“The new space will provide the Asian American Lawyers Association (AALAM) with a place to call home. Equally important, it will go a long way toward fostering ever closer relationships between AALAM, other affinity bar organizations, and the BBA for the benefit of the members that we serve.” – Sarah G. Kim, President, AALAM, Counsel, Bingham McCutchen
“The Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA) looks forward to opening offices at 16 Beacon Street. We expect that putting ourselves in the same building as the BBA and other affinity bar associations will accelerate the already substantial efforts we have all made to coordinate our activities to better serve our constituencies.” – Carlos Perez-Albuerne, President, MAHA, Partner, Choate Hall & Stewart
“Now the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association (MBLA) has a permanent home. Our members and friends will always know how to reach us and we will have a place to store our historical records – which also have been moved from place to place over the last 37 years. We are very excited about this development and our partnership with the BBA.” – Damian W. Wilmot, President, MBLA, Partner, Goodwin Procter
“This office space will mean a permanent, consistent place that the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys (MBWA) would be identified with by its members and the outside legal community. It also represents an opportunity to collaborate with other affinity bars and the BBA. – Keidi S. Carrington, President, MBWA, Attorney-at-Law
“The office space provided by the BBA to the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and other affinity bar associations will offer tremendous opportunities for our members in providing a ‘brick and mortar’ home for programming, administrative needs, and inter-organizational cooperation.” – David W. Eppley, 2009-2010 Co-Chair, MLGBA, Director, Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster
“As a relatively new and rapidly growing affinity bar association, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) is thrilled not only to have a permanent address at the BBA, but also to further solidify our partnership. We look forward to many years of working on common goals.” – Natasha Varyani, President, SABA, Associate, McCarter & English
A few years ago, the Boston Bar Association’s Diversity Leadership Task Force suggested that greater inter-bar collaboration would help Boston’s diversity efforts. More recently, Ernest Haddad, Associate Dean for Special Projects at Boston University School of Law, and Minita Shah, Manager of Diversity & Inclusion at Bingham McCutchen – both members of the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section – began having discussions with leaders from six affinity bar associations (AALAM, MAHA, MBLA, MBWA, MLGBA, and SABA). The affinity bar leaders spoke about their missions, goals and efforts to serve their members, and what they do to create unique networks for attorneys of different backgrounds. They all observed that the BBA could help by providing them with permanent office space.
Yesterday, the BBA “broke ground” on that project, by beginning renovation of its lower level to create offices that will be shared by these six affinity bar associations. The space, once used to house meetings of the BBA executive committee and special task forces, as well as a formal dining room, will be ready for a tour by September 23, the date of the annual Affinity Kick-Off Fest being held in the BBA’s new Clafflin Center.
“We want to provide basic infrastructure to help the affinity bar organizations grow and thrive,” said BBA President Jack Regan. “At the same time, our collaborative relationships are about more than space and resources,” added Regan. “We look forward to working with all of the affinity bar associations to identify future leaders and also to collaborate on mutually beneficial and innovative programming.”
Boston area law firms have been generous in hosting affinity bar events and providing space for meetings, a practice expected to continue.