For over 80 years, Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers Section has served the professional and social interests of new and young attorneys in Los Angeles County. As president of the Barristers for the year ending June 2013, I am proud and honored to serve in a role that has been filled by some of the most prominent leaders in the Los Angeles legal community. More important, I would like to welcome new and young attorneys to join the Barristers and to contact me to discuss how you can join us in fostering fun professional development.
Even though the Barristers has a considerable history as a reputable professional association, I am often asked what it is and what it does. While it would take much more than a page to detail the contributions that the Barristers has made to the Los Angeles County legal community, I will venture a synopsis. Nearly 4,000 strong, the Barristers consists of attorneys and law students who are practicing or interested in practicing in Los Angeles County and who are under 36 years of age or who have less than five years in practice. Members of the Barristers plan and participate in enjoyable professional development in Los Angeles. Judging from past Barristers leaders, I can also safely say that we are the future leaders of the Los Angeles County legal community.
What we do is plan and participate in programs and events that provide new, young, and aspiring attorneys opportunities for networking, pro bono and community contribution, CLE, government and political relations, connecting with judges, being published, and addressing issues affecting the new and young members of LACBA. We do this with an emphasis on making our events fun and rewarding for those who plan and participate in them.
In just the last year the Barristers planned and held job-acquisition and debt-relief planning events to address the effects of the economic downturn upon new and young attorneys. In addition, we held charity and networking mixers (some featuring prominent local politicians discussing current legal issues), provided pro bono legal services to those without means to retain counsel, and hosted numerous mixers that helped hundreds of our members mingle and decompress after work.
The Barristers has been successful at endeavors such as these for over 80 years because of the new, young, and aspiring attorneys who dedicate countless extracurricular hours to planning and participating in these events. We thrive upon the youthful fervor and innovative ideas of our members and leaders. Without a doubt, our success is also a product of those who support new, young, and aspiring attorneys in developing as leaders in the legal community. These people include LACBA's leadership and staff, judges, partners, supervising attorneys, and senior associates who offer their resources and time to help us participate in building upon the Barristers tradition of excellence in professional development and leadership.
On behalf of the Barristers Executive Committee and membership, I deeply thank those supporters for their invaluable contributions and dedication to Barristers success.
If you are interested in being part of Barristers—as a leader on its executive committee, as a participating member, or working with us to sponsor or plan an event—or even if you just have questions about doing so, I invite you to contact me.
To get a sense of what opportunities for participation we offer, here is a list of our committees with brief descriptions of what they do:
- Bench and Bar connects the courts to the newer members of the bar.
- Law Student Outreach connects young attorneys and law students and ensures that Barristers programming is relevant to law students.
- Continuing Legal Education plans educational events designed for attorneys within their first five years of practice.
- Government Relations works with politically interested colleagues in keeping us connected to decision makers.
- Legal Profession addresses timely and important issues for attorneys within their first five years of practice, such as job acquisition and transition.
- Networking meets the bar at the bar, planning and hosting mixers, charity, or other after-work entertainment events.
- Pro Bono works with established organizations that provide legal services for those in need, offering Barristers a chance to perfect their skills as practicing attorneys.
- Articles, Tips, and Media are informal divisions of the Barristers that work on our newsletter, produce articles, and expand our media presence.
If you are interested in getting more involved, please let me know which two committees you are most interested in joining, in order of preference. I look forward to meeting and working with you in building upon over 80 years of fun and excellence in serving the interests of the new, young, and aspiring members of the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Barristers.