All this week, the WSBA is joining others around the country during National Volunteer Week to recognize and celebrate the many invaluable volunteers who devote their time and expertise to carry out the WSBA mission of serving the public, ensuring the integrity of the legal profession, and championing justice.
National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to honor the impact of all those who do good in our communities, and inspire others to make a difference and improve the world. So every day this week, NWSidebar will publish new interviews with a few of our outstanding volunteers
For questions about volunteering with WSBA, please contact Volunteer Engagement Advisor, Paris Eriksen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What has been your proudest moment or favorite memory so far as a WSBA volunteer?
Serving on the Washington State Bar Foundation Board of Trustees gives me several proud moments and happy memories. I am extremely proud to be a part of a profession that gives generously to support its community, colleagues, and future colleagues. It is exciting to see that the work you are doing actually makes a difference. It is great to hear the success stories from the programs: stories from law students about how the Moderate Means Program is helping them gain real-world experience and define their career goals, and stories about the impact the Powerful Communities Project has in helping underserved communities gain access to legal services. It is pleasure to be involved in something that will have an everlasting effect.
Did you have any misconceptions about volunteering before you began this role and have they changed?
I wouldn’t say I had misconceptions, I just really had no idea what it would be like to volunteer for the Bar Association or that they even needed volunteers. To me the Bar was just some mysterious entity that I paid dues to once a year. What I have learned is the Bar is made up of many volunteers all working in their own ways to improve and enhance the profession as well as serve their fellow attorneys. I had no idea how many ways there were to actually volunteer.
What have you learned that you might not have if you had not volunteered? Has it changed your approach to practicing law?
Being a volunteer has given me a deeper understanding of the Bar and its programs and how they serve the profession and the community at large. I have also learned ways to improve my practice from meeting and interacting with other attorneys. I have also had the chance to learn new skills and hone existing ones. Volunteering is an important personal value for me. Being able to volunteer with the WSBA has given me a chance to use my professional skills and knowledge to serve both the legal and non-legal community.
What have you found most inspiring among your fellow WSBA volunteers?
Being a lawyer, and oftentimes a volunteer, can be thankless. You must really be dedicated in order to continue on. I see this dedication in my fellow WSBA volunteers. WSBA volunteers give so much of their time and energy to their volunteer positions. They truly want to help and be of service. Some positions are like a second job, and to give that much of oneself to your board, committee, section, etc. is great to see.