OCBA UPDATE: The leaders and best


Football season will be here soon enough, but this isn’t about those gridiron (and baseball) heroes in the maize and blue.

The OCBA represents approximately 3,000 lawyers who live or practice in Oakland County. We are the largest and most influential voluntary bar in the state. Those who chair our committees, are elected to our board, work on staff, and volunteer countless hours for our programs are focused on one thing – leadership. They want to help our lawyers be better lawyers, substantively, procedurally, ethically, financially, emotionally. That is a true commitment. The OCBA helps these lawyers become leaders through opportunities to work in teams, overcome challenges and make impactful changes. It is one reason that the OCBA has consistently produced the next generation of leaders of the State Bar and other statewide and national organizations. It is one reason that the OCBA is the envy of every other bar association in the state.

As incoming president, appreciating leadership and the leaders all around me is both critical and humbling. In many ways, my goal is to empower others and then get the hell out of the way. It’s an awesome thing to see energy percolate up through our committees, become manifest in a program or initiative, and then see the results inure to the benefit of our membership, our community and our practice. And in a dog-eat-dog world (and profession), almost none of this is done for self-aggrandizement. It is purely leadership for higher purposes. It is the best of our profession and our inner character.

What have I done to lead? That is a question I urge everyone to ask themselves. Let me take one excuse away from you: It isn’t hard. The ability to make an impact through the OCBA is remarkably easy and leads to almost immediate fulfilment. Do you think there is a pressing topic the bar needs to know about? Writing an article or presenting a seminar is a snap, with our committees and staff ready to assist. Do you think we could benefit from a sustained commitment to diversity within our profession? We need people to lead and keep oars in the water to advance programs and build successes, year after year. Do you think it is important to build connections and camaraderie with the next generation of lawyers? We have countless ways to do that within and through the bar. Or maybe your goals relate to elder care, helping the underprivileged, or working with our veterans. We do all of that, and more.

I get it; people are busy, the paycheck is paramount, family obligations always have precedence. But very few lawyers I know are not interested, when it comes right down to it, in doing something beyond themselves. No one I know viewed going to law school as the equivalent of getting an MBA; while they maybe hoped for a good living, they were, in one way or another, attracted to being part of something larger than themselves. I get the cynicism about the few bad apples in our ranks, the shadow the dollar always casts, and our own occasional sharp elbows with our fellow attorneys. But my experience is that people want to do more than what they do every day; they feel a connection to “The Law” (capital “L”) and seek to plug in with that in some way.

Whatever your passion, the OCBA is the platform to make it reality. Don’t be complacent. Create a mock trial program for elementary children. Initiate a Pro Bono Mentor Match program. Host a seminar to cover some new, key area of law. Commit to helping with the mental health of our fellow lawyers. Work to expand our services to the poor. We live for this stuff; let us help you.

To all the past, current and future leaders, you have my admiration and thanks. The OCBA stands ready to lead us forward. We just need you.
Daniel D. Quick, of Dickinson Wright PLLC, is the 87th president of the Oakland County Bar Association.


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »