The Daily Journal conducted the first interview of Paul Kiesel since becoming president of the L.A. County Bar, covering a wide range of subjects including advocating for access to justice through the Open Courts Coalition.
Kiesel Wants to Use Bar Clout to Get Dollars for State Courts
By Don J. DeBenedictis
BEVERLY HILLS – New presidents of bar associations often hope to spend their terms increasing their groups’ membership and power. Paul R. Kiesel, the new president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, wants that, too, but not just because more is better.
He sees growing the association as a way to further boost its clout in Sacramento on the issue of funding for the courts. His goal, he said, is to “build up the throw weight of the county bar in the access to justice discussion.”
With about 20,000 members, the Los Angeles County association is already the largest metropolitan bar group in the nation, according to an official.
By bringing in more members – and more lawyer associations as affiliated organizations – Kiesel believes the county bar can command even more attention from legislators and the governor’s office in arguing for keeping the courts open and functioning.
“Access to justice is so important,” he said. “My No. 1 priority as Los Angeles County Bar Association president is for all of us to come together to advocate for access to justice.”