Greetings El Paso County Bar Members! I am excited to be the 5th female president of the El Paso County Bar Association since its inception in 1902.

I take great pride in being from Colorado where my roots are in the ranching community of Monte Vista. After growing up in the San Luis Valley, I attended undergrad at University of Northern Colorado and Adams State College and then on to University of Denver Sturm College of Law. In 1986, I started my law career in Colorado Springs by opening a solo law practice. Then, there were few sole practitioners and even fewer women sole practitioners in El Paso County. I benefited from and was fortunate to have access to the legal community in the El Paso County Bar. Many seasoned attorneys (and their staff) who were incredibly helpful and supportive welcomed me into the legal community. In fact, that collegiality survives today. The Colorado Bar President, Patricia Jazborski, stated she was impressed with the energy and collegiality of the EPCBA at her President's visit.

For my presidential year, I plan to achieve the goals of our strategic plan of increasing membership and enhancing membership benefits. I encourage all of you to reach out to colleagues who are not members of the EPCBA and encourage them to come to a luncheon to learn about the benefits of being part of the EPCBA. At each bar luncheon, we will learn about different bar section activities and have the opportunity to connect with our colleagues.

The ABA 2017 Law Day theme this year is the 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy. Each month, I will highlight a clause of the Amendment or a seminal case rooted in the Amendment. I hope is that by May 2017 that we can all be well versed in the 14th Amendment on the eve of its 150-year anniversary.

I look forward to a successful year!

—  Patricia Germer-Coolidge, President