Bar's Education Czar Prepares for Her Final Annual Meeting, 0916 CABARJ, CBJ - September 2016 #04

Bar's Education Czar Prepares for Her Final Annual Meeting

No. 2016 #04

California Bar Journal

September, 2016

Editor's note: Senior Director of Education Pam Wilson talked with the Bar Journal about her 36 years at the State Bar and about the upcoming Annual Meeting, which will be her last. She's leaving the State Bar at the end of the year. This is an edited version of the conversation.

How many State Bar Annual Meetings have you attended and what role have you played?

I've played several different roles. My first Annual Meeting was in 1980 and this one will be my 37th Annual Meeting. I've done everything from working in the Annual Meeting Office as an administrative assistant, to being the associate director of the office with various responsibilities, to being the director and basically running the Annual Meeting since 1985.

What's on tap for this year's Annual Meeting in San Diego, Sept. 29-Oct. 2?

This year's Annual Meeting looks like it's going to be a great one. It's in San Diego and San Diego is always one of our favorite destinations to go. We have two general sessions this year. Both of those classes come highly recommended, and I think they'll be very well attended. The opening general session on elimination of bias is "Fail Better: Continuing Efforts to Eliminate Bias in the Practice of Law." And our closing general session is "Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Vulnerability in the Legal Professions: Facing the Facts." We also have an excellent luncheon speaker on Friday, Christopher Darden, who is going to be doing a program on high-profile cases.

He's the Christopher Darden of O.J. Simpson trial fame?

Exactly. That's one of his prominent trials. And then our Morrison lecture on Saturday will be given by California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu. We've got lots of education programs. A hundred and eleven CLE programs that the volunteers of the State Bar provide. High quality education. It should be a good program.

What are you most looking forward to?

Well I probably shouldn't say for it to be over (laughs). What I'm looking forward to is a successful Annual Meeting. I want this to be one of the best. I hope we get good attendance.

Is it true that attendance is an issue with groups all over the country?

Yes, attendance at big in-person events across the states is generally down. But they're not going away. There's still a lot of value in these meetings. One of the things we did starting in...

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