Each year, law schools continue to produce more and more graduates, and yet there are not enough jobs to employ these young and emerging lawyers. Many newly admitted attorneys are accepting job offers with salaries that do not even allow them to make the minimum payments on their student loans. Some new attorneys have been forced to take jobs outside of legal practice, while others are prematurely beginning solo practices in order to avoid a delay in their careers.
Given these unfortunate circumstances, the good work of the Barristers continues to be one of the most critical functions of the Bar. We offer these struggling new lawyers a place to come together and obtain the support they need to launch their careers, despite the grim state of the job market.
The Barristers is a unique division of the Bar because of the many ways it provides new lawyers with invaluable opportunities that can jump-start their careers, or further enhance their maturing professional practices. Barristers is not a section or committee restricted to a particular area of law, or with a specific mission or set of projects; rather, Barristers is what each Barrister chooses to make of it.
With the support of the Barristers Board, all Barristers have the opportunity to design a Continuing Legal Education program on virtually any legal topic of interest to them. The rewards Barristers can reap from chairing CLE programs are endless. For instance, Program Chairs locate and solicit a prominent professional, knowledgeable on the topic of choice, to serve as speaker for the program, thereby developing a relationship that may have not otherwise been enjoyed. Program Chairs also make themselves known within the Bar and the legal community as practitioners who are integral in the planning of valuable professional education programming. If qualified, they may even serve as co-speakers or moderators for the program.
Even more exciting, if a Barrister has a project that he or she is passionate about, and is willing to commit him or herself, the Barristers Board will provide the Barrister with the necessary support needed to design and form his or her own committee. These resources allow the Barrister to participate in community outreach, pro bono or other projects they personally feel are most important and valuable.
Because the Barristers are a group comprised of such enthusiastic, inclusive, diverse, and supportive Bar members, there is built-in flexibility which allows each member to focus on whatever is most personally meaningful to them, while simultaneously giving back to the legal profession and our community. For this and so many other reasons, I am proud to be a BHBA Barrister!
Autumn Ronda is a Tax and Estate Planning attorney at Valensi Rose, PLC in Century City. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310 277 8011.