I recently had the opportunity to visit the western part of our
state to meet with lawyers and budding lawyers, and I came away
with filled with optimism.
I was honored to speak briefly to members of the Hampshire and
Hampden county bar associations, and I also addressed a group at
Western New England Law School in Springfield. Later this month, on
Oct. 21, I'm looking forward to returning to Springfield when I
participate with other MBA volunteers on our next Western
Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer program.
As I mentioned in my inaugural column as the new president of
the Massachusetts Bar Association, one of my interests is in trying
to help restore the professional congeniality that I've always
valued so much in my own interaction with fellow lawyers. While our
system is adversarial, we can still be civil to one another.
In my visits to western Massachusetts, my sense was that the
lawyers I met there enjoy a strong sense of camaraderie and
collegiality. And to my way of thinking, that's the way it should
be. One brotherhood/sisterhood under the law.
We all work in the same system under similar pressures and with
similar concerns. The high quality of lawyers and standards of
practice are what makes this state such a great place to work in
the law. We couldn't do it without each other.
I want to reiterate my call to all of you to make your voice
heard regarding issues the MBA should be pressing. From Pittsfield
to Provincetown and all points between, we are stronger as one
The more people we hear from, the more representative an
organization we can be. It would be great to receive input and
ideas from every different part of the state, and perhaps we can
share some of them in a community bulletin board, either here in
this journal or on our website at MassBar.org. That is something I
would gladly support.
We are guilty to some extent of operating in our silos, and in
some cases, people have preconceptions of what others are like in
other regions of our state. But, of course, stereotyping is usually
a mistake. I've traveled to all corners of the commonwealth, and I
can assure you there is indoor plumbing, electricity -- and good
lawyers -- everywhere in Massachusetts. And even in cases where
there are real differences, we can learn from them and use them to
In the coming months, I'll be talking to you more about some of
the issues we as an organization want to pursue legislatively and
things we want to try to accomplish through policy. In the
meantime, I'm going to try to talk to as many people as possible to
get a strong sense of what's going through their minds.
All of us, no matter where we live and where we work, are
providing a great service to the people of this commonwealth. They
place their trust in us, and they deserve the best representation
possible. I am confident that we do that as well as any state in
the union. But we can always be even better. One mark of a great
lawyer is someone who is always striving to improve. And that's
what we should be doing as a bar association, as well.
Communication is the key. Boston lawyers, Cape lawyers,
Springfield lawyers, Salem lawyers, wherever you practice in
Massachusetts -- we're all one MBA. I urge you to reach out to us
and let us know what you think.
I look forward to hearing from you!