Diverse professional coworkers fist bumping during seminar or conference

Legal Multitasking: The Advantages of Multiple Section Membership

More than 10,000 WSBA members are also members of the nearly 30 sections spread across the many diverse practice areas of the law. Through sections, these members band together to share knowledge, perfect their skills, and push the boundaries of the legal profession. Just as no single legal professional is limited to one area of law, a number of WSBA members are actually members of multiple sections. Nicholas Pleasants, for example, is one such lawyer. A solo practitioner and owner of Pleasants Law Firm, he participates in three WSBA sections. Read on to find out why he does it and what he gets out of it.

Read More…
BarNews-DEC-JAN-2022

Analyzing the Year of the New Normal in Washington State Bar News

2021 has been a year of adaptation. Though we went into the year with cautious optimism of a return to normal, it seems that we are now coming to grips with a world in which we are collectively creating our new normal. As Mark Fucile explains in the latest Ethics & the Law column in Washington State Bar News, “there are a number of risk-management considerations for the work of a traditional law firm both inside and outside of a physical office.”

Read More…
Life ring floating in the vast expanse of sea

How Law Firms Can Prepare for Disasters with a Business Continuity Plan

It doesn’t take much to imagine the many disasters that, in an instant, could derail a law firm’s operations. Unexpected events that affect your health — pandemic, perhaps? — or others that affect your working space — think floods or fires — or cyberattacks can severely hamper your ability to provide legal services. Without a strategy to mitigate the effects of sudden calamity, you can lose time, money, and resources trying to recover. You could even end up the subject of discipline or malpractice claims if failure to prepare harms a client.

Read More…
Many books on a bookshelf

Hidden Gems You Probably Didn’t Think are in the WSBA Lending Library

Sadly, many WSBA members are unaware that as members they have free access to hundreds of titles through the WSBA Lending Library. Even sadder, many WSBA members think the Lending Library is just another repository for dusty tombs of legal text that weigh as much as a neutron star but are far less interesting. Happily, many WSBA members, in this regard, are wrong.

Read More…
Female lawyer smiling at camera during meeting

Building a Culture of Gender Equity: Insights from a Majority-Women-Owned Firm

I am the managing shareholder of a 50+ attorney business law firm with 29 equity partners: 16 women and 13 men. Stokes Lawrence was founded 40 years ago by two men. While we did not consciously seek to be majority women owned, we have always attracted and been successful retaining women lawyers. In fact, our firm was recently admitted to the National Association of Women and Minority Owned Law Firms

Read More…
Digital law and justice graphic with document, gavel, and scale icons

Washington Delays Statewide E-Filing for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) announced on June 25 that it was delaying the e-filing component of its Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Case Management System (CLJ-CMS) project—also known as Odyssey File & Serve (OFS). Citing concerns raised by the legal community, “Upon careful and lengthy consideration of the comments received, and several productive discussions held with leaders in the District and Municipal Court Judges Association and the District and Municipal Court Managers Association, the Project Steering Committee has decided to delay implementation of OFS while we sort through the various issues and consider other options.”

Read More…
Coronavirus vaccination record card

Can Employers Require COVID Vaccines and Other Common Questions About Vaccinations at Work

As variants of COVID-19 surge, public health guidance fluctuates, and controversies continue to erupt over vaccinations and masks, businesses across the country grapple with whether, when, and how to return to work. Naturally, employers and employees have questions as they slowly move into a new normal. Among my clients, what follows are some of the most common questions related to COVID-19 and returning to work.

Read More…
Cybersecurity graphic

Quick Steps for Lawyers to Improve Cybersecurity and Protect Client Data

In 2017, hundreds of thousands of computers in 150 countries in a matter of hours were infected with a virus, locking the computers and demanding a ransom to regain access in the now famous WannaCry ransomware attack. How were all these computers infected? Well, remember that security patch update? The commonality between all of the hacked computers is that they failed to upgrade their security patches.

Read More…

A Few Things Everyone Should Know About the WA Cares Fund

Washington is the first state in the nation to create a trust to fund long-term care costs for its residents, which will be funded through a mandatory payroll tax of .0058 percent. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, all W2 employees will be taxed $0.58 per $100 of income, with no cap on wages. Self-employed earners can opt-in to the program when the state makes applications available in January 2022.

Read More…

10 Popular Legal Podcasts You Should Hear

From advice backed by research to engaging storytelling to, perhaps, a little humor here and there, legal podcasts run the gamut regarding style and content. From learning the basics to polishing your skills in the legal field, listeners will get a good dose of legal wisdom from experts in the profession and related industries. Here are 10 popular legal podcasts you can, and should, listen to right now:

Read More…
A lawyer questioning a witness in front of the judge in a courtroom.

Being the Lawyer the World Needs: How to Keep Growing Professionally and Up Your Trial Skills

Since becoming a lawyer, have you ever wondered why you chose this career path? Have you ever wondered if you were cut out for the immense pressures that our profession seems to effortlessly lay upon our shoulders? I mean, first comes law school, then comes the LSAT, then comes trying to figure out how to actually practice law (in a baby carriage)! And for those of us trudging through trial practice, the learning, growing, memorizing—all in an effort to really make a difference in this world—never really seem to stop. The most seasoned attorney and the most novel attorney probably have more in common than one might think: respect for the law, respect for the judicial process, and respect for those needing legal help. For an attorney to succeed in their career endeavor, they must be willing to learn from others, adapt, and remember why they chose this profession in the first place.

Read More…
Well-Being Week Banner

What’s in Store for Well-Being Week at the WSBA

Over the past five years, there has been a steady and growing change in how we as a profession address the mental health of attorneys. And over the next five days, the WSBA is joining other organizations around the nation in a rallying cry to further end stigma, support one another, and promote changes leading toward a healthier profession and, in doing so, better representation for clients. From May 3 to 7, the WSBA is joining other bars, firms, and organizations in recognizing Well-Being Week in Law.

Read More…
Screen shot from WSBA's first website

Blast from the Past: When the WSBA First Went Online 25 Years Ago

In 1996, “Macarena” was topping the charts, Japanese consumers became the first to purchase a new video format called DVDs, Independence Day blew up both U.S. landmarks and box offices, and the WSBA officially entered cyberspace. Recently, a member of the WSBA Communications Department was searching through old issues of Washington State Bar News and happened upon the following article which details the WSBA’s first website that went live 25 years ago this year.

Read More…
Attorney working in an office at night

Legal Research Companies Casemaker and Fastcase Merge

Legal publishers Casemaker and Fastcase today announce their merger and joint building out of legal research and analytics, news, data, and workflow solutions. The two companies will combine their teams and technologies to innovate research, analytics, and workflow offerings that empower lawyers with powerful digital solutions for their clients.

Read More…