ABA Annual 2010: Make the Most of It (Get Involved)

photo.jpg We are really pleased to have so many attorneys from across the country (and beyond!) congregating in our own backyard for the ABA Annual Meeting. We considered posting a resource of things to do and places to eat in the San Francisco Bay Area – but, from past experience, know that your schedule likely will be too packed with seminars and ABA-sponsored social events to do much else.

You may not be fully familiar with another side to the Annual Meeting (and indeed, the ABA itself): the multitude of committees and boards comprised primarily of volunteers who help make the ABA what it is. These groups are integrally involved in the services, growth and direction of the ABA – and many will be meeting in San Francisco over the next few days. I encourage you to participate.

A few years back, when I attended my first ABA Annual Meeting, I noticed these same such listings for “committee” and “board” meetings in the program. I didn’t know what these were or who could attend them – and wrongly assumed they were open only to ABA staff. Luckily for me, I found my way into one and asked. What I found were groups of friendly, welcoming, attorneys like myself, who were interested in being actively involved in the work of this important non-profit organization.

After attending a few more meetings at various ABA events, I was hooked.

I spent one year on the Education Board of the Law Practice Management (LPM) Section, and, for the past two years, have been a member of the the Editorial Board of the GP/Solo divisions’ Technology and Practice Guide. I also had the honor of acting as the LPM’s liaison to the Commission on Women in the Profession for one year, and have continued to be involved with the ABA Women Rainmakers.

My involvement as an ABA volunteer has been truly enriching: both the opportunity to contribute to a larger effort, and to be a part of a community of like-minded people. I encourage you to explore this side of the ABA if you think you may have any interest in getting more involved. [Note: while my involvement has been focused on women in the law and law practice, the ABA provides services to every substantive practice area – each of which has its own corps of volunteers and committees].  

To find and attend committee meetings:

Find the practice areas of
interest to you (organized by section on pages 97-199 of your program)
and drop in to any listed meetings that catch your fancy. It’s that easy.

BTW: I’ll be at the ABA Women Rainmakers 20th Anniversary Reception in the offices of Winston and Strawn (101 California St., 39th Floor; Thursday Aug. 5; 5:30 to 7:00pm) – send a note if you’d like to connect. I’d love to meet you.

If you do have a moment to get out and enjoy a meal with friends old and new, here are a random few of our favorites, already tweeted I see by Adrian @jdtwitt:

Sushi Ran (in Sausalito)
House of Nanking (Chinatown)
Boulevard Restaurant (near the SF Ferry Building)
Slanted Door (Ferry Building)
Ruchi (terrific Indian food probably within walking distance of conference)

…include your San Francisco restaurant suggestions in a comment here.

(photo: looking at San Francisco from JD Supra offices in Sausalito.)