GR 12.1 WASHINGTON STATE BAR ASSOCIATION: PURPOSES (a) Purposes: In General. In general, the Washington State Bar Association strives to: 1) Promote independence of the judiciary and the bar. 2) Promote an effective legal system, accessible to all. 3) Provide services to its members. 4) Foster and maintain high standards of competence, professionalism, and ethics among its members. 5) Foster collegiality among its members and goodwill between the bar and the public. 6) Promote diversity and equality in the courts, the legal profession, and the bar. 7) Administer admissions to the bar and discipline of its members in a manner that protects the public and respects the rights of the applicant or member. 8) Administer programs of legal education. 9) Promote understanding of and respect for our legal system and the law. 10) Operate a well-managed and financially sound association, with a positive work environment for its employees. 11) Serve as a state-wide voice to the public and the branches of government on matters relating to these purposes and the activities of the association. (b) Specific Activities Authorized. In pursuit of these purposes, the Washington State Bar Association may: 1) Sponsor and maintain committees, sections, and divisions whose activities further these purposes; 2) Support the judiciary in maintaining the integrity and fiscal stability of an independent and effective judicial system; 3) Provide periodic reviews and recommendations concerning court rules and procedures; 4) Administer examinations and review applicants' character and fitness to practice law; 5) Inform and advise lawyers regarding their ethical obligations; 6) Administer an effective system of discipline of its members, including receiving and investigating complaints of lawyer misconduct, taking and recommending appropriate punitive and remedial measures, and diverting less serious misconduct to alternatives outside the formal discipline system; 7) Maintain a program, pursuant to court rule, requiring members to submit fee dispute to arbitration; 8) Maintain a program for mediation of disputes between members and their clients and others; 9) Maintain a program for lawyer practice assistance; 10) Sponsor, conduct, and assist in producing programs and products of continuing legal education; 11) Maintain a system for accrediting programs of continuing legal education; 12) Conduct audits of lawyers' trust accounts; 13) Maintain a lawyers' fund for client protection in accordance with the Admission to Practice Rules; 14) Maintain a program for the aid and rehabilitation of impaired members; 15) Disseminate information about bar activities, interests, and positions; 16) Monitor, report on, and advise public officials about matters of interest to the bar; 17) Maintain a legislative presence to inform members of new and proposed laws and to inform public officials about bar positions and concerns; 18) Encourage public service by members and support programs providing legal services to those in need; 19) Maintain and foster programs of public information and education about the law and the legal system; 20) Provide, sponsor and participate in services to its members; 21) Hire and retain employees to facilitate and support its mission, purposes, and activities, including in the bar's discretion, authorizing collective bargaining; 22) Collect, allocate, invest, and disburse funds so that its mission, purposes and activities may be effectively and efficiently discharged. (c) Activities Not Authorized. The Washington State Bar Association will not: 1) Take positions on issues concerning the politics or social positions of foreign nations; 2) Take positions on political or social issues which do not relate to or affect the practice of law or the administration of justice; 3) Support or oppose, in an election, candidates for public office. [Adopted effective July 19, 1987; amended effective December 10, 1993; September 1, 1997; September 1, 2007; September 1, 2013.]
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