California bar leaders to meet in Costa Mesa

Preoccupied recently by the bar plebiscite and a major report on the future of the legal profession, bar leaders have decided on a back-to-basics focus for the annual Bar Leaders Conference, Feb. 28-March 2, at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in Costa Mesa.

Bob Weeks, chair of the Confer-ence of Delegates Executive Commit-tee, said an informal survey indicated that bar leaders are especially interested in ideas to help them run their bar associations and convey a positive image of the legal profession.

To that end, representatives of more than 240 local, regional and specialty bar associations will have a chance to learn how to communicate with the media more effectively, develop their own association web sites and successfully raise funds for bar projects. Also on the program is a session devoted to improving civility among lawyers, said Weeks.

At the general morning session on Saturday, representatives from the radio, television and newspaper in-dustries will give "hands-on" advice to bar leaders. A member of the state legislature is scheduled to be the noon luncheon speaker.

Sunday morning sessions include an analysis of gender, ethnic and disability discrimination in the law practice and an exploration of remedies for the problem. Panelists from the State Bar also will present a program describing the resources available to local bar associations. An update on legislation affecting the profession and bar bills also is slated.

MCLE credit is available for programs offered throughout the weekend conference.

Weeks noted that "there will be hundreds of years of collective wisdom" at the conference, giving bar leaders an opportunity to network and to meet with State Bar staff and members of the Board of Governors.

For more information about the conference, contact Felicia Bailey, State Bar Office of Bar Relations, 415/561-8328.