Like so many of you, I had some days off over the holidays, as did the whole MCBA team. This mid-year bar break gives all of us time to rest, renew and re-energize for the second half of the bar year. I have been heard over the years saying, “We have the busiest 6 months that we have ever had ahead of us right now.” But then, another year happens, and I find myself repeating myself. And the first half of 2015 is no exception. In fact, this may in fact be the busiest year to date.
Why is that you ask? Here is a good visual. This is the whiteboard in my office that I am now using in order to have a quick look at the 6 months ahead. The items on the upper portion are all major events, starting with the Judicial Robing Ceremony next Thursday, January 15th. If you have not yet registered, I would encourage you to take a moment and do that now. Please visit our homepage at www.mcba.org.
The next big event after that will be a very special evening with the premier of a 30 minute documentary that has been produced through some generous donors about the life of Judge Michael Telesca. We are working on a date, and will be sharing more very soon.
While that is underway, we will be conducting our annual Judicial Evaluation Process, with what I have heard may be anywhere from 6-10 candidates. That is a big number that requires many hours of planning and organization to convene the Judiciary Committee of 27 for multiple days of interviews.
On Friday, March 20th, we will be celebrating the 5th Anniversary of Jazz For Justice. This incredible event hosted by the Foundation of the Monroe County Bar will once again be at Harro East, with incredible talent from the Eastman School of Music. If you have yet to attend this event, now is the time to mark your calendar. Invites will be out in early February, but no need to wait till then to add it to your calendar. Bring your best date, friends, family and clients. We are already receiving delicious commitments from caterers and restaurants that want to come share their tasteful and tantalizing treats with you. Friday, March 20th — please write that date down.
Between that JFJ and the next event which is Law Day (May 1st), we also will be preparing the 2015-16 Bar Budget, gearing up for the busiest portion of our CLE calendar, beginning to plan and transition the new president, and appoint new committee and section chairs, where terms will be up in June.
This is also the time frame for the Foundation’s launch of the Annual Raise the Bar 2015 Appeal. As we close 2014, we are literally a few hundred dollars below the $35,000 mark. In 2015, I would love to see us make a nice round number like $50,000. Soon you will be hearing about a new MCBA program to assist our members, and the good news is, the Foundation is enthusiastically supporting the program concept. I am confident when you hear about this program, you will also want to support it through your gift to the foundation.
Let’s not forget the Annual Young Lawyers Section Silent Auction that for 5 of our 6 years, has been graced by our beloved Judge Judith Kaye. Judge Kaye’s participation in this great event over the year has assisted us in raising awareness for the Rochester Teen Court Program, which is the beneficiary of the auction proceeds. No date has yet to be set for this event, but we are looking at a mid-May time frame.
On May 20th, we will be repeating a very special event that was held almost 2 years ago now when the MCBA hosted a reception out at Woodcliff to welcome the Court of Appeals judges to upstate New York, along with our colleagues from the Bar Association of Erie County, the Onondaga County Bar Association and the New York Trial Lawyers Association. We look forward to welcoming the two newest judges in the spring. Please note May 20th to your calendar as well.
Then the final big event of the year is the Annual Dinner on Thursday, June 25th. I can’t disclose too many details just yet, but I can tell you this is one dinner you will not want to miss. Something unique and very worthwhile; not to be missed. No, don’t ask me for more just yet, I’m sworn to secrecy for now. Write this date down again too!
In between all of the above mentioned events we will also be:
- planning an additional 4-5 monthly BarSTOPs
- conducting probably 25-30 more CLE’s for the year
- coordinating 5-8 Committee and Section year end events
- preparing for the next dues cycle. Each year, we spend quite a bit of time trying to determine how to once again
- concluding all of the year end board business
- beginning to ramp up for the annual audit
- and whatever else hits the deck…
One of the other ideas on the table is that 2015 represents the 10th anniversary of co-location, so the question being asked is how do we celebrate this historic and unprecedented event that brought our four civil legal service partners under the same roof with the MCBA and the Foundation. If you have ideas on how we should celebrate, please let me know your thoughts. But I warn you, I believe in the concept that if you have an idea, and it garners support, you become the “Idea Chair”. This may be one event we plan for 2015-16 since I am not certain where we would even begin to fit it on the calendar.
I do LOVE this job, and all the action above with all of you is why I love this job!
Thanks for checking in and the warmest of a Happy New Year to you and yours,