This month we spotlight MCBA Board Member Marlene Getchell, our five-year past President. Marlene served as Board President in 2009, and during her tenure instituted some lasting programs, including getting the MCLE Fair off the ground in her term as President Elect. I asked her a few questions about her life and tenure with the Bar.

How did you get involved in the MCBA Board?
Len Rifkind held the door open for me one day and asked “Would you like to join the Bar Board? You could be President someday.” I laughed, but I joined the board and soon enough, I did become the President, and loved every minute of it.

How did you come to join the Marin Bar?
I joined when I moved my practice to Marin. Before that I was a corporate lawyer in San Francisco, then came to Marin and found my niche in estates and trusts. I love my practice, which has been very rewarding in helping people in vulnerable times in their lives.

What are some of the best things about being a Bar member?
To tell you the truth, it’s the parking pass that allows you to park in the 30-minute zone at the Court house when you know what is to be a short matter will become a little more thorny. Seriously, I love the networking and comradery of being able to meet other lawyers, exchange ideas and even spend some time socializing.

What has been the highlight of your career?
Nothing stands out. I love all of what I do.

How about your family?
My husband, Paul Getchell, gave up his job with Matthew Bender/Lexis-Nexis to collect rock posters and records. He sells them and really enjoys the change in careers. He had an exhibit in the County Fair this year, which was very well received, and fitting for the Summer of Love theme. My daughter works as an analyst for Tesla, and my son, a videographer, is joining Tesla as well, helping marketing efforts for their Solar City program.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love playing competitive tennis. I’m also chairman of the board of California-Nevada Methodist Homes, which has retirement communities in Oakland and Pacific Grove. It’s my pro bono work and very satisfying.