As we see more of a "graying" of our profession, more seasoned
attorneys will soon be turning over the reins of the profession to
younger, up-and-coming lawyers.
To prepare for this shift, the more seasoned attorneys have the
responsibility to nurture and show our less seasoned colleagues the
I am confident that as you read this message, you will remember
those persons who assisted you as you began your career and how
important their mentorship was to your professional journey. We
need to honor the legacy of those who have helped us in the past
while carrying on that tradition in the future.
As I have spoken throughout the state this year, I have
encouraged colleagues to "reach behind and pull up one new lawyer
in front of us."
To help, the Massachusetts Bar Association has wonderful
mentoring programs, networking opportunities and events planned by
the various sections, the Young Lawyers Division, the Lawyers in
Transition Committee and our educational department. Programs such
as "Basics" and "How to Start and Run" are among our most popular
offerings as they provide much-needed lifelines for young or newly
All of these beneficial opportunities are important,
particularly in the difficult economic climate where the
unemployment of new lawyers is causing many to tap their
entrepreneurial spirit and open their own office. More seasoned
practitioners can play a part to help such attorneys in their
respective communities by connecting them with the various programs
and events hosted by the MBA.
To those lawyers who are considering opening up their own
office, I send you the message that you can do it. It may not be
easy at first, but I am certain that you will find your way. In
each of your communities, there are groups that you can connect
with to become more visible - join a community board, serve as
a lawyer for a day in the Probate Court or take a pro bono case to
assist legal services in your area.
If you embark on your own practice, treat each and every one of
your new cases with much care, as much of your continued business
growth will stem from referrals from past clients. And, do whatever
you can to protect your reputation no matter what career path you
I advise new lawyers in the commonwealth to not be afraid to ask
a question of a more senior lawyer. Many of my colleagues have
remarked that they are not approached by those new faces in
courtroom corridors. They typically do not know the new lawyers'
names or where they practice. So, I recommend that those
established practitioners do their part to connect with those new
faces and serve as a resource.
This disconnect is unfamiliar to me as my more senior
counterparts went out of their way to help with my transition into
the profession when I began my career. I encourage senior and
junior lawyers alike to re-energize that connection in the legal
Senior lawyers throughout the state can reach out to those new
to the bar, share a lunch or bring them to an MBA continuing
education program. Or, sponsor a new lawyer with an MBA
membership - the cost is minimal and the rewards on both sides
Please join me in continuing to help the next generation of
legal professions establish themselves and positively impact the
future of our profession.