California Lawyers Association

Chief Executive Officer

Articles and updates from CLA C.E.O. and Executive Director

Early in my career as an association leader, I learned a valuable lesson: Always have a member or member-led committee or board between me and a final decision. While lobbying on a tough issue in the North Carolina Legislature, I took a stand on a matter and was met with success. But the process of achieving victory was bumpy, and I should have considered the impact on one of my key members. That was an epic failure on my part. I may have won on the issues, but I had to repair and build back trust with some of my association members.  Read more
By now, you may have heard the buzz about the California Lawyers Association (CLA) 2022 Annual Meeting. If you haven’t, I believe this article is especially for you. While there are many reasons to attend the CLA Annual Meeting, here are the top five reasons why you will not want to miss it. Read more
Volunteers are the backbone of professional membership associations and nonprofit organizations. The California Lawyers Association (CLA) would not be the premiere statewide voluntary bar association without its dedicated, passionate volunteers. However, some members have shared with us that they don’t know where to begin when it comes to getting involved and engaged in volunteer opportunities with CLA. Here are five easy ways to ramp up your engagement, increase your visibility, and build long-lasting relationships with legal professionals across the State of California. Read more
The California Lawyers Association (CLA) congratulates its CEO and Executive Director Oyango A. Snell on his recognition as Association Executive of the Year by the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE). Read more
In May, we celebrate mothers to honor their sacrifices and the love that they have for their children. While the celebration of motherhood can be traced back to ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals to honor mother goddesses, Ann Reeves Jarvis’s work, along with several other notable women, prior to and during the Civil War era, helped make the celebration of mothers thrive in the United States. Anna Jarvis sought to celebrate her mother, Ann Reeves, who organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health at a memorial service on May 12, 1907. As a result of this memorial service, the celebration of mothers became an official United States holiday in 1914. Read more
An American jazz pianist, Pete Johnson, once stated that “strategy is a style of thinking, a conscious and deliberate process, an intensive implementation system, the science of insuring future success.” Simply put, a strategic plan is the roadmap to achieving organizational success. Without strategic vision, an association can continue to wonder about and miss the mark of producing high-quality services to its members and key stakeholders. Read more
An African proverb says, “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.” To that end, women have always been part of history, but their contributions to social, political, and economic constructs, especially in our nation, have often been overlooked and rest in the shadows of their male counterparts. As an attempt to right the wrongs of the storytellers, the essence of Women’s History Month highlights achievements and continues a much-needed discourse regarding gender equity and equality in every field of human endeavor. Read more
Oyango A. Snell, former in-house counsel for the Western States Petroleum Association, was named CEO and Executive Director of CLA last month following a nationwide search. We interviewed him shortly after he started on Dec. 13. Following are some excerpts from the interview. Read more
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. Read more
We are thrilled to announce the arrival this month of CLA’s new CEO and Executive Director, Oyango A. Snell. He comes to us from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), where he served as the organization’s first in-house general counsel in its 114-year history. Read more

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