Last Monday I was invited to address the King County Council. Councilman Rod Dembowski and Councilman Reagan Dunn read and presented a Proclamation that declared the week of Oct. 21 “Pro Bono Week” in King County. Both councilmen are attorneys and recognize the importance of pro bono attorneys to our community. King County attorneys produced 25,000 hours of pro bono work this year. There is a partnership of large firms, bar associations, non-profits, and law schools that made these numbers possible. Additionally, the King County Council appropriated $500,000 in funding for pro bono programs this year. I had the pleasure of delivering a speech to the Council and thanking them for their emphasis on pro bono work and thanking the coalition of organizations for all the hours of critical volunteer work. You’ll find pictures here. I also encourage you to check out the NWSidebar blog where you’ll find a series of posts highlighting and celebrating Pro Bono Month.
Tuesday, I was invited to speak to the 58th Annual Estate Planning Conference held at the Washington State Conference Center. I welcomed nearly 1000 people to the conference. Attendees had traveled from 24 states to attend this hugely successful conference. There were also members of eight different professions represented at the conference. It was a thrill to address such a large audience and an honor to be given the opportunity.
That afternoon I met with, and spoke to, the WSBA Committee for Diversity at their annual retreat. This committee contains some of the stars of our profession. Members shared their stories about their lives and why they are at the table. Each voice was inspiring. With the creation of the WSBA Diversity and Inclusion Plan, this committee has the tools and ability to truly grow diversity from the “inside out. “ It was exciting to work with this group during the retreat. This year has great promise.
That evening I attended the Puget Sound (Chapter of the) Association of Legal Administrators (PSALA) Annual Dinner at the Sheraton. This year’s keynote speaker was Bob Bauer, President Obama’s White House Counsel from 2010-2011. I had the pleasure of sitting at the head table with Mr. Bauer and had the chance to speak briefly before his speech. He is an amazing intellect and after his speech, seemed to enjoy taking questions from the audience, even when his thesis was questioned. It had the feel of a White House press briefing and kept the dinner lively. The evening ended with a donation check presented to the Literacy Council of Washington for over $8,000.
On Friday evening I attended the Filipino Lawyers of Washington’s (FLOW) Annual Barrio Fiesta Dinner. This year, in honor of Halloween, FLOW named the dinner the “BOORIO” Fiesta. Former WSBA Board of Governor member, and former FLOW President Eric De Los Santos exhibited his bigger than life monster stage set that he and the other board members brought to life. Very creative. The FLOW board then performed the full dance version of Thriller. FLOW knows how to throw a party.
I look forward to another great week ahead. As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.