President’s Message – June/July 2020

PCBA President Donna Miller

In February, I envisioned my final months as PCBA Board President consisting of mingling at the Drake Law Ice Cream Social, introducing talented speakers at the spring CLE, and passing the gavel to incoming President Nick Cooper with appropriate pomp and circumstance. Instead, like we’re all experiencing, this year’s wrap-up included virtual meetings and administrative duties, without flourish or fun.

While PCBA had to cancel all of its meetings and gatherings, Carol Phillips, Sonja Diener, and Charles Tamay have worked diligently to maintain services for members. They have continued to provide vital VLP services and were integral in setting up the Covid-19 Legal Hotline in partnership with Iowa Legal Aid and the State Bar Association. Not only did they successfully tackle working from home due to the virus, they did so after already being displaced by a large pipe leak at the Bar building. Julie Seidlin has navigated the mediation program through dramatic change. We owe them a huge “thank you” for their commitment and work this year. I commend them.

In addition to the hard-working staff, the PCBA will greatly benefit from the leadership of its new president, Nick Cooper. Nick is a talented attorney with an impressive list of honors and recognitions and extensive involvement with bar committees and leadership on PCBA, VLP, and YLD boards. What impresses me most is his consistent achievement of the 50 annual hours of pro bono work through the VLP. His dedication to the PCBA and understanding of all facets of the organization will make him an excellent leader.

While I find value in humor, in all seriousness, challenging times can remind us to practice gratitude. Like so many in the legal profession, I find it worthy to utilize my time and skills to serve others. I am grateful for the opportunity to have acted as president and to have worked with so many who have elevated their commitment and effort during these challenging times. I am also mindful that many Iowans and Iowa lawyers are stretched thin and continue to face hardship. I am relieved to pass the baton to such extraordinarily skilled and enthusiastic staff, Board of Directors, and President Nick Cooper.