by Sean M. McCoy
Welcome to a new year and the start of the SCBA’s second century. In his introductory column here last year, immediate past president Sil Reggiardo gave a retrospective covering the formation and growth of the SCBA through its first 100 years. So, this is a good opportunity to examine where we are going, and to assess how we can improve our association and better serve our legal community.
The SCBA has over 2,400 members. We have 19 substantive law sections, and over 1,900 of our members are involved with at least one section. Our sections drive much of the activity of the SCBA through regular MCLE luncheons and section events. For example, last year, the sections produced 90 MCLE events with a cumulative attendance of over 3,000.
We have 21 committees, task forces, and divisions. The committees handle many of the service functions of the SCBA. For example, we have our Delegation to the California Conference of Delegates. The Delegation drafts and proposes resolutions to the Conference with the goal of improving the law. Our Pro Bono Committee operates the SCBA pro bono program and works to improve access to pro bono services. We also have committees that provide fee arbitration, administer our diversity fellowship program, conduct judicial evaluations, and promote membership, just to list a few more.
One of the volunteer opportunities the SCBA has and about which it is quite proud is Kids Law Day. Kids Law Day began in 2017 under the guidance of past president Sabrina Thomas. The program pairs an attorney with a paralegal or legal secretary. They then give a one-hour presentation to a group of elementary school students in grades four through six. The program is intended to expose the students to various pathways to a legal career. The program is aimed at children of that age because that is when they begin to formulate ideas about who they want to be when they grow up. You can find out more information under the Kids Law Day tab on the SCBA web page and in Sabrina’s article in the May/June 2017 issue of Sacramento Lawyer (also available on the web page).
The SCBA also has committees that coordinate our larger events, such as the Bench-Bar Reception and the Annual Meeting. In part due to the centennial celebrations last year, the SCBA was unable to host the annual golf tournament, but did host BarStock, an open-air birthday party with food and music. We are hopeful that both BarStock and the golf tournament can return this year.
What all of that means is that there is much to do. While SCBA Executive Director Mary Burroughs and her staff perform much of the administrative work in support of all of our functions, the SCBA must still rely on volunteers. And we can always use more volunteers. Look over our committees, divisions, and find something of interest. Or reach out to any of us on the board, or the SCBA office, and ask how to become more involved. There is so much more to the SCBA than the occasional MCLE lunch.
Finally, for just about every event the SCBA puts on, you will see a list of the sponsors on the event information sheet, on a banner, and on the SCBA web page. These attorneys, businesses, firms, and schools contribute generously, and their financial support is vital to the SCBA’s ability to serve its members. Please join me in expressing appreciation for their patronage.
I hope you will become more involved with the SCBA, whether through our sections, committees, divisions, or even attendance at more SCBA events. 2019 promises to be a great year.