The MBA and the ABA recently co-sponsored a conference at Hampshire College for college students of color attending one of the colleges in that geographic area. The purpose of the conference was to encourage more students of color to opt for a legal career. The hope of both bar associations is that such programs, if held on an ongoing basis, will help to increase the diversity of the legal profession.
The program included a panel of attorneys and judges with a wealth of different legal experiences, a panel of law students with some terrific perspectives to share, and a very inspiring keynote speech from Bob Ward, Dean of the Southern New England School of Law. Most of the state's other law schools actively supported the conference, as well as attended to answer questions posed by the college students.
The students who took part seemed genuinely interested in a legal career. They asked some terrific questions, which helped to stimulate some excellent exchanges between the panelists and the audience.
The MBA and the law schools already have committed to work together on a similar program in the Boston area early in 2003.
Student outreach remains a very significant component of the association's activities. Interest in the "Conversations" program continues to grow, with both the Immigration Bar Association and the Essex Bar Association launching related programs. Meanwhile, mock trial orientations for the hundreds of high school students around the state who participate are also underway.
The MBA also is proud to announce the commencement of a new program for high school students developed by the Labor and Employment section. The goal of the program is to educate high school juniors and seniors on their legal rights and responsibilities as they enter the workplace for the first time.
The presentations will be made by three individual attorneys from the section: a lawyer who represents employees, another lawyer who represents employers and a representative from the Division of Fair Labor and Business Practice of the Attorney General's Office.
These individual presentations will cover the basics of employment discrimination law and labor law. Specific topics will include anti-discrimination and harassment laws; minimum wage and overtime laws; and child labor laws.
These programs should begin shortly and will take place in high schools throughout the commonwealth. For more information regarding this program, please contact the Community Service Department at (617) 338-0695 or e-mail [e-mail communityservice].
More good news on the Casemaker front - Maine is the most recent state to join the consortium. That means that, before the end of 2003, the Casemaker library will include all six New England states. We believe this will make Casemaker an even more valuable tool for you.
Annual Conference update
Planning for Annual Conference 2003 continues.
I want to let you know about a new feature of the conference. In the past, the substantive programming did not begin until Friday. This year there will be two technology-oriented presentations on Thursday afternoon given by Toby Brown, vice president of Business Development and Sales for Case Data Corp. Toby's experience on the staff of the Utah Bar Association makes him uniquely positioned to address emerging-technology issues that are important to the MBA's membership. His topics will be "The Internet and the Practice of Law" and "Ethics of Securing Client Data." Please consider joining us for what we believe will be some very informative additions to the Annual Conference's traditional programming.