The Massachusetts Bar Association has a long and proud history.
I am honored to commence my service as president of this great
organization and thank everyone for this wonderful opportunity.
As lawyers and citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we
have shared values. We benefit from those shared values, but also
bear the burden of the privilege of being lawyers. We have taken
oaths to uphold the constitutions of both the United States and the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As all of you know, the United
States Constitution was based upon the Massachusetts
Massachusetts is among the few states that call themselves
commonwealths. It is useful to note that the word commonwealth
derives from the "the common weal" and means generally public
welfare, general good or advantage. The word commonwealth connotes,
in essence, that we all are in this business of society (however
that may be defined from time to time in its particulars) together.
Being "in this together" is a useful premise to contemplate as we
all work through our daily lives, practicing law in the private or
public sector, serving as judges or otherwise using our legal
education and experience to address and find solutions for
Being "in this together" also relates to the notion of being
inclusive, another useful premise, I think. The Hon. Louis
Brandeis, a great lawyer and great jurist, was among those who,
more than 100 years ago, founded the MBA, based upon the premise of
inclusion. That is what the MBA has been. The structure of the MBA
furthers the objective of inclusion. The House of Delegates
includes representatives from all of our county bar associations,
as well as most of the commonwealth's affinity and specialty bar
associations. In addition, the MBA's 17 section councils represent
practice areas relevant to all practitioners in the
Through its structure, the MBA carries out its commitment to
inclusion, providing a seat at the table for all Massachusetts
practitioners. Indeed, all lawyers in the commonwealth effectively
have a seat at the MBA table.
Because I believe we all are in this together, I challenge all
MBA members to be as active as they can in the association and that
those of you reading this message who are not yet members, join us
There are many ways you can benefit from active involvement in
the MBA. Perhaps the easiest way is to join as many sections as may
interest you. Section membership is free with your MBA membership,
with no limit on the number of sections. The sections, as led by
their councils, provide timely, practical and relevant information
in their respective practice areas.
Participate in MBA social events. They are fun and a great way
to network with your colleagues in the profession.
Stay abreast of the advocacy efforts of the MBA by visiting www.massbar.org. You will find the
MBA's advocacy efforts to be considerable and effective.
Precisely because we are privileged to be part of a great
profession we must not ignore the problems in our profession --
those "elephants standing in the corner of the courtroom." We need
to recognize and address the problems. We need to do so honestly
and forthrightly. We cannot wait for a young child to tell us that
the emperor is wearing no clothes.
I reiterate: be an active MBA member. If you are not a member,
join and be active. In addition to the MBA, I urge you to join and
support your county bar, affinity bar or specialty bar.
Do it because it will help make you a better lawyer. Do it
because it is the right thing to do. Do it because we are stronger
speaking together than separately. Do it because we all are in this