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Midyear meeting addresses issues faced by bar leaders, minority lawyers

Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin and Speaker of the Assembly Herb Wesson will be the featured speakers at the State Bar's Midyear Meeting and the California Minority Attorneys' Conference at the end of the month in Long Beach.

Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin
Justice Chin

The two conferences will overlap when it comes to discussions of career development, the effective practice of law, building membership and elimination of bias issues.

The bar leaders March 21-22 meeting, with a theme of "Making It All Work: Leadership from A to Z," is being held for the first time in many years and is expected to bring together executives and elected officers of statewide associations, specialty bars, and both metropolitan and small bars.

It will offer training and networking sessions that will focus on enhancing leadership skills and dissect the nuts and bolts of leading a successful and vital bar association. Breakout sessions will address several specific issues for voluntary bars, such as increasing membership, raising non-dues revenue, electronic communications and writing and issuing president's and executive director's reports.

"Interaction with bar leaders and executive directors in bar associations throughout the state provides a great forum for the exchange of ideas, suggestions of what to do and not do, and identification of helpful resources," said State Bar President Jim Herman, who also will address the conference. "The best way for any bar association leader to figure out how to deal with the group's problems is to network with other leaders who may be experiencing the same issues. The Midyear Meeting provides an opportunity to do just that."

Angela Blackwell
Stewart Kwoh

At a joint session with the California Minor-ity Attorneys' Conference (CMAC) Saturday, Angela Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh, authors of Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground, will discuss a recent study on new dimensions of race in America, highlighting the skills needed to be effective in a changed demographic landscape. The session will provide an opportunity for dialogue among traditional bar leaders and minority attorneys on leadership, inclusion and diversity.

Television's "Divorce Court" Judge Mablean Ephraim will deliver the luncheon address.

Sponsored by the bar's Ethnic Minority Relations Committee, the conference will focus on access and fairness issues, as well as career development and the successful practice of law.

Seminars include "Secrets of Success," "Winning Trial Practice," "Building a Diverse Bench," and "Alternative Careers and Marketable Skills for Jds."

CMAC also will address issues such as working for the government or a public interest organization, the art of cultivating clients, networking your way into a dream job and how to become your own boss.

Panelists include Judge Veronica McBeth, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Judge Becky Dugan, Riverside County Superior Court, Michael Yamaki, appointments secretary to Gov. Davis and Edward Goines, general counsel for the San Francisco 49ers.

Sponsors of the events include Whittier Law School; Alameda County Bar Association; Northern San Diego County Bar Association; Cozen O'Connor; Heller, Erhman; Milbank Tweed; Cooper, White and Cooper; Sideman & Bancroft; Inter-active Law Group; Skadden Arps; Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association; and the University of West Los Angeles.

Full details of the conference and registration forms are online at For more information about the bar leaders meeting, call 213-765-1329; for the minority attorneys' conference, call 415-538-2219. Participants can earn up to 4.5 hours of MCLE credit.

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