I am running for Bar Commissioner to make sure that the Utah State Bar continues to improve its services while meeting the needs of young solo and small-firm practitioners. I’ve been practicing law for almost nine years and have run my own small firm for almost five. However, none of the current Bar Commissioners for the Third District are young small-firm practitioners – a large constituency of the Bar that continues to grow. Their needs should be represented. If I am elected to the bar commission, I promise to safeguard the interests of that group, as well as the interest of all lawyers in ensuring that the Bar continues to improve its services.
The Utah State Bar has instituted several programs over the last few years to support young practitioners. And the many fine lawyers who have and continue to serve on the bar commission have done their best to address the needs of solo and small-firm lawyers. I know because I have previously served as a non-voting member on the bar commission from 2007 through 2008. But the Bar can do more. And, as a young small-firm practitioner, I have the motivation and ideas to ensure that it does.
It is difficult to truly know the needs of a small-firm practitioner unless you are one. After working at an associate at a large downtown firm, I decided to start my own small firm. When I did, I realized that many of the resources that large firm attorneys take for granted – Lexis and Westlaw, malpractice insurance, billing and accounting support, mentorship – are issues that need to be actively addressed. The resources available from the Bar can, if they are correctly tailored, make a huge difference and life much easier. And there are many areas where the Bar can increase or improve its services. I would like to see the Bar’s free legal research service worked well on a smartphone; more CLEs tailored to the details of running a small-firm practice; a brief bank service containing handouts from past CLEs; and the Bar enter into more discount vendor service agreements.
Although I believe that my goals if elected to the Bar Commission are more important than what I have done in the past, I have always been dedicated to serving the legal community. I served as the President of the Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division from 2008-09, where I started its Speed Networking program and was involved in the Wills for Heroes program. I was President of the Utah Minority Bar Association from 2006-07, served as the Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Minorities in the Profession Committee from 2008-09, and was the Young Lawyers Division liaison to the American Bar Association Forum Committee on Communications Law from 2006-08. SuperLawyers have selected me as a Rising Star in intellectual property litigation since 2008.