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
On Saturday, Jan. 25, the day after our Board of Governors meeting, I addressed the Washington Leadership Institute (WLI) Fellows on the topic of leadership. WLI had “Session 1” of its WLI Leadership Training on the 24th and 25th. Here is the agenda so that you could see the caliber of the speakers and topics. The WLI is a line item in the WSBA budget and you should be aware of its existence and what the WLI does. Read more about the WLI.
On Jan. 27, I attended the WSBA Governance Task Force Meeting. In preparation for this meeting, the BOG Governance Workgroup met. As a result, the WSBA Governance Task Force was attended by me, President Elect Anthony Gipe and Governor Dan Ford. We had a frank and meaningful discussion about governance, the role of the WSBA staff and the relationship between the WSBA leadership and the Supreme Court. The Task Force was engaging and interested in hearing our views on these topics. The meeting went well and I have left the door open should they want or need additional information from the BOG.
On Jan. 29, I attended the Seattle Legal Innovation Technology MeetUp. This is a group of self-dubbed “legal hackers” (that’s a good thing in this context) that are “entrepreneurs, lawyers, thinkers, disrupters and innovators.” During the meeting, we heard from five different cutting-edge online legal providers. Two were national companies and three were local. I listened to live presentations from the presidents/CEOs of Shake Law, WeVorced, Coyote, Invigor Law Group, and Visibid. This technology group is chaired by Dan Lear and Janelle Milodragovicech. Dan Lear is also a member of the WSBA Future of the Profession Workgroup and was a presenter at the recent Reinvent Law Symposium in New York. Read more about the Seattle Legal Innovation Technology MeetUp and Reinvent Law.
On Jan. 30 I attended the BOG Legislative Committee in our lobbyist’s natural environment. For those of you who have not been to the WSBA legislative offices in Olympia, it is worth a trip. Read more