CBJ - November 2009 #08. Volunteer for a State Bar committee, make a difference.


California Bar Journal


CBJ - November 2009 #08.

Volunteer for a State Bar committee, make a difference

California Bar JournalNovember 2009Volunteer for a State Bar committee, make a differenceIf you are looking for a chance to make a difference, the State Bar currently is seeking applicants for approximately 200 positions on more than three dozen committees, commissions and boards. Would-be volunteers have a wide range of options, from committees dealing with access and fairness issues, to executive committees focused on particular areas of the law, to a committee addressing questions of professional responsibility and conduct, to legal services committees working with day-to-day delivery of legal services to poor and middle-income individuals.

The application deadline is Feb. 1; most appointments carry three-year terms that begin Sept. 26, 2010.

Board of Governors Vice President Paul Kramer, who chairs its committee on member services, encouraged attorneys to volunteer. "It's a great opportunity to network and meet people outside your normal circles from throughout the state," he said. Kramer first joined the Public Law Section executive committee in the early '90s and eventually became chair of the Council of Section Chairs, where he was exposed to the board of governors and "became interested enough to run."

"We pride ourselves on being a member-oriented bar and that requires the members to pitch in," Kramer said, adding that volunteering offers personal satisfaction as a result of "a whole bunch of little things," including providing useful resources for the state's attorneys.

Applicants must be willing to volunteer their time, expertise, experience and perspective. Although not paid for their services, they are reimbursed for approved travel expenses such as mileage and airfare.

Nor should attorneys hesitate about applying to the same committee more than once. Often, there are simply too many qualified applicants for a limited number of...

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