By Christina Jackson
Happy New Year! Like many of you, I am reflecting on what has come before and what I’m looking forward to in the new year. Usually, that means making personal New Year’s resolutions that I may or may not keep through February and setting professional goals for the next 12 months.
But this year is different. This year marks nearly two years since the start of the global pandemic that changed everything, which has prompted us as a society to think about how those who are low-income are most impacted. How we provide services, what effective client representation means, how the courts operate, client and lawyer well-being, and more all became topics of intense discussion and unprecedented cultural shifts.
During these challenging times, as a community, we also took opportunities to examine our thinking and improve our processes. For Washington Council of Lawyers, that meant a fundamental shift. At the end of 2021, Washington Council of Lawyers experienced a change in leadership with the retirement of our long-time executive director. At the same time, we were critically thinking about who we are and what we do as we finalized our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. These events gave us a moment to reflect on the core values of our organization, our effective pursuit of our mission, and the ways in which we provide critical support and promotion to pro bono work and public-interest law.
It is so important for us to approach this season of change with intention and a clear vision of our organizational goals. During the month of January, we will be unveiling pieces of our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, and we will be soliciting input from you about what you find most valuable about Washington Council of Lawyers and where we can be more responsive to your needs.
As we move forward to meet the challenges of the future, you will also find renewed energy among our ranks; a continued focus on advocacy around access to justice issues; leadership building for a strong public-interest community; high-quality, affordable training for new and experienced lawyers; community convening to discuss and action plan important issues; and learning through diverse perspectives. We will welcome a new member to our team in the coming months and will be soliciting nominations for new members to join our board of directors. There is a buzz at Washington Council of Lawyers that I look forward to sharing with you!
Thank you for the support I have received during our leadership transition. I am honored to helm Washington Council of Lawyers into our next 50 years of service and excited for what lies ahead.
Christina Jackson is the Executive Director of Washington Council of Lawyers.