By Heather L. Rosing, CLA President
Happy New Year to all! Thank you for being members of the California Lawyers Association and our popular Sections. With your help and engagement, we have achieved a successful first year as a nonprofit organization focused on serving the legal profession in California. We are well poised to continue to grow as the preeminent bar association.
I’d like to share some recent developments and give you a sneak preview of some of the exciting initiatives on tap for 2019. Watch a video summarizing CLA's offerings for 2019.
This month we welcome a new executive director, Ona Alston Dosunmu, who has hit the ground running in her goal to build and lead a top-flight staff and engage with our diverse and dedicated legal community. We are so proud to have Ona join us, and we look forward to all of our members and partners getting to know her.
Also, in January, the CLA officially moves into its new headquarters in Sacramento. Being located in the epicenter of our state government will give our organization unprecedented opportunity to further our mission: promoting excellence, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law.
Last year, CLA was able to weigh in on a number of legislative proposals that affected attorneys across the state. Our board will continue to closely track these issues, engaging with stakeholders and responding when needed. Through our Director of Governmental Affairs, Saul Bercovitch, we are well poised to become a leader on behalf of the legal profession in Sacramento.
In response to the recent wildfires in California, I’m proud to say that our association participated in the statewide response of legal services providers and bar associations. Learn more about how to volunteer to help fire survivors.
In the coming year, we will be increasing our offerings in terms of our Section programming, publications, conferences, and activities in the areas of access to justice/pro bono, civic engagement/education, and diversity, equity and inclusion. We are particularly excited to welcome everyone to our Solo and Small Firm Summit in Huntington Beach in June 2019 and our CLA Annual Meeting in Monterey in October 2019.
I also want to recognize the efforts of our new Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives Ellen Miller-Sharp. In her first three months, Ellen has assisted CLA in its outreach to our California Young Lawyers (CYLA) members, which includes all California attorneys with eight years or less and practice. We are proud to have participated in the recent Admissions Ceremonies for new admittees in December.
Ellen is also leading our bar collaboration effort, to establish partnerships among bar associations and organizations throughout the state. In January 2019, CLA is proud to host its first monthly conference call of bar leaders. At the Annual Meeting in Monterey, we are offering the historically popular Bar Leadership Conference to bar leaders across the state. We are excited to establish a network of collaboration among bar organizations that will assist in providing the highest quality of services to all California attorneys.
Thank you once again to everyone who has contributed to building CLA in its inaugural first year. I wish all of you a productive, healthy and happy 2019!
You can renew your California Lawyers Association Section membership or join a CLA Section for 2019 on your State Bar fee statement. Fees are due Feb. 1.
The State Bar of California recently emailed fee statements to attorneys licensed in California. Line 18 of the fee statement addresses membership in the California Lawyers Association, formerly known as Sections.
An attorney becomes a member of the CLA by paying $95 for the first Section joined. Additional Section memberships are $95 each.
With the start of 2019, dozens of new laws went into effect that will change the way attorneys represent their clients in California courts.
The California Lawyers Association provides bill monitoring and tracking services for its practice area sections and committees. The Judicial Council of California has also summarized and indexed all of the new laws that affect courts or are of interest to the legal community.
By Alexandra Darraby, Co-Chair, International Law Section
In 2018, CLA launched as a nonprofit, voluntary organization and the new base for all the former Sections of the State Bar of California and the California Young Lawyers Association (CYLA). CLA is a member-driven, mission-focused organization dedicated to the professional advancement of attorneys practicing in the state of California. The CLA’s extensive membership represents the vast diversity of California’s legal community and the various areas of law practiced throughout the state. ILS adds diversity of legal systems and the dedication to justice here and abroad.
The State Bar authorized ILS to enter into Friendship Agreements with foreign bar associations as part of its outreach. CLA passed a resolution formally recognizing the role of ILS, as the official representative of the CLA, to continue that function. ILS leadership, in conjunction with the ILS Foreign Relations Committee, in 2018 developed criteria and protocols for foreign bar associations which were adopted by the ILS Executive Committee. The “Friends” were asked to execute updated Foreign Bar Friendship Agreements to reflect the shift from the State Bar to CLA. In September 2018, Friends from Mexico, Malaysia, France, Japan and Vietnam attended the inaugural CLA Conference to celebrate these relationships.
(Photo: CLA honored its foreign delegates at the 2018 Annual Meeting
The ILS will continue to perform this important outreach function for lawyers in California under the CLA as it did under the State Bar. ILS is engaging in new and innovative ways to better serve our Section members and the California public and community in this new era. In addition, ILS is planning to offer services to benefit the diverse residents of California and larger communities. These include:
• Law Lunch: A free, monthly half-hour teleconference to gather ILS lawyers for informal updates and discussions of international developments as they impact legal practice, adopting collegiality as a core dynamic of cross-border cooperation.
• Immigration Outreach: A matrix of laws, rules, regulations and policies affecting immigration provided by immigration lawyers in California who are experienced in the intricacies of this field and current practices. ILS is planning to partner with CLA Strategic Partnerships and Special Initiatives to enable lawyers and others to inform their own choices by accessing this valuable resource.
• Foreign Bar Events: ILS members are invited to networking and educational events both in California and abroad. For example, a trip to Eastern Europe involving various Friends is in the planning stages.
• ILS Journal: California International Law Journal Editor-in-Chief Catherine Carlisle formed a broad-based volunteer Editorial Board, adding foreign advisors for the first time in its history. The Journal’s articles tackle new and provocative developments in the international arena as well as updates and continuing analysis of foreign and domestic laws that affect California.
• CYLA: ILS partnered with CYLA to provide an educational panel at the CLA Annual Meeting on international careers and preparing for international law in the early years of practice. ILS also sends international lawyers to law schools throughout California to offer law students and LLM’s information, strategies and guidance on forging global career paths in different fields of practice.
• Globe Travel Webinars: Stash your passport but visit the world as lawyers from other countries offer expertise and advice on civil and common law affecting clients of California lawyers. ILS webinars cover all fields of law with an international dimension, from public and private treaties and conventions in which the US has a membership to those of other nations and communities.
• Legislation: ILS actively monitors legislative initiatives. In 2018, ILS successfully initiated broad-based CLA support of proposed legislation regarding international arbitration (SB 766) in the California Legislature, and worked with the CLA Director of Government Affairs to educate lawyers on SB 766, which passed on the recommendation of CLA, and is now law in California.
As you can see, ILS is a small but active Section among the many in CLA, and its scope and breadth of many fields of law enables those from any practice to join, give back and learn. If you are an ILS member and would like to assist on any ILS initiative, please contact me. Not yet an ILS member? Join us now.
Each month, the CLA offers an hour of free Minimum Continuing Legal Education! This month's offering, Guess Who's Coming to Court, examines the hidden manifestations of bias in the interpersonal relationships among lawyers, and how it’s being dealt with by ethics rules across the country. [1 hour participatory MCLE credits in Legal Ethics; 1 hour elimination of bias credit]
Tuesday, January 8, 2019: Solo and Small Firm Section presents Webinar Replay: Trial Skills Series: Depositions with an Eye Towards Trial, participation by computer, 415-795-7186. [0.75 hour participatory MCLE credit]
Tuesday, January 8, 2019: Labor and Employment Law Section presents Webinar: Understanding Recent NLRB Guidance on Unions’ Duty of Fair Representation Standard, participation by computer, 415-795-7107. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit]
Wednesday, January 9, 2019: Solo and Small Firm Section presents Webinar Replay: Representing California Commercial Cannabis Clients, participation by computer, 415-795-7186. [1 hour participatory MCLE credit]
Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26, 2019: Law Practice Management and Technology Section and the San Diego County Bar Association present: 2019 Law + Technology Summit. [5 hours general MCLE credit and 2 hours legal ethics MCLE credit]
See All Education Programs