Develop Valuable Skills: As Barristers Board members, we are continuously given opportunities to develop and utilize many skills that, while important to our growth as professionals, are not necessarily the focus of our day-to-day jobs. A few examples include: sharpening leadership, public speaking, networking and fundraising skills; developing the tools necessary to work together as a team with a diverse group of attorneys, all of whom bring different viewpoints to the table; and, finally, learning to be a mentor and role model to younger members of our profession. The Barristers Club provides a unique environment for its Board members to sharpen these skills during interactions with newer members of the Bar Association in their first ten years of practice, while still providing plenty of opportunities to connect with, and learn from, the more experienced members of the BASF community.
Meet New People: As leaders within the Bar Association, the Barristers Board of Directors is often invited to attend important networking events, community meetings, speaker series and other professional functions, all of which provide rare opportunities to connect with esteemed members of the State Bar and the judiciary, politicians and leaders within our community. Over the past two months alone, we have been lucky enough to have one-on-one time with the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and Federal Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the Northern District of California, as well as the chance to work closely with senior partners and executives at some of the largest law firms and corporations in the country. Through these unique interactions, we have gained insight into different practice areas and created large networks of professional connections, mentors, referral sources and even personal friends. We (Valerie & Blair) are a perfect example of this; after meeting nearly four years ago at the Barristers Holiday Party, we kept running into each other at events and getting to know each other. Through our work on the Board over the past two years, we learned just how much we had in common and we have now become great girlfriends outside of the Barristers Club. The professional and personal connections the Board members make are, undoubtedly, one of the most rewarding parts of our hard work.
Have Fun: Yes, it’s fun! The Barristers Board is a “work hard, play hard” group of young attorneys. In addition to planning CLEs, we go to Giants games, host regular Happy Hours, golf/run/bike/bowl to raise money for the Justice & Diversity Center and, just last year, we started one of our favorite traditions to date: The Barristers Club’s Annual Boat Cruise, where we enjoy sunset cocktails and hors d’oeuvres aboard a yacht on the San Francisco Bay. As Board members, we are responsible for finding creative ways to get our members together after work, so they can get to know each other away from the billable hour. In other words, as Board members, we get to be on the front lines, planning, executing and hosting events for one of the most revered Bar Associations in the country. It doesn’t get much more FUN than that!
About the authors:
Valerie Uribe is the 2015 Barristers Club President. Blair Walsh is the 2015 Barristers Club President-Elect.