ATLP President’s Message 2021-22: Jameson Rice

Dear Members,

The ATLP recently concluded its 92nd annual meeting. Thank you to all of those who attended. For those of our members who could not join us virtually, we look forward to seeing you again soon, in person. Our sincere thanks goes to Wayne Rohde and the Program Committee for putting together a successful and informative program.

At the conclusion of the meeting, we elected a new slate of officers. I am grateful to be serving as President for the upcoming year and excited to be working with the board on enacting and implementing new strategic initiatives. Special thanks to Jason Tutrone - as the outgoing President - who successfully steered our organization through the challenges of a global pandemic.

It’s easy to gloss over the fact that this was our 92nd annual meeting without giving much thought to the fact that it demonstrates the long history of this Association. The ATLP was founded in 1929 as an ICC bar organization. The country has changed significantly since this time, and so has the transportation industry. Rail and motor carrier transportation which was governed by the ICC, has been significantly deregulated since ATLP’s founding. The STB has replaced the ICC, but this organization has stood the test of time.

It is no longer a large organization, but it is my belief that it continues to serve a vital role for lawyers in the regulated transportation space. Many of the most prominent STB practitioners are members. Our educational program is offered by those who are among the most knowledgeable in their field, and address topics that are the most relevant to our membership. Our organization is a place of fellowship; it provides a community for our narrow slice of the larger legal field. It is a place for young lawyers, or those who are new to the practice, to meet others like themselves, and to learn from the best in the industry. I know this because this is what I have received from the ATLP, and what I continue to witness each year.

Despite all of these benefits, our organization faces challenges. The costs of our organization are supported by dues-paying members, and having a small organization makes our finances a continuing challenge. Because of deregulation, the pool of attorneys practicing in the core area of our organization is shrinking. But there remain many practitioners who could both benefit from and contribute to our organization that we are not yet serving. To remain relevant – and to remain solvent – we must find ways to reach a larger percentage of lawyers who practice in our core area of regulated transportation, and we must provide relevant content for those who practice in related fields. I will be working with the board in the coming year to address these issues, including creating ways to deliver more relevant content, more frequently, and having additional opportunities to gather in person.

Being small has its advantages. We have the ability to be nimble. We can solicit direct feedback from our membership to inform decision making. We can also foster a strong sense of community and allow opportunities for engagement. It has been my experience that it is through engagement that I feel a sense of belonging and connection. COVID has served as a spotlight on how important it is to have this type of connection. Many of you already have formal roles in the organization. If you do not, we have room for YOU and I strongly encourage your participation. Whether it’s helping with a committee, writing, or speaking, you can become a part of the organization and help shape its future.

As COVID-related restrictions are lifting, I look forward to an exciting year, with more opportunities to engage with all of you again – in person – as ATLP returns to its pre-pandemic programing.

 

Jameson Rice

Share this post: