June 2018 Bar Bulletin
By Andrew Prazuch
Watch for Your Dues Notice This Month
If you’re a KCBA member, I want to start this month by saying thank you. (You can confirm this by flipping back to the front page — if you see the words “KCBA MEMBER” above your address label, you are an official member of the King County Bar Association). Thank you for paying your annual membership dues — or thank your employer for paying them for you.
You are part of a group of almost 6,000 lawyers and judges in our community who have decided that belonging to the local bar is an important part of being a lawyer. You may be with us for the benefits (see the box accompanying this column). You may be with us because you are active on a committee, board or pro bono program. You may be with us because you see it as part of your identity as a lawyer. You may even be with us for the discounts (the ski tickets you can buy from us for Snoqualmie Summit are a great deal).
Whatever your reason for being a member, thank you. No reason to read further. Move ahead to the interesting article on the next page about lessons lawyers learned from athletics that they use in their practice — and don’t miss the Profile of one of our outstanding local lawyers on page 6, Colleen Kinerk.
But if you’re not a KCBA member (and perhaps you’re surprised to realize that after just looking at your label on the front page), I challenge you to read through the remaining few words (okay, 432 words) to listen to me make the case for why YOU SHOULD JOIN KCBA.
The benefits are fairly straightforward and summarized in the accompanying box. Your dues cover the production of this exceptional monthly newspaper you’re reading, as well as the bar’s valuable work in rating judicial candidates and organizing 1,300 volunteer attorneys to donate their time for legal aid for the indigent. Even if you don’t have time to be a volunteer yourself, I suspect you see the value in an organization you support through dues doing this important work in your name.
That said, if you were looking for a *new* reason this year, we are making a large number of recorded CLE programs (more than 100 hours’ worth) free to members starting this summer. Since you generally need 45 hours of CLEs every three years for the reporting requirement to the state bar, being a KCBA member means you don’t have to pay $30 per credit hour you would otherwise have to pay to view programs from other organizations. Instead of paying $1,350 for those CLEs, you get all that covered for your $260 dues payment to KCBA. Pretty easy math, right?
I appreciate that for many, in particular new or solo practice lawyers, you have to be very judicious in selecting what “extras” you buy when you’re hard at work building a practice and need to watch every dollar you spend. Please know though that you are eligible for an alternate dues amount from regular dues that you may find more economical — I hope you’ll explore that.
But for many of you who can afford the modest annual dues to join KCBA ($1.10 per day if you work five business days each week in a four-week month — what’s your daily coffee tab?), I hope you’ll look anew at the benefits of being a KCBA member.
Joining the local bar for most lawyers is not a question of a time commitment or money (though if you have time to get involved, we have lots of volunteer opportunities, just ask me for details!). Joining the local bar is a question of responding to the dues notice when it arrives in your mailbox (snail mail and email) in the next couple weeks.
Please be on the lookout for it and accept our invitation to join your colleagues as KCBA members. I know you’ll be proud to call yourself a member and you’ll get a lot out of it.
Don’t Miss These KCBA Membership Benefits
* Monthly delivery of the Bar Bulletin in print and online
* Ratings of candidates for judicial election & appointment
* Access to more than 100 hours of free CLE online recordings — enough to meet your reporting requirement
* Support for 1,300 volunteer attorneys serving indigent clients at clinics & courthouses
* Complimentary, in-person CLEs and networking events for young lawyers
* Liaison with all court levels (municipal to superior to appellate and federal)
* Promotion of diversity of bar and bench in partnership with area law schools and so much more!
Full membership is just $22 per month, with alternate dues rates as low as $8 per month.
Andrew Prazuch is KCBA’s executive director. He can be reached by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (206-267-7061).