A look at some of the notable benefits including List serve, document bank and the Plaintiff Trial Academy
Arguably, a membership in Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles gives you more bang for your buck than any other legal professional association out there. Membership dues are based on years admitted to the State Bar, with members practicing 20+ years paying the highest rate of $360/year. That’s less than $1 a day! Members practicing less than 20 years pay much less.
It boggles my mind how much is provided to our membership at such a low cost. However, I wonder whether our members are aware of how much CAALA has to offer, and whether they are getting the most out of their CAALA membership.
Whether a member practices in the field of personal injury, employment, civil rights, insurance bad faith, or virtually any area of the law where plaintiffs are represented, practices primarily in state or federal court, is a solo practitioner or an associate at a large firm, has been practicing one year or 50 years, CAALA provides its members a wealth of benefits and resources. In this article, I will give a brief overview of some of what I consider to be the greatest benefits CAALA has to offer.
Throughout the year CAALA offers Live Conferences and Events, Live Webinars and, on the CAALA website, On-Demand Programs with self-study credit, and a library of Advocate articles, covering cutting-edge topics in the law and trial practice, presented by some of the most talented trial attorneys in the state. Most of these offerings are free to CAALA members, who can earn their MCLE credits at a state-of-the-art event space in CAALA’s offices in downtown Los Angeles, at the beautiful hotels and resorts where some CAALA events are held, or from the comfort of their own office or home.
CAALA offers its members the opportunity to subscribe to various list serves, where members, with the simple act of sending an email, can instantly pose questions to over 2,000 subscribing CAALA members, about the law in a confidential attorney work product forum, about practice management, ask opinions about mediators or judges, or share work product with each other. CAALA’s list serves create a digital community for its members to support each other.
Online Document Bank
CAALA’s website also features a free Online Document Bank comprised of over 3,000 downloadable documents, samples, forms, demand letters, deposition and trial transcripts, and much more, contributed by fellow CAALA members. The document bank is browsable by Type of Case, or Type of Document, and is fully keyword searchable. Members can also contribute to the Online Document Bank by uploading files through the CAALA website with just a few easy steps.
Women in Law
CAALA’s women lawyers can join its Women in Law Group, which offers support, resources, and a forum for sharing ideas and concerns that affect women in the legal industry. With its own list serve, dedicated trial skills conference and programing, and mentors ready to help their colleagues develop skills to enhance their practices, this group is all about women empowering women.
For lawyers practicing 10 years or less, which is now about half of CAALA’s membership, the association offers special programing and resources including a dedicated list serve, special round table seminars where new lawyers can ask questions of, and learn from, more experienced attorneys about a variety of topics from legal issues to law practice management, and an annual trial skills seminar especially for new lawyers. The programming is created by and for new lawyers, who have become one of the strongest communities within CAALA.
Plaintiff Trial Academy
Each year, a limited number of CAALA members are selected to participate in CAALA’s intensive trial academy, and receive comprehensive training taught by a faculty of accomplished trial lawyers teaching advanced techniques in trial preparation and trial practice. The program includes faculty demonstrations and student exercises encompassing all aspects of civil trial, from effective pre-trial preparation to convincing closing arguments, in a constructive and supportive learning environment. So many CAALA PTA graduates have achieved incredible trial results after participating in the program.
Several times throughout the year, at various locations within Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, members can come together at CAALA’s free Membership Mixers to have a cocktail, network with their colleagues, meet representatives of CAALA’s affiliate member vendors of legal services, or just enjoy the palpable comradery among fellow lawyers who similarly have made their lives about fighting for justice on behalf of people who have been wronged.
Las Vegas Convention
Each Labor Day Weekend, CAALA presents the largest trial lawyers convention in the country, where thousands of attorneys come together in Las Vegas to learn, network, and have a great time with each other. Attendees can earn up to 20 hours of MCLE credits learning from the best and most successful lawyers in the nation, have access to an exhibitor’s hall where lawyers can learn about services from court reporter agencies, attorney services and law practice management tools, to investigators, private mediators, expert witnesses and so much more. On Thursday and Saturday nights of the convention, CAALA puts on extravagant parties, which give attendees a great opportunity to relax and have some fun with their colleagues. Members receive a discounted rate to the convention.
Of course, these few benefits or features of CAALA are only the tip of the iceberg, as there is so much more that CAALA offers to its members. Take a few minutes to explore the CAALA website, at www.caala.org, to access information relating to these events and resources, and to learn more about the other benefits CAALA offers to its members, so you get the most out of your membership!
Jeffrey A. Rudman is the President of the Consumers Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) and the Principal of The Rudman Law Firm, APC, a boutique Martindale-Hubbell AV rated Plaintiff’s law firm handling catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Jeff has served on the CAALA Board since 2008, and has served as a chair of CAALA’s Membership Committee, Las Vegas Convention, and Education Committee. He is also credited with the creation of CAALA’s Online Document Bank.
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