California Lawyers Association

Chief Executive Officer

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

As I sit in my apartment among boxes to pack, clothes to give away, and a few pieces of furniture that will not be making the journey across the country, the reality that I’m about to say goodbye to my CLA family is beginning to sink in. While it hasn’t always been easy, the adventure has certainly been rewarding. Read more
I am excited to share upcoming changes to our membership and dues structure with you. We have heard time and time again from you, our members, that you want and need more options. Starting this fall, you and prospective members will have two new ways to belong to and engage with our association. Read more
The benefits of CLA membership are numerous and increasing every day. During the pandemic we recognized our members’ need for connection and launched online communities—there’s one for every Section plus a few open to any member. We began Zoom “coffee chats” which have since morphed into CLA-wide evening gatherings called “Coffee, Cocktails and Conversation”. Recent research has led us to an exciting new offering on the horizon—an electronic magazine. Read more
As a new organization, the California Lawyers Association had its work cut out for us the first few years of our existence—establishing ourselves and developing a brand. Read more
In October of 2020, the California Supreme Court approved a Provisional Licensure Program that allows eligible 2019 and 2020 law school graduates to practice as provisionally licensed lawyers under the supervision of fully licensed practitioners. In early 2021, the program was expanded to allow individuals who scored 1390 or higher on a California bar exam administered between July 2015 and February 2020 to participate in the program in lieu of taking the exam again if they complete 300 hours of supervised legal practice under the program. Read more
Having a diverse judiciary comprised of individuals whose experiences give them a window into the lives of the human beings impacted by their rulings is important for many reasons. Read more
Much ink has been spilled on the attack of the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob on January 6. Some of that commentary underscores the stark contrast between the way the crowd was treated in contrast to the way in which those engaging in Black Lives Matter protests during the summer of 2020 were treated. If we expand our aperture, however, and consider the events of January 6 in the context of U.S. history then we see another pattern—a pattern demonstrating the futility of attempting to separate “Black History” in the United States from U.S. History. Read more
I, like most people, welcome 2021 and couldn’t wait to watch 2020 recede into the rearview mirror. But for the California Lawyers Association, 2020 was not all bad. Yes, we endured a horrible pandemic—a plague that is ongoing but the end of which is in sight. And yes, once again America wrestled with the ugly truth of its systemic racism. And for many of us, sheltering in place took a toll on our well-being. But thanks to the incredible efforts of volunteer leaders throughout our bar association, CLA met these challenges in ways that are nothing short of amazing for an organization that launched a mere three years ago. Read more
Could there be a worse year than 2020 to graduate from law school? The COVID-19 pandemic meant that the graduating class of 2020 couldn’t have a traditional graduation. Most jurisdictions didn’t have a July bar exam. In California, the earliest opportunity to sit for the exam was in October and, as was the case with other jurisdictions, there was a period of uncertainty about whether the exam would be online or in person. Taking the bar exam is stressful under the best circumstances. Read more
Along with turkey and football, this time of year at the California Lawyers Association tends to bring renewed focus on membership recruiting. While many members may not spend a lot of time thinking about membership outside of renewal season, our professional membership and marketing team wake up every day thinking about how we can create more value for our members and what we can do to grow membership. And they have some pretty sophisticated marketing and social media tools at their disposal. Read more

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