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SCCBA: An Opportunity to Build Your Network and Enjoy a Respite from Practice Demands

Posted By Dianne L. Sweeney, Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Updated: Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dianne L. Sweeney
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
2014 SCCBA President

Lawyering is tough work.  To be a Lawyer is a noble calling but, like all things, it takes its toll over time. When we are not working directly on a client matter, we are often strategizing about other matters, researching the latest case law, working on business development and, if truth be told, worrying about our clients. We are personally invested in our clients’ successes, and we share in their losses.  With so much going on, it is no wonder that many lawyers burn out and, at times, tune out.  While the Bar cannot alter the nature of the practice of law, we do offer a community of resources to support your professional development and help you get out of your office and into the community.

If you are a new lawyer, join the Barristers.  You can meet Adam Davis, the 2014 Barrister of the Year, mingle with lawyers new to the practice and develop relationships that you can enjoy and rely upon for years to come.  If your practice feels routine, consider joining an event with lawyers outside your main practice area, or perhaps it is time to get engaged with our Professionalism Committee (next month we will be unveiling the SCCBA’s new Center for Ethics and Professionalism so it is an exciting time to join that committee).

Activities coming up this summer include:

  • Solo & Small Firm Practitioners’ Section Summer Mixer, June 25, 2014, 5:30 PM at Myth Taverna and Lounge
  • When Judges Cross the Line, June 17, 2014, 6 – 8 PM at the SCCBA Offices featuring the Hon. Erica Yew and Hon. James Towery
  • Forming Connections & Bridging the Experience Gap A Speed Networking Event September 17, 2014, 5:30 PM at the SCCBA Offices

To view these and all our upcoming events, please go to

Beyond the activities of our traditional sections and committees, we also have community service opportunities.  If you are interested in joining Lawyers in the Community, we will shortly be scheduling our next community service event at the Second Harvest Food Bank.  I am hopeful that our Board members will be able to join this event so that you can have some time to get to know our dedicated Trustees, including the nine (9) new Trustees who joined the Board in 2014.  In addition, the Barristers’ Committee is planning a clothes donation drive to contribute clothing to a local agency working with those seeking employment to prepare them for employment interviews.  The Women Lawyers’ Section will sponsor its annual silent auction and raffle at its annual Holiday Lunch to raise funds for local charities such as battered women’s shelters.

Whether you would like to meet the current leadership or simply share an evening with other SCCBA members, I hope you will volunteer your valuable time to serve our local community.  While providing these service hours is critical to the agencies and people they serve, the response from members has consistently been that volunteering their time, outside of the office, is a gift to themselves.  It is a chance to take a break from your practice and reset your perspective and your role in advancing the administration of justice for our local legal community.  If you have a particular interest in joining Lawyers in the Community and working on events that help bring us closer to the communities we serve, please let me know as I am looking for members to add to our committee.


While you are considering your schedule, please ensure you hold the date for Judges’ Night—October 22, 2014.  This year promises to be a very special event.  I am delighted to announce that our Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of the Supreme Court of California has graciously agreed to be our featured speaker.  I look forward to seeing each of you at events throughout the summer and early fall and, of course, at Judges’ Night this October.

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