VBA Journal

SPR 2015

The VBA Journal is the official publication of The Virginia Bar Association.

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4 • VBA JOURNAL I t's a question every bar leader gets – from partners, colleagues, friends and sometimes total strangers. It's also a question that can have two meanings. The tone of the question betrays which meaning is intended. The first meaning is, "What are you hoping to accomplish?" The second meaning is, "Are you nuts?" Whether the sentiment is expressed or implied, the latter questioner wants to know why the bar leader is taking time away from a law practice and from precious free time to engage in volunteer bar service. Let me suggest that the answer to the question – regardless of the questioner's intended meaning – is the same. As the saying goes, "Pay it forward." One does not pursue the important office of VBA President without a vision for the future. But the vision is inspired by a deep appreciation for the value the VBA brings to the profession and to the public. That appreciation, in turn, is gained from personal experience, growth and enlightenment. Thus, the priorities for 2015 are a function of what the VBA has meant to me, my family and my career. In addition to continuing the initiatives of our past presidents, the VBA is focusing on two priorities this year: leadership for young lawyers and pro bono publico service. "Leadership is an Action, Not a Position" 1 I had the privilege of serving as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division in 1998. It is remarkable looking back at my YLD Executive Council. From that class, many now have high-level corporate positions, including four general counsel. Several others are managing partners in law firms. One is a delegate PRESIDENT'S PAGE Why Are You Doing This? BY HARRY M. "PETE" JOHNSON III PRESIDENT, THE VIRGINIA BAR ASSOCIATION

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