California Lawyers Association

Chief Executive Officer

Articles and updates from CLA C.E.O. and Executive Director Ona Alston Dosunmu

“Nothing lasts forever.” “This too shall pass.” I know it. You know it. We all know, in our heads, that nothing lasts forever and at some point, many of the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic will end. They will end either because we learn to live with the virus just as we have learned to live with flu, the common cold and HIV, or because there is a vaccine or a cure. Read more
In addition to being the C.E.O. and Executive Director of CLA I am also an attorney. The death of George Floyd has affected me and turned my attention to the meaningful policy interventions that lawyers can champion to help reduce the likelihood that others suffer the same fate. But this month’s piece is less about those policy interventions than it is the personal cry of a mother, a wife and a sister to Black men. Read more
As we begin our third month of sheltering in place, many of us at CLA have begun thinking about what the mid-term future may hold. When California reopens what will it mean for our bar association and what will the new normal look like? It seems unlikely that we will be permitted to gather in groups of more than a few dozen. Even if we’re allowed to do so, will people want to? What will post-pandemic bar associations look like? What will the post-pandemic CLA look like? No one knows for sure, but here are some thoughts based on lessons learned from our experience producing content about COVID-19. Read more
For many of us, the specter of field hospitals, quarantines and life-or-death triage decisions in the wealthiest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth would have been difficult to comprehend as recently as two months ago. Read more
For decades I was a practicing lawyer. Now I, along with volunteer officers, help lead a bar association. I enjoy leading the California Lawyers Association and here’s why. Leading CLA provides opportunities to step back from the day-to-day grind of getting stuff done as an attorney and to consider the entire profession from a higher altitude. These opportunities pop up in many ways. For example, last week I attended an event celebrating Mansfield certified firms. Read more
2020 will be a year for the California Lawyers Association to innovate, adapt, change and grow. And I couldn’t be more excited. That said, change and growth can be hard and scary. Read more
Welcome to 2020! It’s hard to believe it’s the second decade of the 21st century. I’m looking forward to a number of things in the coming year but I also spent a fair amount of time during the holiday hiatus reflecting on 2019 and thinking about the longer-term future of the California Lawyers Association. The result of all that hard thinking? Today I’m more convinced than ever of CLA’s extraordinary potential. I believed it in August of 2018 when I spoke to a number of you in the interview process. Read more
Whether you celebrate, Hanukkah or Christmas or your celebrations are more secular, in this season of lights and giving don’t forget to give to yourself. I don’t have young children at home but apparently this season’s top toys range from a Fortnite-branded nerf gun to the now-classic dancing Elmo of Sesame Street fame. And if you’re buying for adults, you don’t need me to tell you that there’s practically no limit to the number of ways you can be separated from your money in the pursuit of some gadget or bauble that will make a loved one light up. Read more
You know it’s late in the year when you begin scheduling things on your calendar for “early in the New Year” or “after the holidays.” I’ve reached the point where I’m counting the few precious days I’ll actually be in the office to work between now and year-end. Read more
As I prepare to travel to Monterey for my first Annual Meeting since becoming Executive Director of the California Lawyers Association, I am feeling celebratory. Preparing for the Annual Meeting is a huge undertaking and I’m extraordinarily grateful to the volunteer leaders, particularly those on the Annual Meeting committee, and our professional team from Sacramento, who worked so hard to make it happen. And we have a lot to celebrate! Read more

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