Barry L. Lippitt, Esq.
A Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year to all of members and loved ones in 2002!
I just returned from our 2001 Convention and Annual Membership Meeting on Miami Beach. Everyone attending had a wonderful time, and I was particularly happy that this year's convention included some first-time participants. We had a marvelous CLE program courtesy of our speakers, members Richard A. Cahan of Miami and Stanley H. Cohen of Philadelphia. Thanks to our National Scholar, Joel H. Kaufman (PNC) for organizing this year's program. We also had an exciting keynote address by Milton Hirsch of Miami, who gave us a historical perspective on the intersection of the law and terrorism in our country's history. Finally, thanks to our convention chair, David B. Liner (PNC), for his usual outstanding work in organizing a convention to our specifications.
In the near future, look for a full convention report on the website.
When I posted my first Chancellor's Page last year, I spoke of my plans and concerns to help Tau Epsilon Rho Law Society face the new millenium. Over the past year, with input from our officers and Council, and with the particular extensive time and valuable effort put in by our friend and Executive Director, Alan Tepper, I have worked to put TER in a position to succeed.
Over the past year, we have worked to improve our ability to communicate with and inform our members. We have expanded and refined our web site, and have recently completed integrating our LawNet directory into an online presence so that our members can be found by those in need of legal services. We are using the website as the primary means of providing information about upcoming events to our members, and to make it easy for them to obtain information about all of the benefits of membership available to the organization. And, most recently, we have established an on-line e-mail list for our members that, eventually, will serve as a virtual water cooler and reception room, so that members can share their questions, concerns, and comments with fellow members.
Also, we’ve been working with our sister organization, the Tau Epsilon Rho - Schwartzberg Scholarship Foundation, to find new ways to improve the range of services each organization can provide to the other, to the mutual benefit and improvement of all. Look for announcements of new joint initiatives during the coming year.
With our infrastructure updated for the realities of today’s world, we now need to work on rebuilding our organization by using the tools available to us. In the aftermath of the events of September 11, all of us have realized anew the importance of community – and our particular community is TER. At this stage in our 80 year existence, we must increase our efforts to recruit the next generation of TER members, so that we will be able to celebrate not just our 82nd anniversary next year, but our 100th in 2020.
Our top priority in the next year must be increasing our membership. As I mentioned before, this year we continued our recent trend of greeting first-time convention attendees. Our job now, as an organization, is to provide our newest attendees with an incentive to return next year and the year after, and the year after, and to bring friends with them each time.
Beyond working with our existing membership, our highest priority in the next year is to bring new members into TER; members who will not only enhance the strengths of the graduate chapters, and will join us at our conventions and meetings, but, even more important, will provide us with fresh ideas and talent to continue giving our members an experience to remember when they join us at the annual meeting. Those who attended conventions of the past know that TER has put on some terrific conventions; but, to do that again, we must increase attendance and produce more people who can lend their talents to planning and production. The more people at conventions, the easier it is to plan a full program and activities at prices that can’t be matched.
I also want to emphasize that this organization, since its inception, has existed to meet the needs and interests of its members. That continues to be the case, and I encourage any of you with any ideas or suggestions about any aspect of the society to feel free to communicate them to me; and, I promise you that all such thoughts will be shared with the National Council.
In closing, I want to leave all members of our organization with 2 challenges for the coming year: First, each member should make an effort to personally recruit at least one new practicing attorney or law student for Society membership this year, and, second, volunteer your particular talents and interests to the National organization, so that, in years to come, we can provide for a continuity of leadership in keeping Tau Epsilon Rho a leader among professional legal organizations.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I thank you for the confidence you demonstrate in us by giving us a continuing opportunity to serve the membership and the society.
Barry L. Lippitt
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