June 2018

Letter from the Chair of the Forum

By Mike Finstad

Attorney at Law

Thanks to everyone who came out to East County on Monday after work to hike Cowles Mountain with the NLF! The weather was perfect that night and the group peaked just before sunset. It was a great way to unwind and get to know some new people. It was good times and we're looking forward to going up again sometime this summer. But for those of you who couldn't join us on the hike, the NLF will be in North County next Thursday, June 28, hosting our first Bar Trivia Night at Westroot Tavern. There's still time to sign up and join a team and we've got four (4) tickets to a Cubs game for the winners! It's going to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to network with colleagues.

I'm excited to announce that the NLF Executive Committee has set a date and secured a venue for the NLF's annual signature event — Friday, August 17! The event will be held downtown at LUCE LOFT, which is a perfect little spot for our prohibition-style theme. I'd like to thank the NLF Executive Committee and the SDCBA for all of the hard work it's taken to set this up, we're looking forward to it.

I'm also excited to announce that the SDCBA Board of Directors has approved a new Mission Statement for our Association, and I'd like to share it with you:

Inclusion and community define us. Innovation and leadership propel us.
Your growth motivates us. Celebrating you and the profession is us.

As Chair, I've had the opportunity to meet many of our NLF members, which includes law students and attorneys in their first five years of practice. One topic that frequently comes up in conversations is the idea of growth — how to build a book of business, how to network with decision-makers, how to build a strong resume without much experience. The NLF Executive Committee shared this feedback when we were asked to provide input on the SDCBA's new Mission Statement, and I'm happy to say the Board of Directors heard you. I'd like to thank the Board for approving a mission that values the growth of new lawyers, and I'm excited about the opportunities SDCBA new lawyers will have over the next few years.

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

Building a practice is hard, and many new lawyers don't need to worry about running their own firm. But roughly 65% of SDCBA members are solo practitioners, like myself, so I wanted to share one approach to growing your law practice as a new, solo practitioner: Invest a portion of your time to volunteer for leadership opportunities, and then do a really good job. It doesn't matter how insignificant the role might seem — when you produce good work product, people notice. More importantly, treat every person you meet with dignity and respect — people you work for, people that work for you, complete strangers — because doing so could create more relationships and open more doors than any school or experience on your resume.

Below is a link to an anonymous poll, I hope you'll weigh in. The results will be posted in next month's edition of For the Record.

A Poll for the Record: Should compensation of public service lawyers be competitive with private sector compensation?

— Mike