terhead, who led the bar in 1983. In addition to
chairing the board's budget and planning committee this year, Herman
is a past president of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, and
has been a board liaison with a wide variety of groups, including the
bar's education sections, the California Judges Association and
California Women Lawyers.
Los Angeles business litigator and appellate
specialist Villa also has a long list of bar activities on her resume,
including the presidency of the Mexican American Bar Association of
Los Angeles County, founder of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association,
former deputy regional president of the Hispanic National Bar
Association and chair of three board committees.
She has worked to put a spotlight on non-lawyers
practicing law, particularly in the areas of immigration and
bankruptcy, and is pushing the bar towards a pilot program to combat
unauthorized practice. "The State Bar has to step up to the plate
here," she says.
Villa practices with her husband, Steve Lathrop,
and says that as a partner in a two-lawyer operation, she's a good
representative of bar membership in California. "I know the
challenges of balancing a career, a small business and trying to run a
family," she said.
Villa thinks the State Bar should offer
assistance to the many lawyers who don't know the ins and outs of
running a small business, particularly in areas such as offering
insurance, low-cost MCLE programs (and keeping track of members'
credits), and online research capabilities.
She also wants to keep dues as low as possible,
but says the bar has little leeway if it is to provide members some
services and keep the discipline system intact.
Longtime public interest lawyer Scott Wylie says
if he is elected, he would use the presidency as a bully pulpit "to
encourage bar service and pro bono work," a cause to which he has
devoted his career. Currently head of the clinic and externship
programs at Whittier Law School, Wylie previously served as executive
director and general counsel of the Public Law Center, the legal
services operation of the Orange County Bar Association.
"For someone like myself who's devoted most
of his career to trying to insure that the indigent have access to
justice through private bar volunteerism, the opportunity to explain
the joys of that work to lawyers is very exciting to me," Wylie
said, describing the prospect as "a dream opportunity."
Wylie said he also believes he has the leadership
skills to guide the board through a new governance structure designed
to focus the board on policy rather than the bar's day-to-day
operations. "We need to develop the tools to effectively use the
lawyer members and public members of the board to tell our story to
our constituencies," he said. "That means hitting the road,
talking to bar groups, sometimes working with members of the
legislature or the Judicial Council in joint projects to make sure our
voices are heard.
"We need to sit down and figure out how to use
the resources our board members bring to the party."
Wylie, who says he often jokes that he chooses
who to work with based on personal passions rather than political
ambition, has focused on issues like fairness and access to justice,
diversity and the Client Security Fund during his three years on the
also serves on the board of the Orange County Bar Association, is a
member of the Foundation of the State Bar, was chair for two years of
the bar's legal services section and was for seven years a board
member of the Orange County Homeless Issues Task Force.