November 2022 Bar Bulletin
Life is a series of transitions. No matter what is going on, the guaranteed constant is the impermanence of things. You embrace the change with love so that the next thing comes with love.
With that in mind, and with gratitude and love, we say goodbye to our Executive Director, Dua Abudiab. Dua joined us in 2021, in the midst of the pandemic, to lead KCBA. It was a transitory and pivotal time for our organization, but also for the world. We went from complete lockdowns to virtual, to hybrid, and back to in-person contact — with each phase bringing its own set of challenges. Dua gracefully and elegantly led the organization through it all.
Under her leadership, KCBA’s budget doubled from $4 million to $8 million, and staff grew from 42 to 71. These are not insignificant gains nor are they minor accomplishments. Dua also made great strides in starting and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, and helped get our next strategic planning efforts underway.
As of November 1, she will have stepped down to take on a newly created and exciting role at the Washington State Bar Association. There, she will be the Deputy Executive Director and have the opportunity to make an impact on the wider legal community.
While it is sad for us at KCBA to say goodbye to her, we will be seeing more from Dua. Her new role and work will certainly continue to benefit and impact KCBA lawyers.
I take this moment to say a huge thank you to Dua for all her help. She helped us get through many challenges, always smiling and always warm and kind. Her compassionate leadership is indeed exemplary. I will especially miss the early morning emails and calls as she is an early riser like me.
As you read this, our Associate Executive Director Kathleen Jensen will step in to be our interim Executive Director. Kathleen is highly respected by everyone who knows her. We are fortunate and grateful that she is able to step in during this moment of transition.
Speaking of transitions — over 75 new lawyers were welcomed to the King County bar on October 4. Stepping into the life of a lawyer is indeed transformational. It was so very special to witness the swearing-in ceremony. For the past two years, there were no in-person ceremonies. I am thankful that virtual ceremonies were held during the pandemic, but the warmth, the love, the happy energy can only be truly felt in person, and it was wonderful to be part of that this year. Many brought their parents, spouses, and children. I loved seeing several little girls in cute dresses while watching the event in awe. Everyone was beaming.
King County Superior Court Presiding Judge Oishi led the beautiful ceremony. All the courthouse judges sat at the back row of the judge’s bench, and dignitaries to the side. The dignitaries included King County Bar Foundation Past President Jeffrey Frank, KCBA Executive Director Dua Abudiab, KCBA New Lawyers Division Ben Byers (who was also a speaker), Amanda Simantov and Jeremiah Surface, and University of Washington School of Law leadership including William Covington, Anna Endter, Mary Hotchkiss, and Tamara Lawson.
This year’s keynote speaker was one of our very own legal stars Michele Storms, Director of ACLU Washington. She delivered a moving speech. In her remarks, she emphasized the current state of the country and the threat to the rule of law. She inspired new lawyers and everyone at the event to take action toward protecting the rule of law, and remain hopeful that we can all be part of the change.
Echoing Michele Storms, hope and action can give us direction and a way forward. For now, your KCBA board will be working hard on strategizing the leadership transition we face at our own organization.