April 2014 Bar Bulletin
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April 2014 Bar Bulletin

Spring into the KCBA!


Spring has sprung. Days are getting longer, the weather warmer, and our community more visible as we venture out of the dry indoors into the bright outdoors. Spring inspires us to take on new tasks - think spring cleaning and spring planting; to play more - think spring break and spring training; and generally gives us more energy - think "I feel like a spring chicken" and spring fever. For those of you wanting to take on new tasks, play more and share your energy, I ask you to "spring into action" with a KCBA committee!

As a KCBA member, you know of the many benefits of belonging to the KCBA. I'd like to encourage you to take your membership to the next level by volunteering for a KCBA committee. You will be surprised by the impact and the rewards of your involvement. KCBA has numerous committees: Awards, Bar Bulletin, CLE, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon, Diversity, Membership, Fair Campaign Practices, Future of the Law Institute, Judicial Candidate Screening, Judicial Officer Evaluation, Judiciary and Litigation, Judicial Conferencing, Pro Bono, Public Policy, and Lawyer Referral.

While recently admitted attorneys are welcome to serve on most committees, new lawyers may wish to consider one of our Young Lawyers Division committees: Community Involvement, Social Events, Young Lawyer Services, and Law Library Clinic.

KCBA committees are service and common interest groups that span practice areas, the bench and bar, and often produce the most visible work of the Association. Committees do substantive work, policy work and liaison work with the law schools, bench and public. They often serve as a voice for the membership to the Board of Trustees, making recommendations for the Board to consider.

We are fortunate to have several deeply committed members involved in these committees. Many have participated or chaired/co-chaired the same committee for a number of years. While the depth, commitment and passion these members bring to a committee's mission are invaluable, there is also a place for those interested in joining one of our committees as new ideas, new energy and new talent are always welcome.

Typically, one or two committees will call out to a member, based on their particular interest. Do you feel strongly about advocating for the less fortunate? If so, Pro Bono, Public Policy or CLE would be good fits. Do you feel inspired to make a difference after attending the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon or Breakfast With Champions? Join the Future of the Law Institute, Diversity or Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon committee.

When in court, are you often impressed with the high quality of the bench? Do you want to do your part to ensure the current level of quality continues? Join Judicial Candidate Screening, Fair Campaign Practices, Judicial Officer Evaluation, Judicial Conferencing or Judiciary and Litigation. Do you love KCBA and want to see it thrive? Join Membership, Pro Bono, Bar Bulletin or Lawyer Referral. There is a place for you based on what matters to and inspires you.

If you've ever questioned the position of a committee or the work done by a committee, get involved. Be part of the solution. Have your concerns or complaints addressed. Learn more about a committee's process and work. It is easy to criticize from the outside while having only partial information. Often we do not have or take the opportunity to better understand what we are critical of. Now is your chance. At KCBA, we want critics as well as supporters involved in our committees. Every perspective and every voice are valuable and make our organization more vibrant.

While our committees will be stronger with your involvement, you will receive much in return for your time and effort. If your experience is similar to mine, your committee work will introduce you to remarkable KCBA members and staff. These individuals will quickly become friends and some may even become personal heroes. You will learn and you will educate. You will laugh often. You will grow. You will feel energized. You will feel inspired. You will create the future of KCBA.

Down the road your involvement may shape the path of your career. Many on the bench have strong ties to KCBA through committee and/or board work. Some involved members have moved into elected political positions. Many have become managing partners in their firms or leaders in other bar associations. All have found value in playing an active role in the KCBA. You will as well.

As you clean your closets, plant your gardens, and cheer on your Mariners and Sounders, I encourage you to add another experience to your spring by volunteering for a KCBA committee. I promise it will put "a spring in your step!"

Contact Executive Director Andy Prazuch or me to volunteer for a committee, to learn more or with questions you may have. We know we have the perfect committee for you.


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