Practice Resources

Issue 14

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Kyle R. Guelcher, chair, Young Lawyers Division

Note from the chair

Why be a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association?

The hot topic among new lawyers is jobs. The main question is where a new lawyer can find a job. Instead of providing an article on networking or the like, I put together a list to help guide in the job search process. It is not a complete list and it offers some basic steps to take.

For instance, one of the best places to network is a bar association. However, you might need to do more than simply shake hands at a social function. If you want to learn more about position in a specific area of law, for instance business law, then volunteer with the Massachusetts Bar Association's Business Law Section. The list below only has the general term "Massachusetts Bar Association." Obviously, your networking should be targeted more directly.

Additionally, throughout the year, the MBA offers numerous events and programs designed for the job seeker. Speed networking, career panels, and hanging a shingle are a few great events for any job seeker. The Young Lawyers Division routinely offers these programs throughout the year.

The MBA's upcoming Centennial Conference is full of programs ranging from networking strategies to information on LAR to social media for lawyers. The complete list of programs can be found here.

If you would like to make suggestions for additional resources or Web sites, please contact me directly.

Getting a Job Checklist 1

Getting a Job Checklist 2

Good luck in your job search.

Kyle R. Guelcher
Chair, MBA's Young Lawyers Division

YLD Panel Discussion: Hanging A Shingle With a Focus on Traps for the Unwary

Hanging a shingle is never an easy task for any practitioner, especially someone who is new to the profession. Determining how to obtain malpractice insurance, deciding on practice areas, figuring out how to market on the modest budget - all are concerns for solo practitioners. Additionally, navigating and understanding how to set up a practice without running afoul of ethical rules compounds the complexity of hanging a shingle.

Attend the MBA's YLD Panel Discussion: Hanging A Shingle With a Focus on Traps for the Unwary on Wednesday, April 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth, 333 Faunce Corner Road, North Dartmouth. This program will aim to answer some of those questions, providing young lawyers with helpful tips, advice and strategies for success, as well as the opportunity to network with other young lawyers and experienced attorneys.

Join attendees for a networking reception to following the panel discussion.


Christine A. Anderson
Anderson Law Office, New Bedford

Julie A. Lynch
Law Offices of Turcotte & Lynch PC, Fall River

Terrence David Pricher
Office of the Bar Counsel, Boston


Denise Squillante
Law Office of Denise Squillante, Fall River

Terence J. Welsh
Massachusetts Bar Association Insurance Agency, Springfield

Click here to R.S.V.P.

MBA & Mass Medical Society Young Professionals Networking Event

YLD Networking event with Med

Join us for the first MBA and Mass Medical Society networking event on Thursday, April 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lir, 903 Boylston St., Boston. Bring your business cards and enjoy appetizers and cocktails while mingling with other young professionals.

Click here to R.S.V.P.

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Technology for your practice: Young Lawyers Division favorites

by Kerry Mierzwa, Esq.

As young lawyers in 2011, we have a multitude of hurdles to overcome. The transition from law school to young lawyer encompasses so many more challenges than we probably imagined. While some of us are trying to navigate student loans, others are still trying to figure out the rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence (Can we go over Hearsay one more time?). Some of us are looking for jobs while others struggle with the ones they have and search for a balance between all their responsibilities. In the midst of all this, let's throw in that the field of technology is constantly evolving at an amazing rate. Fortunately, technology does not have to be something that presents another challenge to us on our journey.

While we at the Massachusetts Bar Association - Young Lawyers Division can't offer you all the solutions to life - we can share the ones that have helped us on our journey. I asked several members of the division to pass on what their favorite pieces of technology were. For a variety of reasons, these are some of the tools that assist us in our day to day activities:

  • "Mine is definitely my iPhone!  I'm kind of an info and news junkie, and it lets me look things up whenever I want to, whether trivial or more substantial. But the calendar and clock functions probably have become most essential for me.  And I love my Flashlight app! I never have to be in the dark anymore!" - Linnea R. Michel, Esq.
  • "E-mail" - Ashley Brandin, Esq.
  • "An electronic calendar is my favorite piece of technology. From the days of actual palm calendars, to a Blackberry I used for a few years, and now with Android software the electronic calendar is my favorite. As life and practice gets busier and busier, the electronic calendar helps reduce mental clutter for me, so I love it!" - Thomas M. Hoffey, Jr., Esq.
  • "I guess it really would be my Blackberry…can't live without it: Carries my calendar, accesses the Internet, views documents, receives faxes, delivers Sirius Satellite Radio, takes pictures, tracks investments, calculates, makes calls" - Jake Skinner, Esq.
  • "IPhone, Facebook and LinkedIn." - Kristine Ann Cummings, Esq.
  • "My scanner as it turns documents into MS Word Docs, PDF files, or Excel where it can be edited." - Kyle Guelcher, Esq.

As for me personally, I'd probably say my Blackberry is my favorite piece of technology. I have the ability to automatically keep track of my time -- for billing purposes -- with an application, the internet to stay on top of news, email to stay current with work matters, a calendar to keep the whole show running smoothly and a flashlight to prevent injuries in the dark. Although technology is constantly changing, it's not impossible to keep up with some of the trends that can help us navigate our first years as attorneys. We at the YLD will do our best to help you with that.

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Young Lawyers: Find a Lifeline –- Get Involved!

by Brigid Mitchell, associate attorney, Denise Squillante PC

The life of an attorney can be isolating at times and for many of us this can be an unwelcome part of the practice. For those of us that transitioned into the practice after years of being a student, the transition can be a bumpy road as it requires major life changes. Many of the pressures of being a student are different from those we experience as practicing attorneys and the change in our everyday life can be dramatic.

In my experience, I find that my social circle has shrunk considerably since entering private practice or even since entering law school. I have wrestled with why this has happened throughout my journey from college student to law student to practicing attorney but I cannot pinpoint any one reason. However, I do know that the practice itself can be very isolating for a variety of reasons including the public's perceptions about attorneys.

Many of my young colleagues have had similar experiences and we find solace in one another in adjusting to our new life as practicing attorneys. One particular place I have found to be a tremendous lifeline is the Massachusetts Bar Association and in particular the Young Lawyers Division.

Bar association involvement - on all levels - can provide attorneys at all stages of their careers with an invaluable support system. Many lasting friendships and connections are to be made through bar association involvement. I for one have met so many amazing people through my experiences with bar association work. It is very comforting to know there are other people in a similar situation with similar experiences and it helps to know you are not alone. I so enjoy networking and socializing with other attorneys outside of the adversarial process. Stepping outside of an adversarial role with other lawyers promotes civility and can work against negative perceptions people may have about attorneys. This can be achieved through bar involvement and volunteerism.

The difficult transition into practice makes bar involvement early in one's career that much more important. The isolation and pressure of the practice cause many people to leave the practice. Therefore, it is our responsibility as active participants in bar associations to educate our fellow young lawyers about the significance of bar involvement and bar leadership as a safety net for lawyers. If this safety net is put into place right away - beginning with law school - fewer people may leave the practice.

There are so many benefits to bar involvement beyond providing a lifeline and support network. Bar involvement serves to enhance and enrich the lives of all lawyers alike on both a professional and personal level.

Admitted to the bar in December 2009, Mitchell is an associate attorney at Denise Squillante PC in Fall River, where she focuses in the areas of family law and personal injury. A member of the MBA's Young Lawyers Division Board of Directors, Miitchell is also a General Practice, Solo & Small-Firm Section Council member.

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The MBA is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Join the conversation today

The Massachusetts Bar Association now has a presence on three social networking platforms, including Facebook, launched in October 2010, LinkedIn, launched in January 2010, and Twitter, launched in July 2009. All three social media platforms feature information about the MBA including CLE, events and news.

As an MBA member, we encourage you to both post items of interest to you, and the greater legal community, on these pages and comment on items already posted.

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Put your name out there

The goal of the YLD Board is to offer members opportunities for professional growth and development through participation in division activities. One opportunity available to members is publishing articles which are of interest to fellow practitioners. The MBA provides several forums for articles by YLD members - Young Lawyers e-Journal, Lawyers Journal and the Massachusetts Law Review.  

If you are interested in writing an article for any of these publications or if you have seen articles which you think may be of interest to other MBA members, please contact Jean Stevens for more information regarding this opportunity.

MBA May 18-19 Centennial conference to feature two-days of concurrent educational tracks; the Access to Justice Awards Luncheon and "Hail to the Chiefs" Bench-Bar Panel on May 18; Centennial Ball on May 19

The MBA's Centennial Conference, a celebration of the MBA's century of service to the public, profession and rule of law, will take place on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19 at the Boston Sheraton Hotel.

Click here to register.

Conference programming includes:

Full Conference 1

Full Conference 2

** Massachusetts lawyers who are MBA members can earn up to a 7.5 percent premium credit on Massachusetts professional liability insurance offered by CNA through the MBA Insurance Agency. You can earn a 5 percent premium credit by attending the Building a Solid Foundation: Managing Law Practice Risk session plus one other Substantive Track session. If more than one-third of your firm's attorneys attend, you can earn up to a 7.5 percent premium credit. This offer is valid for new and renewed lawyers' professional liability insurance policies with an effective date of Aug. 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012. This offer may not be combined with any other malpractice prevention/CLE premium credits. **

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association