The DRI hook took hold of me about 5 years ago when Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel asked me to consider becoming the DRI State Representative for Louisiana. I accepted the position and have never looked back. I now serve the organization as the Southwest Region Director and serve on the DRI Board of Directors. Although somewhat active in DRI at the time I became the Louisiana State Representative, I never really grasped the benefits of our singularly impressive organization until I took the position. This was nothing short of apathy on my part.
DRI is more than educational seminars (which, by the way are second to none) and simply saying to others that you belong to an international organization of civil defense attorneys. To the contrary, it’s about engaging with others. It’s about fellowship and professional growth and development. Through my 5 years of real active engagement and involvement in the organization, I’ve developed a professional contact in every state in the Union as well as Canada, the Caribbean and Europe. Not only have these people become my friends, each of them are in a position to send my firm business. When a client asks them for a referral in North or Central Louisiana, they know who to contact. To be sure, many have done so. I can honestly say that I owe much of my business development to the friendships I’ve developed through my work in DRI endeavors and participation in DRI activities.
Do you want exposure and to expand your brand by speaking at seminars or being a presenter at your local and state bar functions as I’ve done? If so, take my advice and get involved in DRI. Join a substantive law committee. Volunteer for a position and get busy. Before you know it, you’ll be reaping the benefits of your membership. You might even find yourself being asked to write a column for “For The Defense,” or chairing a substantive law committee in your area of practice with exposure to lawyers from all over the country. The possibilities for personal and professional growth are myriad. DRI, like the game of life, is only as good as you make it. And, you’re in control.
Mark J. Neal – Neal Law Firm – Monroe, Louisiana