January 2018

Letter from the Chair of the Forum

By Mike Finstad

Attorney at Law

New Lawyers of San Diego County:

First of all, welcome to For the Record, the publication for New Lawyers of the San Diego County Bar Association. Here you will find content that, we hope, you find relevant and informative. For the Record is also a publication where you can find out about news, events, and opportunities to connect with fellow members of the Bar Association. If you have news or an idea for improving our content, we'd love to hear from you.

My name is Mike Finstad and I am a new lawyer in San Diego County. I'm a solo practitioner in my third year, and I practice in the areas of business, tax and nonprofit law. I am an advocate, and I will be serving you as Chair of the SDCBA New Lawyers Forum in 2018. I had the opportunity to meet many of you during some of our events last year, when I was a Networking Liaison for the New Lawyer Forum Executive Committee (formerly known as the "Forum for Emerging Lawyers"). It is truly an honor to represent you, the New Lawyers of San Diego County, but here are the other New Lawyer Forum Executive Committee members for 2018:

  • Phil Simpler — Vice-Chair and Editor-in-Chief of For the Record
  • Ashley Rawlins — Member at Large
  • Monica Willian — Member at Large
  • Mellania Safarian — Member at Large

This group has the benefit of following in the footsteps of many great leaders that have represented New Lawyers in San Diego County. A few of these individuals have gone on to become leaders in the San Diego legal community, including several current members of the SDCBA Board of Directors and current SDCBA Board President Kristin Rizzo. Last year, I had the opportunity to work for Chair Ashley Peterson, and Vice-Chair Michael Olinik, who left us with a signature event for New Lawyers and a sixth, consecutive award for the Best E-Publication in For The Record. I am immensely thankful to both Ashley and Michael for their friendship and guidance over the last year.

Stepping into someone else's shoes is more about philosophy than action. It's an opportunity to see a worldview that is not your own, and I think it's an important life skill that's useful for representing clients. It's not easy to step outside of yourself and see the world from your client's point of view. But doing so may change the way you choose to advocate, and it may even change your career.

I'm going to practice this skill in 2018 as your Chair, and I'm looking forward to getting started.

— Mike Finstad