Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser shareholder Lisa Marquis recently served as the Assistant Course Director for the Texas Bar CLE Family Law Collaborative Law Conference in Dallas.
The conference was held March 7th and 8th at the Westin Galleria. The annual conference is a gathering of collaborative attorneys, mental health professionals and financial professionals from throughout Texas for continuing education to help improve their collaborative skills. Lisa recently sat down for a quick Q & A about this year’s conference.
What was your role as the Assistant Course Director?
As the assistant course director, I spent a lot of time learning the process of putting together one of these conferences. That way, when I’m the course director next year, I’m not flying completely blind. Amy Lambert, who was this year’s course director, along with the planning committee, did all the heavy lifting. We had an initial planning committee meeting last Fall, where we determined the theme of the conference, brainstormed presentation topic ideas, identified who would be good speakers for those topics, and developed a plan to reach out to those individuals to invite them to speak.
How was the Conference this year?
I believe the conference was great. I have received a lot of positive feedback. There are some really big shoes that I have to fill for next year as far as keeping the momentum going. The quality of the presentations that we had this year was absolutely impressive. I am in awe of what these collaborative professionals are willing to offer in terms of their time to help this movement continue growing.
This year’s theme was dealing with difficult clients and the collaborative process. After the conference there was a Facebook comment on one of the posts about the conference asking, basically, “Do you guys
just deal with people who have addiction issues?” The person who shared the post responded, “No, but
mental health issues and addiction issues are frequently a factor in divorces. We’re just educating our members on how to deal with those things.” I can’t give enough thanks and praise to those people who put these presentations together, and to the State Bar for their help in making it happen as well.
How are you preparing for next year when you will be Course Director and when does that process start for you?
The first step will be to find someone to be my assistant course director for next year. Kris Algert of the Austin office of GoransonBain Ausley has graciously agreed to be the Assistant Course Director for 2020. Kris and I will brainstorm to put together the planning committee and invite those people to be a part of that process.
The planning committee meeting will be in late summer/early fall in Austin, where we will meet with representatives of the State Bar to plan out the logistics and details of the conference. At that meeting, we really hone in on the speakers for the 2020 conference. The other big piece of planning the conference is selecting and securing a keynote speaker. The big work will begin in late Fall, when the speakers’ topics are due and we do our big fundraising push to make sure that we have the same kind of conference that we had this year.
This year’s conference went extremely well. I have a challenge ahead of me to keeping the momentum going, but I am looking forward to it!