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Plunging into the deep

The weather has been warmer than normal in Maryland this winter season, but Jan. 28 at Sandy Point State Park, I don’t think I will be thinking about the abnormally warm weather or the fact that the Chesapeake Bay is one- or two- degrees warmer as a result.

Most likely, my thoughts will range from, “Why am I doing the Polar Bear Plunge again?”, “When — or will — I get the feelings in my fingers and toes back?”, and “Should I do this again next year?”

I recently had a discussion with a colleague regarding my quasi-work related commitments, which include work with the Maryland State Bar Association, Baltimore County Bar Association, and construction-related trade organizations.  (Polar Bear Plunge falls under the MSBA.)

“Why get involved,” he asked, “when it takes time away from work or family or recreation?”

My response: first, it is work-related; and second, it’s for a good cause. Taking part in activities, both substantive and for pleasure (if jumping into 33-degree water can be defined as pleasurable), with bar associations and trade organizations is work. These activities are part networking, part marketing and part educational.

There are obvious benefits to being active in a trade organization that may lead to potential clients, but bar associations participation also leads to referrals and business development. Further, it’s surprising how one bonds with his or her fellow attorneys after spending 10-to-20 seconds in freezing cold water together.

Additionally, most bar association work falls within the “good cause” category. Whether it is the betterment of the profession or raising money for the Maryland Special Olympics or providing pro bono assistance to individuals in need, there are a number of reasons why an attorney should be active in their local and state bar associations.

So, for me, plunging into the deep blue bay on a cold day in January to raise money for the Maryland Special Olympics is just another day at the office. If you are interested in taking the plunge, check out this flyer and sign up.

Photo courtesy of the Maryland Special Olympics