The Keystones of a Bar’s Bright Future

William S. WenzelThis article marks the conclusion of two years of my deep personal investment in the Beverly Hills Bar Association as a leader of the Barristers, first as President-Elect, then as President. I am deeply honored to have led and served during a period of fundamental change within our organization.

I am proud to report that our Barristers are as strong as they’ve ever been. Internally, we have had a greater voice and increased participation in Association and Foundation activities. Besides an active and vocal presence on both the Ex-Com and the Board of the Association, we have established a strong presence on the Budget and Finance committee and helped shape the resource allocation of the organization.

Our Barrister Board members sit on Membership and Ways and Means because we care about the benefits the Association confers on its members and the ways that it stays fiscally agile. And we have a committed group working on the Long-Range Planning Committee to ensure that the Barristers have a voice in the Association’s direction over the next 5-10 years.

Over the last two years, I have worked hard to ensure that our group of young lawyers has a place at the table in this Bar Association. And I am deeply grateful that the Association and Foundation have welcomed us with open arms in a way that is unmatched by any other professional organization.

But the Barristers’ enthusiasm over the last year has extended well beyond the walls of the Rolex building. We’ve made the Barristers a fundamental component of the Teen Court organization–they rely on us to fulfill their mission. And in doing so, we have helped hundreds of high-school-age kids around the Los Angeles area.

We’ve put our hearts into the Monthly Roxbury Park Pro Bono Legal Clinic in such a way that lines form outside the Clinic a half-hour before it begins. Roxbury has become a place where young lawyers who are not yet BHBA members can go to see the good works the BHBA does and be inspired to join our BHBA community. And the same is true for the Samoshel homeless project: the Board organized a 25% budget increase for this event this year. And it’s been used to make innovative and creative meals every single month – and provided a place for lawyers to bond over a beneficial activity.

This year, we’ve worked to make the Barristers’ role in the LA Law Library “Lawyers in the Library” event an annual standard. And the LA Law Library has come to depend on us to staff this major legal aid event.

We’ve put intensive resources into making sure that our monthly Thursday professional networking events are places where young professionals know they can meet colleagues and make solid connections.

The networking event is a go-to wherever our members meet young potential leaders who need an introduction to the BHBA’s activities. And this year, we’ve been coordinating with more young professionals than ever: from financial planners to CPAs, to young business owners.

We’ve held bike rides, and we’ve welcomed new bar passers. We threw our signature Vintage Bouquet and we’ve thrown ourselves out to the Los Angeles region in ways we’ve never done before. And in doing so, we’ve empowered our group to be stronger and more vocal leaders. We’ve had our members step up to an unprecedented degree. I’m honored to lead this group, and I’m proud to say I’ve left it better than I found it. My deepest thanks to everyone involved.


William S. Wenzel is a business and corporate attorney at The Law Offices of William S. Wenzel, APC. His office serves as outside general counsel for hire and can be contacted at 213 207 6885 or wsw@wswlegal.com.

An Invitation to Success | By Doron Eghbali, Barristers President

Doron EghbaliThe Barristers Board of Governors (BOG) consists of successful and kind-hearted Barristers whose noble objective is to espouse and implement the betterment of our legal community and the community at large. We meet every second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA). As a Barrister (i.e., younger attorney), you are welcome to attend the open part of the BOG meeting.

Invitation to BOG Meetings

We would love for you, as a diligent young lawyer, to intelligently appreciate what you are missing to further thrive personally and professionally. At the BOG meetings, we will embrace you as an honored guest and help you become acquainted with a few of our 20+ sections and committees which the Barristers run. Topics of discussion include:

  • Learning how to Manage a Potential Client while Helping the Community: Become involved in our Roxbury Park Legal Clinic. Barristers meet every first Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – noon to provide free general legal services to the community at large. Thanks to our invaluable President-Elect Wil S. Wenzel, and amiable Danielle Grabois, the Roxbury Clinic served at least 16 people with several lawyer volunteers, during January of 2015.
  • Feeding the Homeless: Join our SaMoShel Committee. Our selfless Barristers, under tutelage of our own chef extraordinaire LeRoy Williams and selfless past president Jeanine Percival Wright, meet every second Saturday of the month at Santa Monica Shelter from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. to cook delicious food and feed at least 60 homeless people. This is a sampling of our January 2015 menu:

Mama’s Herb Roasted Chicken
Uncle Lee’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Grandma’s String Bean Casserole
Cousin Tommy’s Tasty Salad
Aunt Millie’s Peach Crisp

  • Attending “Power Lunch” Series: You should seriously consider these revived series in which Barristers get a chance for a candid discussion with a “Power” lawyer in an informal setting to receive honest and practical answers for further professional career advancement. These series are organized by our very own superb Co-Chairs, Brian Schaller and Yan Goldshteyn, our Treasurer.
  • Having Fun, Food and Wine with our Vintage Bouquet Committee: Contemplate becoming involved with our Vintage Bouquet, run by our own able and affable Co-Chairs, Danielle Grabois and Nadira Imam.
  • Being a Mentee of and a Mentor to a Younger Lawyer: You may apply online at http://www.bhba.org/mentorship. Special thanks to our formidable past President, Autumn Ronda and invaluable Zev Shechtman, as Co-Chairs of the Mentorship Committee.

This list is just a small fraction of what our dedicated Barristers accomplish. Indeed, for instance, under the praiseworthy chairmanship of Autumn Ronda and Rachel Balchum, we had a very successful Grant-a-Wish drive in which we collectively fulfilled holiday wishes of thirty-nine boys ages 11-18.

If you would like to be part of our fun, fulfilling and educational committees, you should step forward and become involved. Hope to see you soon.


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.

Barristers Can Facilitate Career Enhancement | By Doron Eghbali, Barristers President

Doron EghbaliMy 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.

Community

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.

Legal Community

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.

Career Enhancement

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.

SaMoShelling Out the Good Stuff

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.

Supercharged SaMoShel

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!

Check Out Pictures from This Month’s SaMoShel Visit!

Join us next month at SaMoShel on June 14!

Barristers says Let’s Get Southern at SaMoShel, Sat February 8th, 3-5pm!

Barristers,

Want to try your hand as a sous or master chef? Join us inside a working professional kitchen this Saturday, February 8th, 2014, as we prepare another original and authentic dinner for about 60 of the City’s homeless at Santa Monica Shelter (SaMoShel).

Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers head to SaMoShel Homeless Shelter the 2nd Saturday of every month. Anticipated menu items for this Saturday include Sloppy Joes, Orange Glazed Carrots, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Caesar Salad, Fruit Salad and/or Apple Pie (a la mode)! But we need your help!

If you've never been before, come join us! If you have, you know it's fun, easy and very rewarding!

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What: BHBA Barristers Community Outreach Event – Give back to your community and network with other young like-minded professionals!

When: This Saturday, February 8th, from 3:00-5:00 pm (you still get your Saturday night!). We start preparing at 3:00 pm and start serving dinner at 4:30 pm or so.

Where: SaMoShel Homeless Shelter – 505 Olympic Blvd in Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Why: It's a great opportunity to network, get a little perspective, develop a connection with the community and make a real difference!

Parking: Pull into the lot out front (we squeeze in as many as possible) or take metered parking on the street (but read the signs!).

Please kindly RSVP so we know how many volunteers to expect.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you there!

For questions or more information, you can e-mail co-chairs Jeanine Percival-Wright (jeanine@virb.com), Anton Labrentz (anton@mrduila.com) or Roshni Gandhi (roshnigandhi305@gmail.com), or feel free to leave a comment below.

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!

Celebrate a Holiday meal with us at SaMoShel, Sat Dec 14, 3-5pm!

IMG_3783 (2)Want to try your hand as a sous or master chef? Join us inside a working professional kitchen this Saturday, December 14th, as we prepare another original and authentic dinner for about 60 of the City’s homeless at Santa Monica Shelter (SaMoShel).

Anticipated menu items for this Saturday include Brisket, Root Vegetables, Latkes, Matzo Ball Soup, Kugel, Challah Bread, Salad, Spiced Apple/Pear Sauce and Sugar and Spice Doughnuts!

We need your help! Saturday, December 14th from 3:00-5:00 pm at SaMoShel Homeless Shelter – 505 Olympic Blvd in Santa Monica, CA 90401.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you there!

For questions or more info, contact the Community Outreach Committee Co-Chairs Jeanine Percival Wright (jpwright@mediatemple.com), Anton Labrentz (anton@MrDuiLa.com) or Roshni Gandhi (roshnigandhi305@gmail.com).

Muy Sabroso! Argentinian Food at SaMoShel

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

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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!