with Gov. Ken Masters
Over the last 23 years, Ken Masters has han- dled hundreds of civil appeals in all areas of the law at Masters
Law Group (formerly Wiggins &
Masters). He is a past president of the
Washington Appellate Lawyers Association and a fellow both of the American
Bar Foundation and the Academy of
Appellate Lawyers. Masters previously
chaired the WSBA’s Court Rules and
Procedures Committee and its Amicus
Curiae Brief Committee. After chairing the Personnel Committee and the
Disciplinary Selection Panel during his
first two years on the Board, his fellow
governors unanimously elected him
treasurer for his third and final year.
1Why did you want to serve on the WSBA Board of Governors?
I enjoyed serving on the WSBA Rules
Committee for many years, especially
chairing it for three years, because it
was a practical way to improve our justice system. During that service, I came
into close contact with the Board, and I
learned that it can be a hands-on, project-based experience, where you can really
get something done. When my predecessor, Marc Silverman (who is a force of nature) “asked” me to run for his position,
I realized that it would be a chance to
broaden my service to our profession.
2 What is the most important lesson you have learned about WSBA
members since you’ve been on the Board?
They are so busy helping people that
they don’t have much time for the
WSBA! Seriously, an ABA survey found
that lawyers typically have about 3. 5
hours a month for professional development (networking, bar service, etc.) so
we are competing for their attention on a
very narrow bandwidth. Yet we can rely
on having somewhere between 800 and
1,000 volunteers a year to help us protect the public, support our members,
and champion justice. Lawyers serve —
that’s why we do what we do.
3 What decision or accomplishment are you the most proud of from
your service on the Board?
Tough question. I’m very proud of my
role as treasurer in helping to secure our
current facilities for another 10 years at
of this effort, and we have already imple-
mented changes that have helped us to
focus more on policy-level issues and less
on operational minutiae. I am excited to
see what comes out of this effort.
4 What has been the most difficult decision you had to make as a
governor, and why?
That’s easy: personnel. The WSBA executive director does the hiring and firing,
of course, but as chair of the Board Personnel Committee, I was faced with giving advice and consent on several very
difficult personnel decisions. As anyone
who has run a business knows, these are
by far the most heartrending decisions
one has to make.
5 Can you share one thing we may not know about you?
I have tasted scotch on glacier ice in
Alaska and Patagonia. NWL
Take 5 lets you learn a little more about
your Board of Governors. If you have further questions for Gov. Ken Masters, he can
be reached at email@example.com.
a savings of roughly $3 million to our
members. Our landlord (ultimately, the
University of Washington) let us know
that they are proud to have us as an anchor tenant at Puget Sound Plaza, and
we (a great team led by our wonderful
CFO Ann Holmes and her outstanding
staff) worked out an excellent tenant allowance that will permit us to downsize
while creating a better working environment for our staff and a state-of-the-art
webcasting and conferencing center
for our members. We looked at places
outside the downtown core, but discovered that our many volunteers and staff
would likely be greatly inconvenienced
if we moved due to the loss of mass
transit into the core — many volunteers
come from across the state, of course.
I am also very proud of the work we’ve
done on improving the way we work
together as a Board. I’ve been deeply
involved in the Governance Task Force
Work Group, which has guided the
Board’s efforts to examine our governance structure and to improve our decision making. Some very forward-looking
and thoughtful proposals will come out
Gov. Masters with his wife, Kara, in Patagonia, Chile.