Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations

Lewis A. Martin III, Chair

The Conference of Local and Specialty Bar Associations (CLSBA) continues to serve the needs of Virginia lawyers by maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship between the VSB and the local and specialty bar associations in the Commonwealth. It sponsors a Bar Leaders Institute each year to help new local and specialty bar officers plan their bar year and assists them with ethical issues, various programs and internal management policies and procedures; sponsors free Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forums open to all VSB members; sponsors the following awards: Awards of Merit, Local Bar Leader of the Year, Specialty Bar Leader of the Year, and Bar Association of the Year; maintains an information database; and makes executive committee and staff members available for technical assistance or presentations to local and specialty bars. The conference publishes The Connection online newsletter with information of interest to bar leaders. The CLSBA also edits, prints and distributes the So You're 18 handbook, and created the soyoure18.com website, both of which are used by many groups to inform young adults of their rights and responsibilities upon turning 18.

The CLSBA currently has 121 member bars. There are 7 bar associations in Virginia that are not members of the CLSBA.

The CLSBA held the following events this year:

  • Bar Leaders Institute, March 6, 2020, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Robert J. Grey Jr. was the keynote speaker. We were honored to have The Honorable Stephen R. McCullough, Williams C. Mims, and Cleo E. Powell, Justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia, present a session on the importance of bar associations and their benefits to our legal and local communities. Other topics of interest were How the VSB and CLSBA Can Help You as a Bar Leader, Nuts and Bolts for Bar Associations, a Projects Showcase, and Ethics for the Bar Leader. Attendance at the BLI was up this year with 101 attendees, thanks to the CLSBA executive committee who made personal contact with every local and specialty bar president, encouraging their attendance.

  • Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forums
  • The first scheduled forum was held on October 22, 2019, at the Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg. The day offered 5.5 hours of CLE, including 2 Ethics and 1.5 GAL/adults credit. The Honorable William C. Mims joined us for a Town Hall Meeting.
  • There were two other forums scheduled for Spring 2020. The first was to be held on the Eastern Shore and the second in Danville. They were both cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • With the pandemic going on, the CLSBA EC decided to start offering programs via webinar. The first took place on June 25, 2020 and was titled Working Remotely and Securely: What Lawyers Need to Know. The program offered 1 hour of LIVE CLE for the 176 attendees. Another webinar has been scheduled July 22, 2020, titled Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway: Wellness for Solo & Small Firm Practitioners in Times of Tumult. As these programs are completed, a recorded version is being uploaded to the CLSBA website for attorneys to view later, without CLE credit.
  • CLSBA Annual Meeting and Breakfast

The CLSBA's Annual Meeting and Breakfast was cancelled due to the cancellation of the VSB Annual Meeting. Elections for the 2020-2021 CLSBA Executive Committee were held online.

The So You’re 18 pamphlets continue being presented as part of driver’s licensing ceremonies in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Courts in many venues across the state. They are also distributed through local bars, schools, detention centers, voter registrars, social services agencies and other interested groups. Blueprints for a panel discussion also are available to local and statewide bar associations.

The leadership of the CLSBA for the upcoming year is Susan Rager, chair; Roy Creasy, chair elect; Luis Perez, secretary; Dillina Stickley, treasurer; Lewis Martin III, immediate past chair; Veronica Brown-Moseley; Nicholas Gehrig; Tyler Klink; Chuck Lollar; Chris Mougin-Boal; Wayne Scriven; Lindsey Strachan; Reiss Wilks; and Rachel Wolfe.

The CLSBA continually seeks to improve its efforts to better serve the needs of Virginia's local, statewide and specialty bar associations, to identify best practices and inform bar leaders of developments and trends on issues of importance to association leadership.

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the CLSBA, the local and specialty bar associations, and the many lawyers who attended the events sponsored by the CLSBA this year I extend our heartfelt thanks to Paulette Davidson for her professionalism, attention to detail, guidance, patience, and ability to target and coordinate volunteers with just the perfect blend of talents and skills to implement high quality programming. We also thank Karen Gould for her support of these efforts and the mission of the CLSBA.

Updated: Aug 05, 2020