Conferences, celebrations and courses mark our busy calendar

Issue May 2004 By Abigail Shaine

We have many new, exciting events planned for the upcoming months and I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of them for you.

Diversity conference

The MBA remains strongly committed to the goal of building an increasingly diverse bar. To that end, MBA President Richard Van Nostrand is chairing a conference entitled "Diversity in the Profession" on May 11. The keynote speaker will be Professor Jim Coleman of Duke University, who, among other accomplishments, was a key player in the recent cases involving University of Michigan admission policies.

At this conference, leading attorneys and law students of color from around the state will join President Van Nostrand, other MBA officers and ABA President-Elect Nominee Michael Greco. This group will continue the critical dialogue on how to increase the diversity of the bar. After listening to Coleman and some experienced panelists speak on this topic, attendees will break into small groups to develop action plans.

Greco celebration

The Massachusetts Bar Association is also proud to host a party celebrating the anticipated nomination of Michael Greco to the position of American Bar Association president-elect. As Mike is a former president of the MBA, we are particularly proud of his accomplishments within the ABA.

A reception will be held at the Langham Hotel (formerly the Le Meridien Hotel) in Post Office Square on Thursday, June 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. All are welcome. Please join us in celebrating Mike's accomplishments. Let's give him a great sendoff to the national scene!

MBF anniversary

While we are on the subject of celebrations, please save the date Thursday, Oct. 28, for a celebration of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's 40th anniversary. For the last four decades the MBF has been an organization central to the mission of providing access to justice for all those across the state who cannot afford legal assistance.

The MBF's celebration will be held at the newly renovated State Room (formerly the Bay Tower Room), in Boston's Financial District. The volunteers organizing this event are hard at work. There will be more information about the event in the upcoming months.

Hot topics in CLE

While the MBA has many interesting CLE programs coming in the next few months, there are a couple of programs being held in June that I wanted to bring to your attention because of the special guests attending.

On June 8, the MBA will sponsor "Current Hot Topics in the World of Tax-Exempt Organizations." The course will be held from 5-7 p.m. and is currently scheduled to be conducted at the MBA. Guest speakers will be Jamie Katz, assistant attorney general and chief of the Public Charities Division for Massachusetts, and Lois Lerner, director, Exempt Organizations, Rulings and Agreements, for the Internal Revenue Service. Among the topics Katz will address is the financial integrity legislation proposed by the Attorney General's Office. Lerner will speak about current topics of highest interest to her division of the IRS. Come join us for that very topical presentation and bring your clients!

Another exciting course, "Litigation and Public Relations: What Lawyers and Clients Need to Know," will be held at the MBA on June 9 from 12:30-2 p.m. This luncheon roundtable will be chaired by James McManus and includes as speakers Ed Ryan, past president of the MBA and a well-known attorney from Fitchburg, Andrew Caffrey of The Boston Globe, and CBS-4 News reporter Daniel Rae. In today's increasingly complicated media environment, this is a program that should interest many of you.

We hope to see you at these and other MBA CLE Programs. Watch the new MBA catalog for additional information about these programs. To register, please go to the Web site or contact the Member Service Center at (617) 338-0530.

Membership matters

Did you know that new members can join the MBA as of May 1, 2004, and have their membership extend through August 2005? So tell your friends that now is a great time to join us at the MBA!

Members - watch your mail for important materials from the MBA. Ballots for next year's officers and delegates to the House have either already arrived or are on their way soon.