June 2012 Bar Bulletin
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From the Desk of the Executive Director

Local Bar Membership Remains Important

By Andrew Prazuch

A generation ago, almost every lawyer in King County was a member of the Seattle-King County Bar Association. Attorneys in the 1970s instinctively joined the organization, knowing that as a member of the legal profession there were both practical and obligatory reasons to belong. Whether it was access to court news and docket information, or whether it was the "seal of approval" to prospective clients that being a member of the local bar bestowed, everyone from new admittees to relocated practitioners to the most-seasoned attorneys joined the local bar.

It was an easy decision back then to renew or join KCBA. Yet today the decision for some attorneys isn't automatic. While the reasons to renew or join may be different than they were in the 1970s, I believe that when you think about it, you'll reach the same decision as those attorneys did and renew/join KCBA.

Granted, a local bar association no longer has a monopoly on court information. Beyond easy Internet access, Washington also has a plethora of special interest bar associations that allow attorneys to network among colleagues who share a similar background. That's if you even network "in person" anymore; most of us do the vast majority of our communications by email and, increasingly, social media.

So, if those major drivers for membership aren't as strong as they once were, why do I think the decision to join/renew is still one you'll make?

I offer four reasons.

First, KCBA provides important news and analysis to its members. Practitioners need not rely solely on the bar to receive important court announcements and information, that's true. But what about the analysis of that news?

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