Welcome and thanks for taking the time to visit our website. This year, I'm honored to serve as president for one of our nation's oldest, most accomplished and respected bar associations.
From our inception back in 1885 to today, the MBA exists to uphold legal and ethical standards in our legal community and enjoys a long-standing tradition of service to both our members and the community. We are one of Pennsylvania's largest bar associations -- representing over 2,100 lawyers and judges in and beyond Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. For members, the MBA offers an important arena for networking, professional development and education. For the community, the MBA serves as a legal resource offering education, legal assistance, funds and resources for individuals and agencies in need.
The range of charitable activities undertaken by our members is impressive. From our Young Lawyers Section's support of the Wills for Heroes program, to our Women in the Law Committee's clothing drive to help potential job seekers, to our Elder Law Committee's FREE Elder Law Handbook publication, to our Community Outreach Committee's award-winning Courting Art initiative, we have a multitude of programs to help our community, revealing the magnanimous side of our successful and generous members.
Many of our members donate their time, skill and money to the needy and children through Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP). In addition, they provide legal services to those in need at reduced rates through our Legal Access Project. Our lawyers volunteer their time, money and talent to better their communities through services and organizations important to them.
The Montgomery Bar Association is committeed to public service through various student mentoring programs, projects created and carried out by our Community Outreach Committee; FREE publications, like the Elder Law Handbook; events held for the public like the People's Law School; programs like the Mock Trial Competition for high school students; our award-winning civics education program and more. In addition, each year we provide over 4,000 referrals to people in need through our Lawyer Referral Service and hundreds more each year through our Legal Access Project. Our charitable arm, the Montgomery Bar Foundation, also provides thousands of dollars in grant funding each year to justice-related causes in Montgomery County, thanks largely to the support of our members.
Services to Lawyers
The Montgomery Bar Association provides a wide range of member benefits, including free subscriptions to the Montgomery County Law Reporter (available in print and electronic versions), our weekly periodical presenting official opinions from the 38th Judicial District of Pennsylvania, as well as local rules, procedures, legal notices, and legal community news; the ABA award-winning Montgomery County Civil Practice Manual (available in print and electronic versions); a Lawyer Mentoring Program; the Montgomery Bar Association Legal Directory and Professional Resource Guide; SIDEBAR, our quarterly magazine; BarNews, our weekly e-newsletter; a complete offering of continuing legal education courses at a discount to our members; a full-service private restaurant located inside the Bar Association Building; and free parking near the courthouse for members. We maintain affinity partnerships with local banks, insurance companies, court reporters, and more that provide our members with a comprehensive offering of benefits that are needed to operate their law practices, including reduced banking rates, errors and omissions insurance, and health insurance programas. More information on membership benefits can be found by visiting our Online Member Resource Center.
My friends in our Bar Association are tired of hearing me extol the virtues of Section and Committee involvement as I make the following statement:
"A member of the Montgomery Bar Association who does not join a Section or Committee is like an American who goes on a European vacation and spends all of his or her time in the hotel watching CNN and visiting the local McDonalds. Sure, he or she has been to Europe - but the best part of the experience was wasted!"
Our Bar Association has four Sections and over 50 Committees that will welcome your participation. Joining is as easy as "checking the box" in the Members Only section of www.montgomerybar.org, and unless it's a Section, there is no cost to join. Our Sections are larger than any Committee and have their own administrative costs that require a nominal extra fee.
Each Section and Committee has its own special role and attempts to provide a unique selection of programs and activities related to the needs and interests of its members. Among the many advantages of each Section and Committee are the following:
Even if you work in a large firm, there is no substitute for discussing legal issues with others who practice in the same areas of law, yet are not part of your firm. Senior lawyers are always ready to share their experiences, and at the MBA, they welcome the opportunity to help younger attorneys. Many members extablish lifelong professional and personal relationships that are developed by joining a Section or Committee.
The MBA's professional networking events allow our members to get to know one another in a relaxed atmosphere of collegiality and good will, which ultimately benefits our clients and results in long time close personal relationships. If you are not a member, you can change that with the click of a mouse on our Membership page.
If you like spending your time traveling out of Montgomery County to attend a Continuing Legal Education session (CLE), one significant advantage of most of our Commitees and Sections will be wasted on you. However, if you value your time, a CLE given in Norristown, most likely over lunch, will provide invaluable insights into the areas of interest to you, with a minimal disruption of your day. In addition, the local flavor of some issues and their solutions are invaluable. Often, members of our Bench are gracious enough to share their insights with participants are our CLEs.
One other significant advantage of our Sections and Committees and the CLEs given, is the opportunity for members to lead the discussions and to present at those sessions. If you have felt the desire to give back to the professiona, there is no better way than to help design and present a CLE program. It's a chance for you to share your experiences and insights with others and to hone your skills before a friendly crowd.
Influence the Development of Law
Montgomery County lawyers have a rich tradition of shaping laws and legal processes that are innovative and adaptive to changes in Society. Often, our Section and Committee members are afforded the opportunity to participate in local, statewide and national legal forums, in which legislation is crafted and other legal trends are identified and shaped. If you have a passion about your area of the law, why not share it on the local, then state, and possibly the national level. Great ideas that are not shared with other fellow practitioners are going nowhere - while participation in a Section or Committee can give flight to such ideas and thoughts.
Participate in an Area You Want to Improve
Some of our Committees are not substantive law Committees, but Committees that have attorneys with common interests and goals that stretch across many substantive areas of the law. One example is the Women in the Law Committee. Attorneys who practice in many areas of the law participate in this Committee and work passionately to improve the careers of women attorneys, particularly newly admitted attorneys. Their programs are not only for women, but for any attorney who wants to help women attorneys succeed.
Another example is our Young Lawyers Section. While membership is limited to attorneys who have been admitted to practice less than five years or are under age 35, many of their social activities are open to all members of the bar and offer great networking opportunities.
Please take a moment to look through our site. You will find services and programs that will enhance your practice and save you time and money. Become a member of the finest group of lawyers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Thank you for taking the time to visit.