are the foundation upon which any
meaningful, long-lasting service to
others exists. Attempting to collaborate without first establishing a trusting
relationship with each other is a recipe
for wasting time, wandering in frustration, and planting seeds of anger.
We may disagree about the “how,”
but we should never disagree about
the “why” of the common purpose and
values that bring us together in the
first place. When we trust that we have
the same goals and interests at heart,
when we trust that we will treat one another with respect and dignity even in
disagreement, we can move forward in
ways that positively impact the people
we serve: the public and our members.
Lack of trust and/or increased distrust
slows, and sometimes destroys, our
ability to collaborate effectively. More
importantly, a lack of trust prevents
us from forming relationships and
thriving in work and in life.
A word on RELATIONSHIP. The
world works at the speed of relationships. The nature of our relationships
with others is vitally important to all
that we do, as it sets the foundation for
trust and/or distrust. Relationships that
are built on trust have the most potential for achieving positive results. As legal professionals, we all want to achieve
positive results for the people we serve.
The most effective world-changers I
have known understand that relationships are key to our success or failure
as servants, lawyers, business people,
spouses, parents, and human beings.
A word on SERVICE. As lawyers
we are called on to serve others. There
is no other reason for our profession
to exist. This is best accomplished
when we dig deep to establish trusting
relationships that allow us to fearless-
ly serve. When it comes to service,
success or failure is directly linked to
the degree of trust within the involved
relationships. Tragically, distrust has
poisoned many relationships that
potentially could have changed our
world for the better. If we truly desire
to meet our call to serve, then we must
do everything we can to build trust
and relationship like never before.
NWLAWYER: Do you feel optimis-
tic about implementing these ideas
during your tenure?
PICKETT: That depends on the lens
through which I view the world on a
given day. Admittedly, I sometimes
find myself looking through the
negative lenses of frustration; skepticism; and, worst of all, fear. When this
happens, the worst possibilities are
given a chance to become reality. In
these moments, progress can stall and
fear runs wild. Fortunately, I have discovered, albeit painfully at times, that
these negative lenses are enemies of
trust, relationship, and service. I know
that the longer I look through negative
lenses, the harder it becomes to be
optimistic and, more importantly, the
harder it is to see the robust opportunities that actually exist. Conversely,
when I view the world through the
lenses of trust, relationship, and service, obstacles become opportunities.
When I earnestly invest in meaningful
relationships, I notice that problems
fade and opportunities arise. When
service beyond self becomes our default, life takes on a whole new meaning and the world around us changes
for the better. With that in mind, I am
both optimistic and inspired that my
2018-19 season as WSBA President
will be a great time of opportunity for
service to the public and our members.
NWLAWYER: Talk about your
viewpoint on license fees for
PICKETT: One of the most important
duties of the Board of Governors is
to review and audit WSBA’s budget
and financial integrity, which includes
setting the annual fee for all licenses.
The Washington Supreme Court then
reviews these license fees for reason-
ableness. Our mutual goal is to ensure
that WSBA is able to effectively and
efficiently execute all of its court-or-
I am a member of four state bar
associations: Washington, Oregon,
Alaska, and Arizona. My combined
annual license fees are always more
than I would like to pay. Of the four
states, Washington is the least expen-
sive. I’ll admit that at times I’ve asked,
“What do I pay all this money for?” I
have also asked, “What does the bar
association do for me?”
The reality is that each bar
association I am privileged to be a
member of provides me (us) with a
“license” to engage in the practice of
law. This license gives us a key to do
something that is incredibly special.
Specifically, our license gives each
of us a key that opens the doors of
justice for the people we serve. Over
the course of 20 years, I have come to
understand that this key is worth every
dime it costs. We should never forget
that our licenses represent that key
and hopefully we always use it to open
wide the doors of justice for all.
NWLAWYER: What else do WSBA
members have on their minds?
PICKETT: My sense is that a large
number of our members simply want
to practice law and be left alone.
Specifically, they do not want WSBA to
get involved in their professional lives
any more than is absolutely necessary.
For many of us this means paying our
license fees, working hard, and staying
out of the discipline system. This resonated well with me early in my career
as I wanted to do just that: practice law
and be left alone.
That being said, over the years I
have realized that another large number
of legal professionals want to be more
involved with their membership association than just writing a check for their
license fee once a year. I have grown to
appreciate these folks for all that they
sacrifice and give to the WSBA.
As a general rule, Washington
state is unbelievably blessed with