April 2021 Bar Bulletin
Long before I was involved with the King County Bar Foundation, the Breakfast with Champions was my favorite fundraising event. The speakers are inspiring and thought-provoking, the room is filled with friends and colleagues, and the Breakfast runs like clockwork, always ending on time (a key measure of success for any professional event!). Most important, the money raised at the Breakfast provides a legal safety net to 10,000 of our neighbors every year through the KCBA’s pro bono programs and helps to diversify our profession by funding scholarships for minority law students.
We are beginning to see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Soon, thanks to vaccines and the diligence of our community in mask wearing and social distancing, we will be able to visit our friends and colleagues in person, share a meal, and swap our slippers and sweatpants for real clothes. We’ll attend gatherings like the Breakfast with Champions in person instead of virtually.
This year, slippers and sweatpants are welcome for the Breakfast, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28 from 8-9 a.m. While we won’t get to visit in person with colleagues, everything else about the Breakfast will be as good as ever.
- The keynote speaker is Bob Bauer. Bob was White House Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor to President Obama and served as Senior Advisor for President Biden’s Presidential Campaign. He is currently affiliated with New York University School of Law. He has written extensively about campaign finance, law and politics. Bob’s experiences make him an ideal speaker on the critical and current topic of election integrity and application of the rule of law to our election process.
- We will highlight the lasting impact of the minority law student scholarship program.
- The Housing Justice Project will be featured. The HJP’s services to low-income tenants are more important now than ever, especially as eviction moratoria are lifted later this year.
A huge benefit to a virtual Breakfast is that attendance is not limited, and while registration is required, attendance is free. Please visit www.givebutter.com/BreakfastWithChampions to register. Please plan to attend, and please encourage your colleagues and co-workers to attend. The need for donations to support the work of the Foundation has never been greater.
- Minority law students are struggling and rely more than ever on the scholarships funded by your donations. Many firms are not hiring summer interns or are hiring at a lower level. Many government agencies are in a hiring freeze, with sharply reduced internship opportunities. Each scholarship we provide means one more minority law student has help to complete their degree and join our profession.
- Pro bono programs are more essential than ever. Thousands of our most vulnerable neighbors have experienced protracted impacts from the pandemic. Even before the justice system went largely virtual, accessing justice was intimidating and overwhelming to most people, especially those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. As the eviction moratoria are lifted and families come out of pandemic isolation, the need for pro bono assistance will grow dramatically, from the Housing Justice Project to family law assistance to demand on neighborhood legal clinics.
The Breakfast with Champions is a powerful event for many reasons - bringing friends and colleagues together, informing and enlightening us - and most importantly, giving the legal community the opportunity to support the programs that make our profession more diverse and that give our neighbors essential help in accessing the legal system. Your attendance at the Breakfast and financial support have never been more important than they are this year. I look forward to “seeing” you on April 28.
Kelly Twiss Noonan is the President of the King County Bar Foundation and the Managing Shareholder of Stokes Lawrence.