When asked if I would write a blog entry for NWSidebar about my reasons for seeking appointment as governor at-large of the Washington State Bar Association, it was hard not to feel exposed. You see, the at-large position is not an elected position from a district. It was established to enhance diversity and representation on the Board of Governors, and the position must be filled by an active attorney with “experience and knowledge of the needs of those lawyers whose membership is or may be historically underrepresented in governance, or who represents some of the diverse elements of the public of the State of Washington.” Read more
Law students often see themselves working at a public interest or legal-services setting. But after graduation, few new lawyers end up following that path. One study found just 4% of newer lawyers working in a public interest or legal services. Why might this be?
Certainly, it is not for lack of demand or the need for access to justice. Since the Great Recession, the need for affordable legal services has continued to grow, while governments continue to cut funding. Not only do these cuts harm people who can’t afford a lawyer, they also make finding a job in public-interest law and legal services increasingly difficult. Dwindling opportunities discourage newer lawyers from pursuing a career focused on social justice, even though their skills are badly needed. Read more
National Mentorship Month is underway, and the WSBA is rolling out informative workshops, a free Legal Lunchbox, free MentorLink Mixers, programs for credit, and more. There’s something for everyone, regardless of your area of practice or years in law. Plan to attend one or more of these events. And, throughout the year, you can use WSBA MentorLink to find a mentorship program that works for you. Read more