Tell Us About Yourself
I grew up in Napa and then adventured off to The College of William and Mary in Virginia for a double major in psychology and fine arts. After coming back to California, getting a master’s degree in child development and working for U.C. Davis School of Medicine doing research on aging, I decided to change course and attend U.C. Davis School of Law. I found my niche. I moved to Contra Costa in 1999 with my husband, started my own practice in 2006 and now I can’t imagine raising my son anywhere else. I absolutely love practicing law and being part of this community.
Why did you choose the law as your profession?
I get charged up by the problem-solving and the intellectual challenge of my work. I like the diversity an elder law practice provides. One day I am dealing with long term care planning, on another day I am dealing with financial elder abuse. The common denominator is that my work helps families – an incredibly satisfying way to spend my day.
How did you get involved with the Bar Association?
When I moved to Contra Costa, the firm I worked for (Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler and Birkhaueser) encouraged me to get involved with the bar association. I immediately became involved with the Women’s Section board, which led to being president of the Women’s Section, which led to the CCCBA board of directors. I can’t overstate the value of getting involved with a CCCBA section. The networking and skill-building opportunities available through the CCCBA are what made it possible to start my own practice. The people who practice law in this county are top-notch – not just professionally, but personally. I could not have done it if it weren’t for my involvement with the CCCBA. I owe a lot to the attorneys who have given advice and help along the way and I would never have met them but for the CCCBA.
What are your goals and visions for the Bar Association?
Most of the attorneys practicing in this county are solo or small firm attorneys and many are feeling the pressure of this economy. The CCCBA is particularly wellsituated to support the local smallfirm lawyer. In the past year, the CCCBA has taken great strides in making itself more relevant to these local practitioners – people who are strapped for time, looking for ways to grow their business and looking for educational opportunities. These are the big issues for my practice and I know they are for others as well. To that end, my goals for 2011 will continue the trend by:
- Focusing on the sections to expand networking and educational opportunities
- Taking advantage of our ever-increasing web presence to promote the CCCBA and our individual members
- Evaluating exactly how we are generating and spending our revenue so our membership gets the biggest bang for its buck
What would you like your CCCBA legacy to be?
I am realistic – I am privileged to be President for only a year. What I accomplish this year is a reflection of the amazing people who have done this job before me, will have it after me and all those who keep the sections humming along. What makes the CCCBA one of the best local bar associations in the country – and it really is – is the generosity of the membership. We give to fellow practitioners and our local community in astonishing amounts. Our membership continues to grow and thrive through opportunities to channel that generosity. Whether it is writing an article, participating in sections, attending social events or volunteering, when we give our time to the CCCBA, it comes back to us all in spades. I know it has for me and I wish everyone could get as much from the CCCBA as I have gotten from it. On that note, a new opportunity the CCCBA has to offer in 2011 is our new Elder Law Center (ELC) and companion elder law training program – ideas generated by community needs, fueled by volunteers and ultimately a way for members to grow their practices and professional networks. Programs like these are what will keep the CCCBA a vibrant and vital organization for many years to come. I can’t take credit for the ELC, but I am glad to have a part in it.
I encourage you to participate in the ELC or any other CCCBA program that strikes your fancy – there are plenty to choose from. If I could pick one thing to be my legacy, it would be that every single member participated in some meaningful way in the CCCBA this year. I know from personal experience that you will get far more out of it than you put in. If you can’t think of something to do or you have an idea you want to toss around, give me a call! It’s the least I can do for a fellow Contra Costa practitioner and the CCCBA. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be CCCBA President this year. It truly is an honor.
- Kathy Schofield, owner of the Schofield Law Group, focuses her practice on Elder Law , Conservatorships, Estate Planning and Probate/ Trust Administration – www.schofieldlawgroup.com
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