A week and a half ago, I attended the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Dallas, just a few hours north of my hometown of Houston. I lived in Dallas from 2000 to 2003, so attending the meeting in Dallas was not necessarily an eye-opening travel experience for me. As for travel, I’m looking forward much more to attending the upcoming meetings in Chicago (IL) in April (ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference), Anchorage (AK) in May (ABA GPSolo Spring Leadership Meeting), San Francisco (CA) in August (ABA Annual Meeting), and Lexington (KY) in October (ABA GPSolo Fall Meeting and National Solo & Small Firm Conference).
As for content and leadership, I had an excellent and varied experience at the Midyear. If you are not into bar association work or attending bar association meetings and conferences live, then you may not yet understand how beneficial such events can be. Not only do they help with networking and getting valuable association work done, but also the CLE and social events can be just as beneficial! Of course, all of this goes on against the backdrop of your continuing law practice back home.
So, what did I do during the Midyear? I’m glad you asked! I attended the GPSolo Editorial Board meeting, a couple of focus group sessions by a corporate sponsor for the ABA, various CLEs at the Midyear hotel, a CLE sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association at the Belo Mansion (home of the DBA), some breakfasts and lunches, and a Saturday night showing of My Cousin Vinny, sponsored by the ABA. I enjoyed catching up with friends and colleagues and meeting new ones! For all you “bar junkies” out there, I encourage you to get involved in the American Bar Association and attend the meetings. Hopefully I will see you there!