Many new opportunities for New Lawyers

Issue Februray 2004

It is always refreshing to write this particular column, because I am writing it while we are in the final days of organizing the Annual Conference. But writing this column gives me the opportunity to sit back and think about life "after the Annual Conference."

Before I move on to that topic, however, I do want to thank all of you who joined us for this great program. Many volunteers and staff members worked tirelessly together for months to present these topics to you. And, of course, their work would mean nothing without those of you who attend their workshops. The MBA leadership and I deeply appreciate your participation.

Looking forward in time, the MBA will present its very popular course, "How to Start and Run a Successful Solo or Small-Firm Practice" on March 3 at the Radisson Hotel in Boston. This program was standing-room only last year and ultimately sold out, so please register early. It is a great opportunity to receive guidance and gain insight from experienced practitioners who have successfully pursued this path. A working lunch provides you with a great networking opportunity as well. I hope to see you there.

This program is particularly well attended by members of the MBA's New Lawyers Section.

Did you know that members of the MBA's New Lawyers Section are lawyers who have been in practice for 10 years or less? This year, the MBA made membership in the New Lawyer's Section complimentary for all lawyers who fit within this definition. This step was taken so that section members could readily participate in the New Lawyer career-oriented and networking programs without having to choose between those opportunities and belonging to one of the MBA's 15 other substantive law sections. Thus, for this group, the MBA offers a second complimentary section, because we recognize that the substantive law practice groups offer less-experienced lawyers extremely valuable opportunities to network and learn from others in your practice area.

The MBA offers lots of other programs and benefits that are great for members of this section in particular. The career-track programming that took place on the first day of this year's Annual Conference ("Proper Care of Your Practice" and "Managing Your Career") is indicative of topic areas that are appearing more frequently in MBA programming.

In addition, for the second time in the last six months the MBA featured a resume drop for legal jobs advertised at an MBA program, sometimes for the first time. The resume drop at the Annual Conference included nearly 30 job listings. So, watch for new job listings to be featured at other MBA programs in the future.

The New Lawyers Section Council itself is actively working on a new series of programming designed to combine debate of timely topics with an opportunity for socializing and networking. The details of the first of these programs will be available shortly.

This section council also is planning its annual community project. Each spring for the past several years, members of the New Lawyers Section have joined together to do a "Habitat for Humanity" project. It is a great way to give something back to the community while getting to know some of your colleagues.

So, if you noticed that your membership this year included the New Lawyers Section and you have not really taken advantage of it, please watch for these additional ways to enhance your involvement with the profession and with the MBA. If you have ideas about other programs or other benefits that would enhance the participation of members of this section even more, let either me or your section council know.