President
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Carrie Francis

SBAND President

FINDING BALANCE IN AN UNCERTAIN TIME

As I prepare my first column as president of SBAND, I find myself longing for some sort of normalcy in my life and in my practice. I long for the days when I do not question if I should greet a client with a handshake or reach for the hand sanitizer when I do offer a handshake. I long for the days when I do not feel compelled to wipe down the table and chairs after a client meeting or panic when someone has a cold. I appreciate the fear of interaction has diminished, and I can work without locking the front door and meet clients without as much fear and anxiety as was present just months earlier. I am thankful my children have been able to participate in their summer sports and camps, and I remain hopeful school and sports can safely begin in August.

I am thankful for the Supreme Court’s swift actions and policy decisions to maintain a balance between ensuring Constitutional rights and keeping courts open when possible, all while protecting the health and safety of the public and court personnel. I am appreciative of the lawyers who have continued to represent clients in this difficult economy, even while fully aware a particular client may not be able to afford to pay for our services.

Over the years, I have met with lawyers across the state who demonstrate a passion for the law and a commitment to serving their clients and their communities. Unfortunately, the passion and commitment often leave many challenged to achieve a healthy work/life balance. This balance has been especially difficult this year, while so many of us learn to juggle life during, and hopefully after, COVID-19. A life that now includes remote offices, Zoom meetings, and telephonic or electronic court appearances. These challenges are only magnified in households with children who are distance learning and require guidance with their schoolwork, a computer to work from, or simply the use of the internet. While we are left with uncertainties beyond our control, we have to remember to find the balance.

SBAND is the oldest unified state bar association in the nation, having been founded in 1899 and unified in 1921. As president of this organization, it is my responsibility to both inform and, hopefully, inspire our members. We are fortunate to have Tony Weiler at the helm, overseeing an amazing staff that is committed to serving our members. Thanks!

I fully understand some attorneys do not see the benefit of professional associations to their practices or their daily lives. I challenge each of you to assess what SBAND has to offer in terms of education, practice tools, social activities, community involvement, and personal services. If SBAND is not meeting your expectations, I hope you will come forward and help us improve. If we are meeting your expectations, I hope you will continue your work to advance those successes.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president. Together I hope we can ensure SBAND continues to be relevant and important to its members.

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10/22/2020
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