Chair reflects on YLD activities, benefits

Issue August 2015 By Courtney Shea

As a lawyer newly in practice, one of the most important things you can do is continue your legal education and attend lectures and CLE programs. MBA members are entitled to attend almost all of our CLE programs for FREE. I cannot stress enough what a valuable benefit this is to a new lawyer. This year the YLD teamed up with several sections to sponsor numerous CLE programs covering topics such as tech tips for lawyers, tips for legal malpractice avoidance, drafting dispositive motions, taking depositions, arbitration, handling a medical malpractice case, and managing a law practice, to name just a few. Almost all of our educational programs are also available on the web via MBA On Demand, so those who might not live or work near the site for the class can still view the program and participate.

In addition to learning through CLE programs, there is a strong mentoring component to the YLD. Many of our events and programs are co-sponsored with MBA sections, so newer lawyers can meet and learn from more experienced practitioners in various fields of law. We have had countless networking events this year, not only in Boston, but across Massachusetts. Events this year included networking programs in Worcester, Cambridge and Acton, and at Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort. In prior years we have had events in Provincetown and Plymouth. In addition to networking with other lawyers, we have had joint events with other organizations, such as the Massachusetts Medical Society, so that our members can build relationships with professionals in other fields. There is also a social aspect to many of our events as members find it is sometimes easier to network in a more laid back setting. This year we had events at a Celtics game and at Witch's Woods at Nashoba Valley. And we have a boat cruise coming up this month on the Spirit of Boston.

These programs and events are not just for new attorneys. We also have a subcommittee dedicated to law students. This year alone, hundreds of law students joined the MBA and signed up with the YLD. As a law student member of the YLD you can take advantage of all of our programs and also develop a strong network of contacts, which can help you once you graduate and begin looking for work or need guidance as a newly practicing attorney.

In additional to bettering yourself as a member of the YLD, you can give back to the legal community and the Massachusetts community at large. This year, the YLD participated in numerous volunteer activities. We participated in the MBA's Dial-A-Lawyer program; fundraised for and ran in the Lawyers Have Heart 5K, benefiting the American Heart Association; volunteered at the Great Boston Food Bank; sponsored food and clothing drives for local charities; volunteered at the Special Olympics; and mentored children at More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless or out of school.

If you are an MBA member who has been practicing for 10 years or less, or you are a law student, please take advantage of the Young Lawyers Division of the MBA. More information about our events and programs can be found on the MBA's website in the event calendar section or on My Bar Access. All of our monthly board meetings are open to the entire YLD, and attending is a great way to maximize your involvement in the division.

I am truly grateful for my time spent on the YLD board and I wish the upcoming board a successful association year.