Your Voice, Your Bar Association

President's Page: Let's Talk


By Hon. Victoria Elsmore, 2023–2024 RCBA President


As I sit down to write my first presidential message, I am flustered.  I tried to write a series of articles on topics like connection, or involvement, but something didn't feel right. It seemed phony to pen pieces without a true sense of what you, the heart and soul of this organization, want to hear from me. So, I've decided to take a different approach.  Don’t worry, I am sure you will have a chance to hear my thoughts on connection or involvement before my bar year is over.

Authenticity Matters

Authenticity is a quality we always claim to value in our profession. It still seems so hard when we are asked to be authentic ourselves. As your President, I want to be authentic about this: I don't have a pre-set agenda of topics to cover in my messages. Instead, I want to engage in an open and honest dialogue with you, our members. I want these messages to be driven by your interests, your concerns, and your aspirations.  (I also would like to just make 4-minute videos to make people laugh, but I am trying to mix it up.)

Your Bar Association

The Ramsey County Bar Association is, first and foremost, your organization.  We exist to serve your needs, to facilitate connections, and to provide resources that makes your life better. While I'm here to lead and represent the association, I am hoping to highlight those needs, connections and resources.

So, let’s chat.  It will be fun. Ask around, I am a delight. Tell me what you want to hear from me. Tell me what you never need to hear again!  Share your thoughts, your questions, your challenges, and your ideas.  Let's make these messages a platform for the issues that matter most to you.

A Conversation, Not a Monologue

The president’s page in the past has been a one-way street. I am not looking for an opportunity to talk at you.  I want to talk with you; have a dynamic exchange of ideas, experiences, and perspectives. It's a conversation, not a monologue. And that's the kind of engagement I want to foster this year.

Send me an email, connect through the RCBA social media pages, or stop me to say hello at an event. Let's engage in a dialogue that goes beyond these written messages. Your feedback is invaluable, and I genuinely want to hear from you. 

Possible Topics

While I'm leaving the door wide open for your suggestions, here are a few themes that often resonate with legal professionals:

Professional Development: We can explore topics related to career growth, continuing education, and staying updated in a rapidly evolving legal landscape. Maybe we could review cover letters or discuss your greatest weaknesses.

Diversity and Inclusion: Let's engage in discussions about creating a more inclusive legal environment where diverse voices are heard and valued. We can explore strategies for addressing bias, promoting equity, and fostering an atmosphere of inclusion for current and future members.

Mental Health and Well-being: The challenges of our profession can take a toll on our mental health. Let’s discuss the cliché of self-care and the benefits of establishing boundaries and balance.  

Community Engagement: We can explore opportunities for giving back to the community and making a positive impact through our legal expertise. Do you know an organization that does great work or an area that could use some earnest volunteers?

Legal Technology: The role of technology in law practice is ever-expanding. We can delve into practical tech tips and trends. We can try to stump ChatGPT, or exchange our favorite email sign offs. 

Legal Ethics and Professionalism: A strong ethical foundation is essential for all of us. We can discuss ethical dilemmas and best practices.

Member Spotlights: Sharing the success stories and experiences of our members can be inspiring and educational.  Did your work bestie do something that deserves an award?  Does the law student you are mentoring have an amazing take that needs to be shared with the world?

These are just a few starting points, but I'm eager to hear your ideas and priorities. Or heck, throw all those ideas out the window and reach out to tell me a good joke. 

Let's Connect

One of the reasons people shy away from authenticity is they worry they will not be well received.  I sometimes worry that people will read a post like this, or watch a video where I am making jokes and assume I am not committed to the organization or serious about the work.  I want to assure you all that I am committed to the work and I want to facilitate conversations.

We have a diverse and talented membership, and your collective knowledge is a valuable resource. Together, we can create a community that supports and uplifts each other.

Your Voice Matters

The Ramsey County Bar Association is only as strong as its members, and your input and engagement shape the direction we take. I'm here to serve you and to amplify your concerns, interests, and successes.

So, please, reach out, share your thoughts, make me regret making this offer. Flood my inbox, and let's embark on this journey of authentic communication and meaningful connection. 

Thank you for entrusting me with the role of President. I promise to work hard for you all.

Hon. Victoria Elsmore is a family court referee for the second judicial district and the current RCBA president. Reach out to her with thoughts about president's page here.