President's Page, 0919 ALBJ, 80 The Alabama Lawyer 316 (2019)

PositionVol. 80 5 Pg. 316


No. Vol. 80 No. 5 Pg. 316

Alabama Bar Lawyer

September, 2019

Better Together

Thirty years ago, I drove from Prattville (my hometown) to Union Springs for the first time. My sister was the hospital administrator in Union Springs and had offered me a summer job after I graduated from high school. I started down Highway 110 and around Pike Road, I stopped and asked for directions because I knew I must be lost, as nothing could be that far away from Montgomery.

As you can see from the photo on the cover, Union Springs soon became home to me. I learned about the community, including what a field trial and a bird dog were and why both were important enough that we'd build a statue in the middle of town to honor bird dogs and their handlers. When I moved here after finishing law school in 1997, I started exploring other small towns and learning their stories as well. There's Enterprise and its tribute to the boll weevil, LaFayette's tribute to Joe Louis and, of course, Dothan's peanut on every corner. To ensure we have geographical diversity in leadership, I have appointed to my executive council: • Rebekah McKinney with Watson McKinney from Huntsville;

• Diandra Debrosse with Grant & Eisenhofer from Birmingham;

• George Parker with Bradley Arant from Montgomery;

• Cliff Mendheim with Prim & Mendheim from Dothan;

• Glenda Freeman with Legal Aid Society and president of the Alabama Lawyers Association from Birmingham as an ex officio member; and

• Robert Shreve with Burr& Forman and president of the Young Lawyers' Section from Mobile as an ex officio member.

I love these hometown stories. Just as towns have stories, so do lawyers. Often, though, we get so busy in representing our clients that we forget to slow down and recognize or develop our own stories. It is hard to be a good lawyer if you don't know yourself.

Acknowledging this and in an effort to help lawyers, the Alabama State Bar's focus this year will be:

Helping Lawyers

Health and wellness are a struggle in every lawyer's life. We tend to put the needs of our clients in front of our own and our mental and physical health suffer as a result. Gibson Vance is chairing a task force to develop a plan to help lawyers who have some significant, potentially life-changing event in their lives. Providing resources to our lawyers when they need it most is an essential service of our association.


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