President's Page: Personal connections
Vol. 78, No. 4 / July - August 2022
John Grimm, 2021-22 Missouri Bar president, practices with The Limbaugh Firm in Cape Girardeau.
I’ve been around lawyers my entire life. My dad was a small-town, general practice lawyer who became a judge when I was 10 years old. As kids, my brothers and I would occasionally go with him as he traveled to courthouses throughout Southeast Missouri. Early on, I learned that there were a lot of really good lawyers in Missouri.
In the 50 years since that time, this perception has been affirmed time and time again. That has been no less true during this past year. From Maryville to Holcomb, Brookfield to Springfield, and many places in between, I have had the opportunity to meet many outstanding lawyers in every part of the state.
The common denominator among the lawyers I’ve met at local bar association meetings? A genuine affection for their colleagues.
Occasionally, however, I hear “older” lawyers – those who seem to be closer to my age now – nostalgically suggest that lawyers don’t treat each other as well as they used to. While that may be true in some instances, I have not witnessed this being a widespread problem.
Those of us who have been practicing for a while need to set an example for newer lawyers. It’s easy to be friendly and professional to those with whom we’ve been practicing for 20 years or more. But it is equally important to be courteous, patient, and kind to newer lawyers.
My firm belief is that lawyers treat each other better when they take time to know their colleagues. This means leaving the office on occasion and meeting with other lawyers. Take the time to get involved in The Missouri Bar and other legal organizations. Make phone calls and personal visits instead of relying so much on email or text messages to communicate.
One fantastic option for meeting other lawyers and judges is coming up soon at the Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar, which will be held Sept. 14-16 in Springfield. Nationally known speakers, more than 14 hours of continuing legal education programming, and great social events will be available. Detailed information can be found at MoBar.org.
Many of us have discussed some of the “lessons learned” from the pandemic, including the ability to productively work away from the traditional office, as well as the time and cost savings by attending meetings and other events virtually. To be sure, The Missouri Bar has used those lessons to guide its member engagement and increase CLE offerings beyond what had been previously possible.
Still, my view is that we do not develop the personal relationships through video and telephone conferencing that can be critical to a successful law practice.
I hope to see you in Springfield this September. It has been my honor to serve as president of The Missouri Bar this past year. I look forward to seeing and working with lawyers from around the state in the years to come.