President’s Message: October/November 2019

PCBA President Donna Miller

Why the push to grow membership?

At a recent meeting, the (admittedly seasoned) PCBA board members discussed how we can encourage younger associates/attorneys to attend events, and more importantly, help them understand the value of networking and socializing with other members of the bar. We recalled when we were new attorneys and there was an expectation and affirmative push for associates to attend lunches, and in return, the partner or senior associate would introduce the newer members around the table.

It is generally agreed that if new attorneys do not have involvement with the bar association in their first two years of practice, the likelihood that they will ever join is greatly reduced. A total of 195 new attorneys just received the good news that they passed the Iowa bar exam. We want to encourage new members of the bar, whether they plan to strike out on their own or join a firm, to see the PCBA as a resource. Getting them involved early is key. To that end, we are going to reach out to you for help. We are working on a plan to match new admittees in the area with members of the PCBA. A formal announcement will be coming soon. Until then, if you know someone who has recently passed the bar exam, or is only a few years in, bring them along with you to the next lunch or social. Remember that all members get one free lunch per year!

If we miss this opportunity, we lose vision and leaders for the future and they lose a voice in the organization’s direction and activities. It diminishes the organization as a whole. It also is a loss for the bar as a whole. The judges repeatedly tell us that they do not have the in-person interaction with attorneys that they once had. We all know that communication with opposing counsel is more aggressive and cooperation diminished when we do not have to see each other in person.

This is just one reason why we work hard to keep our membership numbers strong. Thank you for your membership and support of the organization. We hope to see you (and your newest associate) at the next function.