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Reminder: Renew your MBA membership by mail or online

The Massachusetts Bar Association reminds you that the 2012-13 membership year is drawing to a close and membership renewal notices for the 2013-14 year were recently distributed. As in years past, the MBA offers members two renewal options:

  • By mail: Renew your MBA membership through the mail with a check or credit card payment. You should have received your dues renewal form in the mail in mid-July.
  • Online: Click here to renew your membership online now. We understand how valuable your time is and are happy to offer you this time-saving, green alternative.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the MBA.

If you have any questions, please contact MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530 or [e-mail membership].

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Top: The MBA highlighted the efforts of four volunteers with Volunteer Recognition Awards on July 18. From left to right: Volunteer Recognition Committee Chair Grace Garcia and Volunteer Recognition Award Honorees Thomas J. Barbar, David A. Parke, Jayne B. Tyrell and Timothy J. Dacey III.

Bottom: The MBA honored members of the profession who have served for 50-years on July 18.

Photos by Jeff Thiebauth.

MBA honors volunteers, 50-year members

The Massachusetts Bar Association celebrated the efforts of its volunteers at the July 18 Volunteer Recognition Dinner, held at Lombardo's in Randolph. Also recognized at the event, were the MBA's 50-year members.

"Tonight is an opportunity for the MBA to recognize all of you for your volunteer efforts, which allow the MBA to continue to deliver on our mission," MBA President Robert L. Holloway Jr. said. "Because of your contributions to our vibrant organization, the Massachusetts legal community as a whole is enhanced; the public are better served; and access to justice is better preserved for everyone."

The dinner honored the contributions of more than 100 volunteers who donated time to the MBA over the past year by serving on one of the association's section councils, committees or task forces.

The presentation of four MBA Volunteer Recognition Awards highlighted the work of individuals chosen from a pool of nominations. Grace Garcia, chair of the Volunteer Recognition Committee, presented the honors to the four awardees, which included:

Timothy J. Dacey III, Goulston & Storrs, Boston: Dacey has served on the MBA's Committee on Professional Ethics for 29 years and as vice-chair of the committee for 22. Dacey was recognized for his efforts in providing careful, informed ethical advice to attorneys who need a quick response.

David A. Parke, Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas LLP, Springfield: Parke has tirelessly and enthusiastically served the MBA's Business Law Section Council for over a decade, in a number of important roles, most notably as a co-chair of the MBA's annual In-House Counsel Conference.

Thomas J. Barbar, Deutsch, Williams, Brooks, DeRensis & Holland PC, Boston: Barbar is an active MBA volunteer. In addition to serving as the MBA's Law Practice Management Section Council chair, Barbar has planned and spoken at many continuing legal education programs, has volunteered for the Dial-A-Lawyer program and was a mentor for the Tiered Community Mentoring Program for two years.

Jayne B. Tyrrell, Massachusetts IOLTA Committee, Boston: A longstanding MBA volunteer, Tyrrell has been involved with the association for more than 23 years and has served on the Housing Committee, Amicus Brief Committee, Lawyers in Transition Committee, Elder Law Committee and more. Tyrrell is dedicated to showcasing lawyers as they do work that supports our system of justice.

In addition to the Volunteer Recognition Awardees, the following 50-year honorees received their service plaques from Holloway and MBA President-elect Douglas K. Sheff:

  • Donald M. Bloch;
  • John E. Bradley;
  • William J. Dailey Jr.;
  • Jerome H. Fletcher;
  • Hon. Thayer Fremont-Smith;
  • Francis H. Fox;
  • Hon. Andre A. Gelinas;
  • Hon. John M. Greaney;
  • Daniel J. Johnedis;
  • Roger R. Lipson;
  • James J. McCusker;
  • David I. Shactman;
  • Myer R. Singer;
  • David Skeels; and
  • Richard J. Snyder.

R.S.V.P. for the Aug. 8 Summer Networking Session at Tia's

Network with MBA members on Boston's beautiful waterfront

Summer Social II

Join the Massachusetts Bar Association at the last session of its Summer Networking Series on Thursday, Aug. 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Tia's on the Waterfront, 200 Atlantic Ave., Boston. Attend and meet our MBA community and leaders. Complimentary appetizers, wine and beer will be available.

Click here to R.S.V.P.

The Summer Networking Series is sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association Insurance Agency.

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Connect, share and collaborate on My Bar Access

Posts include information about the 2013 Child Support Guidelines.

Interact with your section/division on My Bar Access. Visit http://access.massbar.org/ today to join the conversation. Posts include:
Questions about a new rule? Need a referral? Looking for a sample motion? Interested in learning more about your fellow members? Login and participate in ongoing member group discussions, which are now PRIVATE and can only be viewed by MBA members, who login to the MBA's online community. My Bar Access discussions allow you to enjoy the benefits of a traditional listserv, without clogging your inbox.

The following simple steps can instantly connect you with fellow members:

  1. Login and agree to terms: Sign in using your MBA user name and password and sign the Code of Conduct.
  2. Create your profile and settings: Include your bio and photo and customize the frequency and format of your notifications (your profile info from LinkedIn may be pulled over).
  3. Start connecting: Post blogs, discussions (listservs) or upload a resource library entry for your section(s).

Resource materials -- including "Getting Started on My Bar Access" and "How to Use My Bar Access" -- posted in various areas throughout the site, can help users with questions. Following a review of those resources, members who need further help should contact the My Bar Access Help Desk at [e-mail mybaraccess].

Get started today on http://access.massbar.org.
Questions? [e-mail mybaraccess].


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From left to right: Massachusetts Bar Association President-elect Douglas K. Sheff and Congressman Bruce Braley of Iowa.

Sheff welcomes Congressman Bruce Braley of Iowa

Massachusetts Bar Association President-elect Douglas K. Sheff recently welcomed Congressman Bruce Braley of Iowa to a gathering of bar leaders at Sheff Law in Boston.

Sheff introduced the congressman, who is running for Thomas Richard Harkin's Iowa Senate seat. Harkin is retiring.

Braley is working on fighting against "tort-reform" efforts to limit the rights of persons injured through no fault of their own. Braley has also been instrumental in the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care plan which assures quality health care for all citizens.

"The congressman is a tireless fighter in the battle to protect the rights of working families through a variety of legislative efforts," Sheff said.

Sheff wished Braley the best of luck in his current Senate race and a long and fruitful career serving the citizens of Iowa, as a champion of the rights of everyday Americans whose voices often go unheard.



Four way street: the species of time capture tools

Lawyers generally dislike timekeeping. Naturally, nobody enjoys measuring out the time of his life in small increments appearing on the other side of a computer screen. At least you're getting paid. And, at least there are ever-increasing ways to capture your time, while you pass it. If you've got an established workflow, there's likely a way for you to capture it in a highly efficient manner.

Leaving aside paper and pen, as well as traditional software applications not built exclusively for the purpose (like Word), there are four modern time capture options, as follows:

Standalone Timekeepers. Strict timekeeping programs will track your time, whether manually or automatically, and create logs, which can be exported to popular accounting programs, like Quickbooks. Most of these products utilize a manual stopwatch, as it were, which you start and stop for individual tasks. Some popular products in this line include: RTG Bills, Tabs3, Bill4Time, TimeSolv Legal and TurboLaw Time and Billing.

Features of Comprehensive Products. A careful reader of the prior section will note that certain of those listed products will additionally offer accounting features (e.g. -- RTG Bills), internal office management features (e.g. -- Bill4Time), project management features (e.g. -- TimeSolv) or be affiliated to broader practice management products (e.g. -- Tabs3 and PracticeMaster). It's tough to escape office management features these days (don't I know it . . .); and, many time capture softwares have been similarly invaded. But, it's clear that many attorneys find their time capture protocol within the larger purchase of a law practice management software system; and, it does make sense to integrate various law practice management functions, where you can -- though, having one system doesn't work for everybody. I've written on the value of law practice management software, here (with an update here).

Automatic Timekeepers. On the theory that most of your work is done on a computerized device of some sort, there are timekeepers that will monitor your computer use, and generate logs, which can ultimately be converted to invoices.  This eliminates the problem of having to remember to manually start and stop a timer; of course, some training is necessary to make these programs hum, and to sufficiently automate the process. I've written on the potential value of these sorts of products here. HoursTracking is a new entry in this field (and one with an attractive pricing model) that I did not cover in my original post.

Apps. There's an app for that, right? Sure is. A significant number of the products mentioned/referenced above are available as apps, or available via smartphones/across devices; but, that's nothing like an exhaustive list.  Neither is this; but, for iPhone and Android users (the primary smartphone choices for attorneys, with apologies to Blackberry, Palm and Zach Morris phone users): iPhone JD's Jeff Richardson provides a comprehensive, if somewhat antiquated, list of iPhone apps, here; and, Droid Lawyer Jeff Taylor links to a similar LifeHacker list for Android apps, complete with his own take on the best timekeeping app for that device. At both of these blogs, reviews of individual timekeeping apps crop up from time to time, as well.

Certainly, my categories do not represent buckets, since there is much overlap in play, they're more like a Venn diagram; and, it is not inconceivable that as many as three types of tools could be implicated in just one product's offering. But, I think that speaks to the flexibility of modern technology, which is, generally, a very good thing for lawyers.

Whatever method you might think works for you, try it before you buy it, and get buy-in to it. Most software products will offer a free trial of some length, usually 30 days.

. . .

If these are your means, you may find your motive in Heidi's excellent prior post covering time capture tips.

Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Office Management Assistance Program.

Published July 25, 2013


To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members, contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice Chair Cynthia E. MacCausland.
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Need conference room facilities?

Take advantage of your MBA membership and rent an MBA conference room today

MBA members may rent conference rooms at our headquarters in Boston's Downtown Crossing or at the MBA's satellite Western Mass. office in Springfield, located directly across from the Hampden County Courthouse. Both locations are equipped with complete audio-visual capabilities, comfortable accommodations and other practice-centered amenities and conveniences.

Click here to download a room reservation form.

Questions? Contact MBA Member Services at (617) 338-0530.

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