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Leading the legal profession while serving the public interest

Thursday, May 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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After a long winter, spring has finally arrived across Montana. Longer days and new beginnings remind us that there is a season for everything. A bountiful fall harvest requires thoughtful work in the spring.

As Bar President the Honorable Leslie Halligan notes in her monthly column, over the past several months, your elected State Bar of Montana leadership and professional staff have embarked upon a strategic planning effort to chart a course for the next two years and plan for the future of the organization.

How do we lead the profession and serve the public, as our mission reads? Are we delivering excellent knowledge, learning opportunities and value to our members? Have we made enough progress improving the administration of justice and guaranteeing access to the same?
These are the types of important questions raised during our conversations. They are framed against a backdrop of accelerating technological and societal changes sure to affect the profession.
Lawyers are not alone in wrestling with these questions. At a recent gathering of national professional association thought leaders, the topic on the minds of chief executives, from the largest international associations to small bar organizations, were the coming effects from disruptions like artificial or augmented intelligence, blockchain and the changing digital economy. Some would suggest, perhaps correctly, that we are in the midst of a Fourth Industrial Revolution.
How will these changes affect the workplace, particularly knowledge workers in professions such as our own? What are the challenges that these changes will bring, as well as new opportunities they may unleash?

Lawyers have adapted before: From the founding of the republic, to the dawn of America’s industrial society, to the rise and fall of the dot-com bubble, the profession has provided necessary advice and counsel to clients and public leadership in support of the rule of law.
As an integral part of a self-regulating profession, bar associations, including the State Bar of Montana, will play a vital role in continuing to adapt to a changing world.

Our strategic planning process seeks to put the State Bar of Montana on the best possible footing for the next two years by, among other things, continuing to improve our relations with the public, including through educational activities, improving our communications with members, and ensuring that we continue to strengthen our operations.

As we approach the 2018 Annual Meeting in Kalispell where the plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for final approval, look for continued improvements from your bar. And, if you have your own thoughts and ideas about how we can continue to improve and plan for the future, be sure to use the email address feedback@montana.bar.org, to send us your good ideas.

All the best,
John