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.
- MCLE Task Force
- Limited License Legal Technician Program. Check out this recent story that ran on NPR about our changing profession.
- Uniform Collaborative Law Act proposed court rules
On Thursday Treasurer Brian Kelly and I met with the chairs of each WSBA’s sections to have a frank discussion about the WSBA and the roles of the sections in today’s changing legal environment. The WSBA has 27 sections, and growing. Having met each section Chair, if you are not already a section member, I can tell you that this is the place you will find the movers, shakers, forward thinkers, and leaders of your specialty. Here’s how you can get more info: check out the benefits of section membership and how you can join.
Additionally, the section chairs told me clearly what they need from the WSBA to succeed and their goals. And, as a result, it’s my intent to give them more tools and support to ensure that each section can achieve their goals and mission. We also talked in earnest about the 2013-2015 strategic goals (listed above). I love the heart and energy of the chairs. Great meeting.
Then came Friday, which was the BOG meeting at the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle. My first BOG meeting as the new president was like the first game of the season with new teammates. It’s usually the meeting where everyone is getting to know each other and learning the rhythm of the new Board. But this meeting was different as I felt the Board hit the ground running, working like a team toward solid solutions to problem. This Board is the best that I have served on because of its diversity and balance in age, gender, geography and practice area. I look forward to our continued work together.
It should also be noted that this week the new edition of the NWLawyer was mailed. Please take a minute to read my article “Game Changers.” This article sets out my vision for the direction of the Bar this year and in coming years.
As always, please feel free to contact me with questions and input, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Twitter @PalaceLaw. Enjoy your week!