President’s Message – August/September 2014

The secret is out! As those of you who attended the investiture for newly appointed Polk County District Associate Judge Susan Cox now know, I’m a PK (Preacher’s Kid). My father was a United Methodist minister for more than 40 years. He served churches in southwest, southeast, northwest and central Iowa. He passed away on May 4. I bring many simple lessons learned, from all those Sunday mornings spent in the church pew or choir loft, to my daily life. These simple lessons led me to give my time, talent and treasure to our profession and to our community. I’ll share some of those lessons with all of you. Most of them relate to my theme for the year: Get Out; Give Back.

If God gave you a talent, use it to help others. As a child and adolescent, this usually meant singing, at a nursing home, for visiting dignitaries; and, of course, in church every week. We probably griped about spending so much time this way. Then, the genuine appreciation shown us always made the time and effort worthwhile. Now, I try to use any and all talents I possess to benefit various organizations and activities in this community.

If someone or something needs or wants your help, provide it. Volunteer to judge or coach mock trial. Organize a networking or fundraising event. Agree to speak for a CLE program. Sign up for the Speaker’s Bureau.

If someone asks you to do something for a person in need, just do it. Accept a VLP case. Volunteer a few hours at the monthly HOLA Legal Clinic. Serve a meal at the shelter.

Help newcomers feel welcome. Greet each person at your table at the next PCBA luncheon. Serve as a mentor to a law student. Demonstrate the benefits of Iowa’s collegial legal community to a new lawyer on the opposing side of a case or transaction.

In our daily lives, as judges and as lawyers: Be patient. Be kind. Be fair. Strive for truth and justice.

What’s one simple way you can get out and give back? Lend your time and talent to a PCBA Committee. We’re reinstating and reinvigorating the Membership, Social and PR Committees. Existing committees can always use new members and fresh ideas. Bring your energy and insights to this organization. We need you! Click here to learn more.