A Message From DBA President Maureen “Mo” Watson




it is that time of year again — time to think about applying for a leadership role with the Denver Bar Association! As you may have seen in our recent emails, we are currently starting our call for leadership. I am hoping that you will consider applying for a role or nominating a peer.
Every year the DBA welcomes new leadership through its nomination process. The DBA Nominating Committee (a group of past and present DBA leaders) meets to review submissions and selects a slate of leadership. The slate is then presented to the DBA, as a whole. I hope this column can shed some light on how you can get engaged.

Who is eligible for DBA leadership positions?
Any DBA member, in good standing. Although you are encouraged to have some experience with the DBA, none is required.

What positions are available?
Every year the DBA selects a President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, several Board of Trustees representatives, and numerous Board of Governors representatives. The DBA President serves for three years (President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President) but the First Vice-President and Second Vice-President are only one year terms. There are typically three openings for Board of Trustees appointees and the Trustees serve for three-year terms. Finally, the Board of Governors representatives each serve for a term of two years. A full description for each role is available on the DBA website, or you can request details from Jessica Lindzy, our wonderful DBA governance liaison (jlindzy@cobar.org). In addition to these recurring vacancies, there are often other postings for leadership or engagement positions throughout the year — keep an eye on your DBA emails for notices about these other positions.

Do I need to be “nominated”?
No! Although our bylaws and selection process use the term “nomination,” interested applicants are encouraged to complete self-nominations. Most applicants submit a nomination for themselves — I did! And, if you know someone that you think would be a good fit, please encourage them to apply or submit a nomination directly.

What materials do I need to submit?
If you are completing the application, we recommend you submit a copy of your resume and a letter of interest. In your letter of interest, please include an explanation of why you want to join the DBA leadership team and highlight your community involvement, including any prior experience with the DBA. If you are nominating someone for a role, please provide a brief statement about why you think the person would be a good fit and, if possible, include a copy of his or her resume.

Why should I apply?
Serving in a leadership role is the best way to get more involved with your DBA. As I hope you’ve seen so far this year, we have a lot of exciting things happening at the DBA.

Just a few highlights:
• We’re updating our dues structure to help make membership more accessible for new and young members.
• We’re about to move into a beautiful new space that will allow us to implement new technologies and deliver innovative services and programming to our members.
• We’re constantly launching new initiatives such as our Diversity and Inclusivity Steering Committee to create lasting, systemic improvements in how we engage all members of our community.
• We’re growing our flagship pro bono program, Metro Volunteer Lawyers, as well as our other access to justice initiatives to help deliver free or low-cost services to those in need.
• We’re launching new online community resources to help you get more connected with your peers.

In addition to being a part of these initiatives and working to improve the DBA, you will undoubtedly benefit personally. For example, I have gained experience serving on a board and working in governance — from budgeting to management reviews to strategic planning. These are skills I would not have learned in my “day job.” And, most importantly, I’ve gained friends and mentors that I work with inside and outside of the DBA.
By stepping into a leadership role with the DBA you can help drive the conversation about where our Bar Association should go. You can help us continue to engage in honest, reflective reviews of where the DBA is today and help us determine what we need to do to better serve our membership in the future. Now is the right time for you to join this conversation!

So, what can you do from here?
Keep an eye out for the calls for nominations in your inbox or email jlindzy@cobar.org for a more detailed timeline. Then, gather your materials and apply! If you have questions about the process, please feel free to reach out to me directly — I am happy to chat with you about what is involved in each role, and what you can gain from getting more engaged with the DBA. I look forward to seeing your application! D