School’s out for summer and with that comes exciting summer vacation plans. We all agree that taking time off from work and our hurried lives is exactly what we need to relax, rest, and recharge our work batteries so we can come back to the office ready for the next challenge. Whether we relax at the beach, or jet off to a foreign land on a new adventure – summer is a perfect time to evaluate how else, can we further our professional and personal goals? One suggestion – get involved and give back to your favorite charity of choice or truly immerse yourself in voluntary bar activities.  Whatever you choose – whether it be joining a non‑profit board or chairing a committee, it is guaranteed that you will receive back more in spades than what you gave.

First – you will meet new people from outside your work setting and truly expand your network. As they say – variety is the spice of life. These new professional acquaintances may become your closest friend, client, or professional champion.  Second – by joining a board or a committee, you can truly experience collaboration at its best. A group of busy individuals taking time out of their schedules to give back and make their world a better place. I had the distinct honor of serving on the board of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (GAWL) for over seven years and can attest what a wonderful mark that service made on both my personal and professional life. Many of my closest friends, professional champions, and clients were met because of my bar service. So as you pick up your summer reading and plan your well-deserved vacation – take some time to plan how you will further grow as a professional by giving back.