Since its founding as a Washington State non-profit civic organization in 1908, the Spokane County Bar Association (SCBA) has continuously served its attorney members. Today over 1000 local attorneys voluntarily join the collegial SCBA. Member attorneys have unique opportunities for professional growth, connections and support, social events, continuing legal education, pro bono opportunities, leadership development and member benefits. The SCBA also provides services to attorneys outside of the region, paralegals, and other legal professionals.
The SCBA is centered in Spokane, Washington. Spokane is resource rich with four distinct seasons and accompanying outdoor activities, a continuing core district expansion with a multi-university district, Fairchild Air Force Base and as the central Pacific Northwest medical hub.
It is the mission of the Spokane County Bar Association to enhance the integrity and competence of the legal community and to pursue greater access to justice for all county residents.
A STATEMENT FROM YOUR SCBA
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Spokane County Bar Association Board of Directors supports the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in society and abhors and condemns racism and white supremacy. Racism afflicts all facets of our society, including the justice system. We acknowledge and understand that the justice system perpetuates racism, repeatedly inflicting violence and oppression upon our Black, Native American and other racial and ethnic minority communities. It is an evil that must be eradicated.
As people and as an organization, it is not enough for us to kneel in solidarity with George Floyd. We must stand up. The SCBA stands in solidarity with our Black, Native American and all other racial and ethnic minority communities. It is not enough for us, as a society, to say: “we are better than this” and bow our heads in shame. It is clear, we are not. We should be better than this. Now is the time to enact meaningful legislation and policies with respect to all aspects of the criminal justice system – from the street to the courtroom. It is also the time for equity, fair application of the rule of law, increased transparency, and accountability.
The SCBA calls our members to action – to not only look within ourselves as to our own racial biases, but to come to the aid of those who due to race, economics, education and other factors do not have equal access to justice. Attorneys are uniquely poised to assist in this fight for access. Our legal system is fraught with inequity, but we can be instruments of change.
The Volunteer Lawyer’s Program (VLP) provides a mechanism by which attorneys can come to the aid of our Black, Native American and other racial and ethnic minority communities. The VLP is charged with creating access to civil justice with a particular focus on serving racial and ethnic minorities, and those in our community who have been historically disenfranchised. Assistance can be in the form of legal education, advice, and directly representing individuals, who, for example, may be dealing with collections, eviction, and family-law related issues. Assistance can also come in the form of providing financial support to the VLP.
In the coming months, the SCBA will be working with our members, our courts, our community leaders and other services supporting access to justice and furthering education regarding systematic racism. As a first step, your SCBA Board members commit to provide a CLE on systematic racism and intercultural competency. Your SCBA Board is open to ideas from our membership regarding other ways we can make lasting change.
We hope our members will come together and advocate and work towards lasting societal and judicial reform to end the suffering of our Black, Native American and other racial and ethnic minority communities. Racism must have no voice in the temples of justice.
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If you have an interest in advertising on our web site, contact Mark Wardrop at MWardrop@SpokaneBar.org.