When you are starting out as a new lawyer, having a good support system is crucial, especially from other lawyers. A great way to get support from other lawyers is to join a bar association. These associations are made up of lawyers that share your practice and/or are located in your state.
Washington has many different legal associations that you can be a part of. There are multiple organizations for each practice area as well state or nation, such as the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) or the American Bar Association (ABA). The hardest part is finding the right one for you.
How can joining a legal association help you?
These organizations are often made up of attorneys that have been practicing for a long time, making them a great resource for new lawyers. Having a resource such as this can be a great educational tool that brings in different law perspectives and enlightens you with new legal strategies. The associations can help you stay connected with other lawyers in the community while advocating for clients around Washington. Not to mention, gaining support from a bar association can help drum up business, which is crucial to a lawyer who is just starting out.
Some specific practice area associations in Washington state include:
- Criminal Law: Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL)
- Immigration Law: American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Employment Law: Washington Employment Lawyers Association (WELA)
You can find a more extensive list on the Washington State Bar Association website, another great resource for new lawyers.