California Lawyers Association

Uniting Our Forces

October 2023

By Tara R. Burd 
Chair, CLA Board of Representatives 

I am still reeling from the positive energy of this year’s Annual Meeting and the visible impact that California Lawyers Association (CLA) has on our community locally and globally.

When I first became involved in the Real Property Law Section, I was focused on the value that the Section could bring to business development for my own practice and others. At the time, our Section held monthly CLEs in San Diego, where attorneys had the opportunity to connect over their lunch break on a particular topic. Not wanting to be limited by connecting only with attorneys, I began hosting networking events that connected real property practitioners to other real estate professionals with a focus on business development. 

Now, nearly eight years later, I have the honor of leading our Board and the direction of our organization in efforts that expand well beyond any one individual or section and even beyond our own state and national borders.

During this year’s Annual Meeting, I had the opportunity to participate in CLA Civic Engagement and Outreach Committee’s nationally recognized program that connects fifth graders to judges and attorneys. The excitement of the students meeting a judge and lawyer for the first time was like Harry Potter walking into the Hogwarts Great Hall in year one: magical. The highlight was when Oyango Snell asked the students to repeat after him—as loudly as they possibly could—declaring to the world that they would not let anything or anyone stop them from achieving their dreams. Within the same 24 hours, I also attended a CLA International Law and Immigration Section event joined by delegates from bar associations around the world, including Ireland, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, Japan, and Mexico. Recognizing that we play a vital role in a global community was meaningful. These opportunities set CLA apart as the preeminent bar association in California.

Looking forward to the upcoming year, I am inspired to increase awareness of CLA’s community outreach, advocacy efforts, and international relationships. Through the new association management system, new cross-Section practice area committees, and expanded CLA-wide committees, we are ready to unite the forces of the Sections and do exponentially greater good. This means that we will have increased collaboration across the entire organization so that all members of California’s legal community are informed and invited to participate in the many meaningful opportunities that CLA has to offer. It’s going to be a great year.

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