THE WSBA BUDGET IS A POLICY DOCUMENT,
as well as a management tool. It allocates funds to fulfill our
regulatory responsibilities, to fulfill WSBA’s mission to serve
and protect the public, and to support nearly 40,000 members
in maintaining success in their practices. Each year, we work
to build a fiscally responsible budget designed to meet these
goals in a diverse, rapidly changing profession. As a practical
matter, we also set annual budget parameters based on current
and multi-year projections of revenues, expenses, and reserves.
The FY19 Draft Budget is designed to support WSBA’s
members, and to advance and promote: ( 1) access to the
justice system; ( 2) diversity, equity, and cultural understanding
throughout the legal community; ( 3) the public’s understanding
of the rule of law and its confidence in the legal system;
( 4) a fair and impartial judiciary; and ( 5) the ethics, civility,
professionalism, and competence of all members of the Bar.
FY19 GENERAL FUND DRAFT BUDGET OVERVIEW
The General Fund supports the majority of the WSBA’s
work, including regulatory functions and most services to
members and the public. The FY19 Draft Budget for the
General Fund assumes revenues of $20,222,324 and expenses
of $20,232,435, with a budgeted net result of ($10,111); i.e.,
authorized spending may exceed anticipated revenues by a tiny
amount, less than one-twentieth of one percent of anticipated
revenues. Several years ago, the board established a policy
that General Fund reserves should be at least 2.0 million.
Based on efficiencies and savings seen at the end of FY17, and
assuming WSBA meets rather than exceeds expectations of
both the FY18 budget and the FY19 Draft Budget presented,
we are anticipating General Fund reserves will be at least $2.6
million at the end of FY19.
The chart that follows is meant to give you a general idea
about the cost of WSBA programs and operations—without
reflecting offsetting non-license fee revenue. Detailed draft
budget materials, with cost center narratives, may be found at
As you read through FY19 Draft Budget details, I hope you
will see that WSBA has worked hard to hone its programming to
be relevant to both our members and the public. As depicted on
the following page, the budget continues to support all aspects
of the discipline system, licensing services, communications
and outreach, and WSBA operations. It enables us to provide
you with member benefits and professional development
opportunities, such as the Ethics Line, Ethics School, practice
management assistance, Member Wellness Program, new
and young member training and leadership, member benefits
included as part of your license (such as no-cost CLEs and
legal research tools), and staff support to 850 WSBA volunteers.
It supports WSBA’s efforts to advance diversity and inclusion
in the legal profession. The budget also supports the Access
to Justice Board and the WSBA’s public service programs,
including the Moderate Means Program, the Call to Duty
Program, and other pro and low bono initiatives.
NEXT STEPS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INPUT
The Board of Governors reviewed the FY19 Draft Budget for
initial consideration at its July meeting, and will take up the
final budget for action at its next meeting on Sept. 27-28, 2018.
In preparation for that BOG meeting, the Budget and Audit
Committee will meet on Sept. 6, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. until
noon at WSBA’s offices in Seattle to make a few adjustments
that the full Board of Governors decided upon during its most
recent meeting on July 27-28, 2018. As always, we welcome
your input and encourage you to attend our next Budget and
Audit Committee meeting. We will continue to keep you
informed about our deliberations.
AND ADJUDICATION OF RPC VIOLATIONS: Costs
to handle consumer inquiries; to investigate, prosecute
adjudicate written grievances about lawyers, LPOs, and
LLLTs through disposition (e.g., costs associated with
disciplinary counsel, hearing officer, and the Supreme Court-mandated Disciplinary Board, which adjudicates grievances);
to administer the WSBA audit program; and to educate
members and law students about legal ethics, trust account
compliance, and the discipline system.
LICENSING AND ADMISSIONS SERVICES: Costs to
administer admissions and annual licensing processes for
nearly 40,000 WSBA members, including lawyers, LPOs, and
LLLTs; to maintain and respond to questions about members
and their public information; and to support the Supreme
Court-mandated MCLE Board, which adjudicates issues
involving continuing legal education requirements.
GENERAL COUNSEL: Legal representation and support
to the WSBA, the Board of Governors, and other boards,
task forces, and committees; records requests and litigation
management; and oversight, interpretation, and analysis of
WSBA Bylaws and other legal issues.
By G. Kim Risenmay
G. KIM RISENMAY was elected to the Board
of Governors in September 2015. He can be
reached at email@example.com
THE WSBA IS CURRENTLY DEVELOPING ITS FY19 BUDGET. WE’RE OFTEN ASKED ABOUT THE PROCESS AND WHAT IT
ENTAILS. HERE IS SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND AN OVERVIEW OF THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE FY19 BUDGET
AS REVIEWED BY THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS AT OUR JULY MEETING. I HOPE YOU FIND THIS HELPFUL.