Network. While an unprecedented amount of information is available to lawyers these days - particularly through the Internet - there is no substitute for personally getting to know your legal community and meeting colleagues face-to-face. Bar activities provide opportunities to meet other lawyers and to get your name and practice area circulating in the legal community.
Know your judges. Effective lawyers know their judges. The Kern County Bar Association is fortunate to have excellent bench/bar relations and judges in Kern County are known for their commitment to and visibility at KCBA functions. In fact, eight members of the bench were former KCBA Presidents.
Sharpen skills. The KCBA offers more than 10 educational programs each year with discounted registration fees for KCBA members.
Support your community. Maybe you don't have time to do pro bono work or you're under the impression that since you are a tax lawyer you really can't help the battered woman with her restraining order, or the senior citizen being unlawfully evicted. The KCBA, through the GBLA Volunteer Attorney Program (VAP), recruits and trains volunteer attorneys - from all practice areas - to provide free legal assistance to low-income clients. Your KCBA membership helps support this public service.
Stay current. The KCBA monthly publication, Res Ispa Loquitur, and the website help Kern County lawyers stay current on developments in the law, events, and educational programs.
Build your practice. Looking for clients? Local potential clients are referred to our newly refurbished website to find attorneys listed by specialty.
Learn to lead. Participating in committees, sections and boards of local, state and national bar associations has helped many lawyers acquire leadership qualities including consensus-building, motivational skills, governance. These are skills that lawyers might not have otherwise acquired and that help them excel in all facets of their practice.
Be visible. Attorneys are often visible at times of crisis or when some misfortune has struck such as divorce, bankruptcy, tax problems or death of a relative. Through bar association work, lawyers have a chance to be seen in more positive settings - scholarships for high school seniors, clothing drives for homeless children, and forums for community discussions with lawyers and judges. Furthermore, for women lawyers, the local bar allows a chance to be visible not only in your women's bar associations but in the "mainstream" bar as well.
Experience collegiality. Each bar association has its own culture, climate, values and the "personality" of each bar varies widely. While some may think of bar association as cliques or the "old boys network," the fact is that, bar associations are open to all lawyers and law-related professionals. Participation gives each lawyer a sense of connection with a larger group and a source of support when it is needed.
Show your professionalism. There was a time when lawyers joined the local bar merely because it was the right thing to do. Times change and new attitudes develop toward the practice of law, however, the larger values of professionalism and duty remain constant. Whether you are a new attorney, at the peak of your career, or retiring from practice, joining the KCBA is still the right thing to do.