Come and visit the MBA marketplace

Issue January/February 2017 By Jeffrey N. Catalano

Thriving new food marketplaces have recently opened in Boston. Perhaps you visited "Eatily" in the Prudential Center or the Boston Public Market downtown. Upon entering, you're introduced to a variety of appetizing options. Each section of the marketplace has varying themes and high quality offerings to fit your needs. Yet despite the diversity, there's an unmistakable community among the vendors all seeking different but unified ways to make the experience enjoyable for everyone who enters. Friendly faces abound. People are excited to talk to you.

These marketplaces are a true study in dichotomies that combine to work successfully. They are big but intimate, retail but wholesome, planned but organic.

I think these marketplaces fulfill a longing for the special qualities of the diminishing small family markets and the sincere connectedness we feel with them.

I know that of which I speak. When I was little, my mother would take me to "Catalano's Market," a little Italian store in Scranton, Pennsylvania, owned by my Great Uncle Joe. I recall the friendly greeting from my great uncle who was the butcher, always offering me a slice of meat or cheese. After getting his delicious Italian sausage, we'd walk down the creaky wood floors to the register where my Great Aunt Angie worked. I couldn't get past her without telling her how I was doing in school, what position I played in baseball and, importantly, being told to be nice to my little sister and mind my parents. I received early lessons in the civic virtues of personal engagement, respectful relationships, and the rules of civility. Like all of their customers, I left enriched, educated and enlightened on many levels.

These are the exact qualities and experiences that the MBA provides. The MBA is, in fact, a thriving legal marketplace of ideas. It shares the important characteristics of these modern food eateries. We have various sections with different themes and high quality offerings. You can shop for free CLEs taught by experts that fit your professional needs. Consume the wisdom of others through our numerous articles in the Lawyers Journal.

Come and embrace the vibrancy of our diverse community that's continuously seeking ways to make you more successful and happy. We are constantly aiming for ways to please every generation of lawyer across the state, all of whom are our customers. Friendly faces abound. People are excited to talk to you. There's an abundance of kindness and personal relationships that are the ingredients of all successful businesses like the new marketplaces and old Catalano's Market. Connect and develop friendships with people who genuinely care about how you are doing, professionally or personally. And, we also happen to provide really good free food and drink at many of our events.

So if this sounds appetizing, get more involved and invite someone to the next CLE, lecture or event. Let's help each other to feel that special connectedness that's missing from most of our days.

And be sure to come to the MBA's outstanding Annual Dinner on May 4, and engage with other interesting attorneys and judges. Celebrate our brothers and sisters who are awarded for championing access to justice for the less fortunate. Listen to acclaimed author and CNN senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who will be giving the keynote address. I'm confident you will leave enriched, educated and enlightened on many levels.

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