The De La Salle Pilot Bar Association's annual fall meeting was called to order Tuesday, Oct. 27, on the campus of De La Salle Collegiate in Warren.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano, a class of 1990 graduate of DLS, served as the evening's master of ceremonies, while DLS President Larry Rancilio, a 1986 graduate of the school, delivered the keynote address for those that gathered from the Bar Association both in person and virtually via Zoom.
Rancilio discussed his vision for the future of the Collegiate, as well as the importance of continuing to raise funds for the school and of working on increasing the size of the school's endowment fund.
He also showcased support of the Bar Association's aim to provide mentorship to current DLS students aspiring to pursue a career in law.
Providing mentorship is something the group of law professionals have done in the past, too, through mock trials organized by the Honorable James Biernat, a Macomb County circuit court judge and a class of 1987 graduate.
Others in attendance included the organization's present president Joe DeLave, a class of 1980 graduate, treasurer Mike Kus, a class of 1969 graduate, and the co-heads of the group's mentorship program, Dennis Koch, the head of alumni relations at DLS and a class of 1994 grad, and Tim Orlando.
Along with providing further mentorship and tutelage to the school's students, DeLave would also like to see the group provide present Pilots with financial assistance and alums with job placement after college.
"One of our objectives is to support students that are interested in law, and one of the ways is through offering scholarships and financial aid," DeLave said. "I think where we also need to evolve is assisting our young men in finding jobs. That's critical. When you graduate, you spend a lot of money on law school, and we want to have a placement for these kids. With our strong alumni group, we are well-positioned to help students graduate from law school and find jobs."
DeLave would also like to use the Bar Association as a source for creating a stronger referral network for alums moving forward.
If one DLS alum is tied up with a case, he could then pass along his client to another reputable and practicing DLS graduate.
It'd be just another means of DLS alums helping out one another, adding to the fabric of the strong, everlasting brotherhood that comprises the Collegiate.
Viviano closed out the meeting by talking about the importance of being "aggressive" in recruiting new members to join the Bar Association and in bringing in money to benefit the organization and subsequently the school and its students.
It's something that DeLave believes is a necessity if the association plans on not only staying alive but also continuing to thrive moving into the future.
"I think the success of our organization going forward is dependent upon more people becoming enthused and getting aggressive when it comes to making this organization bigger and better," DeLave said.
The Pilot Bar Association was founded in 2018, and was soon followed by the formation of the Pilot Business Association and the Pilot Medical Association.
To find out more info about all three alumni organizations, please contact Dennis Koch at firstname.lastname@example.org.