We are very excited about the upcoming move to our new office space. The Lord has enabled us to buy a building, for which we are very grateful. It is a former turn-of-the-century boarding hotel which was recently renovated by a fine Christian couple. It is either a very small hotel or a very large house.
It will give us space to grow to up to 15 employees. In 1983 when I started HSLDA (along with Mike Smith and Jim Carden), it would have been impossible to predict this course of events and especially the rate of growth which we have seen. Our membership has been doubling every 13 to 18 months. Our staff has also been growing but not at such a fast rate.
We are planning to hire our fourth lawyer this summer and our total support staff will be approximately six people, bringing us to a total of 10 employees. Just three years ago we had only 3 employees serving 2500 members.
Although the three lawyers have been frequently mentioned, we have said very little about our support staff in our past newsletters and this is an oversight which should be corrected. Unfortunately we will be mentioning some of these people to you just as they are about to leave us.
Ellen Schack is our director of membership services. Ellen has been with us since July of 1986. If you have questions about your membership application, renewals, payments or any related matters, Ellen is a great help. She has been assisted by Linda Meloy, since October of 1986 (on a part-time basis). Linda has been finishing her master’s degree and will graduate in May. She will be leaving us then. We will miss her but wish her well. Carolyn Overholt has been a new part-time assistant in membership services and has been very helpful to us and our families. She will be leaving us at the time of the move because of the distance involved.
Michele Musto has been Michael Smith and Chris Klicka’s assistant since July 1988. She will be leaving in May for a truly higher calling. She is having her first baby which she and her husband will, of course, home school in due time.
My assistant, Sonia Gustafson, will also be leaving sometime this summer, much to my deep regret. But we made a deal when I hired her in September of 1987. She wanted to work for two years before going to law school. I trained her in constitutional law and in legal practice and in turn received truly outstanding assistance for the last two years. She has been accepted at the law schools of the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, Georgetown University, and is on the waiting list at Harvard Law School. She will probably go to Georgetown.
We have a vision for a larger purpose for this new building than just a growing staff. As the Lord leads and provides, we hope to build a full law library, but we have goals for this library beyond providing books for our own research. Virginia allows potential lawyers to prepare for the bar the old-fashioned way by reading for the bar in a law office. This is essentially the tutorial method of instruction applied to legal education. One of the requirements for the sponsoring law office is that it must have a fairly complete law library.
Thus you can see that we are preparing for the day that we can begin to take a handful of students and give them one-on-one training to become the freedom-fighting litigators of the future.
Please continue to pray for us as we move forward to our new office. We want to continue to serve our members well. If you will help us by using our new address (after May 10) and phone number (after May 26) that will enable us to serve you better.
By the way, this will cut my commuting time from 45 minutes each way to 11 minutes. I am thankful that the Lord has allowed this so I can spend more time in my own home schooling program and less time in the car.
Michael P. Farris