I am known to some as the “vice chair” of the Orange County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section. I’m not sure I want to be associated with a title using the word “vice” but I can live with it. The Vice President of the United States is generally thought to be an honorable position (until the last several elections) but when the title trickles down to a local county bar association, I think people are quick to entertain an alternative meaning. We are after all lawyers, ranking slightly above spineless slugs in the popular imagination.
So I researched the matter. (This is the way an attorney handles stress–in addition to alcoholism and drug abuse.) The Handbook for the Association uses the term “Chair Elect.” This mysterious moniker conveys almost nothing about my duties or functions. It has the feel of a year in limbo, a bench warmer waiting for opening day next season. Yet, I am comfortable with the ambiguity.
I like defining my position. I’ve elected to be an active “chair elect,” helping the Chair arrange speakers, and attending to the details of communicating regularly with Association staff. Today, first charming the photographer at our first Meeting of ‘Chairs” and “Chair-Elects,” I managed to have my picture taken with the President of the Orange County Bar Association. Maybe I do deserve that “vice-chair” title. My craving for visibility can be a problem.