A Letter From The President
The LBBA has had an incredible 99th year! We began 2016 with big expectations to support our membership, build relationships, and to invest in our community. I am proud to say that we have made diligent strides toward incorporating those goals into the spirit of our organization.
To better support our membership, we have continued with useful and inexpensive monthly MCLE programs by offering twenty-three (23) hours of credits, including the difficult to obtain MCLE credits. We provided interesting program topics that are applicable to all types of practice and were graciously taught by members of the judiciary, professors, people in the field, members of our organization, and other attorneys. In addition to offering a variety of events to facilitate networking within our community, we established a member benefit program to provide our members with exclusive benefits, and we offered complimentary head shots at our Meet the Judges event at the Governor Deukmejian Courthouse. Lastly, we made it easier for our members to access information and to register for our events and programs by providing details about events and programs well in advance, revitalizing our website, becoming active on social media, and making said information and registration available online. Our online presence is expanding. Through Facebook alone we organically reached 13,500 people in 2016.
In addition to supporting our membership, our goal this year was to build relationships. By launching a mentorship program, we have built a bridge between attorneys of different vintages. By providing more opportunities to interact with our Judges whether at Judges Night, our less formal Meet the Judges event, or by having members of our bench graciously present MCLE lectures, we have built a bridge between attorneys and members of the judiciary. By holding joint events with the Women Lawyers of Long Beach, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Surfing Lawyers, Long Beach Barristers, and the Long Beach Legal Professionals we have built a bridge between our members and members of other local legal organizations.
Our commitment to the community has been threaded throughout the year’s events and programs. We created the Distinguished Service Award this year to acknowledge those who work tirelessly to better this community. Through our silent auction at the Installation Dinner and quarterly community dinners at local restaurants we raised over $3,000 for our Scholarship Committee. These fundraisers are new to the LBBA and have proven to be a terrific tool to raise money for our local students. Launching our mentorship program has created an atmosphere where young lawyers are in a trusted environment where they can build a relationship with more experienced attorneys to gain insight into the legal profession and work life balance.
We have continued to serve the public through our monthly free legal advice clinic held at the court. We have grown upon that dedication to the community by spotlighting different local nonprofit organizations each month; volunteering time at the Surfrider beach clean-up; walking in the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House’s Walk for Kids; and encouraging our members to donate goods to these various incredible organizations We have also made every effort to invest our resources into local businesses whenever possible.
Thank you for the privilege of serving this great, historic organization. While it was a busy year, it really was a tremendously memorable year. I have enjoyed my time volunteering with the LBBA and hope to encourage others to share in this passion. I am honored to have celebrated the LBBA’s 99th year with you and I look forward to the year of festivities planned for next year!
With kind personal regards,
Neyleen S. Beljajev