A Word About Membership
Please let me begin by thanking BCBA President Steve Moody for appointing me as Membership Chair of our great organization. It is through the hard work and dedication of people like Steve Moody, the men and women of the Board of Directors, the Section and Committee leaders and members, our Executive Director Art Goldberg, and the Staff of BCBA that we flourish.
The Broward County Bar Association was founded in 1925 to work with the courts to improve the administration of justice, to educate members of The Bar and the public, and to foster social interaction among our members . Strength comes in numbers. We have come from our humble beginnings to an organization of over 2000 strong, with numerous Sections and Committees serving the Judiciary, the legal community, and the community at large. All Section and Committee work is done on a voluntary basis, and our Executive Board and Board of Directors serve with no compensation. The rewards of such service are priceless.
We have one of the most active Bar Associations in the Nation. We have numerous benefits, including our monthly Barrister magazine, which is chock full of great information, practice tips, an important calendar of events, as well as some fun and interesting articles and photos. We offer unlimited opportunity to serve on our several Sections and Committees, which provide a great opportunity to develop professionally, as well as network and meet other lawyers and Judges, but more importantly to also give something back to our community. We host numerous fantastic CLE’S and Seminars (AT SPECIAL REDUCED MEMBER RATES!). We have a great email notification system for our members. We also have annual Holiday Parties, Halloween Costume Parties for underprivileged children, and then later for our members (don’t miss this one!), Retired Judges Dinners, Judicial Robing Ceremonies and Receptions, our Annual BCBA Installation Dinner, a wonderful CLE “River of Knowledge” CLE cruise with food, libations, music, etc., our great Bench and Bar luncheons, Young Lawyer Golf and Softball events, etc., etc., etc.! We recently co-hosted the Fiftieth Anniversary of Brown vs. The Board of Education with the Broward County and Fort Lauderdale Historical Societies, and had Broward County School Board Attorney Ed Marko and Attorney George Allen (who were involved in the case) as well as others, on a panel at our beautiful Norma Howard Bar Center. The list goes on and on, and continues to grow.
We also hold the quadrennial Bench and Bar Conference, next scheduled at the Broward County Convention Center on October 21, 2005. We anticipate approximately 1000 Judges and Lawyers to attend. This event will be chock full of programs, receptions, exhibitors, etc. (a mini Florida Bar Convention!). BCBA also offers a Lawyer Referral Program. By example, one check just came in for $40,000, which is just a fraction of the fee the Law Firm earned! We also conduct the Judicial Poll, which we just sent to all 7000 plus Broward County Attorneys. We also have a BCBA Associate Membership, which is growing, and a great way to meet others.
Opportunities abound. Members can advertise in the Barrister, as well as write articles for consideration for publication. But perhaps the best reason to join is to support your profession, help educate the legal community and public, and help us continue to foster professionalism, collegiality, and a good image for attorneys. We appreciate the support of all of our members, and wouldn’t be the stellar organization we are without the tireless dedication of many of our true leaders. Our dues are embarrassingly reasonable. ATTORNEYS ADMITTED FOR UP TO ONE YEAR ARE ABSOLUTELY FREE!!! GOVERNMENT LAWYERS ARE ONLY $65! Regular dues are only $125. We even have partnered with the Daily Business Review for a substantial discount for our members. Check with your Accountant, but the Membership Dues may be deductible as well. The savings on CLE’s alone can more than offset the cost of membership.
I hope every member can and will ask of every lawyer they come into contact with, at every opportunity they have (hey, waiting in line for court in the morning, in the elevator, waiting for hearings, etc.) Are you a member of the Broward County Bar Association?, and If not, why not, and would you please join? I challenge every member to bring in at least one new member. Judge Ana Gardiner and I are currently working on 100% membership of our fine judiciary, and we are getting close to that lofty goal. Imagine if we could have all 7000 plus Broward County attorneys as members! I hope some day both of these goals will be a reality. With your help, it can happen! Please feel free to call BCBA at 954-760-8040, or me at 954-920-4LAW anytime. Cordially, Christopher M. Chris Neilson.