Reviewing the recent article by Elijah Forde from the February Issue of NW Lawyer served as a good reminder that cultural competency never requires us to ignore race, color, or origin. Cultural competency saves us from the traps of treating others as if their color and origin do not exist – which at best is a self-imposed lack of awareness, and at worst is race erasure.
The recent articles by Naoko Inoue Shatz and Qing Qing Miao from the December 2014/January 2015 issue of NWLawyer served as a good reminder that cultural competence is about more than race and country of origin. Both articles talked about cultural issues in doing business with Japan and China, but they also stressed the importance for lawyers to be sensitive to the many facets of society, business, and opportunity that shape culture. As Sue Bryant and Jean Koh Peters stressed in their work, “Culture is the summation of an individual’s ethnicity, race, gender, nationality, age, economic status, social status, language, sexual orientation, physical attributes, marital status, and a variety of other characteristics.” Sue Bryant & Jean Koh Peters, Five Habits for Cross-Cultural Lawyering, in Race, Culture, Psychology And The Law 47, 47 (Kimberly Holt Barrett &William H. George eds., 2005). Read more
June flew by! I thought I would take a few minutes to give you an update on the highlights of the month.
The month began with our Board of Governors meeting at the WSBA conference center. I am happy to report to you that we had more members watching online then we have ever had before. It is my hope that this trend continues. Now that we have made space for people to join us online, we will grow it.
On June 9, I was invited to address the District and Municipal Court judges at their annual convention at Semiahmoo in Blaine. This gave me the opportunity to discuss not only the current status of the Bar and the issues regarding the future of the bar, but also an opportunity to discuss the future of the courts. DMCJA President Judge Svaren was a wonderful host and I appreciate being invited to speak at such a beautiful conference.
On June 11, Paula Littlewood and I began the Listening Tour. We travelled through the Northwest portion of the state as part of our annual Listening Tour. We met with lawyers in Montesano, Bremerton, Port Angeles, Coupeville, Mt. Vernon and Friday Harbor. Together these encompass the Grays Harbor County Bar, the Kitsap County Bar, Skagit County Bar and the Island County Bar.
During the tour, we talked about a myriad of issues, including the limited license legal technician rule, the changes in our NWLawyer magazine, and the future of the profession; we received a lot of supportive comments about Casemaker, the Legal Lunchbox CLE series and the Ethics line. This was a very successful tour and a highlight for my presidency. It was such an honor to have the opportunity to meet with so many of our members and have frank discussions about the profession and the future of our bar. Read more
My President’s Column for the March issue of NWLawyer asks you to sit back a moment and think about what benefits you would like the WSBA to provide. Imagine for a minute if you owned this Bar. What benefits would you like to offer and receive? Obviously none of us own the Bar, but we are all members and we all have a voice in the way the Bar is run and a voice in what benefits we believe to be most beneficial. So this is your chance. I invite you to have this conversation with me and tell me what programs need to be created, advanced or grown.
In the article, I provided a couple of starter “what ifs.” I raised the possibility of creating two new sets of benefits: the first to change the lawyer directory, and the second to change the way we offer pro bono services. Here is what I said:
What if WSBA was able to retool its lawyer directory to serve a greater purpose? Imagine typing in your name and seeing your page; a page where you could add content or link to another page where you could add content. What if you could highlight your accomplishments, your articles, your blog, your website, your appellate decisions, your philosophy, your mission, your education, your firm information, your picture, your social media connections and whatever else would be of value to people trying to find you and to find out about you? Read more