Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Meet the Managing Partner: Foley Hoag’s Kenneth Leonetti

Foley Hoag’s New Managing Partner shares his favorite work days of the year, what success means to him, and what it’s like to save someone’s Christmas

In October, Foley Hoag tapped litigator Ken Leonetti to be Co-Managing Partner alongside Adam Kahn.  In his new role, Leonetti will lead the implementation the firm’s strategic plan, ensure efficient and responsive client service, oversee growth, and attract and retain the best talent to serve clients’ needs. Voices of the Bar sat down with Leonetti to discuss his path to becoming an attorney, and what he hopes to help the firm accomplish in the coming year.

BBA: What inspired you to become a lawyer?

KL: It’s funny, my parents told me when I was young – because I used to argue with them all the time – that I should “become a lawyer and get paid for it” as opposed to giving them grief. And I suppose it worked.

I think as I got older and looked at law more seriously as a career, I liked the combination of intellectual rigor with problem solving as a way to help people. Your primary job as a lawyer is to take a set of problems that a client has and figure out how to solve them. If you’re a litigator, which is what I do, you’re presented with a dispute after the fact and have to figure out how to help the client with  resolving that dispute. The other part of my practice is bankruptcy law, and there you’re really helping people out of their problems.

What’s your most memorable moment as a lawyer so far?

I moved to Boston as a third year associate, and after I had been here a couple of months I was working on a small bankruptcy matter for a client who was having the discharge of her debts challenged. It was my first trial, and it was December 23rd, so just two days before Christmas. And the other side was trying to, in essence, ruin this woman’s life.  It was a very tough, hard fought case, and at the end, the judge ruled from the bench in her favor. It was so emotional for the client. She turned to me and hugged me in the courtroom and I realized that this is why I went to law school and became a lawyer: to help people.

Last month, several hundred new lawyers were sworn in at Faneuil Hall. What advice do you have for them?

We just had our new lawyers start about a month ago, and as managing partner, one of my jobs is to greet them on their first day. It’s one of my two favorite days of the year, the other being when we elect our new class of partners. Both of those days are about new blood and the future of the firm, which I really like.

Practicing law is about personal relationships. I represent some very large, multinational companies, but it still comes down to people who have put their heart and soul into building, growing and managing their business; it’s a people business at every single level. So my advice for any new lawyer is to get out, meet people and get involved. Find an organization or a practice area that you’re really passionate about.

The BBA is a great example. For me, it’s been the BBA Bankruptcy Section. What I love about it is that the Bankruptcy Bar in Boston is a pretty tight knit community, but it’s also a welcoming group to newcomers. I’ve gotten a whole range of benefits out of it: networking, CLEs and everything in between. There’s the opportunity to take on pro bono projects, and the chance to comment on changes to rules. And I think the people who have been chairs of the section have done an incredible job building the section.

What makes Foley Hoag stand out?

Every year, we refresh our strategic plan. One of the planks of the plan – which I think really makes us stand out – has stayed the same for a long time.  It states that Foley Hoag should be a rewarding and exciting place to work. And by that I mean working to make sure that the people here really love practicing law, and we have a real shared commitment to excellence in practice. The way we have achieved that is to focus on some key industry verticals – including life sciences, technology, and investment management —  and to use that expertise to help bring in interesting and cutting edge work from clients, so there’s an external part to this as well. And clients can see that the people here really love what they do and do great work, and that in turn brings in more interesting work. It’s a virtuous cycle.

What does success look like for you in the coming year?

It has to do with retention, promotion and diversity. I think we’ve done a good job of trying to identify, retain and promote more diversity at our firm, both in terms of gender diversity and racial diversity, but we have a long way to go. The ABA recently came out with Resolution 113, and a number of our clients have come out with similar challenges. Even before these challenges, we formed a working group on associate retention and advancement, and out of that we developed a telework policy, which is something that helps people balance work and their personal life. We also have a Women’s Forum, where female partners are mentoring female associates in business development and professional development, and a Diversity Committee led by my co-managing partner Adam Kahn, focused on improving diversity and ensuring inclusion in our workplace.

This year, five of our eight partner promotions were women, and three were attorneys of color. When you say what does success look like, one year from now, I want to look back and say we have done as much as we can to help give this talented group of partners – both women and men – the tools they need to succeed in the profession and also be able to balance life outside the firm.

When a client comes to Boston and they aren’t familiar with the city, where do like to take them?

If it’s the winter, the place I love to take clients is Bistro Du Midi on Tremont Street. It’s got this beautiful view of the Gardens, and in the winter, when the lights are all lit up, it’s just a spectacular setting. If its summer, I like to take them anywhere here in the Seaport.

“An Expression of Who We Are:” Sunstein Raises Holiday Cards to an Art Form

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Artwork by Wilfredo Chiesa. Card designed by MB Flanders, of Flanders Associates. Artwork curated by Andrea Marquit Fine Arts.
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Artwork by Brian Kink. Card designed by MB Flanders, of Flanders Associates. Artwork curated by Andrea Marquit Fine Arts.
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Artwork by Suzanne Ulrich. Card designed by MB Flanders, of Flanders Associates. Artwork curated by Andrea Marquit Fine Arts.
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Artwork by Grace DeGennaro. Card designed by MB Flanders, of Flanders Associates. Artwork curated by Andrea Marquit Fine Arts.
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Artwork by Jill Weber. Card designed by MB Flanders, of Flanders Associates. Artwork curated by Andrea Marquit Fine Arts.
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Artwork by Peggy Badenhausen. Card designed by MB Flanders, of Flanders Associates. Artwork curated by Andrea Marquit Fine Arts.
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An example of the interior of a Sunstein Holiday Card.

Now that we’re well into the month of December, chances are your office inbox is filling up with holiday greetings. Maybe the cards are on display; maybe they’re in a neat stack. Perhaps, even, they find their way to the recycling bin following a cursory glance.

But for the several card1thousand people on the greeting list of Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers, the arrival of The Card is as anticipated and celebrated as an Oscar nomination reveal. For the last 20 years, firm founder Bruce Sunstein has been using the work of emerging artists – both locally and around the world – to make a statement about his firm.

“Our cards are a direct link to our clients and friends; we want to send a greeting that’sappropriate to who we are,” said Sunstein. “We are an intellectual property firm. Art is protected by intellectu al property, so it’s a natural fit for us to feature compelling art in our greeting. We see ourselves as an intellectual property firm on the cutting edge, so we need to have cutting edge art. The cards are our effort to identify art from emerging artists that we think speaks to the occasion of the holidays and the cutting edge nature of the firm. It’s one of the great things I look forward to every year.”

The process begins as early as September, when art consultant Andrea Marquit fills – literally – the firm’s main conference room with as many as 100 options. An internal committee spends the better part of a day reviewing the artwork, but more often than not, Sunstein says, consensus on which piece of art to feature is quick. He attributes that to the team’s intimate knowledge of what does – and doesn’t – render well in card form.card3

“The test isn’t: would we like it hanging on our wall?” explained Sunstein. “The test is: what art will make a card that says something about who we are and what we think matters? You can’t simply snap of photo of the
work and say ‘here’s the card.’ It has to be designed, and the designer, in turn, needs to think about paper and about ink. It’s an amazing exercise.”

And it’s an exercise that, from the very first year, grabbed the attention of their clients. That, says Sunstein, makes the annual effort worthwhile.

“We get tremendous feedback every year. Some say ‘I like this year’s better than last year’s’ or ‘I still like 2013 the moscard4t.’ The point is that they remember what the card looked like in years past, and that’s always been our goal. We wanted to celebrate emerging artists who are doing something memorable in a way that made us stand out. The thing about our card is, you can stare at it. Even for an hour or two. And that’s not true of the cards that have Santa Claus on the rooftop making a lawyer joke.

“It’s not a simple exercise, and every year it’s a different exercise. Every year we have to think differently about the work. But if you want to send something that is meaningful, you have to get in there and do it. Maybe I’m spending time that’s viewed by some as wasteful, but it’s an expression of who we are, and for that reason I think it’s worth the effort. It’s a wonderful experience.”

 

 

The Most Interesting (Pro Bono) Lawyer of the Week: Peter Haley of Nelson Mullins on Representing Boston Marathon Bombing Victim in Case Against Glenn Beck

haley_peterPeter Haley and his colleagues at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, like everyone else in the city of Boston, were deeply affected by the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. When the Boston Bar Association established the Marathon Assistance Project, they were eager to help in any way they could.

That was how Haley met Abdul Alharbi, and began to build a defamation case that would garner significant attention in the media and in the legal profession. In Haley’s words:

“Abdul was a spectator at the marathon, was injured and was brought to the hospital after the attacks for treatment.  While there, he was questioned by law enforcement and agreed to allow the FBI to conduct a search of his apartment.  The search was highly public. But within a day or so, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security concluded he had no involvement and most commentary ceased, with one notable exception.

As set forth in the complaint, Glenn Beck, through his radio and television broadcasts continued to insist that Abdul was involved and ultimately asserted that he was the “money man” who funded the attacks.”

The BBA Marathon Assistance project referred Alharbi to Haley a few months after the attack. Between then and their ultimate decision to file a complaint in March of 2014, Haley’s team at Nelson Mullins prepared Alharbi for the many legal and personal challenges the case could bring. Defamation claims are hard to prosecute, damages are difficult to prove, and bringing the claims in the first place could add to Alharbi’s personal embarrassment and prolong his time in the spotlight due to Beck’s allegations.

For Haley’s part, he was wary of influencing the public discussion surrounding the case.

“I think cases against well-known defendants can sometimes be perilous in that, if you want it, they can provide a forum for counsel to insert himself or herself into the public debate about the case.  For the most part, I find that to be a mistake,” he said.  “People call you because your client has entrusted you with handling the matter on their behalf. It’s about the client; it’s not about you.”

He added, “A civil action, in most instances, is a means to a monetary end, it is not a forum for personal or moral judgment.”

The terms of the settlement are confidential. According to a statement released by both sides when they reached the settlement last month, neither side had to admit wrongdoing, and Beck and several companies associated with him “agreed to settlement of the pending action in furtherance of fundamental principles of journalistic integrity by preserving the confidentiality of their sources consistent with their rights and privileges under the First Amendment.”

Haley said he found it to be a great privilege to appear before Judge Saris and her staff, and commended the attorneys he argued against for a job well done.

Haley also praised his colleagues and the management of Nelson Mullins for allowing him to spend a significant amount of his time and energy on Alharbi’s case.

“It was an unusually large commitment and prevented me from carrying my share of the work and revenue burden that fairly belongs to me.  No one ever mentioned it, other than to offer encouragement.  This matter brought home to me how much I like and respect each and every one of those partners and how grateful I should be for their support,” he said.

Most of all, he said, he valued the chance to meet and assist Alharbi. For Haley, working on the case underscored the gap between affordable legal help and those who need it.

“One thing the case brought home to me is how ruinously expensive litigation is for most people, and how horribly underserved most Americans are by the judicial system as it exists,” he said. “This was a case that needed to be brought. I now know how much that cost, and I know that a free lawyer was the only way it would have been brought. That is something we should correct.”

Voices of the Bar 9/8/2016: What Are You Most Looking Forward To This Program Year?

With the new program year just beginning, we thought it would be great to hear from some of our section co-chairs about what’s ahead.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we’re reaching out to ask:

What Are You Most Looking Forward To This Program Year?”

Real Estate Section

Daniel P. Dain – Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
“I am the co-chair of the BBA’s Land Use and Development Subcommittee. Last year, our theme for our monthly brown bag lunches was working with the professional team, including civil engineers, architects, permitting consultants, and others. This year, our theme is going to be hearing from real estate developers themselves about how they do their business, how they work with outside counsel, what their concerns are, and what are their thoughts and strategies for the future.”

Labor & Employment Law Section

William E. Hannum III – Schwartz Hannum PC and Robert A. Fisher – Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Section Co-Chairs

“Our goals for the Labor & Employment Section Steering Committee are: to provide timely continuing legal education; to promote discussion regarding new or important issues facing labor and employment law practitioners; to promote friendship and professionalism; and to help fulfill President Carol Starkey’s vision of providing programs offering thought leadership.”

 

Voices of the Bar 9/1/2016: A Year in Voices of the Bar

Our new program year begins today, and we have so much to look forward to! With a change in the BBA’s volunteer leadership and new programs filling up the calendar, September is always an exciting time here.

But as one program year ends and the next one begins, we also have many occasions to reflect. So for this week’s Voices of the Bar, we thought it would be fitting to look back at some of our favorite questions from last year.

We asked members:

…What first brought them to 16 Beacon:

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. ”

…About their most memorable moment practicing in front of a judge:

J.W. Carney – Carney & Associates
“I will never forget the day that a District Attorney moved to dismiss three criminal convictions against Dennis Maher after he was exonerated by DNA testing. He had served 19 years in prison, and I had been his prosecutor.”

 

…What they enjoyed most about volunteering for our Law Day in the Schools program, during which they traveled to schools in Boston and educated students about Miranda rights:

Bruce Falby – DLA Piper
“My partner Mike McGurk and I oversaw a trial of the big bad wolf in a fourth grade classroom at Samuel Adams School in East Boston.  I’ll remember two things.  First, the jury was out all of 2 minutes before coming back with a verdict finding the wolf guilty of deliberating blowing down houses and eating pigs, yet when we polled the witnesses, both prosecution and defense, they would have acquitted.  Second, the defense attorney departed from the script by making an extemporaneous  argument for reconsideration after the jury came back.  Procedurally irregular, but we admired his passion.”

…Which Supreme Court Decision is most important to them:

Carol Starkey – Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford (Current BBA President)
“The case that had the greatest impact on me personally, and in my view, on the country as a whole, was Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S.  (2015), the landmark Unites States Supreme Court case in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Justice Kennedy pointed to the evolution of our understanding of injustice when he wrote, “The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.” And so it was with the Obergefell decision.”

And finally, we asked members what they thought about the now-infamous government order that Apple unlock an iPhone on the grounds that it contained vital evidence pertaining to the San Bernardino shooting. So many attorneys weighed in on the conflict between investigating the crime and avoiding setting a dangerous precedent that it’s difficult to pick just one response to highlight! We encourage you to look at the original post and read the fascinating discourse.

Thank you so much to everyone who answered a question during this past program 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].

Voices of the Bar 8/25/16: What Was the Most Memorable Moment of the Rio Olympics?

Though the Olympics have come to an end, everyone is still talking about them. From scandal to successes, the Olympics have dominated the headlines and office discussions for weeks. We wanted to know what stood out to our members.

For this week’s “Voices of the Bar” column, we reached out to ask:

” What was the most memorable moment of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio?”

Stacey Friends – Ruberto, Israel & Weiner
“For me, the highlight of the Olympics was cheering on the Women’s Gymnastics team from a ranch in Montana surrounded by guests and staff from France, California, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and of course, Montana, and all agreeing that it was the team’s artistic choreography, especially Simone’s, that made them stand out.”

Ruselle Robinson – Posternak Blankstein & Lund 
“My most memorable moment was the gold medal game for women’s basketball.  As the father of two daughters and a fan of women’s basketball, I loved watching the teamwork and remarkable skill level of the dominant USA National Team.  Terrific players led by a great coach, Geno Auriemma.”

Karl Fryzel – Locke Lord
“The Rio Games were spectacular. I always try to catch the swimming, gymnastics and track and field events, all sports where the US team usually excels and these Games did not disappoint. Of all the memorable moments, the one I found very special was the gold medal race in the women’s 100M freestyle which was won by Simone Manuel of the US. It was special because she was not expected to win this race but she gave it her all and surprised everyone including herself. It was also the first individual Olympic gold medal by an African-American woman in swimming and her time set a new Olympic record. The events resulting in ‘first’s’ in certain categories are the most memorable.”

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].

The Most Interesting Lawyer of the Week: Posternak’s Rosanna Sattler

Sattler_RosannaRosanna Sattler knew from the time that she was eight years old that she was passionately interested in outer space. But unlike other children her age, her dream was never to hop aboard a spacecraft.

“I never thought that I could be an astronaut,” she said. “Later in life, I decided that I wanted to try to merge my passion with my abilities as a lawyer. I wanted to see if I could move the needle a little bit on issues concerning the industry.”

That “industry” was in its infancy in 1997, when Sattler decided to apply her expertise in commercial litigation, insurance law and risk management to the final frontier. Commercial space flights were a dream just barely beginning to come to fruition, and Sattler was involved in lobbying efforts to ensure that NASA was not the primary entity involved in space travel.

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“I was not really terribly interested in the mature industry of satellites or communications, I was more interested in what private entrepreneurs and companies were doing. Sometimes that involves working with NASA, but I was not necessarily interested in what the government itself was doing. To me, it has always been about recognizing that space is a place and not a government program,” she said.

And just like other places, there are laws that govern space. An outer space treaty signed by 88 nations, most of which have never launched a spacecraft, is the primary document that outlines what is or is not permissible once people and objects are launched into space from the Earth. It states that each nation is responsible for space activities and objects that originated there, regardless of whether a government or a private company initiated it.

But increasingly complex innovations give rise to new legal questions.

“I am very interested in space law policy. I have done a lot of work regarding property rights in space – not intellectual property, but actual property rights. If we land on the moon, or land on Mars, or lasso an asteroid to have it orbit the moon, how can we do that? What are the laws? These types of activities do not have to be dealt with here on Earth. However, most property rights on Earth are subject to a mature, legal regime, “she said.

At Posternak, Blankstein & Lund, where Sattler is a partner and Executive Committee Member, the Space Law Department also represents clients in cases more typically associated with business – insurance, employment matters and contract disputes, to name a few.

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During Sattler’s career, she has represented companies working to improve the propulsion mechanisms for satellites and building spaceports (like an airport, she explains, but for space travel). She has counseled a spacesuit manufacturing company on liability and insurance issues.  She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the CompTIA Space Enterprise Council in Washington, D.C. CompTIA is a non-profit trade association, the goal of which is to advance the interests of Information Technology professionals. The Space Enterprise Council was founded in 2000 to represent businesses with an interest in commercial, civil and national security space.

“We have gone from these conceptual ideas that traditional aerospace professionals never thought were going to happen, to an industry where SpaceX is flying a commercial vehicle in lieu of the space shuttle to the International Space Station,” she said. “What goes along with that are a lot of issues that have never been legally tested before because we have never had an occasion.”

Currently, she said, companies are conducting medical and scientific research on the space station which is an international laboratory.  Other private ventures have launched objects in space to search for water on asteroids, in hopes that they could convert them into hydrogen fuel stations. If vessels could refuel in space, she explains, they could travel much farther out. Another company is working on developing an inflatable structure that could eventually be inhabited by people.

“I think we need to explore farther out into the solar system and beyond. I guess it is manifest destiny,” she said.

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The Most Interesting Lawyer of the Week: Pierce Atwood’s Will Worden

How a former stable hand ended up at Pierce Atwood…and at the forefront of transactional law and animal cloning

Worden_Will_largeSay the name “Dolly” and most people will think of the country singer or the child’s toy. Twenty years ago, however, the name immediately brought to mind Scotland’s most famous sheep.

July 5th marks the 20th anniversary of the birth of Dolly the sheep, the first animal to be cloned from an adult cell, using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer. That event – called the “breakthrough of the year” by Science Magazine – set into motion a new phase of research, and a new area of transactional law. At the forefront was Will Worden, Partner-in-Charge at Pierce Atwood’s Boston office and one of the pioneering attorneys on transactions involving animal cloning technologies.

But how does a then-Portland based attorney find himself on the cutting edge of animal science? One could say it started with the Vietnam War.

“I grew up in a big family in Ware, Mass,” said Worden. “When I got out of high school, I went to Bridgewater State College for a year. It was during the Vietnam War, and all the turmoil that was going on. By the end of that year, I was a hippie and I dropped out. I ended up in a farm management apprentice program in Virginia.”

Not just any farm management program, but one that attracted 3,000 applicants a year for just 12 spots, and one that had earned a reputation for placing program participants into management positions at world class farms.

“I served an apprenticeship on a farm that was breeding Morgan horses and cattle, and growing thousands of acres of alfalfa hay, corn and soybeans. I learned everything about the farm’s ‘seasons’: breeding, foaling, calving, planting, and harvesting. I also learned about genetics. I was involved in cutting edge technology; we were breeding animals via embryo transfer, and I learned from people who were the best.”

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After working his way up from stable hand to management positions at various farming operations, Worden was ultimately appointed general manager of Dearborn Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, one of the big thoroughbred breeding farms at the time. In an industry where management positions are often passed down from father to son, Worden’s new role was a significant achievement.

“When I got to Kentucky, I realized that I had achieved part of my goal, but I really wanted to have a college education. So I left and went to UMass Amherst and did an undergraduate degree in animal science in two years. I took a job as the general manager of a big farm in Virginia for two years, and then had the bug to further my education.”

After returning to UMass for a master’s degree in agriculture and resource economics, Worden was recruited by Drake University Law School, one of just two schools at the time with a program in agricultural law.  While Worden intended to take that degree back to Virginia or Kentucky and the farms, he ended up on a different path.

“I did a summer associate program at Pierce Atwood, and then returned there after clerking for a federal trial judge for a couple of years,” explained Worden. “One morning I came into work, and there was a private placement memorandum on my desk with a note from one of the senior corporate partners. A big, world class poultry genetics farm had purchased a startup company out of UMass Amherst called Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), and the core technology of ACT was somatic cell nuclear transfer.

“The note read ‘Do you know any of the terminology or technology that’s talked about in this memo?’ I opened it up and I saw the names of professors whom I knew and had studied with at UMass, and that’s when I started working with animal cloning.”

This was in the late 1990s, when the world was talking about the birth of Dolly. Meanwhile, Worden was working with ACT, whose scientists – including James Robl, Steve Stice, and Jose Cibelli – famously cloned the Holstein calves George and Charlie.

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“I actually met George and Charlie; they were created by UMass/ACT scientists, and were born in Texas. Shortly after they were born, George and Charlie came back to live in Amherst. What’s really interesting for me is that ACT improved the technology that was used to clone Dolly. After that, cloning actually became a business. Working with Dr. Mike West at ACT, I created a cloning services contract that was the first widely used commercial cloning services agreement. It was a brave new world.”

Worden’s role working with Advanced Cell Technology allowed him a close up view of how the technology was being used to improve lives.

“Scientists were looking at this technology as a way to improve the quality of meat and milk. The thing that was really interesting was that you could clone, say a Holstein, so that she would produce milk with a certain protein that could be extracted and used as a human therapeutic. It was the early years of regenerative medicine.”

Today, Worden remains on the cutting edge, working with clients, including with Dr. Mike West (now at BioTime, Inc.) in the commercialization of regenerative medicine technologies, including stem cell technologies. It’s an area that wouldn’t have developed without the science that led to Dolly, George and Charlie.

“I always thought the legal work that I was doing was laying a foundation for human medicine. It was groundbreaking work that I think contributed quite a bit. Now, here we are in 2016 and I think we’re within a short window of seeing real therapeutics hit the market from all this work, it’s pretty fascinating. I’m very proud to have worked on this.”

New faces, new programs, new….carpet?

It’s that time of the year, again. As we enter late summer and enjoy the long, warm days, the BBA staff is anxiously preparing for a new program year! With only 25 days until September 1, the team at 16 Beacon Street is busy putting everything in order for our 12,000 members.

When you come through our front door in less than a month, what will be different? The BBA staff is here to give you the rundown:

  1. New BBA Leadership. Have you met the members of the 2015-2016 Council?
  1. New Programming – Have you visited our calendar lately? September and October programs are already on the books. Be sure to save the date for the BBA’s Fall Forums Kick-off on Wednesday, September 16th.
  1. New Law Students – Once again, the BBA is proud to partner with the five Boston law schools and welcome their law students as BBA members. On Thursday, September 3rd, our New Lawyers Section will host a Law Student Welcome Reception. We hope to see you there!
  1. New Look – Yes, you guessed it! The BBA ushered in a lot of upgrades this summer – new member space rooms, updated meeting spaces with new carpets (yay!), and a new front desk area. You may not know, but there are many talented photographers on the BBA staff, so Voices of the Bar is taking you on a virtual tour of 16 Beacon Street. Hold onto your hats and get ready for a sneak peek…
The Front Desk

The Front Desk

Sanding the Conference Room

Sanding the Conference Room

Clafin Start

Clafin Start

Claflin In Progress

Claflin In Progress

Almost There

Almost There

 

Voices of the Bar would like to give a special thanks to the BBA’s Facilities Supervisor Bill Santry for managing the renovations!

The BBA staff wishes you a fantastic August, and we are thrilled to welcome you back in September!

What’s It REALLY Like Working at a Bar Association

You’ve probably seen updates and notices for the BBA’s popular Summer Career Series, which famously tells attendees “what’s it REALLY like” to work in certain areas of law.

“Well,” we thought to ourselves, “knowing about different practice areas and learning about them at the BBA is great…but what if we gave our members an inside peek at what it’s REALLY like to work at the BBA itself?”

What a mystery to delve into! First of all, working at a bar association is made rewarding by virtue of our enthusiastic volunteers and great members. (What can we say? We’re a little spoiled!) But there is much more to it than that.

 

So…What’s It REALLY Like to Work at the BBA?

Many of our members come to the BBA every month – sometimes every week! – for lunch programs, Section and committee meetings, and many other reasons. Along the way, they meet (eminently competent and, let’s face it, totally lovable) BBA staff members working across all areas of the organization.

The front line of the BBA staff is the membership department – those who help to coordinate programs, launch committee initiatives, and generally support our members in all areas. Working in Membership is a little something like this:

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…by which we mean, calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddling furiously as they keep the organization afloat.

 

Then there’s our marketing and events team…

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Always confident in directing people where to go and where to be for the best event experience possible, it’s a busy, high-energy world in events. Also, they know where the best snacks are.

 

Team Communications is always waiting to pounce on the next media opportunity and tends to be glued to the phone – kinda like this guy:

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(Definitely less fuzzy, but also definitely as good-looking.)

 

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Wondering how the BBA is always able to adapt to the ever-changing legal and political climate of the city? Thank Team Government Relations for having their eyes in all directions looking out for the latest legislative updates. It has moments of being slow, but when there’s movement, watch out – these guys are ready to move fast.

Public service is some of the most heart-warming work of all at the BBA, as it sees a direct impact on the community. It does include coordinating and overseeing a lot of volunteers and community members, meaning that working in public service is a little something like this:

Labrador-Welpen im Korb

 

The final front line of the BBA – that is, staff members you’re most likely to see around the building – is the executive team, which handles working with the BBA’s leadership. It’s a job that requires a great memory for details and the ability to balance projects effectively. Maybe a little bit like this:

African elephant balancing on a beer barrel.

 

And then there are the staff members who are rarely seen, rarely heard, but incredibly valuable. Think of them as the BBA deep cut, if you will.

Like our finance & administration team:

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On the move ready to put their financial plans in action; known for their sound survival mechanisms; and…surprisingly cuddly?

 

Or how about our IT team? There are a surprising number of tech issues that come up at the BBA, so for them, working at a bar association is about quickly, quietly, and discreetly solving these issues before anyone notices them.

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And last, but certainly not least, our facilities team takes expert care of the BBA’s historic headquarters, 16 Beacon Street, making sure that all meetings and events inside its walls can run full steam ahead.

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We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what it’s REALLY like to work at a bar association – and finding out what the different BBA spirit animals are. With the busy program year coming up, I guess you could say…

….sometimes it’s a zoo over here!