Take It from a WSBA Volunteer: A Q&A With Francis Adewale

A volunteer lawyer advising a couple.

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 parise@wsba.org.

What has been your proudest moment or favorite memory so far as a WSBA volunteer?

My proudest moment is my recent election as District 5 governor after more than 15 years serving as a volunteer on numerous WSBA boards, committees, and task forces like the Judicial Recommendations Committee and the Access to Justice Board, among others.

Did you have any misconceptions about volunteering before you began this role and have they changed?

None at all. What prepared me for this role was my attendance at leadership training opportunities offered then by the WSBA in 2008 (Washington Leadership Institute). The way I look at my job, my community and my profession as an African American attorney changed. Attending the Washington Leadership Institute cemented that community leadership value and the need to step up and work to enhance access to justice in our state.

What have you learned that you might not have if you had not volunteered? Has it changed your approach to practicing law?

If I had not volunteered to serve on WSBA Diversity Committee and Pro Bono and Public Service Committee in 2009, I would not have known how many people are left behind in the delivery of our justice system and the fact that the majority of them are people of color.

What have you found most inspiring among your fellow WSBA volunteers?

Opportunities to share your opinions and disagreements without being disagreeable. It is like being among friends and family, particularly on the Access to Justice Board.