March is the month of expectation, the things we do not know. The persons of Prognostication are coming now.
- Emily Dickinson
Have you ever felt like February is the longest month of the year, even though it has the fewest number of days? Maybe it is because we fight to accomplish more during the cold, gray weather, while having two or three fewer days to get it all done. Having made it through the worst of winter, and as the warmth of spring approaches, now may be a good time for us to step-up our energy, seek opportunities to rejuvenate ourselves, and generate cause for optimism and success going forward. As it has throughout this year, the BAMC continues to focus on encouraging diversity and inclusion, improving access to justice, promoting the rule of law, reaching out to the community, and supporting your professional development and growth. In this regard, remember to reinvigorate yourselves and your practices through BAMC’s many membership benefits, leadership and networking opportunities, CLEs, lawyer referral and pro bono efforts, legislative activities, specialty bar interactions, sections, committees, and community service programs. Some of these are mentioned in greater detail below.
The BAMC is working hand-in-hand with specialty bar associations in organizing the “Party Around the World,” scheduled for March 6, 2014. This networking event brings together and celebrates the heritage, diversity, inclusion, food, customs, and members of each of the various associations, and allows for a relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy and benefit from one another’s company. It also allows for the members of all the groups to nurture and develop personal and business relationships with one another that we hope will last long into the future. Mary Ellen Flynn has done a great job organizing and coordinating this event with all of the groups, and we invite each of you to register for what will certainly be a wonderful evening.
Additionally, the spirit of sportsmanship was on display at the recent Special Olympics basketball tournament, held in February. The BAMC sponsors this Special Olympics event, as well as its September “Inspiration Walk” and its May track and field meet. These events bring out the best in all of us, remind the community of our human kindness, and highlight the noble virtues of competition, effort, and friendship displayed by the athletes.
BAMC attorneys, along with subject matter experts, also continue to speak with and educate high school students on important legal issues, in the “Creating an Improved Tomorrow” (“C-IT”) program. Teachers and students have been extremely engaged in, and appreciative of, this dialogue, which has focused on the Trayvon Martin trial. Topics have included: opening statements; jury deliberations; burdens of persuasion; legal analysis; police investigations; forensic evidence; admissibility; media effects on society and trials; legislation; common law; and closing arguments. Students are presently involved in an essay contest to be judged by BAMC members, regarding ideal legislation that considers the different self-defense laws in Florida (“Stand Your Ground”) and Maryland (“Duty to Retreat”). Please visit http://www.montbar.org/associations/12896/files/C-ITFlyer.pdf, and make a tax-deductible contribution in an amount with which you are comfortable. We ask you to please support this important community outreach effort by March 14, 2014, in order to help fund a student bus to, and an essay contest winner scholarship presented at, the culminating event on April 9, 2014.
As you begin to warm up this spring, think about collaborating with other attorneys and your community. Being a part of BAMC’s activities and events can help to justify an increase in your expectations, improve your forecast, and lead to future succes.