Promoting Civility and More
The Work of the WSBA Professionalism Committee
The WSBA Professionalism Committee is committed to assisting attorneys in fostering better client relations, improving civility within the legal community, and developing a better public
image for the profession. Programs and activities include:
LAW SCHOOL OUTREACH — Committee members, along with
WSBA staff, give presentations about professionalism in professional responsibility classes at the three Washington law
MEMBER OUTREACH — The committee has made presentations on professionalism topics to the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, the Washington State Association for
Justice, and other legal groups.
CREED OF PROFESSIONALISM — Developed by the Professionalism Committee and adopted by the WSBA Board of Governors in 2001, the Creed is displayed in courtrooms
and law offices across the state.
ners are of more importance than laws.
Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt
or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or
refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform,
insensible operation, like that of the air
we breathe in.”
Politeness is a discipline that compels
respectful behavior, according to Brooks.
As lawyers, we know this. By formalizing
and ritualizing conflict, we work through
it. When we instead personalize the con-
flict, we make it more difficult to resolve.
Our clients are entitled to efficient and
effective conflict resolution, not to a par-
ticular result. We therefore have a duty
to the system to be polite and respectful
that is inseparable from our duty to our
clients. Civility is not about being nice,
it’s about being effective. NWL
RANDOM ACTS OF PROFESSIONALISM PROGRAM — This program allows lawyers and
judges to honor others in the profession who have conducted themselves in a highly professional manner consistent with the spirit of the Creed of Professionalism.
ROBERT’S FUND — The committee is working in collaboration with Robert’s Fund, which
offers CLEs in both Washington state and Italy on civility in the legal profession.
To learn more about these efforts and the work of the Professionalism Committee, go to www.
wsba.org/profcomm or contact committee chair Hunter Abell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WSBA President Michele Radosevich
practices in Seattle. She can be reached
at email@example.com or 206-
757-8124. Read more from Michele at
nwsidebar.wsba.org, the blog for Washington’s legal community.