Stephanie A. Hunter
Dear ALA Members,
As the 2017-2018 President, I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to build on the great foundation laid for us by the founders of the Alabama Lawyers Association (formerly the Alabama Black Lawyers Association)– the essential bar association for minority attorneys in the State of Alabama.
I became a member of ALA right after passing the bar, and over the years have worked in some capacity on the board. Each year that I have worked with the board has taught me more about the commitment level it takes to effectively move this august body in the direction our predecessors envisioned. This year particularly I have been able to be a part of dialogue with the various members, both past and current, about concerns they have and while I strongly believe that we are making headway in resolving some of these concerns, I also believe that there is still more to accomplish; and I am committed to doing my part to see that it will be.
The Alabama Lawyers Association has a lot to contribute. However, in order to do so effectively, we must be mindful that there are still unrepresented and underrepresented individuals around us and thus work individually to promote this organization’s purpose, which is to encourage the study of law, to provide opportunities for members to enhance their effectiveness as legal counsel, and to protect the civil and political rights of all citizens.
Over the past year I have been asked what my goals are for this year, so I want to give you just a preview of some of what you will see this year:
- Updating our online membership directory
There is a real need to update our membership direction and maybe create a listserv to be able to reach out and disseminate information. Of course, to do so we need your current email addresses so we can send out e-newsletters to minimize the cost of mailing that would eat up our resources.
- Membership campaign
I would like to appeal to all of you to renew their memberships and to encourage your friends, family, co-workers, employers, and law students to become members. I would go further to say that this year, I encourage each of us to sponsor a member—be it a law student or a regular member.
Membership retention and growth will be my main focus this year, as I believe that members are probably the only real asset we have.
- Community programs
We are all a part of a larger community and have some amount of involvement in these communities (and if you don’t, you really should). Let us look at how we (ALA) can help to advance/promote your involvement in these communities—which will in turn promote ALA.
- Other ways to generate funds
Traditionally we have depended on membership dues to support our agenda and I believe we all realize that does not always work well. We need to look at ways that we can effectively support the goals of this organization without having to drain our bank account. I believe we can do so if each takes ownership of the organization—if it is ours we should support it!
I invite you to visit our website http://www.ala-lawyers.org to learn more about our great organization and how you can get more involved—whether it is through attending events or serving on a committee. In addition, please feel free to contact me, a member of our Board of Directors, or a Committee Chair with questions and/or feedback.
Thank you for your continued support of ALA and for giving me this opportunity to serve as your President. I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to move ALA forward.
Stephanie A. Hunter