Contributed by Kiara Candelaria
Women have made many strides as leaders in their workplaces and communities in the pursuit of equality in recent years. For Laurie Poole, a partner at Adams Stirling law firm in California and a fellow in CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), that has meant overcoming biases and earning respect from male peers in more than 28 years as a community association attorney.
Poole is president of the 2022 CCAL Board of Governors and is one of five women serving as chair or president of CAI’s leadership groups this year. In addition to the CCAL Board of Governors, women are leading CAI’s Board of Trustees, Community Association Managers Council, Homeowner Leaders Council, and Business Partners Council.
In recognition of Women’s History Month, Poole was recently asked about her goals as CCAL president, her involvement with CAI, earning respect, and what it means to be a woman in a leadership role.
What are your priorities as president of the 2022 CCAL Board of Governors?
One of my priorities is attorney wellness. According to a study sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, lawyers exhibit higher rates of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and stress than other professions. Community association attorneys certainly experience these issues. However, we are always focusing on others—our clients, community manager contacts, and our employees, not to mention our families.
Now is the time for us to turn the lens on ourselves and make sure that we are traveling on a path of well-being as lawyers and as human beings. I would like CCAL to lead the much-needed culture shift to establish physical health and mental well-being as centerpieces of our community association attorneys’ success.
Another priority is supporting women in community association law. Surveys conducted by the National Association of Women Lawyers reveal that the progress women have made in law firms over the past decade has been slow and incremental at best—a sign that they aren’t earning respect. Law firms continue to face challenges supporting women and promoting diverse attorneys. I would like CCAL to explore how, as an organization, we can support the advancement and inclusion of women within their law firms, CCAL, and CAI.
What motivates you to volunteer with CAI?
My passions for writing and education are my main motivations. I thought about being a journalist at one time, so when I had the opportunity to join CAI San Diego Chapter’s magazine committee, I felt it would be a great way to write again. I also have always valued education, and I am grateful that CAI has provided me endless opportunities to educate community managers and board members to help them build better communities.
How has CAI benefited your work as a community association attorney?
There are so many benefits, but the one that I couldn’t have predicted is the amazing network of colleagues that I have been able to build through my involvement with CAI. I am fortunate to call many of these colleagues my friends.
How does it feel to be in a leadership position?
As the third woman to be president of the College of Community Association Lawyers’ Board of Governors, I’m pinching myself. I’m honored to lead exceptional community association attorneys and grateful for the opportunity to explore topics that I’m passionate about in 2022.
Poole was one of the panelists during CAI’s free webinar celebrating International Women’s Day. View the webinar on-demand at www.caionline.org/webinars.
She also was in attendance, along with the other members of the CCAL Board of Governors, at the 2022 Community Association Law Seminar in La Quinta, Calif., in February. One of the highlights of the Law Seminar was the Case Law Update, which looks at the most significant court cases and developments shaping community association law from the prior year. Learn more about CAI’s Case Law Database here.
This article was first published in CAI’s Ungated blog.