Time to Start a New Life
Changes, Challenges Are in Store for Karen Mathis as She Heads Up the ABA
Posted Apr 28, 2005 5:14 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough
Life is going to be a lot different for Karen J. Mathis over the next couple of years.
First, Mathis is about to begin the two-year whirlwind of serving as ABA president-elect and then president.
Meanwhile, she has left her small-firm practice in Denver after 18 years to join a larger firm--the Denver office of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter--that will help her absorb the onslaught of presidential responsibilities, which are more than enough to overwhelm the schedule of a practicing lawyer.
“I have been a small-firm lawyer for most of my career,” Mathis told the House of Delegates after being introduced as the ABA Nominating Committee’s selection to head the association.
“For many years, Rosanne Hall was my only partner. She always sustained my efforts in the bar. While I traveled, she cared for our practice. Last November, Rosanne and I embarked upon a great adventure, joining a remarkable 200-lawyer firm.”
An August Start
After running unopposed for the position of president-elect, Mathis is in effect guaranteed the formality of her election by the House of Delegates in August during the 2005 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.
She will begin serving as ABA president-elect at the close of the meeting, then serve a one-year term as president starting in August 2006.
In addition to her background in small-firm practice, Mathis’ experience includes chairing the association’s General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section in 2002-03. She also served as chair of the House--the ABA’s second-highest elected position--and chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession and the Standing Committee on Membership. Mathis told the House that she will base her presidential agenda on the theme of service.
“Here’s what I love about lawyers,” Mathis said. “We overcome challenges for a living. Our spirits drive us to do so. We serve because it is our nature.
“As lawyers, we feel a special mantle upon us to serve as productive members of our communities, as protective guardians of the legal system, as good citizens.”