govern the legal profession, to serve our members, and to protect the public interest.

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