Vermont Bar Journal
Winter 2008 - #1.
In These Times
The Vermont Bar Journal #176, Volume 34, No. 4 WINTER 2008
In These Timesby Douglas L. Molde, Esq.These are difficult times. Legal services programs are facing extensive budget cuts which threaten programs and staff. The judiciary has had to close our courts for a portion of each week, and is anticipating more drastic economics-based cuts. The middle class is more and more unable to pay for full legal services. The real estate market is either sluggish or dormant, with its rippling repercussions. Lawyers are being advised on how to adapt marketing techniques to this economic environment, financially managing the bottom line and providing value-oriented services. Law firms are laying off attorneys. In these times, we must work to ensure that our population receives justice, and that we are valued for our role.
It seems to me that this is a good time to look at why the members of our association do what they do.
Just as I became the new Vermont Bar Association president, the VBA adopted a new strategic plan of the Association. In September, 2008, it replaced what I considered a fairly arcane plan with one directly relevant today. The mission, values, and vision are:
Mission: To foster respect for the rule of law by cultivating the science of jurisprudence, promoting reform in the law, facilitating the administration of justice, elevating the standards of the legal profession, cherishing a collegial spirit in the legal profession and perpetuating the memory of its members.
Values: We value the rule of law as the cornerstone of a democratic society; equal access to justice; a collegial legal community whose members are respectful and honest; competence; diligence; an informed and wise reformation of the law; and the special role of the lawyer as a public servant.
Vision: We share a fervent commitment to provide a collegial community within which the VBA and its members may pursue our mission and implement our values. The strategic plan sets out a clear mission and values for our profession. Every Vermont attorney can feel gratified to be a part of such an organization.
Simultaneous with the adoption of the strategic plan, the committee structure of the VBA Board of Managers has been modified, and we now have four active committees: Planning and...