California Lawyers Association

Chief Executive Officer

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

It’s strange to look back in time and realize two thoughts at once: that I’ve been at CLA for only 5 months, yet it seems more like 5 years.  However, I’m excited about going to work every day. Imagine that. Why, you may ask?  Because I work with great colleagues and volunteers at a place that offers an opportunity to do good. Read more
As I approach 60 days as the new Chief Executive Officer for California Lawyers Association and its Foundation, I want to share some observations and thoughts. I am grateful to our leadership, volunteers, members, and staff for welcoming me with sincerity, integrity, and commitment. We are a large organization with great responsibility, and you have ushered me into this role with enthusiasm and a willingness to look toward possibilities. Read more
Some F-words get a bad rap, if you know what I mean. But I am here to tell you about one of the best F-words that I know. It’s foundation, as in the California Lawyers Foundation (CLF). Read more
What does advocacy mean to you, CLA? Historic Supreme Court cases, power positioning, proposed laws, heated debates surrounding public policy—no matter what direction we look, the law is central to every decision and discussion governing our everyday, and the power of our advocacy begins and stops with our members. Read more
Almost one year ago, Oyango A. Snell began his tenure as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the California Lawyers Association (CLA).  To mark his first-year anniversary, Sheila Johnston, CLA’s new Associate Executive Director for Communications, took an opportunity to reflect on Oyango’s incredible year and get a sneak preview of what’s to come in 2023. Read more
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

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