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New State Bar president harmonizes his musical past
with a career in the law

Patrick KellyBefore he went to law school, Pat Kelly played with a number of well-known surfer groups. Now he’s back in the spotlight as the incoming president of the State Bar of California. Kelly, who will be sworn in this month, brings the same kind of passion to improving the legal profession as he does to his chosen hobby.

Task force supports practical skills training requirement

A State Bar task force studying legal competency of lawyers entering the profession has concluded that some form of practical skills training is necessary before being licensed to practice in the state. But the panel is still grappling with just what form that training will take.

October events put spotlight on pro bono, access to justice

Reading about the Justice Gap Fund in a news article a year or so ago, James Wood recalls being shocked – one because he didn’t know about the program, which provides key financial help to legal aid organizations statewide, and two because of how severely hit it had been by the economy.

Disability rights advocate earns top honors

Melinda BirdA personal experience with a bad landlord introduced Melinda Bird to the impact of legal aid work. She’s gone on to help countless elderly, disabled or poor residents improve their housing conditions. Bird, who will receive the prestigious Loren Miller Legal Services Award this month, said she’s humbled by the honor. “I wish we could give this award to everyone I ever worked with,” she said.

Annual Meeting launches first smartphone app

Having trouble keeping track of your State Bar Annual Meeting schedule? There’s an app for that. For the first time, a free application for iPhone and Android devices can provide a pocket guide to events. It will provide information about the 142 law-related educational courses offered at the State Bar’s 85th Annual Meeting Oct. 11-14, as well as times and locations for the meeting’s numerous receptions and networking opportunities.