|Renee E. Hackett is an associate specializing in employment and higher education law at the law firm of Bowditch & Dewey, LLP.
The 2003-2004 bar year is well under way, and the New Lawyers Section already is planning numerous programs and activities for the benefit of its members. Because these programs and activities can only succeed if section members support them, our goal for this year is to increase involvement in section activities and to ensure that section programming adequately addresses member needs and interests. The first step toward achieving this goal is to provide answers to a few basic questions.
What is the New Lawyers Section and who are "new lawyers"?
The New Lawyers Section currently maintains a membership of approximately 5,822. This level of membership makes it one of the largest sections of the MBA.
The section includes members of the bar admitted to practice for 10 years or less. Contrary to common misconception, the section is not dedicated solely to "brand new" attorneys who are fresh out of law school. Rather it serves the needs of attorneys with varied levels of experience in all areas of practice. We encourage "new lawyers" of all levels to take advantage of what the New Lawyers Section has to offer.
What is the New Lawyers Section Council?
The New Lawyers Section Council consists of 15 attorneys from across Massachusetts, representing various areas of practice and years of experience ranging from zero to 10. Our widely varied backgrounds, areas of practice and levels of experience give the council the unique ability to address a broad range of issues pertinent to new lawyers. But … we can't do it without your help. We urge every section member to get involved and to let us know what the section can do for you.
How is the New Lawyers Section serving you?
Every year, the New Lawyers Section endeavors to provide programs, projects and services that will present opportunities for the personal and professional growth of its members. This year will be no exception as the New Lawyers Section expects to be vocal and visible in areas including community service, continuing legal education, mentoring, social events and legislation. Keep your eye on MBA announcements regarding section-sponsored activities including the following:
• The section expects to change the format of its social events this year. Watch for announcements of upcoming events that will offer new lawyers not only the opportunity to socialize and network with their peers but also to interact one-on-one with prominent practitioners in various fields.
• The New Lawyers Section expects to lead the charge on several community-service projects this year. Although we will be actively seeking the involvement of section members, we also welcome and encourage the participation and contributions of all members of the bar. Community service and outreach projects enhance the image of the entire legal profession in the eyes of the community at large. These projects (and the communities that they serve) will benefit from the involvement of all members of the bar - regardless of years in practice. All MBA members should watch for announcements regarding these opportunities.
We encourage you to take an active role in getting the most out of your MBA membership by becoming involved in section events. Please feel free to contact me at [e-mail rhackett] with your ideas, interests and concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.