Who Needs a Mentor? | by Autumn Ronda, Barristers President

Autumn-Ronda-2013Everyone! The importance of mentorship cannot be understated. Oftentimes it can mean the difference between a budding professional’s determination to succeed, and their tangible success. Though a mentor relationship can exist in many forms, it always guides the mentee to the most clear and advantageous path to attaining their goals and the mentor will find the experience equally enriching.

I am fortunate to have maintained mentorship relationships with both attorneys and non-legal professionals alike. Though I am glad to have mentors within my firm, having mentors outside of one’s organization is imperative. It is often these individuals who can provide the most impartial view of a problem or obstacle. Sometimes I ask my mentors to comment on the strategy I’ve selected for a particular client, edit something I’ve drafted, or simply brainstorm with me. Other times, I’m looking for advice on the “big picture.” Regardless of the scale of my request, their experienced opinions and helpful reassurances help me to achieve my short and long-term goals.

This all seems very one-sided, right? It seems impossible for one to reciprocate the generosity of someone who is willing to invest so much of themselves in other individuals, but the answer is simple; you can’t repay them, so you must pay it forward instead. Personally, I have mentored at least ten individuals in a meaningful way, so I know the feeling of gratification and accomplishment, which a mentor feels when their mentee succeeds, is immeasurable.

How can you find yourself in a mentor relationship like the ones I described above, you ask? To facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships among BHBA members, my Co-Chair, Zev Shechtman and I have formed the new Barristers Mentorship Committee. Participants will submit detailed applications and the program administrators will make appropriate and thoughtful matches. Student members will be matched with Barristers as mentors. Barristers will be matched with more experienced members as Mentors. Mentor/Mentee matches will design their own guidelines for their relationship and a social event will be held in the spring to “kick-off” the Mentorship Program.

Please go to www.bhba.org/mentorship to complete an application to become a mentor and/or mentee today. I promise, regardless of which end of the relationship you fall on, it will be one of the most beneficial things you do as a member of the BHBA!

Autumn Ronda is a Tax and Estate Planning attorney at Valensi Rose, PLC in Century City. You may contact her at ar@vrmlaw.com or 310 277 8011.

Barristers say Buon Appetito! at SaMoShel

The Barristers returned to the Santa Monica Homeless Shelter to dish out some delicious Italian food!

Barristers prepare and serve food to as many as 60 of the city's under-privileged on the second Saturday of every month. Santa Monica Shelter is located at 505 Olympic Blvd. For questions or more information, you can e-mail Jeanine Percival-Wright at jeanine@virb.com or Anton Labrentz at anton@mrduila.com, or feel free to leave a comment below.

Hope to see you next month!

Barristers…An Incubator for New Lawyers | by Autumn Ronda, Barristers President

Autumn-Ronda-2013Each 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 ar@vrmlaw.com or 310 277 8011.

Muy Sabroso! Argentinian Food at SaMoShel

November at SaMoShel was another great success with fresh food and faces!



Barristers prepare and serve food to as many as 60 of the city's under-privileged on the second Saturday of every month. Santa Monica Shelter is located at 505 Olympic Blvd. For questions or more information, you can e-mail Jeanine Percival-Wright at jeanine@virb.com or Anton Labrentz at anton@mrduila.com, or feel free to leave a comment below.

Hope to see you next month!

Happy Holidays from Barristers President Autumn Ronda

Autumn-Ronda-2013I am enthusiastic, a bit nervous, and full of pride as I write this, my first Bar Brief article, addressing you in my new role as President of the BHBA Barristers. I speak for all my fellow Barristers when I say that this past year, under the leadership of our friend and collaborator, Jeanine Percival Wright, has been both personally and professionally rewarding.

Barristers Programs

Traditional Barristers programs such as Law Day, the New Admittee’s Reception, Barristers Monthly Free Legal Clinic, and Vintage Bouquet remained strong, while more recent projects such as the Community Outreach Committee and the Social Committee forged their place in Barristers history.

Early last year I put a new spin on the “Lunch With” program, expanding it beyond Entertainment Law, and establishing the program as a monthly
luncheon in which Barristers can join well-respected leaders in the legal community for a power lunch. As Committee Chair, Brian Schaller took the program to new heights and the Barristers have enjoyed tremendous success with these mini-mentoring sessions.

Lauren Gabbaian, took the lead on bringing the Barristers into the social media revolution by revamping our website, creating Barristers pages on
popular social media websites, and providing all of those outlets with continuous fresh content. With all of this to boast about, it is hard to see how the Barristers can do even more, but we have big plans to share with you!

Read more of Autumn's Bar Brief column here: 

Molto Bene!

The Barristers really came together this weekend to prepare dinner for about thirty homeless people at SaMoShel.  They got a delicious dinner of chicken parmasean, penne bolognese, Italian salad, and garlic bread, along with a healthy serving of vanilla-almond pudding (with a much fancier sounding name) for dessert.  We got cooking lessons from Roshni Gandhi, Anton Labrentz, and Leroy Williams.  Everyone had a blast!

Join us for the next SaMoShel meeting on Nov. 9!

Thank you 2012-13 Executive Committee, and Congratulations to Roshni Gandi!

It was a great year for last year's Board, and such a fun meeting tonight! Next meeting Oct. 9.

And a big CONGRATULATIONS to Barristers member Roshni Gandhi, for being honored with the Barristers' Lawrence J. Blake Award! It will be presented to her officially at the BHBA Installation Dinner on Oct. 1.


Summer Lovin’

We were a bit short staffed at SaMoShel this month, but we still had a lot of fun!


Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

It was a tough fight, but BHBA lost to SMBA by only one point, scored in the last inning!  But we had a blast anyway, and everyone enjoyed our BBQ.