The Stages of Coming to a BBA Lunch Program

As told by otters. Because who doesn’t love otters? (Plus, they’re famously smart and charming – just like our members.)

So you’ve looked at the BBA’s calendar and an interesting program caught your eye. Maybe it promises to offer details about an area of your practice that you’ve been curious about; maybe it will cover a cutting-edge topic outside of your practice area that you’ve been dying to explore; or maybe it has a networking element where you can meet high-profile attorneys and knowledgeable experts in a particular subject area. Whatever it is, you’re ready to dip your toes into the water and attend.

Cool Drink

You decide to enlist another member of your organization to come with you: after all, the more the merrier, and they’re sure to find the program fascinating too.

otter friends

You walk into one of the BBA’s historic meeting rooms and find yourself face-to-face with other like-minded attorneys waiting for the program to begin. Who knows – you might even say you’ve found your pack.

Otter family

The program starts, and after a while, you find that you’re learning new developments, practice tips, and other important information that you might have missed otherwise. The speaker is well-versed and offers a compelling presentation. You are, in a word, captivated.

fascinated otter

What’s more, with your new knowledge, you’re ready to continue to explore these uncharted territories and develop yourself into even more of a leader in the field.

Otter under water - close-up shot

At the conclusion of the program, you walk out feeling inspired and vowing to check the BBA’s calendar to see what else is on the horizon – you can hardly wait!

Sea Otter (Enhydra Lutris)

Voices of the Bar 4/16/15: What words of encouragement do you want to offer to this year’s Marathon runners?

We’re very proud of all of this year’s Boston Marathon runners, especially representatives from the legal community who will be running the 26.2-mile course this Monday (find out some of those names here). It is always a memorable, moving event for the city, and even more so in the past couple of years. We want to give as much encouragement possible to our runners in the face of this physical challenge.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“What words of encouragement would you want to offer to this year’s Marathon runners? What is your mantra when things get tough?”

Julie Heinzelman – Prince Lobel Tye LLP
“The best advice that I can give to this year’s runners is “never give up.” I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 for Tedy’s Team to raise money for the American Stroke Association in honor of my grandmother. Tedy’s mantra of “never give up” was particularly helpful to me when running Boston because of problems I encountered while training and just the overall difficulty of the course. Even off of the course, his words have always stuck with me. Training through this past winter undoubtedly required a great deal of mental toughness, but it will all be worth it when each runner takes the right on Hereford and left on Boylston. Crossing the finishing line is one of the greatest feelings in the world (even though it took me forever to get there). Never give up!”


Darren Braham – Spartan Race, Inc.
“I love cheering on runners on Marathon Monday. The crowds line most of the route, and I remember how much they helped me get over the finish line ten years ago. My mantra, which, although, I repeated over and over, proved harder to follow in principle was “pain is temporary; suffering is optional”. One other tip: write your name on your shirt so people can call you out by name. Good luck runners!”


Thomas A. Mackie – Mackie Shea, PC
“Start easy, maintain a steady pace, look around, enjoy the experience. When the going gets tough, remember to embrace it – that is what you are there for.”


Rosanna Sattler – Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP
“Best of luck; but please remember, luck is the residue of design. Your preparation will undoubtedly pay off.”


Vince Pisegna – Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
“In the immortal words of Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis) in the movie A League Of Their Own: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.””


Rachel Munoz – Morgan Brown & Joy
“Do not forget to have fun, celebrate your accomplishment, and take a moment to remember the victims of the Marathon bombing when you cross the finish line. When things get tough, I like to sing the song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “I Won’t Back Down.” When things get tough for you on the course, remember that you, the victims and their families, and the City of Boston have not and will not let those who wish to create fear and harm keep us from the finish line. Also, remember that the City of Boston is cheering you on! I have run two marathons and learned that when I focused on the experience and appreciated the support from the spectators, rather than the pain of 26.2 miles, I had a much better race. ”


Amy Lipman-White – Law Office of Lipman & White
“We each set our own personal intentions when we decide to embark on something as relentless as running a Marathon. Keep sight of your intention. Bring yourself back to that moment in time which brought you here and it will carry you through the day. Good luck, Marathoners. I have no doubt you can do it.”


Joseph L. Bierwirth – Hemenway & Barnes LLP
“I would just say trust your training, listen to your body, soak it all in, and enjoy the experience! Crank some Springsteen if you’re an earbud type … those two lanes will take you anywhere!”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Special Shout-Out to Our Legal Community Marathon Runners!

Make sure to cheer extra loud for these names on Monday during the Boston Marathon! And runners, we already have some words of encouragement coming your way in this week’s Voices of the Bar question.


Susan Bourque (Parker Scheer) – Fifth Boston Marathon

Kathy Henry (Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp.) – Ninth Boston Marathon; running on Team MR8 in honor of Martin Richard

Emily Hodge (Choate Hall & Stewart) – Sixth Boston Marathon; running on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team

Kathleen Joyce (Boston Redevelopment Authority) – Third Boston Marathon

J. Patrick Kennedy (Bulkey, Richardson and Gelinas) – Eighth Boston Marathon

Sa’adiyah Masoud (Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker) – First Boston Marathon

Ryan Pace (Anderson Kreiger) – Twenty-second (!) Boston Marathon

Chinh Pham (Greenberg Traurig) – Seventh Boston Marathon

William Sinnott (Donoghue Barrett & Singal) – Fifth Boston Marathon


Congratulations, all!

P.S. Are you running but missed our initial call and don’t see your name up here? Please let us know by emailing — we want to cheer for you too!


Poll Time: How far have you run?

We’re already gearing up for the Marathon next week — it’s a special time in our city, and even more moving over the past couple of years. We want to celebrate the spirit and resilience that it symbolizes and focus on the pride we feel in all of the runners for their great accomplishments. That’s why VoB is going to be having a Marathon-themed week here (so be sure to keep checking back for more).

Of course, even if you’re not ready to run a Marathon, we’re sure we have plenty of runners in the legal community. And we want to celebrate you, too! (We are of the opinion that all exercise should be celebrated…preferably with cookies.)

So, runners: how far do you generally run? What’s your personal best? Let us know in the poll below.

P.S. non-runners, there’s an option for you too — and we will totally be voting for it.


What is the farthest distance you've ever run?

View Results

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Voices of the Bar 4/9/15: Which sport keeps you glued to your TV every year?

March Madness has wrapped up – both in the sports world, and in the BBA’s Boston School March Madness – and the NHL is entering the playoffs, as we also celebrate the oncoming baseball season with Opening Day.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“Which sport keeps you glued to your TV every year?”

Adam M. Stewart – Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP
“I love to watch football, especially when the Denver Broncos are playing.”


Stacey C. Friends – Ruberto, Israel & Weiner, P.C.
“While I wholeheartedly support the Boston teams and have gone to each teams’ games in person each year (Go Bruins!), football is the only sport I really watch on the TV. That being said, none of the sports “glue” me to the TV, I am more arts-oriented and avidly watch the singing and dancing shows (which is kind of a sport?), in particular SYTYCD!”


Paul R. Kennedy – Attorney at Law
“Every July, I look forward to watching the Tour de France. Even those with no interest in cycling can appreciate the scenery of France and surrounding countries. In the month leading up to the bar exam, watching an hour or so of “le Tour” while eating dinner was how I wound down.”


Brendan Carter – University of Massachusetts School of Law
“College football in the fall, particularly the SEC and Notre Dame. I am only a subway alumni of ND, but I bought into the ND mystique as a kid and I continue to watch every Saturday.”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

And the Winner Is…

It’s been a long month here in Boston. We’ve seen the Duke Blue Devils triumph over the Wisconsin Badgers; we’ve seen winter think about turning into spring, start heading in that direction, and then give up and go back to winter again. And here at the BBA, we’ve been counting the votes to see who would come out on top in our School March Madness series. A huge thanks for voting week after week; and for the individuals casting their votes for one particular school, that spirit has paid off. Without further ado, the winner of our own March Madness series and thus the school that can claim to have some of the most spirited alums in Boston is…



…(drumroll, please)….



UMass, we are super excited for you! Congratulations on being so awesome that you finished on top. Virtually offering you a huge high-five:


And that concludes our first annual Boston School March Madness! Look forward to more interactive options coming your way on Voices of the Bar for the future.

Are You Running the Boston Marathon?

If so, the BBA wants to know!

The 2015 Boston Marathon is coming up on April 20. Always a special event in our city, it’s been even more meaningful in these past couple of years. We want to make sure to commemorate and celebrate the participation of our members by offering a special shout-out before the race.

So if you’re running this year, please send an email to by Wednesday, April 15, including your name; your firm, company, or school affiliation; and how many years you’ve participated in running the Marathon. We’ll include your info in a round-up post that will appear in the April 16 edition of BBA Week so that all of our members can cheer for you on the big day – and make sure to congratulate you after you’ve finished!

Looking forward to hearing from our runners…

Voices of the Bar 4/2/15: What book is at the top of your reading list to pick up next?

Read anything good recently? The BBA hopes you’ll pick up Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution and come to our talk by author Barbara Berenson on April 9 for an inside look at her writing process and Boston’s role in the Civil War.

With this in mind, BBA Week reached out and asked:

“What book is at the top of your reading list to pick up next?”


Chinh H. Pham – Greenberg Traurig LLP
“I am looking forward to reading 26.2 Miles to Boston: A Journey Into the Heart of the Boston Marathon, by Michael Connelly.  A teammate on the Museum of Science Marathon team suggested this book before our 21 mile run this past Saturday.  With the Boston Marathon coming up in a few weeks, I am hoping that the book can provide additional inspiration as I make my way from Hopkinton to Boylston Street on April 20th.”


Mark D. Smith – Laredo & Smith
“I just picked up Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown and hope to complete it over the next few weeks.”


Judith R. Sizer – Rose, Chinitz & Rose 
“I’ve already ordered the new book by Mary Norris, a long-time copy editor for The New Yorker (Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen).   Every practicing lawyer should be obsessed with commas, particularly one who tries to complement her legal prose with occasional op-eds and sermons.  And in honor of the recent ceremonial reburial of Richard III, Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time is back on my nightstand.  It’s a brilliant British mystery novel revealing that Richard wasn’t so dastardly after all.”


Phelps T. Turner – Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen P.C.
“Next on my list is The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb, about the race to be the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. I know how the story ends, but I look forward to reading about Roger Bannister’s journey to breaking the barrier first, and about the British runner’s battle with two runners in the United States and Australia for the record.”


Robert K. Crabtree – Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP
“Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree is a must read for those involved in disability law or related fields.  Eloquent, thoroughly researched, and deeply compassionate, this work explores how traits that separate people from their families and/or their communities can drive behavior, define needs, and provoke legal and educational responses.  The book is lengthy, but it need not be read all at once. With topics as wide-ranging as children with Deafness, Down Syndrome or Autism, children of rape, and children who commit crimes, chapters can be read as and when the spirit or needs dictate. Ultimately one learns about a wide range of “different” identities in the world, the advocacy communities, legal systems and support systems that form around those identities, the wider communities’ impact on them and vice versa.  Above all, one learns about the very notion of “identity” and will find one’s moorings nicely loosened a bit in the project. Readers sometimes grow as persons with certain books; this is one of those.”


Catherine Martin – New England Law Boston
“I am looking forward to reading Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution, in part to prepare for the BBA event with the author next Thursday night discussing the legal community’s relationship with the growing abolitionist movement. The book covers a group of Boston abolitionists who participated in the campaign against slavery. While I, and probably most Boston residents, know a good deal about the area’s importance during the Revolutionary War, I was not aware how much activity there was leading up to and during the Civil War. Looking forward to an interesting read and a great event!”


If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Gabrielle Guarracino at

Boston School March Madness: The Finals

You’ve spoken and your voices have been heard. After weeks of anticipation, we’re down to our last two schools. Who will come out with the most votes, and the greatest representation of school spirit?

Only one way to find out….

Northeastern University vs. Umass System

  • Umass System (52%, 11 Votes)
  • Northeastern University (48%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 21

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April Fool’s!


This seasonally appropriate bunny looks ready for mischief…



Well, there’s no joke here (Voices of the Bar is, of course, extremely serious and never makes jokes at all, ever). But have you been to our homepage yet? Notice anything a little…unusual?

The BBA does like a good joke, so keep an eye on our website and social media pages throughout the day!