It's that time of year. Summer is ending. Autumn is just around
the corner, and the Massachusetts Bar Association begins its new
year. Welcome back.
A new year offers the opportunity to set new goals and get a
fresh start. It is time we make all sorts of promises to ourselves
that we hope will make us better. This year, I hope you will
promise yourself to become a more active and involved MBA member.
When I was a young associate, the partner I worked for said the MBA
was like a relationship; the more I put into it, the more I would
get out of it. Looking back at almost 40 years of practicing law in
Massachusetts, I realize that his advice was some of the best I
The MBA provided a way to meet and interact with my peers;
network with older, more experienced practitioners; and get to know
judges outside the confines of a courtroom. Some of my closest
friends are people I met through the MBA. Many of those friends
have practices very different from mine. If it wasn't for the MBA,
I may never have even met them. These friends have enriched my
professional life in many different ways.
My MBA membership also offered an opportunity to continue my
legal education so I could keep up with the latest developments in
the law and pick up practical tips on how to be a better lawyer. As
you may know, now all of the MBA CLEs are free to members.
Before I became a more active member, I didn't realize just how
much the MBA does for the judicial system, for our profession and
how much it has to offer to its members. In addition to advocating
for proper funding for our courts, the MBA has an influential
presence on Beacon Hill where it actively supports or opposes
pending legislation that impacts the courts or our profession.
Through its Amicus Committee, the MBA takes positions in appellate
cases that involve significant and important legal issues affecting
the legal community or society at large. In short, the MBA is a
legal force in our commonwealth that is respected and
The MBA also takes an active role in promoting community service
with programs, such as the Tiered Community Mentoring, Judicial
Youth Corps and SOLACE programs. The Mock Trial Committee runs a
competition for high school students who participate in mock
trials. The MBA also provides pro bono opportunities through its
monthly Dial-a-Lawyer program, where MBA members volunteer a couple
of hours of their time to answer legal questions over the phone
that are asked by people seeking legal assistance. Often these
callers are referred to the MBA's Lawyer Referral Service, where
they are matched to appropriate MBA members.
Anyone looking for a way to give back to the judicial system,
the legal profession and their community can easily find something
at the MBA that suits them well. So make a new year's resolution to
get off the sidelines and become a more active member of the MBA.
It's a decision you won't regret.