Time to Start a New Life

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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.”

-Molly McDonough

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