Executive Director
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SBAND Executive Director


“Even though things change, one thing remains constant for lawyers: we make decisions every day that not only impact clients, but that shape the lawyer we are. Professionalism and ethics are not only important tenants of those decisions, but often what make us who we are. Striving to do what is right is often difficult, but necessary in all our transactions whether they be work related or personal.”

Those were words I wrote in the first few months I served as your executive director, some six plus years ago, and they still ring true today. We deal with change constantly in our lives and in our profession, and how we look at change can impact our work and our personal decisions. Just like the weather in North Dakota, if you don’t like it, wait five minutes! Perhaps this time of year, with a change from fall to winter, I have a chance to reflect on changes that take place at SBAND.

One thing we talk about at SBAND is whether what we are doing adds value to our members and ultimately helps you do what you do better. If the answer to the question of why we do something is “that’s how we’ve always done it,” then perhaps it’s time to analyze whether that truly is the best way to accomplish any goal. It very well may be, but it doesn’t hurt to look at whether there can be improvement or streamlined efficiency. Like our changing weather patterns, there are some constants, but as we know, there certainly can be variables.

The same is true for the practice of law. It is sometimes difficult to keep up with all the changes in our profession, yet lawyers face those challenges daily. From new clients to old, from one case to the next, and from similar cases but dissimilar facts. One good thing about change is it can allow us to see our experiences from a different perspective, and if we don’t see the change around us, it can often lead to unpleasant results. Change often brings opportunities for growth, and we all need that in our professional and personal lives.

That doesn’t, however, mean we must change simply for the sake of changing. At SBAND, we are constantly looking at ways to make positive changes for our members. At the same time, we don’t want to forget what we do well that helps you in your practice. We are mindful you are busy lawyers who want to do your jobs well for your clients, make a living, and enjoy the fruits of that living. Our job is to hopefully make your job easier. In her column, SBAND President Aubrey Fiebelkorn-Zuger outlines some of the member benefits that we offer to make your practice better. We also detail some of those member benefits on page 26. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to make changes in the practice better for our members, and we will continue to do so by not only re-visiting our current member benefits but seeking out new benefits as well.

In the next couple months, you will receive a survey asking what we can do better to serve you as your professional association. This will help the Board of Governors and the staff and I at SBAND focus on what you want us to do most. It will also give you an opportunity to tell us a bit about your practice areas, so we can determine if certain lawyers are looking for certain benefits that might be different than your colleagues. We do this with a sense of looking toward a great future at SBAND and a continued thriving practice of law in North Dakota.

Finally, we have established a Futures Task Force to analyze where we stand with regulating the profession in conjunction with the North Dakota Supreme Court. This was prompted by challenges we and most unified bars are facing, and it’s best for the bar and the profession to tackle these challenges head on and, perhaps, get ahead of them as well. If you have any questions or thoughts on what that might entail, please reach out to me via phone or email. It’s a great day to be a lawyer!

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