From the President . . .


PCBA President
Emily Gould Chafa

The secret is out! As those of you who attended the investiture for newly appointed Polk County District Associate Judge Susan Cox now know, I’m a PK (Preacher’s Kid). My father was a United Methodist minister for more than 40 years. He served churches in southwest, southeast, northwest and central Iowa. He passed away on May 4. I bring many simple lessons learned, from all those Sunday mornings spent in the church pew or choir loft, to my daily life. These simple lessons led me to give my time, talent and treasure to our profession and to our community. I’ll share some of those lessons with all of you. Most of them relate to my theme for the year: Get Out; Give Back.

If God gave you a talent, use it to help others. As a child and adolescent, this usually meant singing, at a nursing home, for visiting dignitaries; and, of course, in church every week. We probably griped about spending so much time this way. Then, the genuine appreciation shown us always made the time and effort worthwhile. Now, I try to use any and all talents I possess to benefit various organizations and activities in this community.

If someone or something needs or wants your help, provide it. Volunteer to judge or coach mock trial. Organize a networking or fundraising event. Agree to speak for a CLE program. Sign up for the Speaker’s Bureau. Read more.


Let’s all go out to the ballgame!

143px-Iowa_Cubs_Logo.svgJoin us for family fun and networking on Friday, Aug. 29, as the Iowa Cubs take on the Oklahoma City Redhawks for the PCBA’s Family Baseball Night. The cost is only $23 per person, which includes an all-you-can-eat picnic with burgers, hot dogs and all the fixings as well as a Cubs t-shirt or cap. The game begins at 7:05 p.m. but our picnic will get underway at 5:30 p.m. in the mezzanine picnic area. Children under the age of 4 who are seated in an adult’s lap during the game can attend at no cost. The deadline to make your reservation is August 15. Please email or call our office at 243-3904 to make your reservation.


Can you be compassionate and effective?

Kimberly Stamatelos

Join us on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at noon for our monthly luncheon where our special guest will be attorney and mediator Kimberly Stamatelos. The author of the book, “The Compassionate Lawyer, the topic or Kimberly’s presentation is “Can a lawyer be compassionate and still be effective?”

The luncheon will be held at the Iowa State Bar Association Conference Center, 625 East Court Avenue, Des Moines. Tickets are $17 in advance and $19 at the door, but please keep in mind that seating is limited and we may not be able to accommodate walk ins. Please make your reservation by Friday, September 5. Click here to download our reservation form.


Hearing set on proposed changes to bar admission

The Iowa State Bar Association “Blue Ribbon Committee on Legal Education & Licensure” has submitted recommendations to the Iowa Supreme Court regarding Iowa’s bar admission process. The ISBA committee recommends that Iowa adopt a “diploma privilege” whereby graduates of the two in-state law schools, Drake University School of Law and the University of Iowa College of Law, would no longer have to pass a bar examination to become licensed to practice law in Iowa.

The Chief Justice has signed an order setting a public hearing and opening the comment period on the changes. The public hearing will begin at 9 a.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 27, in the supreme court courtroom on the 4th floor of the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Ave., in Des Moines. Click here for more information about the ISBA recommendations and to read the order.


PCBA honors Polk County students at Law Day celebration

The PCBA recently awarded prizes to a number of Polk County middle school and high school students who took part in the annual Law Day celebration and competition. This year’s theme was American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters. The winners were honored at the annual PCBA Annual meeting and Law Day Luncheon on May 13 at the Downtown Marriott Hotel. Featured speaker was Dennis Goldford, Drake University Political Science professor. Click here to see photos and read about the winning entries.


Have you renewed your PCBA membership?

One of the best things you can do for your career is to belong to the Polk County Bar Association. Your PCBA membership entitles you to FREE CLE seminars to sharpen your skills, monthly luncheons to explore current issues, access to our court-sponsored mediation program, news and information you can’t get anywhere else, discounts on programs and services, and much, much more. And, as a bonus, first-time PCBA members and those who renew their membership for 2013 are entitled to attend one of our informative and timely PCBA Luncheons on us – FREE of CHARGE – No strings attached! Click here to learn more and to download the renewal form. If you have questions about your membership, contact PCBA Executive Director Carol Burdette.


Support the VLP and get a tax deduction to boot!

While you’re renewing your PCBA membership, don’t forget to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project.The PCBA VLP is a charitable organization established with the mission of providing legal services to low income residents of Polk County. With your help, PCBA VLP is one of the most successful volunteer lawyer programs in the country, with Polk County lawyers donating approximately 5,000 hours of their time annually. Unfortunately, the tough economic conditions have severely impacted the PCBA VLP. Demand for services has never been higher while our funding continues to decline. The PCBA VLP now offers you the ability to make donations on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis – all you need to do is check the appropriate option on your PCBA membership renewal form.  Click here for more details from PCBA VLP President Nicholas Cooper.