L. Lippitt, Esq.
to the revised Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society web site. We’ve devoted significant time and effort to reworking the
site to reflect a more modern look and feel, and to improve the services offered
to our members through the web site. Look
in on us periodically to find important information about upcoming activities
and current services and programs available now.
the newly elected and installed Chancellor, I plan to devote significant time to
serving the Society, in order to expand and strengthen our membership.
For those of you unable to attend our closing dinner at the recently
concluded 80th Annual Convention in Florida, following I include the
remarks I made to the Society and its guests at that dinner:
family, & guests:
This is a
special occasion for Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society – we are observing our 80th
anniversary as an organization promoting the virtues of Truth, Ethics, and
Righteousness in pursuit of our profession, and recognizing the benefits of
diversity in our composition. 80
years ago, our brethren created an organization that offered an opportunity to
forge professional ties, enable professional advancement, and provide social
opportunities for lawyers sharing a common world-view and a common set of values.
eve of the new millennium, as we enter our 81st year, we face the
challenge of revitalizing our national organization.
In our fast-paced and pressured society, we often do not have the time to
look beyond our own fences. While
those of us who have tasted the national experience recognize and welcome the
benefits of new friendships and associations with people from around the country
who have common backgrounds, points of view, and interests, the vast majority of
our members have no experience with or knowledge of the National Society. At the same time, we find our core membership – our members
who have participated with and benefited from a national association of Jewish
lawyers – to be aging, without a comparable number of new, younger members
joining to keep our numbers constant.
Chancellor, I will focus my efforts and energies in four areas, as we begin to
address these concerns.
First, we will adopt a national mission statement.
have discussed our goals and aspirations over the last few years, we have not
taken the final step of clarifying and crystallizing our sense of identity and
our place in the legal universe. After
we finalize our mission statement, we will publicize it, both to our current
members and our future members, so that they will know what TER is about.
we will continue our efforts to revive local chapters.
primary effort will be in South Florida, where we already have many members
available to provide a core group. Last
year, we held a reception in Miami, hosted by a local member.
That was a start, but we need a strong follow up effort.
Promoting a TER chapter that starts with using our current members who
will get together because they have TER in common.
This will provide a place where recruits can join us. It’s important to start with existing TER members;
otherwise, these merely would be gatherings of lawyers who had no reason to
associate with TER any more than with any other group.
At first, content will not be as important as opportunity.
Even if it’s only a informal gathering, with no fixed program other
than the opportunity to network with other lawyers, the important step in
revitalizing our dormant chapters is to provide regular gatherings and publicize
them, placing TER in the minds and thoughts of attorneys, again.
Local programs and agendas can be left to the particular interests of
those who do meet, as they are in Philadelphia and Detroit, but the important
first step is to begin meeting regularly and build from the initial numbers by
work of mouth and tug of sleeve.
will recommend to the Council that we organize and promote law school chapters
know from the Detroit chapter reports at recent council meetings, among
our very successful programs in Detroit is a periodic breakfast
cosponsored with the attorney division of Federation.
Most of the attorneys who attend either are current members of TER, or
were members in the past. Over this year’s meetings, I’ve spoken with many of these
lost members about TER, and several indicated
interest in rejoining. The
common element to each was that they were members of TER in law school but did
not continue after passing the bar; many did not know that TER was anything but
a law school organization. That’s
not really surprising. Look at our
organization’s name and our logo; an outsider viewing them would think we were
a collegiate fraternal association, because our name and logo correspond to
those of collegiate fraternal associations.
For that reason, I think that the logical and natural recruiting ground
for new members is in law school, so that we can take advantage of that
perception. Initial efforts should
be in Philadelphia and Detroit, where our successful graduate chapters have
members still connected with their law schools, and where local contacts will
give us the opportunity to get off the ground.
I know that I joined TER, because it offered me an opportunity to meet
and associate with other Jewish law students and Jewish attorneys, and I am
optimistic that law students today will have these same interests and give us a
know from the past, it won’t be enough to just recruit law students as
members, so we will also need to work with chapters to develop programming, and,
most important, to make sure that these students are welcomed into the
graduate chapters after they graduate. Another
program we should initiate for law students is a mentoring program; as more
graduates go into private or small practice, there is a need among these
graduates to get practical advice on everything from courtroom demeanor to
office economics. While we cannot
and should not function as a job bank for law students, we can offer the benefit
of our collective wisdom to our younger members.
we will launch our revamped web site this year.
it’s important to consider the organization’s future growth and survival, we
cannot ignore our current members. Over
the past 6 months, the website committee has been working very hard on revising
the web site, in both look and content, so that we can promote and offer our
national services to our members. The
new web site should be unveiled by the end of January, awaiting only some
technical arrangements as we change internet service providers.
revised web site will offer the public the opportunity to find out about our
organization’s history, and to search for members who may be able to provide
legal assistance. We will be
putting up CLE articles from our Summons, and will also provide the opportunity
for our members to “publish” other legal material for public consumption.
In addition, our members will be able to review their membership
information, update their Lawnet listings, and, in the hopefully not distant
future, use our site to host their own web pages.
addition, we will be using the web site to provide information about upcoming
meetings and conventions, and will be using email to send periodic reminders to
our members about these events.
important professional benefits that
our national organization can offer our local members are the opportunity to
network lawyer to lawyer, and the opportunity to make our members’
professional abilities and specialties known to the public, so that the public
will look to our members when they need legal services.
Our web site, and the planned associated search engine, will provide
these benefits to our members.
conclusion, I truly thank our members for the opportunity to serve them.
I recognize the importance of the trust you have given to me, and I
assure you that I will work diligently on your behalf, so that we can return Tau
Epsilon Rho to its former grandeur and glory.
Our officers, the National Council, and I will embrace this challenge, so
that when people ask us “Why should I join TER?”,
we will have a firm and confident answer for them.
reinforcing my thoughts about the public perception and identification of our
organization, shortly after returning to Detroit, I received an unexpected
package addressed to “Tau Epsilon Rho Fraternity.” Its contents were targeted for a college fraternity to assist
in preparing for a Super Bowl party.
To me, this demonstrates the
need to make a priority of defining ourselves in our own minds and in the minds
of the public. As a starting point,
the revised web site contains a more accurate history of the organization than
the sanitized version on the old site. Also,
the web site will soon contain a newly written Mission Statement for the
Finally, one important
purpose in designing this web site is to improve communications with our
members. This means we need e-mail
addresses for all of you who are reading this paragraph.
Please forward your e-mail address to our Executive Director at
Soon, we will start sending out regular email notices to our members, and
we don’t want you to miss out.
I look forward to this year with excitement and enthusiasm. Join with me, the officers, the National Council, and your fellow members, to return Tau Epsilon Rho to it's former greatness.