Remarking that the Boston Bar Association is in “terrific shape” and noting its membership has “every reason for optimism,” outgoing President Deb Manus addressed BBA members at the Association’s annual meeting Tuesday night, which occurred in-person for the first time since 2019.
There was much to look back on—and forward to—at the annual meeting. Manus praised the many efforts of BBA members despite a tumultuous year marked by additional COVID variants and the difficulties they brought, and commended the Association’s ability to evolve and adapt with the times.
“Our members say ‘yes’ when called upon,” Manus remarked.
She reported that during the pandemic, the Association’s membership increased to more than 15,500. She added the Association’s hundreds of online educational offerings had continued to meet the needs of members during a time when many were working remotely. She also observed that the Association had remained active on the policy front, citing advocacy for a $165 million bond bill for the Trial Court’s IT infrastructure and for the request of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance for $41 million in funding for civil legal aid—both of which were enacted.
Of additional note were two recent highlights for the BBA and its charitable affiliate, the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). First, Manus noted the BBF’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts grossed more than $900,000 to help fund the Foundation’s 2022-23 grant cycle. Second, those 2022-23 BBF grants reached a 15-year high of $1,285,000, allowing for an additional three grantees over last year’s cycle.
Looking ahead, Manus noted that, in October, the BBA will host its first-ever job fair, with the goal of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Greater Boston legal community.
Incoming President Chinh Pham also addressed the gathered members Tuesday night, taking the chance to applaud Manus’s tenure and thank her for rising “to every occasion…with a devotion to the BBA and BBF at the forefront.”