My friends and colleagues often ask me how their involvement in the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Barristers could help them with their career. My response to them is often simple: become sincerely involved and you will appreciate the tangible and intangible benefits.
In fact, given more than 20 projects and programs that our Barristers’ section offers members and non-members alike, any serious and sincere Barrister would find a program to get involved with or even spearhead, of course with our help and support.
Such Barristers’ programs not only help the community, but also reward those dedicated Barristers who spend their weekends or evenings planning and executing such programs with credibility in the eyes of their employers and clients. This credibility often translates into new and lucrative attorney-client relationships.
Indeed, impeccable reputation and integrity are sine qua non for a successful legal career. Community involvement on the level that Barristers have accomplished undoubtedly helps those volunteers with name recognition.
For instance, on October 25, 2014, Rachel Balchum and Elizabeth Peterson diligently and deftly planned and executed a legal clinic involving more than 30 volunteer Barristers serving more than 100 people as part of L.A. Law Library Pro Bono week.
Kudos to Rachel and Elizabeth who undertook this colossal endeavor under the able aegis of Barristers Immediate Past President Autumn Ronda. In addition, on November 8, 2014, Barristers presented “What Every Tenant Needs to Know,” a substantive two-hour free Landlord-Tenant seminar to the public, at Roxbury Park.
The other examples of Barristers’ constant involvement in the community would be our monthly Roxbury Park Free Legal Clinic and Samoshel. Every first Saturday of the month our volunteers, run by our able Barristers’ President-Elect William S. Wenzel, provide free legal advice to the public.
Every second Saturday of the month, at Santa Monica Shelter, our dedicated Barristers’ volunteers cook and feed around 60 homeless people under the tutelage of our own chef extraordinaire, LeRoy Williams. Another project involved a toy drive in December, before the New Year, to help the greater Los Angeles’ impoverished children.
In addition to community involvement, Barristers are also involved in the legal community by planning and executing a few substantive MCLEs a month, geared mostly toward the needs of the younger attorneys. Our revived “Lunch with…” Power Lunch Series, run by our own Brian Schaller and Yan Goldshteyn, brings together illustrious attorneys in different practice areas with a small group of younger attorneys for an informal and candid round table discussion.
Given more than 20 or so events and programs the Barristers spearhead, any member of this proud and humble community should feel rewarded. Hence, when Barristers state these accomplishments on their resumes, LinkedIn, Avvo, Twitter, or Facebook pages, clients and employers take notice.
Clients know that such dedicated lawyers will steadfastly champion their rights, while employers realize that such competent and accomplished lawyers are invaluable assets to their law firms.
Doron F. Eghbali is a Senior Partner at Law Advocate Group, LLP in Beverly Hills and practices Business, Real Estate and Entertainment law. Contact him at DoronEghbali@LawAdvocateGroup.com, or 310 651 3065.
At the September installment of SaMoShel, the Barristers rang in the start of football season with wings and nachos!
The Barristers always meet on the second Tuesday of the month at OPCC SaMoShel (Santa Monica Shelter) to cook and serve a meal to as many as 60 of Santa Monica’s homeless population. Join us at our next meeting on Oct. 11, from 3-5 p.m.
We had a great turnout at our last SaMoShel event, and everyone was chopping, grilling, scooping SOMETHING to perfection. The menu was Carribean themed, and everyone we served was so greatful we even got some applause! Check out pictures from the event below, and remember: the next SaMoShel will be this weekend on August 9!
My managing partner was recently educating me on the “good ol’ days” in the practice of law, back when attorneys stayed with their firms for the length of their career and the industry was considered practically recession-proof. What really caught my attention, however, was when he mentioned that an associate attorney could actually make partner, without a book of business. Now, I know that firms have always stressed the importance of associates developing their knowledge of the law and perfecting their technical skills, but these days, good lawyering won’t always save you from the chopping block. In order to make yourself indispensable, even young attorneys must start building a healthy book of business.
The only way to do this is through business development, which requires marketing. I’ve met newly minted lawyers who flawlessly deliver their professional pitches, but generally, networking and branding are terms that strike fear into the hearts of young lawyers. So how can Barristers begin to develop these undisclosed prerequisites of a successful legal practice — in a painless manner?
I suggest focusing on building your professional reputation before you build your “brand.” Anyone can brand themselves in a particular manner by perfecting their sales pitch and having a substantial web presence, but reputation is based on what other practitioners, referral sources, and clients say about you. Thus, the only way to build a good reputation is by consistently and successfully demonstrating your professional integrity and skill. While building a reputation is more difficult and takes more time, it ultimately serves you better, because it is built on substance.
Involvement in the Barristers Board of Governors, and its Committees and activities provides young attorneys with a plethora of opportunities to build their professional reputation:
• Plan and moderate a CLE panel – the panelists will be impressed with your contributions.
• Help plan a Bar fundraiser – influential members of the legal community will take note of your philanthropic nature and organizational skills.
• Write articles for Bar publications – readers will remember your name as a contributing member of our profession.
• Volunteer for pro bono work – you will work closely with experienced practitioners who may refer you cases.
• Participate in changing legislation with the Resolutions Committee – enough said.
There are so many subtle ways to develop your professional reputation through Bar involvement, and these activities tend to come more naturally than those that are solely networking- based. Before you know it, you will have branded yourself organically, without needing a degree in marketing.
Remember that all of this takes time. Work hard to craft your reputation now, and you will build the foundation you need to develop your own client base, while having made yourself an indispensable member of your firm.
Autumn Ronda is a Tax and Estate Planning attorney at Valensi Rose, PLC in Century City. You may contact her at email@example.com or 310 277 8011.
The Personal Injury section's innaugural summer mixer brougt attorneys together from all different practice areas. Barristers had a great time!
Barristers from the Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Bar Associations went head to head last Saturday in Santa Monica to play an epic game of softball. Sadly, the home team won in the last inning, with a final score of 7-6, but the weather was great, the game was a blast, and both sides came together for a pizza party afterward. Thanks to Jonathan Dennis for organizing, and stay tuned for details about a rematch later this year!
For those of you who are passionate about art, theater, film, music, and the like in addition to law, you will be happy to know that this year the Barristers Board of Governors has reinvented the Committee For the Arts (CFTA) with many thanks to our President, Autumn Ronda. The CFTA coordinates programs and events promoting important legal and social issues through the Arts. I, together with fellow Board member, Dira Imam, co-chair the committee and to start things off on a no less than fabulous note, we held our first CFTA event, “Sights and Sounds From the Courtroom” this past April 30.
In connection with the Los Angeles Law Library’s Annual Law Week, CFTA co-hosted a free reception celebrating the rule of law through the extraordinary artwork of courtroom sketch artist, Bill Robles, and the music of Gary Green, Esq. and his Big Band of Barristers. Bill Robles has sketched some of the most infamous trials of the past several decades including that of Charles Mansion, Rodney King, O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, and Michael Jackson, among many others. Attendees were treated to a display of over 20 sketches while listening to the tunes of Gary Greene and his Big Band of Barristers as well as enjoying wine and appetizers. Additionally, Bill Robles himself was at the reception promoting The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art, a recently released book featuring Bill’s art on the cover. The book has 140 illustrations featuring a range of the most memorable trials of the last 50 years, and Bill was kind enough to sign these for purchasers.
It was an unforgettable evening of art, music, law, and socializing to say the least, and a wonderful way to jump-start the CFTA. Thank you to all who attended!
For those interested in helping us plan future events, you are welcome to attend a meeting Dira and I will be having in the next month to brainstorm ideas. Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dira (email@example.com) if you have any questions or comments!
Anastasia Alen is an attorney who works in Legal and Business Affairs at the United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills. Anastasia is a member of the Barristers Board of Governors. She is the Co-Chair for the Committee For the Arts, the Liaison for the Entertainment Law Executive Committee, and a member of the Nominating Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-210-4552.
1) A BIG CONGRATULATIONS! to everyone who passed the February Bar Exam! Welcome to the California Bar, and we hope to see you at future events.
2) A BIG CONGRATULATIONS! to everyone who graduated law school!
3) A BIG THANK YOU! to everyone who participated in the Bench Bar Bike Ride this morning! We had a great turn out, with about 21 people, and it was a positively glorious day for a bike ride in the South Bay. We had a blast!
Our next ride will be in August. Keep checking in to learn the particular date!