In considering the theme “membership matters,” I thought about what we are members of, and why. We are all members of families. As attorneys, we are all members of the State Bar of Nevada. If you are reading this Communiqué, you are probably also a member of the Clark County Bar Association. We are members of religious congregations, unions, sports leagues, and Chambers of Commerce. We are members of Kiwanis, Elks, and/or Rotary clubs. Our kids are members of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, or they play on soccer, football, or baseball teams.
Why do we have a desire or need to be “members” of these organizations, teams, or groups?
Membership provides the opportunity to be part of something bigger than ourselves. It provides security and safety. By joining a group, we reduce the insecurity of being “alone,” and we feel stronger and more secure. Membership in a group provides opportunities to meet new people, make connections, and network with others. Membership helps us gain skills; we can share responsibilities; and it can help us increase productivity and innovation. Membership helps us develop understanding through discussion, explanation, and strengthening our communication skills. It allows us to take more risks through social support and encouragement, and helps us to find new approaches to resolve problems and challenges.
Membership gives us accountability. When we join a group, we are asking to be part of what already exists. We need to provide something that makes the group better, and we become accountable for what we do, and who we are, to the group as a whole. The group, likewise, is accountable to us, and must provide us with some benefit. Membership also requires those who lead to be accountable. Being part of a group, and being accountable to that group, helps improve our motivation and our morale.
As a court, we have been working hard to improve “wellness” and provide feelings of belonging and security. We want all of our judges and court employees to know they are part of a larger group, which cares about them, wants what is best for them, and is willing to help in times of need. We all need to be a member of some group that provides us with these feelings of inclusion and safety. If you are not, find an organization to join; jump in with both feet, and be a catalyst for positive change!
About this article: This article was originally published in the “Membership Matters” issue of Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association, (June/July. 2023). See https://clarkcountybar.org/member-benefits/communique-2023/communique-june-july-2023/.
About the author
Judge Jerry Wiese serves in Department 30 of the Eighth Judicial District Court Bench. Since taking the bench in January of 2011, Judge Wiese has presided over numerous trials, both civil and criminal, and has presided over many settlement conferences. He coordinates the Judicial Settlement Conference Program and presides over the Medical Malpractice Sweeps.
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