Commissioner’s Column: 2024 Idaho State Bar Annual Meeting – Mark Your Calendars!

by Kristin Bjorkman

Perhaps there are some of you, like me, who have seen studies that suggest having something to look forward to boosts your mood and lowers your stress (sounds pretty good). What if you were able to double down and combine the happiness brought on by anticipating an event with spending time with others? Given that we are social creatures by nature and tend to function better when we are in a community, spending time with people – just like looking forward to an event – can make us feel good.  Sure, virtual communities are increasingly popular, but they are no replacement for face-to-face interactions and the value that bringing people together provides. In-person gatherings create a sense of camaraderie, and such camaraderie is something my fellow commissioners and I hear a lot about as we engage with lawyers throughout the state. Over and over again we hear about the special connection Idaho lawyers have with one another and how these wonderful connections enhance the practice of law in Idaho.

Where am I going with all this? Well, I want to let you know of a fantastic opportunity to not only look forward to an event and spend time with others but also to cultivate and maintain the community and connection Idaho lawyers are so fond of. The opportunity is the Idaho State Bar Annual Meeting.  I realize you might be thinking to yourself that any event with the word “meeting” in its title lacks the je ne sais quoi of dining with your favorite author or historical figure or a visit to any of the seven wonders of the world, but even so, I encourage you to embrace the excellent offerings of the Idaho State Bar Annual Meeting. 

The Idaho State Bar Annual Meeting brings together presenters, colleagues, and vendors whom you will have an opportunity to meet, learn from, and speak with.  The conference features a keynote address, an update from the Idaho Supreme Court, continuing education programming, and ideas to motivate you and benefit your practice. Notables who have presented at previous annual meetings include Walter Echo-Hawk, Jeffrey Rosen, James Goodnow, and Randy’L Teton. This year’s agenda will provide nearly a dozen continuing education programs to choose from that allow attendees to earn upwards of 10 continuing legal education credits.  In addition, more than a dozen exhibitors will be on site to provide details about products and services to enhance your practice.

Now that I have made my case that the Annual Meeting should fall within your “not to miss” category, let me provide the pertinent details.  The meeting will be in Boise from July 17-19, 2024.  The meeting commences with an evening reception where the achievements of members of our legal community are recognized with the Distinguished Lawyer, Distinguished Jurist, and Outstanding Young Lawyer Awards.

Thursday kicks off a full day of programming including the keynote speaker and an update from the Idaho Supreme Court.  The day concludes with the Milestone Celebration Reception, celebrating members of our bar who have been admitted for 25, 40, 50, 60, and 65 plus years.  If you have not attended this reception before, make a point of it.  You are likely to hear stories that are inspiring and sometimes humorous.  And if you fall within one of the recognized years of practice you might just get to connect with law school classmates you have not seen for some time.  Friday is the final day of the annual meeting and concludes mid-afternoon leaving you with plenty of time to explore Boise, catch up with friends, or travel home for a full weekend of summer activities.

The venue for the annual meeting is Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, fondly known as JUMP, located where Front Street and 10th Street meet in Boise. If you have not been to JUMP before, I am certain you will find it to be one of Idaho’s most unique meeting venues. JUMP describes itself as “a place for everyone to discover new possibilities and explore their potential. JUMP is an invitation to look at things in new ways, including ourselves, and to try things for the first time.” 

JUMP’s central Boise location is only a short distance from the airport and a brief drive off the Interstate.  Numerous hotel and restaurant options are available within walking distance.  Also nearby is the Boise Greenbelt, a lovely, shaded walk and bikeway on the banks of the Boise River.

Please mark your calendar now and keep an eye out for forthcoming announcements from the Idaho State Bar.  Registration will open in early May.  Don’t worry if your schedule does not permit attendance at all the offered events.  The continuing education programming and the meals can be purchased a la carte.  Additionally, you can bundle the continuing education programs.  And if you would like to contribute to the planning by proffering a CLE topic, sharing a suggestion for a speaker, or participating as a sponsor, do not hesitate!  Your ideas and sponsorship are welcome and encouraged.

If this event is beginning to sound like a big expense, do not fret. Scholarships are available allowing you to focus on the substance of the meeting and not the cost.  Scholarships assist with the cost of registration, event sponsored meals, and include a $100 per diem per day for other expenses.  Please reach out to the Idaho State Bar to learn more about scholarship opportunities.   

The annual meeting allows you to develop, rekindle, and maintain relationships with peers throughout the state.  Do not miss out.  Take advantage of the opportunity to network with attendees, exchange information, and build connections.

Kristin Bjorkman

Kristin Bjorkman is a principal with the Boise law firm Bjorkman Dempsey Foster PLLC. Her practice is focused on transactional matters including real estate, business formation, contracts, and financing. Kristin has lived in rural and urban parts of the State in the following counties: 1L, 2L, 4C, K, and 1A. She is always grateful for a recommendation to a good book or a new camping spot.