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!
Renew Your CLA Membership
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.
New Year Brings New Laws Affecting Attorneys
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 servicesfor 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.