Reflections on a successful YLD year

Issue July/August 2016 By Melissa Conner

Certainly, I am biased, but this year at the Young Lawyers Division was a success. This is absolutely because our board members were, once again, phenomenal. From our first meeting of the 2015-2016 year, it was clear to me that the board was full of great ideas and ready to get down to business.

This year, with the help of Tara Lynch's Community Service Committee, we had another successful event at the Greater Boston Food Bank. We surpassed our fundraising goal in the Lawyers Have Heart 5K. We collected goods for Cradles to Crayons, food for our Thanksgiving Food Drive and signed up potential bone marrow donors for Gift of Life.

Meghan Slack and Mike Leard exceeded all of my hopes for our Education Committee. They kept our educational calendar full with panels, such as Persuasiveness in the Courtroom, Conducting Client Intake Interviews, Introduction to MCAD, Going Solo, a Judge's Panel for New Lawyers and a SkiLE panel on depositions.

We continued to engage our young and young-at-heart lawyers with fun, low-stress networking events. Adam Ponte organized our Witches Woods Halloween event and again got us great seats to a Celtics game. Janet Raheb made sure our Cuatro de Mayo party in Worcester was well organized and well attended. Our year is not quite over yet, and I'm sure our Quest Night at Boda Borg and our End of Year Cruise will be a great time as well.

Jason Armiger's Law Student Committee worked hard to make contact with all of the law schools and put on several panels for our law student member. Ralph Gillis's particularly popular Legislative Special Committee, gave us a rousing debate on paternity leave. And Steven Ayr's Technology Special Committee kept us abreast of modern advancements in communications. Mark Preiss and his Nominating Committee gave us a board for next year that I am sure will continue to develop friendships, entertaining events, community service opportunities and education for young lawyers.

Thank you, Jeffrey Morlend, for being someone who every committee of the YLD was able to rely on when they needed help. Thank you, Laura Smith and John Pregmon, for helping us with all of our ideas, even though they were sometimes a bit unconventional.

I will miss being on the board of the YLD: our "unofficial meetings," Mike's minutes, awkward moments when people forgot to mute their phones, the parade of stylish dress socks and the annual cookie party. During my time on the board, I have seen my fellow young lawyers achieve so much: pay off their student loans, get married, get new jobs, buy homes, make partner, win huge cases, pass the patent bar and the list goes on. I know our newer board members will strengthen their networks and thrive in the YLD. Certainly, under the guidance of the incoming Chair Victoria Santoro, the YLD will continue to be a community and a resource for young lawyers and law students.

Melissa Conner served as the 2015-16 MBA Young Lawyers Division chair