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
On Dec. 2, the BOG Legislative Committee met for the first time. For those not familiar with this committee, it meets weekly just before, and while, the Legislature is in session. The Committee’s main role is to determine proactively whether the WSBA should take a position on pending legislation. Taking a position may mean to support the legislation, oppose, recommend changes, or stay neutral and take no position. The Committee has not taken a position yet, but is prepared to begin the legislative session under the leadership of Governor Vern Harkins and WSBA legislative liaison Kathryn Leathers.
This past week I also had the opportunity for lunch meetings around the area. I met with King County Council Woman Kathy Lambert to discuss the Council’s ongoing support for Civil legal aid and its desire to grow a more accessible and efficient court system. King County is blessed to have three lawyers on the council who understand the necessity of access to justice. Read more
It was a good week last week, and included celebrating my son Winston’s birthday. He is now a teen.
Wednesday I had the opportunity to meet briefly with our Attorney General Bob Ferguson. We discussed how the WSBA and the AGs office could partner together to bring greater value and support to the lives of government lawyers. It was a good opening discussion. I look forward to continuing the conversation over the coming months. Read more
It started off on Wednesday with the WSBA officers, along with Executive Director Paula Littlewood and General Counsel Jean McElroy meeting with the Supreme Court to discuss current issues and to update them on expanded WSBA member services. The expanded services we talked about, and which everyone should know about, include:
- Added features to Casemaker – all free to WSBA members – It now includes the addition of CaseCheck and CiteCheck at no cost to members. You’ll find more information here. You have been asking for more research tools. Here you go.
- Expansion of Lawyer Assistance Program – Through our partnership with Wellspring, the Bar is expanding the Lawyers Assistance Program and now offers statewide access to support for lawyers needing help for issues related to mental health and addiction concerns, career management, family, care-giving, daily living, health and well-being, and more. WSBA Connects is offered as a service to members on a voluntary, confidential basis and may include up to three free counseling sessions.
The following issues were also discussed with the Supreme Court:
- Escalating Cost of Civil Litigation Task Force;
- Proposed King County Bar RPC 8.6;
- WSBA Strategic Goals for 2013-2015;
- Prepare and equip members with problem-solving skills for the changing profession.
- Foster community with and among members and the public.
- Promote equitable conditions for members from historically underrepresented backgrounds to enter, stay and thrive in the profession.
- Support member transitions across the life of their practice. Read more