This article originally appeared in The Bar Examiner print edition, September 2017 (Vol. 86, No. 3), pp 6–7.
By Erica MoeserAs the lyric in The Music Man goes, “Where is the good in good-bye?” I am having a little difficulty finding it as I leave a job I love, people I love even more, and a mission I really believe in. The time has come, however, to explore what will come next in my life.
It has been my good fortune to work at the National Conference of Bar Examiners for almost 23 years. In 1994 Marvin Barkin and Robert Potts, NCBE’s chair and chair-elect, conducted the search that resulted in my hire. I had been Wisconsin’s bar admission administrator for almost 17 years, but my selection still represented a bit of a risk. I owe Marvin and Robert and the 1993–1994 Board of Trustees that chose me to lead the organization a giant debt of gratitude for their leap of faith. I only hope I justified their confidence.
The organization I found in October 1994 is light-years away from the NCBE of today. A series of visionary Boards and a really extraordinary complement of NCBE employees and volunteers made the metamorphosis to the current organization possible. This is not the time to chronicle all the changes, but as a general matter it was the overhaul of testing and investigations work and the wholehearted embrace of technology that accounted for the difference.
The changes would not have been possible without people of the caliber who have come to work at NCBE. They are part of a culture that values service and teamwork and excellence. They have earned, and they deserve, the trust that courts and admission agencies place in them, and I am very proud to have been part of the effort to attract and retain them.
Anyone who has attended an NCBE committee meeting or educational program knows how thorough the planning has been and how much care has gone into its execution. Anyone reading this publication or visiting our website can tell that the presentation is careful and correct. This is just the visible tip of the iceberg. High-quality work is delivered throughout the building and will most certainly continue long after my departure.
The dedication of volunteers who serve on our Board and our committees is exceptional. And our drafters! The brain trust that creates our test materials is awe-inspiring. It is a tribute to the professionalism of each drafter that he or she is willing to devote so much pro bono time in service to those who will rely on fair tests to qualify them for licensure. The expertise that is contributed to the drafting and editing effort is of incalculable value.
In addition to finding satisfaction in steering the organization, I have forged friendships that mean everything to me and that will survive my exit from day-to-day operations. While it is tempting to try to mention all those to whom I am most grateful for the support I have received over my time at NCBE, I will limit myself to one: Myra Andreassen. Myra and I began work for the Wisconsin board in late 1977. With the exception of my first three years at NCBE before she joined me there, Myra has been my steadfast companion and “partner in crime” throughout almost 40 years. I could not have achieved what I did without her skills, her work ethic, and her faith in me. Thank you, Myra, for that and more.
And now I am off on a personal quest to hunt down the dust bunnies in the Moeser household, to sift through a lifetime accumulation of trash and treasures, and to catch up on reading. I will miss the work of bar admissions, to be sure, and I will hope that sometime, somewhere I will cross paths again with the remarkable people with whom I have spent so many wonderful years.
I still haven’t found the good in good-bye.
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