Swan song

Issue July/August 2007 By Mark Mason

The importance of the organized bar is in its ability to associate members of a venerable profession. Without association, we lose the common identity of the bar. We lose our tradition and, most importantly, the promise of assisting our communities in achieving fairness and order throughout our lives.

When the MBA was founded nearly 100 years ago, our mission was to provide an opportunity for all attorneys across the commonwealth to associate as a bar. Since that time, the MBA has prospered. At the same time, minority, county and specialty bar associations have developed throughout Massachusetts. The synergy between the MBA and the commonwealth’s bar associations was particularly apparent this year.

We draw benefits from individual bar associations. Yet, as a statewide profession, we have all benefited from our bar associations’ collaborative efforts. Without question, the fullest diversity of our profession may only be realized when perceived through our many points of view.

An illustration of the MBA’s collaborative efforts includes: efforts to ensure access to justice through the Equal Justice Coalition; work to ensure gender equality through the Equality Commission; joint memberships with minority bar associations; bench-bar meetings; law-related education programming; bar leadership institute; legal job fair; co-sponsored amicus briefs; co-sponsored legislation; co-sponsored task forces; co-sponsored continuing legal education; and co-sponsored social events.

Throughout our experience, we have learned that collaboration works. Collectively, we are most effective when we understand that, as a profession, we carry a weighty responsibility to assist in the fair administration of justice for all. Our strength is in finding new ways to unite while respecting our individuality. To truly live up to our namesake, we must build upon our common good, for we are, in fact, a commonwealth.

The success the MBA has enjoyed this past year has been the result of an extraordinary collaboration between our officers, staff, members and all those we are proud to partner with as colleagues at the bar and within the community. Together, we have made a positive difference in the lives of so many. To all of you, my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude.