California Lawyers Association

California Lawyers Association Names Oyango A. Snell as Its New CEO and Executive Director


December 6, 2021

Oyango Snell, California Lawyers Association CEO and Executive Director
Oyango Snell, California Lawyers Association CEO and Executive Director

The California Lawyers Association (CLA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Oyango A. Snell as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director, effective December 13, 2021. Snell comes to CLA from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) where he served as the organization’s first in-house general counsel in its 114-year history. CLA was founded in 2018 upon separation by the California State Legislature with the State Bar of California. CLA is a member-driven, mission-focused organization dedicated to the professional advancement of attorneys practicing in the state of California.

Holding previous positions representing national, regional, and statewide associations, Snell brings significant association management and government relations experience to CLA at a time when the voluntary bar association is looking to grow its membership and increase engagement with the three branches of state government.

“Oyango is the perfect marriage in personality, character, and discipline to be the next CEO and Executive Director of the California Lawyers Association,” said CLA President Jeremy M. Evans. “We are excited to work together to grow the organization in our next chapter by providing exemplary services and programing to existing members and adding new members, new practice areas, amazing events, and leading in education, legislative affairs, and relationships across the great State of California and the globe.”

“I am humbled by this wonderful opportunity to combine two things that I love dearly – the legal profession and nonprofit association management, Snell said. “I look forward to working together with our volunteers and members to accomplish CLA’s important advocacy and education goals.”

CLA recently rolled out new membership pricing options, including an introductory plan that includes access to CLA-wide benefits such as free access to the Fastcase legal research platform (valued at $995/year), 18 hours of free MCLE, and a wide array of helpful content for members.

Snell, since March 2017, has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at WSPA, a nonprofit business association organized similarly to CLA and based in Sacramento. Among his many achievements, he created a first-in-class in-house legal advocacy and human resources program, provided legal advocacy for monumental climate policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and created a leadership initiative for women in the oil and natural gas industry.

Previously, Snell served as the chief legislative and regulatory counsel for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) in Washington, D.C., from January 2012 to March 2017. From August 2009 to December 2011, he was a solo practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, providing legal counsel and regulatory advocacy to various business groups.

Snell is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credentialed by the American Society of Association Executives and he earned his Juris Doctor (JD) from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.


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