The King County Bar Association continues to thrive under the leadership and stewardship of its Board of Trustees, committee and section chairs, and professional staff. The past year has seen many accomplishments that have advanced the bar's mission. These include public policy leadership on abolition of the death penalty and building a new juvenile justice courthouse, thousands of hours of pro bono services offered to the indigent in our community, and the introduction of new revenue sources from publications, special events and online education offerings. A review of the five-year strategic plan adopted in 2011 shows that KCBA is making progress in most areas identified for attention (see May's column).
The bar's most fundamental challenge remains demonstrating relevance to an ever-evolving profession while still providing value to seasoned practitioners. While the Association's membership roster has remained consistently at the 5,400 level for the past five years, more than 8,000 potential members practice law in King County, but do not choose to join this voluntary association. The more KCBA can understand motivations for attorneys choosing and not choosing membership, the more the bar can craft its programs and services to meet the needs of the local bar and bench.
In addition to membership, KCBA needs to build upon its ongoing and well-regarded member services, assistance for the indigent, support for the justice system, and efforts to better diversify the bench and bar. We will complement these efforts as the new membership year begins. For example, new improvements to KCBA's judicial screening and evaluation programs need to be implemented and publicized.
New member services, including communications efforts, must be explored, such as a fresh look at lawyer referral systems and the robustness of the online library archive of past bar educational programs. Expanded pro bono programs will allow KCBA to meet a larger amount of the need for civil legal aid services. Finally, planning for new bar office space as the current lease expires presents the bar with a once-in-a-decade opportunity to meet member and staff needs in doing the bar's business.
The challenges that face KCBA as it plans for continued success are not insignificant. Yet, by leaders and staff working together to achieve their goals, the future is filled with more than enough opportunity for the bar to remain relevant in the 21st Century.
To advance the mission of the King County Bar Association, the Board of Trustees adopted on June 19 an annual plan for our new membership year (July 1 through June 30). The following is a review of the key provisions of that plan.
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