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May 15, 2017

Missouri lawyers network, earn free CLE at 2017 Spring Committee Meetings

SCM17_Solo Missouri Bar members gathered in Jefferson City Friday at the 2017 Spring Committee Meetings for programming, including free Continuing Legal Education (CLE), to help lawyers better serve their clients. Over the course of the day, 35 committees and sections met to conduct business and discuss current issues related to the ever-changing practice of law. At the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee meeting, attendees were introduced to several time-saving tricks and tips for assisting with day-to-day tasks, from password managers and computer mirrors to member benefits such as the Law Practice Management Lending Library, LawPay and Fastcase. There was also a preview of the Annual Solo & Small Firm Conference, which will take place June 8-10 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.

Down the hall, the Family Law Section met to discuss their upcoming Family Law Conference, as well as current issues including guardian ad litems and third-party guardianships, specifically a case that will go before the Supreme Court of Missouri this month.

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 The Access to Justice Committee, Committee on Diversity and Immigration Law Committee held a joint meeting featuring a CLE titled “Recent Presidential Executive Orders Related to Immigration: Overview, Impact and Implementation.” Speakers addressed topics including sanctuary cities, deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) and the recently created Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office within the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

The day also included a luncheon, with Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and a Missouri lawyer, serving as the featured speaker. Pauley discussed the challenge of getting Missourians out into nature, particularly with competing factors like technology.

“We as a society know that we do not desire nor cannot live without these natural resources, and, in fact, our very quality of life depends upon them,” said Pauley. “And, yes, what hasn’t changed is the importance of a robust legal system that defends those public trust resources for all of us and for our future generations.”

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Laurie Washington, a lawyer with Legal Services of Southern Missouri in Springfield, said that hearing from Pauley and from speakers in meetings outside of her normal range of practice offered a chance to explore other areas of the law and consider how she could participate more.

“The presentation was great, especially hearing from the Department of Conservation. That’s not an area that we get much exposure to, so I thought that that was great,” Washington said. “That’s also good when you come to the meetings, if that’s not an area that you practice, but you feel inspired to maybe learn more or get involved somehow.”

In addition to the benefits of keeping up-to-date and earning free CLE, committee meetings offered a chance to network and socialize.

“What I really enjoy about it is it’s a great way to reconnect with people who you’ve worked with over the years,” said Carole Iles, of counsel to Bryan Cave in Jefferson City. “It’s not only educational; it’s a nice social event as well.”

Frederick Ludwig, a St. Louis solo lawyer, agreed, having attended and served as a presenter at past committee meetings.

“If you’re looking to get involved, to network and to meet people from around the state that have similar interests that you have, this is a great place to start that,” Ludwig said.

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Learn more about the 2017 Spring Committee Meetings at www.mobar.org/scm2017/, or check out conversation from the day on social media using #MOBarSpring.