Happy holidays! As the holiday season is fully upon us, on behalf of the entire team and board of the Monroe County Bar Association, I wish everyone a joyous holiday season and Happy New Year!
As president of the Monroe County Bar Association, I must admit, during this time of the year, I have been able to enjoy my “duties” more than ever. Many of our outstanding sections and committees have their annual holiday luncheons or other festive events — to see the collegiality of the attorneys is invigorating.
One of my more favorite bar events recently occurred on Dec. 6. The MCBA’s annual Bench and Bar Holiday party brought together Judges and attorneys who were able to spend some time together and enjoy some good food and great company. I would like to extend a special thank you to the over 35 justices and judges who were able to take some time off and make the party. I hope all who attended had as much fun as I did.
I would also like to commend the MCBA Young Lawyers Section and Harter Secrest and Emery, who hosted a more intimate networking opportunity for judges and members of the young lawyer’s section. It was nice to see our Judges meeting and speaking with the younger attorneys in as setting outside of the court. I believe it is vitally important for the young attorneys to have opportunities to meet with members of the bench. This is especially true when the settings are less formal and more collegial.
It is truly nice to see so many people out for the party and having a chance to simply catch up with old and new friends. We hope to plan more of these types of opportunities to meet throughout the bar.
As we rapidly approach 2019, the MCBA is also offering many new and exciting benefits and opportunities to help improve your practice. These “gifts” help members to thrive in our ever-changing practice.
Some of the newer benefits include the recently launched online lawyer referral service. This online platform has already been shown to provide more opportunities for attorneys to have potential client access with more rapid referrals. The attorneys also have greater control in focusing on which potential clients may be a better fit for his/her practice.
Unlike the old phone lawyer referral program, the members provide their own online profile and can see what a potential client believes they need in legal representation. The referral attorney also has the ability to accept a referral in a more efficient manner with a quicker response time. I hear that the current members of the new lawyer referral program have found this service to be a significant improvement over the previous program and have approved and applauded these changes. I suggest that you take some time to see how LRS works by going to the MCBA website.
MCBA has also recently partnered with Redcave Consulting in offering attorney related services as reduced rates. Redcave has over 10 years of experience in assisting solo and small-firm practitioners in working with issues surrounding law office technology, financial management and marketing. This opportunity should allow practitioners to spend more time in the practice and spend less time dealing with the administration and business tasks that come with any small office.
Free CLE! On Jan. 10, 2019, the Monroe County Bar Association — in collaboration with the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers — is sponsoring a continuing legal education program on the skills of summation. This two-hour CLE is free to MCBA and New York State Academy Law members. The experience of the outstanding attorneys speaking at this program will certainly be provide valuable information, guidance and advice in this important part of a trial. Also, if you did not catch the other important part of this CLE: It is free to all MCBA and Academy members!
The association also has many other important CLEs planned. For example, on Jan. 17, a CLE discussing the recently enacted sexual harassment prevention laws will be held with a blue-ribbon panel of attorneys providing valuable information. This program will address what you need to know both as an attorney and as an employer.
With all of the new and exciting programs and benefits, we wanted you know that we are not finished as we work hard to make our association better every day. We value your thoughts and ideas and I personally hope to hear from you as we prepare for the next year. In the meantime, I wish you, your families and your friends a safe and happy holiday season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.