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MCBA President’s Message: MCBA working hard during the dog days of summer

Jon P. Getz

Jon P. Getz

As we enjoy the summer, it is amazing how quickly the season seems to fly by. This summer has been particularly energizing for me as I have watched the MCBA plan programs and events, as well as work towards assisting and providing its members opportunities to make their practices even better.

While programming, CLE and other events seem to slow down over the summer, MCBA advanced planning of CLEs makes for an exciting bar year. During the numerous meetings I have participated in, I continue to appreciate and respect how special and talented the members are in our association.

During the meetings and as we continue the implementation of our recent strategic plan (developed under the leadership of past president Jill Cicero), we strive to provide relevant, high-quality continuing legal education with engaging speakers that help us in all aspects of our practice. We also work hard to create useful and engaging meetings with sections and committees. It has been impressive to see how each chair has the same objective: to make good lawyers better in their practice.

I would be remiss in not sending a special thank you to Monroe County Bar Association Secretary Tiffany Lee, who is the point person heading the continued implementation of the strategic plan. Her hard work and dedication, along with that of the MCBA staff, exemplifies what I have been able to witness as president.

The association has already made changes to help our community at both the professional and personal level. There will be significant opportunities to be engaged in CLE programs and other events. Many of these events will include the general public.

Through the guidance of our Academy of Law, the association intends to offer not only relevant but also engaging programming that will include using important technology in the practice of law along with some fun “competitive style” participatory CLEs. While more information will come throughout the bar year, the plan is to engage our membership while also using the talents of the attorneys that are attending as part of the programming.

In addition to continued review of CLE presentations, the association is aware of changing membership needs. For instance, the MCBA is looking for ways to improve our lawyer referral service. Potential modifications of our lawyer referral services will provide a more efficient and faster way to connect potential clients with MCBA members that use this service. The changes will allow for a more technologically advanced setting that is more relevant and accommodating for our membership. This should streamline case referrals so that the potential client may get in touch with attorneys faster while at the same time giving attorneys a better understanding of the client’s case.

The MCBA will also commemorate Law Day and Law Week in new ways. We anticipate that in 2019 there will be more Law Day events, with speakers and CLEs that are both relevant to the practice and tied more closely to the Law Day theme.

Perhaps more significantly, since the association has been aware that attending the Law Day lunch has become challenging for so many members, we are also taking the opportunity to make the event more accommodating by changing it from a luncheon to an evening reception, where people will have opportunities to speak with each other as we celebrate the accomplishments of our colleagues and also acknowledge the importance of their work to our profession. We recognize the value of our members’ time and money, and we want to give more members an opportunity to attend as many of the events as possible. The evening awards event is scheduled for May 2 at The Strathallan. Stay tuned for more details!

As mentioned above, our committees and section chairs are already working hard in planning the 2018-2019 bar year. This includes assessing the needs of their members at the various committees. Examples of this include a review of some of the sections and committees to see how the bar association can better help its membership in certain areas of practice, creating networking opportunities and holding public forums.

Just one example of the last of these is a recent presentation hosted by the MCBA’s Health & Well-Being Committee about the important and serious topic of suicide. I want to note a special thank you to Kammholz Law PLLC and the federal court for helping to sponsor the program. The forum provided an opportunity to address these issues that face not only our clients, but also our colleagues and ourselves.

The summer closes with two fun events: The 25th Annual Lawyers for Learning Golf Tournament is scheduled for Aug.27. I am also excited to remind everybody of a free night at the movies. In conjunction with our friends and colleagues from the Rochester Black Bar Association and the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys, we are presenting a free showing of the Oscar-nominated film “13th” at The Cinema theater on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. There will also be a free panel discussion after the movie. For attorneys who may need diversity CLE credit, a minimal fee will be charged. I encourage you to look up the information on the MCBA website and register for the event. (Because seating is limited, we ask that you register if you plan to attend.)

Finally, while the team has been working hard in gearing up for the upcoming year, it is not too late to join the association and any committees and/or sections that you find of interest. I encourage you to do so, as we cannot do all we do without you. For those who have not yet signed up or are wondering where the paper information might be, we have moved towards paperless sign up. If you have any questions about this, do not hesitate to call the bar association directly.

As always, I value any comments or questions you may have and invite you to email me at any time. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Jon P. Getz is president of the Monroe County Bar Association and is the partner of Vahey Muldoon Reston Getz LLP. He can be reached at jgetz@vaheygetz.com.

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