Vermont Bar Journal
PRESIDENT'S COLUMN So You Want To Be President
THE VERMONT BAR JOURNALVolume 35, No. 2Summer 2009 PRESIDENT'S COLUMN So You Want To Be PresidentBy Douglas L. Molde, Esq.Elected to the VBA Board of Managers in 2001, I apprenticed under Vermont Bar Association presidents Matt Valerio, Don Rendall, Jr., Anna Saxman, Tom Zonay, Jim Gallagher, Sam Hoar, and Stacy Chapman and served with many talented and dedicated board members.
As President-Elect the VBA sent me to the ABA Bar Leadership Institute in Chicago in March, 2008, where the keynote address was the "Moral Leader: Challenges, Tools and Insights." There were governance primers by bar size and type, sessions on message management and development, networking, photo opportunities with the ABA president, past presidents sharing their expertise on time management, maintaining relations with your partners, colleagues and bar staff, public speaking and, of course, sponsor networking,
In May 2008, I attended the Equal Justice Conference in Minneapolis. The plenary speaker was Peter Edelman, who had served as counselor to Donna Shalala, HHS Secretary during President Clinton's first term, and then as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. That Professor Edelman is an inspiring speaker and a strong advocate for social justice was clear. The topical workshops were directed at pro bono representations, self-represented litigants, technology, identity theft and fraud victims, limited representation and court services for pro se litigants, legal services funding, and access to justice commissions and fund-raising.
In August 2008, I attended the ABA Annual Meeting and the National Conference of Bar Presidents meeting in New York. Michael Roger, futurist-in-residence, was the keynote speaker on the subject of "Virtualization of America." Again, there were workshops: Transitioning out of Practice, Establishing a Right to Counsel in High Stakes Civil Procedures; What If Your Bar gets "Nifonged?" There were sponsor breaks and networking opportunities.
Having been trained, I began my tenure as president on September 26, 2008. As president, my concerns have been for improving the profession, making the lives of attorneys better, maintaining our ability to earn a living, and improving the services we provide to our neighbors,...