Letter From The President Of The New Jersey State Bar Association

2014-07-02 10:20

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

If you are an attorney and you care, you aspire to be the best attorney you can be, and you belong to your county and state bar associations. I joined my local bar association and the New Jersey State Bar Association decades ago as a young attorney. In 1997 my involvement in the county bar unexpectedly led me to become my county’s trustee to the NJSBA’s Board of Trustees. I am proud to say that just this May I was installed as the 116th president.

In the ensuing 17 years, I have been repeatedly asked by those who are not members: “Why should I join the State Bar Association?” This is my abbreviated answer.

I belong to the NJSBA because it has made me a better attorney. It is that simple. My involvement has enhanced my practice in ways I never imagined. I have been privileged to create personal and professional relationships with judges, justices and talented attorneys far from my bucolic northwest corner of the state. I have enjoyed world-class continuing legal education taught by the absolute best and brightest.

Through our amicus efforts, we have been involved in every significant legal issue to face our state. We have earned the respect of the state supreme court. We serve as the proud voice of all New Jersey attorneys. Whether you are a solo practitioner, a member of a small firm, a large firm or work in the public sector - whether you are from Cape May, Newark or Sparta - it matters none. We shy away from no issue. No matter the practice area, it is likely we have intervened to address an issue that helps the way you practice law.

In recent years, our judiciary has come under fierce attack. Subjected to partisan politics, justice has been delayed and denied. The very essence of our democracy was at stake. Through our leadership, the NJSBA has done what great lawyers have done throughout the history of the world – fight for what is right. Proclaiming the dire necessity to preserve the independence of our precious judiciary we have prevailed in seeing our esteemed chief justice reappointed.

In keeping with the proud tradition of helping our brothers and sisters, the NJSBA has created the Lawyers in Transition Committee to assist our colleagues confront the challenges they face. We are creating networks and resources to help lawyers succeed when they are navigating the transition in life.

A series of programs will be held in the coming year, including “Bouncing Back” on July 17. In addition, we will host an all-day educational and networking conference in February, an issue of the New Jersey Lawyer Magazine devoted to transitioning back to the law, and an e-publication that will address practical practice information for lawyers in transition.

Much like many of these lawyers in transition, today many of our fellow citizens are facing a crisis. At the same time, our new lawyers cannot find jobs. We will examine ways to match underemployed lawyers with the needs of those who cannot access traditional legal services.

In the meantime, the New Jersey State Bar Association continues each year to recognize the pro bono contributions of the legal community. From individuals to corporate law departments to other organizations or associations, all are eligible for nomination for the association’s Annual Pro Bono Award. The deadline to submit nominations is Aug. 14.

To find out more about what’s happening and get involved in these important issues, please visit www.njsba.com.

Remember, when we speak together, our voices will be heard. 



                                                                                                            Paris P. Eliades