pro bono gavelToday, here is some news you may be able to use—and definitely news you can share. (And please do!)

The State Bar of Arizona is hosting its fifth annual Law Day Legal Aid Clinics this coming Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This valuable event has become one of the Bar’s signature access to justice events.

Law Day 2016 poster in english v2-page0001Co-hosting the event with the State Bar are ABC15 and Univision Arizona.

What happens at the event? Volunteer lawyers will provide free legal consultations on the following topics: divorce and child support/custody, bankruptcy and foreclosure, wills and trusts, and immigration.

And how has the Bar made the day even more accessible? By providing the consultations at two locations: At the Bar offices in Phoenix and at Glendale Community College. Spanish-speaking translators will be available.

All the details, including specific addresses, are here. Or call 602-340-7337 for more information.

Law Day 2016 poster in spanish-page-0_opt

And again, please share this with whomever you think could benefit.

 State Bar diversity conference 2016 header

Today, a great conference opens in Phoenix that offers a wide variety of content regarding law practice as well as diversity and inclusion in the profession. It is the State Bar’s “Spring Training for Lawyers” (formerly called the Minority Bar Conference).

On the second day of the conference (Friday), I have the privilege to moderate a panel of general counsel on the issue of diversity in law practice.

Leading off the Friday sessions will be our plenary session titled “Knocking It Out of the Ballpark: How Corporate Legal Counsel Are Leading the Way to a Diverse Legal Profession.” Here is a list of the stellar panel:

  • David Falck, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
  • Lori Chumbler, Senior Associate General Counsel, Walmart
  • Isabella Fu, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation
  • Dawn Valdivia, Assistant General Counsel, Honeywell International

As organizers describe our session:

“Join us for this interactive discussion featuring corporate legal counsel to discuss how having a diverse team of lawyers helps their companies achieve their business goals. They’ll share their best practices, lessons learned and how their legal departments are leading the way to a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.”

And leading off that panel discussion will be my own six-minute (or so) intro to where we are in the profession regarding diversity and inclusion. 6 minutes. Hmm. As I prepared for that task, I wondered how we can discuss diversity in 2016 without mentioning … the Oscars.

Seriously, I’m wondering. Because if there is a way to do it, I’ve failed. My presentation will allude to the uncomfortable relationship between the law and the Academy. Here are examples of images from my PowerPoint, which suggests the hashtag #LawSoWhite (and #male and #able-bodied and #cis, because let’s be real):

Oscars so white gif animated

Here’s hoping panelists—and the attendees—have a sense of humor.

Rihanna nope animated gif

For fairness’ sake, I point you to a recent article by friend and journalist Bill Wyman. His analysis of the history of the Academy awards appears in the Columbia Journalism Review and suggests the diversity picture at the Oscars is not nearly as bleak as many have made it. As Bill writes:

“An intelligent discussion of the issue was made much more difficult by a curious exclusion from just about all of the media coverage[:] The Academy Awards have actually greatly improved their recognition of minority actors. In fact, in recent years, their representation, while not exemplary, has climbed into the realm of the respectable. … The lesson here is that Hollywood is sometimes more complicated than its public portrayal.”

Read his whole article and decide for yourself.

All the detail about the State Bar conference is here. I hope you can attend.

The agenda for Spring Training for Lawyers 2016

The agenda for Spring Training for Lawyers 2016

The sponsors for Spring Training for Lawyers 2016

The sponsors for Spring Training for Lawyers 2016

State Bar of Arizona conservatorship program heads off identity theft: General Counsel John Furlong interviewed by 12 News.

State Bar of Arizona conservatorship program heads off identity theft: General Counsel John Furlong interviewed by 12 News.

Bankers boxes and old files never looked so good.

Last weekend, 12 News interviewed State Bar of Arizona General Counsel John Furlong about its conservatorship program, which safeguards client files when a lawyer cannot.

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorAs the story asks: Clients give their lawyers a lot of personal information, but what happens to all of that data once an attorney dies or is suspended?

As it turns out, in the best circumstance, that data and those files end up in a warehouse maintained by the Bar.

The story—including video—is here. Be sure to share it, especially with those who may benefit from the information.

Citrix Sharefile logo

This month: Free online learning from Citrix ShareFile

This month, two free webinars will be available to members of the State Bar of Arizona via Citrix ShareFile. The first will be this Thursday, Feb. 18. (I’ll share next week’s webinar soon.)

Here’s the important information:

Citrix ShareFile has partnered with expert speaker Rasheryl McCreary to host a leadership webinar this month.

DATE: Thursday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. EST

TOPIC: How to elevate your personal brand to attract your ideal customers

Citrix webinar Rasheryl McCreary

Rasheryl McCreary

SPEAKER: Rasheryl McCreary – As a personal brand strategist, leadership presence expert and host of the new podcast Communicate With Impact for Virtual Teams™, she helps Fortune 500 companies, business owners, and others identify, communicate, and leverage their authentic personal brand.

WEBINAR OVERVIEW: This webinar will provide you with the tools to elevate your authentic personal brand in ways that attract and delight your ideal customers. Learn how to craft your “Brand P.I.E.™” – a simple formula for leveraging your Presence, Image and Environment in ways that make you stand out, increase your visibility, and keep your customers coming back for more.

More information and a registration link are here. 

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_Color

News from the State Bar of Arizona:

The State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors is accepting applications from nonlawyers from outlying counties to fill one seat on its board. The application deadline is Friday, March 18, 2016. Participation of public members is essential to the State Bar’s mission of serving the public and its efforts of making sure the people of Arizona have a strong voice in the legal system.

A total of four public members, who serve three-year terms, sit on the 30-member board. The board establishes the vision, mission and policies of the association and ensures that there are sufficient resources for its management and operations.

Applicants for the public member position may be from any county within Arizona except Maricopa County and:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have resided in Arizona for at least three years
  • May not be an active or inactive member of any bar association
  • May not have, other than as a consumer, a financial interest in the practice of law

Individuals with experience in human resources or accounting, or who have previous experience serving on professional boards, are especially encouraged to apply.

Members of the Board of Governors attend approximately 10 all-day meetings each year. Meetings are usually held on the third Friday of the month at the State Bar’s office in Phoenix. Preparation in advance of the meetings, including review of related materials, is essential. In addition, members attend the Bar’s annual convention in June and a two-day retreat in July. Board members also serve on standing board committees. Travel and meal expenses are paid for all meetings, but there is no other compensation for service as a board member.

An application form must be submitted to the State Bar by Friday, March 18, 2016. The form can be found online here or by contacting Nina Benham at 602-340-7329 or by email at nina.benham@staff.azbar.org.

State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors, 2015-16

State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors, 2015-16

caller ID spoofing scam

Today I share news from the State Bar of Arizona about a new spoofing scam that is afoot.

If that sentence sounds funky to you, it’s because it’s simply a new and different way to “exploit the attorney/client relationship and defraud consumers of their money.”

State Bar of Arizona SBA_Logo_ColorYou can read all the information here.

And if your outlook was not fraught enough, turn to this helpful piece on additional cybersecurity tech tips to avoid getting “the willies.” The risks include ransomware, pfishing, and even the threat your own employees may represent.

Finally, here is my previous coverage of a panel discussion last summer that managed to cause quite a few willies. Live and learn.

scam alert roadsign sign

State Bar of Arizona dues are due on or before Feb. 1, 2016.

State Bar of Arizona dues are due on or before Feb. 1, 2016.

On the very top of the front cover of Arizona Attorney Magazine’s January issue (the space we call an eyebrow), we reminded Arizona Bar members of an important deadline: February 1 is when the annual statement and dues are required to be filed.

Because everyone can stand another reminder (and because I suddenly remembered my own California Bar dues this past Friday!), I share the news with you again.

All the detail, and a place to get started online, are here.

Our January magazine 'eyebrow' shares the dues news.

Our January magazine ‘eyebrow’ shares the dues news.

Paying dues may be the least-enjoyable part of any membership. But it sure makes February 2 feel better.

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