The MBA's Annual Conference 2004: "Leading Through Law" - January 22-24 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel - is your best opportunity all year to see old friends and make new ones while catching up on legal developments, sharpening your skills and learning about the latest technology. Over these three days, hundreds of members from the bench and bar will attend conference programs and special events.
From Thursday afternoon's three full tracks of programs to enhance your practice, improve your career or fill you in on the newest legal tech tools right through Saturday's closing luncheon there are more programs, more speakers and more special events than ever.
Highlights of this year's events include speeches by:
• Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund (Gala Dinner)
• David Cole, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center (Access to Justice Awards Luncheon)
• Charles F. Robinson, legal profession futurist ("The Future of Law Practice," Friday address and panel discussion)
Another important component this year is three additional CLE seminars - on Appellate Practice and Procedure, Corporate Governance and Juvenile Law - bringing the total CLE lineup to 13 programs.
And Saturday's traditional Bench/Bar Forum topics are particularly timely this year, focusing on "Preventing Wrongful Convictions" and "Promoting Just Outcomes."
The conference this year has many more new features this year, notably a jam-packed lineup of talks, demonstrations and roundtables on Thursday afternoon, to give attendees many new opportunities to listen, learn and network.
Based on the success of last year's CLE seminars "How to Start and Run" and "300 Ways to Use Your Law Degree," two tracks of half-hour talks will be presented under the heading "Managing Your Practice & Career." These informal presentations are geared for newer lawyers, law students as well as attorneys who are looking for new information on law practice management or career options.
In addition, on both Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon, busy lawyers won't want to miss the new series of Tech Talks, which will provide an overview of the latest tools, techniques and services available to handle the demands of a law practice in today's fast-paced business climate. Many of the companies offering member benefits through the MBA's new Legal Tech Toolbox will participate.
But programming alone doesn't make for a great conference. To make this year's programs and events accessible to as many people as possible, there are several new pricing options for attendees, including legal services lawyers, government attorney, law students and law-firm staff.
Many sponsors and exhibitors are supporting this year's conference programs and opportunities. Special recognition goes to overall conference cosponsors Citizens Bank and CMI for their invaluable and early support. In addition, long-time partners MCLE, LexisNexis and the Flaschner Judicial Institute return this year to assist with conference materials, programs and activities, respectively. And be sure to spend time in the AC04 Exhibit Hall to visit with more than 40 companies offering products and services tailored specifically for today's legal profession. (For a partial list of this year's exhibitors, see the accompanying article on page 17.)