On August 20, Wendi A. Sorensen of Burch & Cracchiolo was appointed by the Arizona Supreme Court to serve as chair of the Arizona State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Sorensen will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2020.
AALM: What prompted you to work with the board?
WAS: Prior to being named to this board, I was a member of, and then the chair for, the Personal Injury Advisory Commission. This is the committee charged with approving certification and recertification applications for those seeking new or renewed certification as specialists in the area of personal injury and wrongful death law. There are nine areas of certification currently recognized in the state of Arizona, and this area is the one with the most members. I was deeply honored to be “promoted” to the board after serving six years on the commission.
AALM: How do you hope to better serve the legal community as the chair?
WAS: There are so many attorney and non-attorney volunteers who give their time to the State Bar for the protection of the public and the betterment of the profession. This is my contribution to that larger effort and my hope is to do it fairly and expansively, in the hope of appropriately growing the number of legal specialists in Arizona.
AALM: Do you believe the recent rule change allowing legal paraprofessionals to practice in a limited capacity will affect the Board of Legal Specialization in any way?
WAS: I believe the recent rule change makes the Board of Legal Specialization’s work even more important. The result of the work performed by the board and the commissions in each of the areas of certification is an easily accessible list of true specialists, from which members of the public can make their choices about which attorney to hire to satisfy their legal needs.
AALM: Any other news you’d like to share with lawyers about the Board of Legal Specialization.
WAS: The Board is developing ways for certified specialists to highlight their accomplishments, particularly with approved “badges” that can be appended to their ads, emails, and other communications, all in an effort to inform the public about the level of skill these specialists possess.