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Annual Meeting returns for in-person networking, CLEs

For half a millennium, David Macoubrie has been attending the Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar, and he will proudly discuss the valuable friendships he has made at the conference since 1965. The only Annual Meetings the Chillicothe lawyer has missed in the last 57 years were the virtual conferences held in 2020 and 2021 – which is why he was particularly delighted last week to see his fellow lawyers in person.

“It’s my profession, it’s a profession of meaning, and I enjoy seeing my fellow professionals,” he said.

More than 500 Missouri lawyers and judges gathered for last week’s Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar – held in person for the first time since 2019 – to network and attend valuable continuing legal education opportunities.

Lauren Tucker McCubbin, Oath of Office-Annual Meeting-091522Held at University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield Sept. 14-16, Annual Meeting promoted more than two dozen CLEs and several receptions for lawyers and judges to meet and chat. It also featured the election and swearing in of 2022-23 Missouri Bar President Lauren Tucker McCubbin, a speech by Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson, recognition of award recipients, and meetings for bar leadership. Click here to watch the presidential swearing-in ceremony and the chief justice's speech. If you would like to watch the awards luncheon, click here.

For Scott Pierson, partner at Twibell Pierson in Springfield, the in-person Annual Meeting was an opportunity to showcase Springfield and highlight local lawyers’ knowledge. Annual Meeting allows lawyers to hear a wide range of issues that they may not normally hear at their local bars, he said. For example, Pierson presented to dozens of lawyers at Annual Meeting on whether clients should blow into a breathalyzer when stopped by law enforcement.

“One of the most important parts (of Annual Meeting) is being able to go to different parts of the state,” he added. “A practice in Kansas City, a practice in St. Louis, (and) a practice in Springfield are all uniquely different and you get to hear those different perspectives, and it helps you better represent and serve your clients.”

For young and new lawyers, Annual Meeting is also an opportunity to meet mentors who can provide guidance, said Tamar Hodges, of Webster Groves.

“We have a lot of seasoned and experienced lawyers and judges, so it’s good to feed off their energy, get advice, (and) get inspiration from them to learn how to be a great lawyer and serve the community and the profession within the state,” said Hodges, who recently wrapped up her term as Eastern Appellate District diversity representative on The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section Council.

If you were unable to attend the in-person Annual Meeting activities last week, you can still network with lawyers and earn CLE credit! Annual Meeting will continue this week with virtual programming. More than 400 attendees are registered for the online portion of Annual Meeting – featuring livestreaming of the plenary sessions from Sept. 15 and CLE tracks, a YLS new lawyer series, an ethics series, and lunch & learn sessions Sept. 19-23.

Register for the virtual Annual Meeting here.