Executive Director
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TONY J. WEILER

SBAND Executive Director

ALWAYS STRIVING TO DO BETTER: SETTING AND MEETING GOALS MAY REQUIRE CHANGE

The saying “hindsight is 20/20” is a proverb meaning it’s easy to understand something after it has happened. The expression is usually stated when someone has made a mistake, and in looking back, it’s easy to see that more clearly than when it’s being made. Looking back at what we haven’t done well is often uncomfortable because we seldom like to admit it when we’ve made a mistake! But hindsight can also be beneficial in setting goals for an upcoming year, and my hope for the year 2020, is it will be one filled with many blessings for you, your family, and your colleagues. Each New Year provides an opportunity to utilize hindsight and look back at our past accomplishments and failures and set new goals, and then work hard toward those goals.

This may also require us to make changes and, as lawyers, we struggle with change. It takes us out of our comfort zone. We like routines, schedules, and a sense of control. Change may lead to a feeling of loss of control. No two cases are alike, but the routines we employ to get from the beginning of a case to the conclusion of a case provide comfort.

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but technology has required us to change the way we deliver legal services, how we communicate with clients, and how we file documents with the court. Clients and consumers are tech savvy and are looking for alternative ways to deal with legal issues. North Dakota citizens take pride in doing things for themselves, and this may include a belief that legal work is much like updating a bathroom. As lawyers, we know this is not the case. Service and advice from a competent lawyer meet the needs of the client and also provide assurance documents will be drafted properly. The services provided by a lawyer are backed up by the requirement that we follow the rules of professional conduct and malpractice insurance.

At SBAND, we set goals and strive to meet those as well. This may require us to make some changes, and the board of governors wants your help in doing so. The board of governors is a forward-thinking group dedicated to the practice of law, service to the public, and to the betterment of the association. In order to better serve members of the bar, a survey will be sent to you in early 2020. The survey will focus on the demographics of our bar, issues related to your current position and practice setting, and a large focus on priorities and services provided by SBAND that are important to you. The survey will also ask about your bar involvement, pro bono service, and your overall satisfaction with practicing law. I do hope you will take the time to complete the survey as it will allow us to provide better service to you in 2020 and going forward.

Looking back at years past will hopefully provide us with a clearer understanding of how we could have done something better. Going forward in 2020, this will continue to be our goal here at SBAND, to gain a clearer understanding of the benefits and services we provide you and work hard to do it better. We do a lot of things well, and we will continue to improve where we can. As always, reach out to me at tony@sband.org if you have any comments or thoughts on what your association can do for you.

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