President’s message – June/July 2018


PCBA Past President William Miller

This edition of our newsletter reports on our highly successful 2018 Law Day event. I’ll always look back on this event with pride because we were able this year to make it bigger and better than ever. The Iowa Judicial Branch Building was the perfect backdrop for watching students, parents, and educators interact with the bench and bar alike. Thank you to the many sponsors who helped make it happen, as well as our partners at ARAG and the three branches of government who were integral to the program’s success.

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Our next bar luncheon, and last one until September, is on June 12. This is our annual law clerk luncheon, and we hope you will attend with your law clerks, interns, and other less seasoned colleagues. Our speaker will be Mike Draper of Raygun, who surely will engage us and exhibit the value of choosing Polk County to base your business and your practice.

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As we continue investing in the next generations of Iowa lawyers, it is vital to ensure that they enter into a welcoming legal community. One way for us build and sustain that community is to ensure our judiciary reflects the diverse society in which we practice.

A new justice of the Iowa Supreme Court will be selected soon. I don’t envy the selection committee’s or the governor’s task ahead as I’m certain they will have many excellent and qualified candidates from which to select. I hope that pool includes several female lawyers, lawyers of color, and lawyers from backgrounds that have not had significant (or any) representation on our supreme court historically.

If you know a lawyer whose selection would enhance the diversity of our state’s highest court, tap her on the shoulder and encourage her to apply. Then support her candidacy with the same zealousness you pursue your clients’ interests.

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This is my last president’s letter. In fact, my term ended in May, but your new President, David Nelmark, was nice enough to cede this month’s letter to me for a swan song.

My year as president went quickly. Friends and colleagues were kind enough throughout to thank me for my service, which I truly appreciated. Many assumed being president was a burden, but I was quick to tell them I never felt that way.

The PCBA is blessed with a strong staff, led by our executive director, Carol Phillips, and they and the entire board constantly supported me. Even the mundane or mildly difficult tasks were made easy by knowing I was contributing to our bar association in a way that few have had the opportunity. Thank you for allowing me to serve you – it has been my pleasure and privilege!