Friday, November 17, 2006
Hosting the LSAC Southwest Regional was a rewarding experience. It was great to have the opportunity to work on the planning committee with such top-notch people as David Nadvorney, Marty Peters, Michael Hunter Schwartz, and Nancy Soonpaa. It was invigorating to hear great presentations and panels with people like Michael Hunter Schwartz, Marty Peters, Ellen Swain, David Nadvorney, Vernellia Randall, Dennis Honabach, Walt Huffman, Nancy Soonpaa, Vinita Bali, Alfred Mathewson, Joe Dhillon, Rory Bahadur, Everett Chambers, and Robert Coulthard. The learning that took place in just 1 1/2 days was amazing.
But most of all, it was the sense of collegiality and caring among the 30 registrants from 23 schools that reminded me how much I love what I do each day for my students and how proud I am of my colleagues in academic support. I was so excited to meet the newcomers to our field. What a fabulous group of new professionals to ASP! And, to see the "old timers" reach out with advice, encouragement, suggestions, and warm welcomes was equally impressive. I love the fact that we care not only about our students but also about our colleagues.
Most of us have had previous professional experiences where people guarded their turf, got puffed up with their own self-importance, and refused to be colleagues in the finest sense of the term. Most of us have watched in other experiences while people waited eagerly for others to fail so that they themselves could climb the ladder of success faster. And, in some cases we have watched others intentionally set traps for newcomers so that they would fail.
I feel blessed to be in a profession that sets high standards for performance and is concerned about best practices, but still believes in mentoring others, sharing ideas, offering help, and exploring together ways to improve. I hope that as we become more recognized by law schools as a profession with merit that we will not give up what makes us so special as academic support professionals. May we receive the recognition we deserve without losing our soul.
Thank you to all of my colleagues for your professionalism, but most of all for your warm hearts. (alj)