Board members of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association for 2016-17 (photographed at C-Fu Gourmet, Chandler, Ariz., April 14, 2016.

Board members of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association for 2016-17 (photographed at C-Fu Gourmet, Chandler, Ariz., April 14, 2016.

Back on April 14, the Arizona Asian American Bar Association hosted its 20th scholarship fundraiser and installation banquet. It was as remarkable and delicious as ever. In fact, this event broke all records, as about 450 people crowded into C-Fu Gourmet in Chandler to collaborate and hear from great speakers such as Incoming State Bar President Lisa Loo.

I recommend you read AAABA President Amanda Chua’s letter here. And to see more photos and some great video regarding the legal pioneers who were honored that evening—Thomas Tang, Dr. Pearl Tang, Anthony Ching, and Wing Ong—go here.

L to R: Then-AAABA President-Elect Amanda Chua, State Bar of Arizona President-Elect Lisa Loo, then-AAABA President Nicole Ong, April 14, 2016.

L to R: Then-AAABA President-Elect Amanda Chua, State Bar of Arizona President-Elect Lisa Loo, then-AAABA President Nicole Ong, April 14, 2016.

The BLI 2015-16 graduating class. From left to right:

The BLI 2015-16 graduating class. From left to right: Seated: Edward Myers III, Ivan Hannel, Rekha Nair, Sandra Bensley, Juan Flamand, Donielle Wright Standing: Virjinya Torrez, Jamiel Allen, Kristina Guerrero-Sisneroz, Pouria Paknejad, Mae Innabi, Candy Marrufo, Rebekah Bell, Kristin Whitaker, Alanna Duong Not pictured: Joanna Reihing

One week ago, a smart group of people graduated from the Bar Leadership Institute of the State Bar of Arizona. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Above is a photo of the BLI 2015-16 graduating class.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many of the BLI’s graduates since its start in 2007, and I am routinely impressed by their talents and their accomplishments. Which takes me to today’s reminder: Applications for the 2016-2017 Bar Leadership class are now being accepted, through June 17.

You can read more about the program—and apply—here.

You should note that you may urge someone to apply, and you may apply yourself. And if you’re curious about whether you or others are a good fit for this BLI thing, read the information below.

The Bar Leadership Institute is a nine-month professional development program whose mission is to foster the professional growth and enhance the leadership skills of a diverse and inclusive group of lawyers.

Since its inception in 2007, the BLI has prepared more than 100 diverse attorneys for leadership positions within the Bar and the community-at-large. Program sessions cover a variety of topics including leadership development, ethics and career development and include conversations with judges, government attorneys, in house counsels and executives. Each participant in the class of approximately 15 students receives:

  • Up to two years of CLE credit
  • Leadership training and legal practice education in an experiential and mentoring learning environment
  • Opportunities to foster relationships within the State Bar of Arizona, partner bar associations, government and community leaders

Participation in the program is limited to attorneys with active status with the State Bar of Arizona. Program fee is $250; fee waivers are available for participants with a demonstrated financial need. Upon completion of the BLI, participants commit to one year participation in a State Bar committee or section or other professional association or community organization.

Click here for more information, or contact Elena Nethers at elena.nethers@staff.azbar.org

The BLI relies on referrals from lawyers and community leaders and applications by great candidates. Please share this with whomever you think would benefit from this transformative experience.

state-bar-of-arizona-bar-leadership-institute-banner BLI

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAn annual event, the report regarding lawyer discipline and admissions issues has just been released. The report covers multiple topics, including the types and amount of discipline meted out, the number of lawyers admitted to the State Bar of Arizona, trends in admissions, and more.

You can read the complete report here.

Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealAnd for some analysis, read what Patricia Sallen offers here. The former ethics counsel of the State Bar examines the lawyer-regulation data by the numbers.

Our April 2016 issue features the stories of a small number of Arizona lawyers committed to access to justice through pro bono service.

Our April 2016 issue features the stories of a small number of Arizona lawyers committed to access to justice through pro bono service.

I fear I let a great April event fly by without properly acknowledging it—and the accomplishments of so many great attorneys.

The April issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine featured Access to Justice advocates—attorneys selected by the state’s VLPs (Volunteer Lawyers Programs) for their unstinting commitment to offering pro bono service.

The issue also allowed me to praise some law students from the University of Arizona for their accomplishments in a writing competition I was pleased to judge.

Here, I reprint my column and their photo. And be sure to read about all the A2J Advocates here.

Last month in this space, I wrote about courage and what it requires of us, in our choices and in our commitment to an accurate retelling of history.

Some of you have contacted me with feedback and insight about my words. If you haven’t, please feel free to read the column (http://ow.ly/Z1XfW) and send me your thoughts.

As I said there, it’s great when we can spot courage. But advocating for it and advancing it? That’s the role of leaders.

This month, we’re all about those courageous leaders. Our cover and story beginning on page 18 offer legal exemplars. In a month focused on access to justice, we raise a toast to lawyers who step into the breach to fill unfilled needs.

And in law school, leadership may be nurtured, as well.

As in years past, I’m privileged to report on some leaders-in-training, law students who prevailed in a rigorous writing competition at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Congratulations to: Jillian Andrews (2L), first place ($2,500 award); Max Bradley (1L), second place ($1,500); Julie Pack (1L), third place ($1,000); and Kayla Bernays (1L), honorable mention ($750).

Richard Grand UA Law School legal writing awards 2016-page0001

As a competition judge, I can tell you that their work was moving and compelling—exactly what I would have expected!

Though I’m always happy to serve as a judge, I have nothing to do with the annual event’s theme or approach, which is developed by talented law school faculty. And so I was delighted to see the selected topic this year—courage.

And that makes sense, as the competition is named for Arizona lawyer Richard Grand, who never shrank from a fight. As the school describes him:

Over the course of his five-decade-long career, Tucson attorney Richard Grand worked tirelessly to achieve justice for his clients. His clients were often ordinary people who had suffered extraordinary injuries. The opposing parties were often large corporations and powerful insurance companies. Mr. Grand never retired, and he handled cases up until the last day of his life. Mr. Grand valued competence, communication, and courage.

Richard died in 2013. He would have been 86 this year, and he was a zealous advocate when advocates were allowed to be zealous. He and his wonderful wife Marcia funded (and continue to fund and inspire) this writing endeavor.

Congratulations to those lawyers and law students, past and present, who aim to close the justice gap.

2016 law day by State Bar of Arizona

Today, an update about a great Law Day event by my colleague Alberto Rodriguez: (What he does not mention in his recap is the huge amount of important and complicated work he himself put in to have the multi-site event come off flawlessly. Thank you and congratulations, Alberto!)

On Saturday, April 30, the State Bar of Arizona held the 2016 Law Day Legal Aid Clinics where 24 of its members offered free one-on-one legal consultations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at two Valley locations.

The clinics offered free legal consultations by members who practice Family Law, Bankruptcy/Foreclosure, Probate/Trust Law, and Immigration Law at State Bar of Arizona offices in central Phoenix, and Glendale Community College in the west valley. Once again, the Bar partnered with ABC15 and Univision Arizona to promote the day-long clinics, which were overwhelmingly successful.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorVolunteer attorneys provided 325 consultations during law clinic to the 306 consumers who were seen—a dramatic increase from last year’s 216 consultations. Several attorneys offered free follow-up services after the clinic to consumers who needed additional help.

The State Bar of Arizona expresses its sincerest appreciation to its attorney and logistics volunteers, along with its media and community partners. Thank you!

A complete list of volunteers, along with photos and media coverage, can be viewed here.

Cybersecurity and privacy were two of the primary topics at the 2016 TechShow.

Cybersecurity and privacy were two of the primary topics at the 2016 TechShow.

Great learning at conferences is one of the best things ever. But if you can’t be there, hearing the takeaways of smart folks may be the next best thing. In fact, because those correspondents have done the hard work of taking notes and synthesizing, it may be the ideal outcome.

That’s how I felt about this year’s ABA Techshow, which I was not able to attend. (I was in a different lawyer event just blocks away, but the closest I came to joining the techies was nearly crashing the Clio party. Next year.)

Although I missed the event, seven technology experts have boiled down for the rest of us their take on the biggest TechShow messages. You should bookmark and read their complete analyses here.

To synthesize even further their event coverage, here are a few insights from those smart people, whom you should follow (links take you to their Twitter worlds, which you should join):

  • ABA TechShow tips American Bar AssociationFrom Catherine Sanders Reach: “This year seemed to have had an unofficial theme: privacy and security.”
  • From Natalie Kelly: Uber Eats may be a fascinating analogue to assess how we deliver legal services.
  • From Heidi S. Alexander: Stop making unencrypted calls, and be sure you’re using the cloud securely.
  • From Reid F. Trautz: Our regulatory system is stifling innovation in the legal profession.
  • From Tom Lambotte: It’s scary out there, even for Macs.
  • From: Nora Regis: Better use of Excel, including pivot tables, can be your law-practice friend.

And in case you decide you need just a little more impetus to pay attention to technology, especially in regard to cybersecurity, enjoy this article about a hack of New York-based Cravath Swaine & Moore (originally reported by the Wall street Journal, but that’s behind a paywall, so the NYT wins.)

To access law firm data, hackers bypass the front door. Cravath Swaine & Moore cybersecurity

To access law firm data, hackers bypass the front door.

As the article opens:

“Federal authorities have warned for years that big law firms are ripe targets for computer hackers because they are information-rich repositories of corporate deals and other sensitive client information.”

“But big law firms, as a general rule, are loath to confirm whether they have been victims of data breaches, largely out of fear of alarming clients. Breaches and potential intrusions at large law firms often go unreported and generally come to light only anecdotally—often in news reports or discussions at legal conferences.”

Well, the anecdotes are growing more and more common. What are you doing to ensure your data is secure? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org with your tech-success story.

One way to honor World Press Freedom Day: Imagine that world without broad access to information.

One way to honor World Press Freedom Day: Imagine that world without broad access to information.

Maybe it’s because I just came off a whirlwind week of journalism events—conferences hosted by Unity Journalists, the Society of Professional Journos, and the annual E.W. Scripps awards dinner—but there may be no better time to tout the value of a free press.

Which is why I’m happy to remind us all that today is World Press Freedom Day. As organizers describe it, “It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Read more about it here.

World Press Freedom Day 2016 1

This seems like a good day to point out that you should:

  • Hug a journalist.
  • Renew or subscribe to a news source you value.
  • Share with others great coverage you cherish, whether it’s about your community, your nation, or your world.
newsroom hug tumblr_inline_n81uveZnDS1r5hgbb World Press Freedom Day

Bring it in …

And don’t forget to hug a journalist.

journalist hug bbc 5710d4d1220000290025398c World Press Freedom Day

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