Thursday, Sep. 6, 2007
MBA Officers and the nine-member delegation from the Tokyo Bar Association
MBA welcomes international guests
Tokyo Bar Association delegates stop at MBA on east coast trip
On Friday, Aug. 31, immediate MBA Past President Mark D Mason, fellow officers and association staff enjoyed a visit from a nine-member delegation of the Tokyo Bar Association.
Friday’s visit was one of several visits to cities throughout the eastern United States.
The delegation arrived midday and enjoyed lunch with MBA representatives. The meeting quickly evolved into a productive exchange focusing on the MBA’s Continuing Legal Education efforts.
“We don’t often have the opportunity to sit with our peers from around the globe,” said Mason as he welcomed the group to the MBA’s Boston headquarters.
Working through a translator, the group offered its thanks to the MBA. “We hope that we can be of help to you too in the future,” said Toshiko Terada, translator for and member of the Tokyo Bar Association.
The visit was planned following original correspondence between Tokyo Bar Association representative Tojiro Ishii and Mason a few months ago.
At Friday’s meeting, MBA CLE Manager Elizabeth Varney shared the specifics of the MBA’s CLE Department and its program offerings for MBA members and others in the Massachusetts legal community.
Following Varney’s presentation, the Tokyo delegation shared their concerns about the Japanese legal community. They explained that 10 years ago, only about 15,000 attorneys practiced in Japan. Now that the bar exam is more lenient and the passing rate has increased from three to 15 percent, the total of practicing attorneys will soon reach 30,000.
The trip to the United States is to gather information on best practices for CLE, among other topics.
“We are concerned because with more people passing the exam, the quality of attorneys may go down,” relayed Terada, who then explained that the group wants to be smart and offer programs such as CLE to deal with the issue.
The afternoon meeting came to a close with presents exchanged by both parties.