Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Conference of Local Bar Associations

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

CLBA Mission

There are approximately 132 local & specialty bar associations in Virginia. Any local or specialty bar is welcome to join the CLBA.

Purposes of the CLBA:

1) To establish and maintain a mutually beneficial working relationship between the VSB and local and specialty bar associations in Virginia.

2) To continue to build lines of communication, receiving input from local and specialty bars to the VSB on issues affecting the legal profession and disseminating information about VSB's activities and policies.

3) To encourage coordination and cooperation between VSB and local and specialty bars in improving the practice of law in Virginia and in enhancing the public understanding and appreciation of law and the legal profession.

4) To present a high quality educational program for local and specialty bar leaders to facilitate management of associations and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas about programs and policies.

Activities of the CLBA:

1) Bar Leadership Institute (BLI)

A one-day session of training and networking is held every March to help new local and specialty bar officers plan and manage their year of bar leadership. The BLI is open to bar presidents, officers and any interested board or committee members as well as to those who are aspiring to become a bar leader. 2007 marks the 22nd annual BLI.

2) Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum

In 2006, the CLBA became the official home for the Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum, initiated by the Supreme Court of Virginia and led by The Honorable Leroy R. Hassell Sr. and The Honorable Cynthia D. Kinser. Solo & small-firm attorneys are presented programming geared to their specific needs. Previous program subjects have included ethical issues crucial to solo & small firms, law office management, technology and trust accounting and protecting your clients in the event of death or disability. Each forum concludes with a town hall meeting led by the Chief Justice.

3) Local Bar Connection

Published three times per year, the Connection newsletter keeps local and specialty bar leaders informed about issues facing the CLBA, State Bar Council, other local/statewide bars, and the legal profession in general. By sharing their activities and accomplishments, local/specialty bar associations learn about other successful programs and resources.

4) Awards of Merit and Local Bar Leader of the Year Award

The Awards of Merit competition is held annually to provide recognition for outstanding projects and programs of local and specialty bar associations, to give all bars the opportunity to learn from the programs of other bars, and to inform the public about some of the excellent work conducted by local and specialty bars. Projects are judged according to the size of the bar association. 2007 marks the 22nd annual Awards of Merit.

The Local Bar Leader of the Year Award recognizes extraordinary dedication and important service to the bench, bar and public. The 12th annual Award will be given in 2007.

5) Information Database

The Director of Local and Specialty Bar Relations maintains a database of all local and specialty bar associations in Virginia. The database contains officers, demographics, projects and committees of all bar associations.

6) Local Bar Resource and Videotape Library

The CLBA resource library includes materials on bar programming, bar management, bench-bar relations, law-related education, community outreach, and current bar issues. The videotape library includes over 70 videos appropriate for CLE seminars, bar programs, community education, or school presentations. All materials are available for complimentary loan.

7) On Site Visits

Members of the CLBA executive committee and VSB staff are available for technical assistance or presentations to any local or specialty bar.

The Role of the Conference Representative

Each local or specialty bar association elects a CLBA Representative to serve a three-year term. If no representative is chosen, the current bar president is automatically designated as CLBA Representative for a three-year term. The central function of the CLBA Representative is to develop and maintain communication between the local and specialty bar and the State Bar. The CLBA Representative serves the Conference by:

* maintaining contact with VSB Council, VSB staff and CLBA Executive Committee;
* being aware of resources that the State Bar offers to local bars;
* being a catalyst for bench/bar relations or community service projects;
* attending the annual Bar Leadership Institute and the Local Bar Breakfast; and
* promoting local and specialty bar activities in the Local Bar Connection and Awards of Merit competition.

The CLBA Executive Committee

The CLBA Executive Committee is selected from among the Conference Representatives and is elected at the Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting. As a member of the State Bar Council, the Conference Chair provides a strong voice for local and specialty bar associations.


updated 10/17/06