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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin

President’s Message Leila H. Watson From President the During the design process, Bruce Rogers and the architects struggled with finding a financially feasible way to bring natural light into the rooms. The solution presented itself when during the demolition, three huge windows in perfect condition were uncovered on the back wall of the building! I am not saying that the windows alone will enhance the CLE programs, but at least we won’t feel like we are sitting in a bomb shelter any more. Another great discovery during demolition was that the old sheetrock was hiding beautiful brick walls, which are now fully exposed. The construction should be complete and the new furnishings and carpet installed by the end of March. Look for the invitation to the CLE Facility Open House in April and come celebrate the completion of this phase of renovations to the Bar Center. The new facility will accommodate up to 160 people at desks in an inviting space. A sliding partition can divide the space into two rooms to accommodate multiple meetings at the same time. Power Point and other presentations can easily be displayed on monitors strategically placed around the space. The furniture will be mobile so the room can be configured for any kind of program. This is your Bar Center, and I encourage you to schedule events in the Noojin courtyard and the new CLE Facility. The Community Education Committee, chaired by Alicia Jett and Josh Harrison, are planning the Law Day program here on May 5, 2017. In the past, the Bar Center did not have the space to host a program of this size and stature and Law Day had to go off-site. No longer! Outside organizations and vendors also can rent the Facility and the Courtyard. Information about scheduling and pricing is available by contacting our Bar staff. Bob created the Task Force on Judicial Funding last year, tapping members of the BBA to take on the important task of protecting the interests of Jefferson County on the issue of judicial reallocation. The Task Force studied, researched and drafted revisions that were given to key members of the state House and Senate, the Alabama Law Institute and the Alabama State Bar. The bill was not reached last year, and hopefully the Birmingham revision will be passed this year. Importantly, the Task Force carried on their work in the most respectful manner, making it known that the BBA is a resource for everyone in Montgomery. Lloyd Gathings is the 2017 chair of the Task Force, and will carry on this good work. More than 4,000 lawyers, judges and law students are members of the BBA. Last year, we recorded the highest membership number in history. Bob MacKenzie energized this bar and rekindled an excitement for the BBA and for each other and an enthusiasm for our work as Thank you for the high honor and privilege of serving as your President. We are one of the strongest and largest local bar associations in the country and I pledge to build upon the stature this association has achieved and find innovative ways to grow that respect among our members and the larger community in which we live and practice. I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the great leadership of my immediate predecessor, Bob MacKenzie. Bob gave us important foundations and ideas on which we can easily build. Work on the new CLE facility at the Bar Center started in late December. Under the leadership of Bob and the Building Task Force led by Bruce Rogers, the decision was made to renovate the second floor space that contained the CLE rooms. Our excellent CLE programming brings more members and guests to the Bar Center than any other function of the Association, and these old rooms were drab and unwelcoming. Building plans were drafted and bids awarded to reconfigure the two rooms into a much more usable space, and install state-of-the-art audio-visual technology to enhance functionality to the highest level. 8 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin
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