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
I thought I would take a moment to update you on highlights of events around the bar.
There are several recent highlights that I’d like to share.
First, we had our first Future of the Profession Workgroup meeting on Feb. 20. This is such a dynamic group with great depth of expertise. It was truly an honor to sit in a room with each of these experts. Every person brought an important perspective to the table. The meeting was scheduled for four hours, and it flew by. I thank the Governors for making this workgroup possible and thank you Governors Moberg, Haynes and Brady for attending this meeting. I see truly great things coming from this workgroup and will keep you posted as we continue to look for ways to retool our profession.
Second, on Feb. 21, I attended the 28th Annual Goldmark Luncheon. The lunch was an opportunity to donate to the Campaign for Equal Justice and Chief Justice Madsen, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and I, did our part.
During the ceremony, the Legal Voice was recognized as an award recipient. Legal Voice provides representation to a broad range of individuals and groups such as sexual and domestic violence, marriage equality, reproductive rights, equal pay. You can find out more information here.
Additionally, Justice Steven Gonzalez, Judge Nicole Gaines and Professor Robert Chang were honored with the Charles A. Goldmark Distinguished Service Award for their Race in Criminal Justice Task Force leadership.
Following the Goldmark lunch, I attended a Supreme Court forum. The event was well attended and a welcomed opportunity for citizens and lawyers to openly address the Court. Read more