Michael T. Elliott
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Los Angeles, August 31, 2004
The Los Angeles County Bar Association has announced that Rich Walch will leave the Association in early January, after serving more than 20 years as Executive Director.
Walch plans to join Walch Consulting, a firm currently operated by his wife, which provides leadership coaching, strategic planning and guidance on best practices to corporate foundations and other non-profit organizations.
“The longtime leader of the nation’s largest voluntary regional bar organization will be missed,” says current Association President John J. Collins, a civil defense attorney in South Pasadena. “He’s been a tremendous asset for the organization,” said Collins of Collins, Collins, Muir & Stewart LLP. “I tried to talk him out of it, but he’s going to move into a new phase of his life.”
The Association’s immediate past president and a current member of its Executive Committee, appellate lawyer Robin Meadow of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP in Los Angeles said “One of the things Rich has done is to build an organization with a stellar staff in which people really know their jobs and can keep things moving. When there’s a problem, when it’s hard to figure out where to go, he has a natural sense of how to make things work…I think anyone who gets the benefit of his advice is going to very lucky,” Meadow said, describing Walch as being “at the top of his game” after more than 20 years as the executive director of the country’s largest metropolitan bar association.
“Walch molded the Association into an organization that provides value, yet continues to motivate volunteerism. The underlying thrust toward service to the bar has really been Rich’s work-- steady, progressive work toward making our bar association a little bit different and more attractive to the membership,” said Patricia Phillips of Morrison and Forrester LLP, who served as Association President from 1984 – 1985.
Walch, a graduate of UC Berkeley and USC Law Center, worked for a Beverly Hills law firm after earning his law degree before joining LACBA as Directing Attorney of the Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service. He became General Counsel the following year and Executive Director several years later.
“It’s a great Association with a rich tradition, a rich history of accomplishment and much potential. I will very much miss working closely with our wonderful staff and the hundreds of volunteers who give so much of themselves to advance our mission,” Walch said.