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Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Ryan M. F. Baron, who was recently sworn in as chair of the California Lawyers Association (CLA) for a one-year term, was featured in a Law360 Pulse profile on Nov. 3. The Q&A piece highlights Ryan’s goals for growing the organization, diversity and inclusion, health and wellness and more. The CLA, formerly a function of the State Bar of California, oversees educational, networking, advocacy and philanthropic programs for lawyers in California, and is the second largest voluntary bar organization in the nation. 

Ryan told Law360 that he is thrilled and honored to serve in the role and it’s something he has been looking forward to, as it’s an opportunity to give back to the profession in a meaningful way.

When asked about goals for the coming year, Ryan noted that the CLA, which launched in 2018, is currently seeking a new chief executive director and finding the right person is an initial primary goal.

“We have our infrastructure in place, we've secured our funding and made our mark and I think right now, I really want to look at the business that we're in to make sure we're satisfying the profession. We want to make sure we continue serving members with the same core product we've always offered but also offer new programming,” he said.

Additionally, Ryan addressed mental health within the bar. “There's been an uptick in issues such as social anxiety and depression associated with stress and isolation caused by the pandemic. One of the things the CLA is doing is focusing on a study that analyzes the health and wellness of women in the profession, making sure that a work- balanced lifestyle is encouraged.”

When asked about the CLA’s diversity and inclusion efforts, he shared several examples. “We have a diversity policy that applies to our annual conferencing, promoting a diverse panel on given topics, so it's not all done by just one race or gender. We're also considering mandating diversity with our individual appointment policies for our executive committees and board of representatives.”

Law360 Pulse subscribers can access Ryan’s full profile here. Learn more about Ryan’s service as chair here.

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