By Mark J. Moretti, originally published in The Daily Record on 7/13/16.

MCBA President’s Message: Top 10 reasons to join the MCBA

We are in the midst of our Bar renewal season and it is an opportune time, as my first column, to again point out some of the main reasons to join or renew your membership with the MCBA.

  1. Networking and social opportunities
    • Interact with colleagues outside your firm and practice areas at one of the many social and educational membership-wide events, such as the Bench & Bar Holiday Party, social hours, speakers forums and CLEs.
    • Network and keep up-to-date with attorneys in your practice area by joining one or more of the 34 committees and sections that meet regularly and host social events, including the recently formed Veterans Committee.
  2. Your satellite office
    • Enjoy free use of conference rooms to meet with clients
    • Have access to a PC, desktop printer, phone and copier at our resource area.
  3. Enrich your career with new business and referral opportunities
    • Have your name in “bold’ in the Attorney & Courts Directory and be included in the Online Member Directory – so when a colleague or member of the public looks up your name – they know right away you’re a member.
    • Receive direct referrals specific to your practice areas through the Lawyer Referral Service.
    • Members receive a substantial discount off the enrollment fee.
    • Gain professional recognition through speaking engagements with your colleagues.
  4. Educational opportunities 
    • Receive a 45% member discount on more than 65 high-quality live CLE programs offered annually.
    • CLE passes with an additional discount are available to members only.
    • Don’t have time to come to a lunch-time CLE or missed one that you really wanted to see? You choose the time and the location by viewing pre-recorded programs or taking advantage of our online CLE library through Peach New Media. We offer an extensive library of programs at a discounted rate for members
  5. Put yourself first and save money
    • Take the time to find the right health and/or professional liability insurance through The Ahrens Group, offering one-stop shopping as your advocate on all insurance needs.
    • Need a little extra help on a case or have a quick question that needs answering? Utilize our member Mentor for a Moment Program.
    • Take the time to have a contingency “just in case” plan. Sign up for the Lawyer Succession Registry, at no charge for MCBA members.
    • Take advantage of discounts on Verizon, Staples and Expedia Travel through National Purchasing Partners (NPP).
  6. Advocate for the judges
    • When a judge is unfairly attacked in the media or by third parties and cannot ethically respond, it is the Bar Association that is able to lend credible advocacy in defense of a judge.
    • When lobbying the legislature for judicial pay raises is needed, it is the Bar Association that has been an effective advocate.
    • Judges frequently need a forum to transmit and receive information from the lawyers who practice in front of them, and association gatherings provide the perfect vehicle to do so consistently within the rules of judicial conduct.
  7. Advocate for the profession
    • The Bar Association provides an organized voice of the profession to take positions on legislation that could negatively affect the independence of judges and how lawyers practice our profession.
  8. Advocate for the rights of the disadvantaged
    • The MCBA was the leading catalyst in the award winning Telesca Center for Justice, bringing under one roof the civil legal service providers: VLSP, LawNY, Legal Aid Society of Rochester and Empire Justice Center.
  9. Protect your fellow professionals
    • Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, the Health & Well-Being Program and the SOLACE Program provide confidential safety nets for lawyers suffering under the stress of our profession and for those suffering with a disability or tragedy.
  10. Benefits for young lawyers
    • Interact with and learn from experienced lawyers who have been around the block in your practice area. Build your reputation through volunteer opportunities, interaction with the judiciary, and CLE programs.

Mark J. Moretti is President of the Monroe County Bar Association and is the leader of Phillips Lytle LLP’s Construction Litigation Practice Team. He can be reached at mmoretti@phillipslytle.com.