In a few short months I will have the privilege of serving as president of the Massachusetts Bar Association. I thank you for this honor and I hope I am worthy of the confidence you have shown in me.
While I look forward to Sept. 1 with some trepidation, I am also very excited. The MBA holds a unique position in Massachusetts. As the largest bar association in our state, the input of the MBA is sought on numerous issues from various groups on a daily basis. Our responsibility is to be the voice of the legal community in our state and to be a leader on important issues.
As a young lawyer I was frustrated by what I perceived to be the bureaucracy of the MBA. While serving on the Civil Litigation Section Council, I was amazed that positions we took had to be vetted by numerous other section councils and by the House of Delegates. As a more seasoned lawyer I now see the value of this process.
During my tenure at the MBA I have participated in many meetings where attorneys, having expertise in different areas of practice, have examined and re-examined a proposal on which the MBA was taking a position - from the new corporations law to amendments to the durable power of attorney statute. On each and every occasion, a better product evolved as input was received from different section councils, committees or task forces.
The work of the hundreds of volunteers at the MBA is crucial so that our association can best articulate positions important to our members, to our clients and to the public. In the next two months I will be making literally hundreds of appointments to various section councils, standing committees, court committees and task forces. There is a lot of substantive work to be done next year. While we have a core group of talented and dedicated volunteers, I would very much like to broaden that group - geographically and demographically. For those of you outside of Boston, the MBA is aware of the time it takes simply to get to and from meetings in Boston. We are purchasing equipment that will make it easier for members to attend meetings by telephone. We encourage participation in this way.
If you have and you are willing to give some time to the MBA next year, please contact me by June 1. Let me know your areas of interest and the amount of time you are able to give. I thank you in advance for your support and I look forward to working with you next year.
Kathleen M. O'Donnell