Voices of the Bar 9/10/15 – What first brought you to 16 Beacon Street?

Ahh, September. The return of school buses, fall weather, and commuting delays. As our members and BBA Week readers know, the BBA swings into action each year on September 1. This year, our 24 Sections and 80+ committees will hold 400 educational programs and networking events. With our 2015-2016 programming underway, BBA Week reached out to our members and asked:

“What first brought you to 16 Beacon Street?”

David Mawhinney – K&L Gates LLP
“I attended a Young Bar Meets Bankruptcy Bench event in the fall of 2010 as a law student.  The bankruptcy bar is a great group of people.  I am lucky to be in a position this year as a BBA steering committee member to continue to foster a welcoming community for our new members.”

Ann Braga – City of Boston
“I first came to the BBA while a law student at Suffolk University Law School (in the old buildings).  I was working at Boston City Council and attending law school at night.  I learned about the value of professional associations while getting my MPA at UCONN and found my public sector legal home at the BBA through friends, internal groups, events and continuing education.  I am proud to be part of the first cohort of BBA Public Interest Leaders!  This fall will be 20 years with the BBA!!”

Elizabeth Kayatta – Arrowood Peters LLP
“When I was first starting out as a litigator, I attended a BBA brown bag lunch on responding to written discovery requests.  To this day I’m still using tips I learned from panel members!”

Kathryn Van Wie – Vertex Pharmaceuticals
“Having just finished law school in North Carolina, I relocated to Boston to take the bar exam and begin the job search in a state I had visited only twice. The BBA was my first stop and an integral step in connecting with the Boston legal community. I had my sights set to work in house, but I was aware I would be fighting an uphill battle to find an entry-level attorney position. Through the BBA’s industry-specific events, as well as general networking events, I was able to better hone my search, develop my network, and eventually found a role that continues to challenge and excite me. ”

Lisa Arrowood – BBA President
“When I found out about the brown bag lunches, I went to a few of them. It just knocked my socks off that I could go there at lunch and in 90 minutes get these incredible pearls of wisdom for free. That was just amazing to me.”

Read more about Lisa Arrowood’s introduction to the BBA in her President’s Page

Also in this edition of BBA Week, you’ll find an interview celebrating Nixon Peabody’s 20th anniversary as a BBA Sponsor Firm!! We’ve featured an excerpt of the interview below highlighting what first brought Nixon Peabody attorneys to the BBA. Read the full interview here.

Ruth Silman – Nixon Peabody
“The Environmental Law Section of the BBA is the preeminent gathering place for environmental practitioners in Massachusetts.  I was first introduced to the BBA ELS by now Judge Jim Milkey who told me that it was a great place to network with environmental leaders and to learn about substantive issues.  I started attending brown bag lunches and CLE programs and then became involved in the leadership of the Section, first as a committee chair and then as the Co-Chair of the Section.   The BBA ELS provides access to regulators and fellow practitioners, practical advice, updates on new developments in energy and environmental law and a great way to keep in touch with other energy and environmental lawyers.”

Danielle Pelot – Nixon Peabody
“My first impressions of the BBA came from attending the traditional big events – the annual meeting and law day lunch/dinner – as a junior lawyer just starting out, at the suggestion and invitation of senior members of the firm like Larry, Jack and Bill [Codinha]. It was helpful for reconnecting with classmates and learning who’s who in the Boston community – especially since Boston is not originally my home.”

Hannah Bornstein – Nixon Peabody
“I first became involved in the BBA by participating in the then-newly formed Immigration Section steering committee, as I was – and still – am actively involved in pro bono asylum cases. I then served as the co-chair of the Asylum Committee, helping to plan CLEs and trainings on topics relevant to practitioners representing asylum seekers. Over the past couple of years, I also have served on the steering committee for the BBF’s Passport to Pairings summer fundraising event, and the BBF’s John & Abigail Adams Benefit ball is one of my favorite events of the year.”

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Lauren DiTullio at [email protected].