31 Trends 1 (1999-2000)

handle is hein.journals/trends31 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Balancing and Interrelating

for Excellence

BY PARTHENIA B. EVANS


Lawyers need balanced lives to achieve sustained
      excellence in their law practices. Similarly, the
   .dSection needs balance in order to serve its
members at a standard of excellence. Coupled with
balance in both settings is the need to interrelate
resources with goals to achieve the excellence sought.
   How we achieve balance in our lives is largely
determined by our talents, gifts, and time manage-
ment. Many articles have been written about lawyers
leading balanced lives and various bar organizations
have examined the issue of balance, even in its
essence as a quality-of-life issue. It is doubtful that
anyone would argue with a hypothesis or a conclu-
sion that balanced living contributes and perhaps
even predestines professional success. Elements of
balance from our lives outside the office, courtroom,
or negotiation room must and do penetrate to those
law practice settings to contribute to the balance
needed for excellence.
   Lawyers are problem solvers. Our stock-in-trade
is a fluid and interrelated application of knowledge,
strategy, know-how, negotiation skills, people
skills, and good old-fashioned common sense. The
combinations and permutations of these that we need
to achieve success in any setting or matter are deter-
mined and driven by other elements of the balance:
health, focus, creativity, family values, spiritual foun-
dation, and a passion for the substance of our prac-
tices. Try to identify any instance in which a problem
has been solved or resolved by lawyering when these
elements of the balance have not had an impact-
positive or negative.
   Section members as a group of lawyers use the
elements of balance in our practices in an infinite
variety of ways. The one element that we hold in
common at a strong level and that has an obvious
impact on our ability to achieve excellence is a pas-
sion for the substance of the area of law that we have
chosen to practice. It is also the self-organizing ele-
ment that causes the Section to exist. We are continu-
ally refreshing and renewing that passion, and we
achieve excellence as problem solvers when we suc-
ceed, when we have the opportunity to learn, when
we network with other lawyers in our practice areas,
when we interact and have an impact on the policy or
substance behind the law, and when we make a con-.
tribution to better our profession. The Section's chal-
lenge then is to balance and interrelate to serve its
members in all of these areas and ensure that the val-
ues are available on a just-in-time basis.

Part henia B. Evans, is chair of the Section of
Environment, Energy, and Resources and a part-
ner at Stinton, Mag & Fizzell, P.C., in Kansas
City Missouri.


   The Section has established high standards of
excellence for delivering information, establishing
networking settings, providing policy impact fora, and
giving opportunities to us to better our profession. Our
balancing act as a Section is a tough one because the
resource components we have to juggle to deliver
member-identified values at a standard of excellence
are monetary and staff allocations and member volun-
teer time. Fortunately, these resources are available in
reachable proportions to deliver the values we want.
We are very fortunate to have a staff of six skilled pro-
fessionals who work with the Section leadership to
devise and revise tools to deliver member values. Our
fiscal resources are adequate and we operate at a high
level of fiscal integrity. The most delightful and
important resource is the more than 450 lawyers who
take time fiom their practices, families, and communi-
ties to serve as leaders in the Section.
   According to various Section member surveys,
above anything else we want information relevant to
the substance of our practice areas and to the practice
of law itself. Our resources to achieve excellence in
the delivery of information are diverse and efficient.
The Section web site, committee web sites, listservs,
committee newsletters, books, the Section newslet-
ter, Natural Resources and Environment magazine,
The Year in Review, The Environmental Lawyer,
white papers, the Section Fall Meeting, teleconfer-
ences, brown bag lunches, anct other programs all are
available and regularly used to deliver the critical
information members want. In 1999/2000, our
                             (Continued on page 6)


0 Printed on recycled paper


September/October 1999
Volume 31, Number 1

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