Three decades. Thirty years. It’s a birthday that some don’t want to acknowledge. But ACC isn’t worried about turning 30. We are in our prime and celebrating not only our history but also our future plans.
ACC’s 30th anniversary can be considered young in association circles. For example, the YMCA was founded in 1844 in London, England, and first moved to the United States in 1851 in Boston, Mass. I’ve also been told that the first lawyers — or orators, as they were called — can be traced back to Ancient Greece and early Ancient Rome (around 204 BC). We have the Romans to thank for the birth of jurisconsults, the ancient precursor to the modern term lawyer. You also have Emperor Claudius to thank for your ability to earn money in your profession: He legalized advocacy as a profession and allowed Roman advocates to become the first lawyers who could practice openly and get paid.
In our jaded world of 24-hour news access and scandals that don’t surprise us much anymore, it’s good to be reminded that the legal profession is based on the term advocate: one who argues for a cause, a supporter or defender; one that pleads on another’s behalf; an intercessor; a lawyer. It makes me proud that people still want to become members of such a noble profession.
ACC has been your advocate since 1982. Some of you remember when ACC started. Some were just starting your career and some were in college, high school or junior high school. You may know that I am married to an entrepreneur who started his small company in 2001 and is still in business. Bootstrapping your company is not for the faint of heart. Bootstrapping your association with the help of volunteers who work full-time somewhere else is even a truer test of resolve.
We all have to thank ACC’s founding fathers for their innovation, grit and determination. At the time, this was a new idea, and not many folks liked the change. But when an idea is so good you wonder why you didn’t think of it before, you know it has to be implemented. You know it will become successful. You know you want to be a part of it.
Thank you to all of our volunteers who make ACC better. Thank you to all of our members who make the in-house legal profession better. And, thank you to the nine founding fathers, because we might not be here if they hadn’t had lunch that day.