Happy Birthday, Pennsylvania Bar Association!
For 125 years, the Pennsylvania Bar Association has been promoting and protecting the legal profession, the rights of Pennsylvania citizens and access to justice for all.
The PBA is as relevant to its more than 23,000 members today as it was to its original 592 charter members back in 1895. It’s fitting that during our 125th anniversary, the PBA is using the social media hashtag, #PBA125strong. Pennsylvania lawyers are strengthened by working together and sharing their knowledge, skills and insights to improve the profession. Please visit our anniversary webpages to learn much more about our mission and long-term, significant impact on the practice of law in Pennsylvania.
Current health and safety guidelines resulting from the COVID-19 crisis are limiting options for in-person networking, but online opportunities abound for lawyers in every area of practice and in every corner of the state. Members can join and gain insights from any of our more than 50 specialty committees, and committee membership is always free. Members also are encouraged to join any of 18 practice sections. Every PBA member receives a free one-year membership in a section provided he or she has not been a member of that section for five years or longer; there are modest section membership fees in the subsequent years.
During particularly challenging times like the COVID-19 crisis, no-cost access to helpful insights is especially important. With PBA membership comes free law practice management advice, ethics opinions, court summaries, online legal research (which can save users hundreds of dollars each month), and a host of informative print and online publications (see our member benefits and services.
To reinforce and enhance the knowledge and skills to practice law and to meet annual CLE requirements, members are encouraged to utilize our CLE Department, PBI (the Pennsylvania Bar Institute). PBI has built a reputation for setting the gold standard in CLE programming. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, PBI is offering a 35% discount on all of its on-demand courses until Aug. 31, 2020.
Understanding the need for lawyers’ voices to be heard, the PBA maintains strong connections with state lawmakers and the executive branch. Our legislative team at the state Capitol advocates on behalf of the legal profession and voices support for legislative changes to benefit Pennsylvanians.
In addition, PBA members understand the importance of connecting with and supporting the communities where we live and work. That’s why we support valuable programs directly connected to the practice of law such as Wills for Heroes, which provides wills and other estate planning documents for first responders, including medical personnel on the front lines fighting COVID-19. The high school mock trial program, which is one of the largest in the nation, reaches thousands of students each year. We are also active supporters of pro bono services that directly serve Pennsylvanians in need.
If you are not already a member, please join us.
If you are a member, let us know if we are meeting all of your expectations or how we might better support you in your legal practice. Send us an email or give our Member Service representatives a call at 800-932-0311.
David E. Schwager
2020-21 PBA President