President’s Update: Week in Review
The Strategic Planning Committee met last Monday to continue formulating our goals for the next three years. The discussion was more than lively as the committee grappled with the question of how to write goals that are broad enough to encompass WSBA’s activities but specific enough to be able to operationalize them and measure our progress. There was a lot of agreement on the broad goals—fostering community within the profession, for instance—and somewhat less on the subgoals underneath the broad ones. The next step will be to gather broader input from the full board as their ownership of these goals is critically important if we are going to accomplish them.
Wednesday the BOG Diversity Committee met to go over the written comments on last year’s Membership Survey. Committee members had divided up the comments and grouped them in categories to make them a little easier to digest. Financial considerations were important to a lot of members, not just license fees, but the economics of practicing law generally. More than a few of these comments were from young lawyers who reported very high student loan debt. While we can’t do much about the debt level, the comments underscore the need to deliver services as efficiently as possible and to sponsor programs such as the Moderate Means Program that seek to bring underemployed lawyers together with underserved citizens.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Minority and Justice Commission meeting where WSBA’s Executive Director Paula Littlewood and staff from the Diversity Program presented the results of the Membership Survey. They did a great job. The reaction from Commission members, who include many judges, was very positive with many expressing that the survey would be helpful to them in addressing minority employment and retention within the judiciary.
Have a great week. I’m off to Dallas on Wednesday for the National Conference of Bar Presidents meeting.