What’s Old is New Again: The Latest Changes to WSBA’s Member Magazine

Bar News

Like the transition from Coke to New Coke and back again, sometimes you just gotta stick to the classics.

On Nov. 5, 2019, the WSBA Board of Governors voted to change the name of the WBSA’s award-winning member magazine back to its original title of Washington State Bar News. After taking some time to handle publication logistics, redesign, and a few technical tweaks, that change has come to fruition with the unveiling of the April/May issue of Bar News.

With the original name dating back to 1947, in 2013 the WSBA opted to rebrand and change the magazine’s name to NWLawyer. At the time, the rationale being to “better reflect its content and readership.” But for many WSBA members, that change never quite felt right and after speaking with her constituents, District 2 Governor Carla Higginson suggested to change the name back to Bar News, which won the support of her fellow members on the Board of Governors.

“I am very excited about the return of the publication name to Washington State Bar News,” Higginson told NWSidebar. “The name inspires continuity with the past 70 years of the publication and the long and distinguished history of the Washington State Bar Association The straightforward and dignified name also conveys the message that our members can stay in touch through its contents with the legal and organizational aspects of our profession.”

In its debut issue as Bar News once again, WSBA Interim Executive Director Terra Nevitt explains, “The new (old?) name is inclusive of all WSBA members and provides a clearer indication of the publication’s provenance and content.”

The name isn’t the only thing that’s making a comeback; the WSBA has also brought back a frequently requested feature: expanded discipline notices. Under the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct, the Bar is required to publish these notices, although several years back those notices were scaled down to the essential details, with details published online. In meeting the demand for expanded discipline notices, while also abiding by the requirement to be “highly accurate, consistent, and neutral,” as Nevitt explains, “Bar News has struck a new, balanced format we think members will appreciate.”

Find the online version of the magazine at wabarnews.wsba.org, and you can dig into our archives at wabarnews.wsba.org/wabarnews/library. Our contact information has changed as well; send letters to wabarnews@wsba.org and check out the updated letters to the editor policy here.

Of course Bar News, like the rest of the world, has to address the 800-pound virus in the room, but if you’re hungering for something that has absolutely nothing to do with COVID-19 you’ll find plenty. You can dive into the history of women’s right to vote as well as the local suffrage movement in Washington. Check out our interview with recently retired Washington Supreme Court Justice Charles Wiggins. Examine the battle between feelings and facts in legal settings, get a recap of the 2020 legislative session. See the results of the WSBA’s “deep dive” audit, explore gender beyond binary stereotypes, and learn about the life of a Poulsbo attorney who became something of a legal celebrity in post-communist Albania.