Annual Conference 2006 features new programs aimed at "Lawyers in Transition," solo practitioners

Issue February 2006

This year's Annual Conference — "Shaping the Future of the Legal Profession," from March 23-25 at Boston's Marriott Copley Place Hotel — will feature a new program Thursday afternoon geared toward those who have taken a hiatus from practicing law.

To take advantage of early registration for AC06, sign-up before Feb. 15 and take $50 off the "full conference pass" registration fee.

In addition to programming for law students and new lawyers on Thursday, "Lawyers in Transition" is a new track this year that is aimed at professionals who have put their career on hold, either to start or take care of their family, because of a sabbatical or to make career changes.

It will feature a program called "Re-imagining the Practice of Law" by Northeastern University School of Law professor David Hall, formerly of Dean & Provost. Following the program, Hall will sign his book, "Spiritual Revitalization of the Legal Profession: A Search for Sacred Rivers."

Thursday's "Lawyers in Transition" track will also feature: Barbara Bowe of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers leading a program "Coping with Stress/Work/Life Balance"; Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly publisher David Yas and Lisa Terrizzi formerly of Harvard University's human resources department on "Nontraditional Legal Paths"; and a Lawyers in Transition forum led by MBA Secretary Denise Squillante.

A highlight of Friday's programming will be a forum on the Superior Court's "Firm, Fair Trial Date Initiative."

The forum, moderated by Superior Court Chief Justice Barbara J. Rouse, will give an overview of changes in Superior Court practice relating to the initiative undertaken this year. Topics will include bench expectations in pre-trial conferences, calendaring of trials, new standing order on trial continuances and motion practice.

The forum will be followed by a brief Q&A period with a panel of Superior Court justices, including: Rouse, Hon. Nonnie S. Burnes, Hon. John C. Cratsley and Hon. Stephen E. Neel.

Saturday's programming features a new track geared toward small firm and sole practitioners, with programs on: "Setting Fees & Attracting Clients"; "Handling Retainers and Collecting Fees"; "High Tech Trends in Office Efficiency"; and "Work Smarter, not Harder."

"This new track is exciting because it features timely, practical tips that registrants canÊput to immediate use in their practice," said MBA Director of Programs and Services Lisa Ferrara.

The highlight of the conference will be the annual bench/bar session with Leo Boyle and Judge Cynthia Cohen, co-chairs of the planning committee for Saturday's Bench/Bar session. The overarching theme of this year's Bench Bar Forum will be "Covering Justice: The Media and Public Perception of the Legal System."

The first session, moderated by Hon. Gordon L. Doerfer of the Appeals Court, will discuss the "Public Understanding of the Role of Judges." Michael S. Greco, American Bar Association president and an attorney with Kirkpatrick and Lockhart, will serve as moderator for the second panel on the "Public Understanding of the Role of Lawyers." Associate Justice John M. Greaney of the Supreme Judicial Court will moderate the final panel on "Improving Public Understanding of the Legal System."