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24 Ways a Bar Association Can Benefit
From a Senior Lawyers Committee
(With Senior Lawyers Who Are Retired or Semi-Retired)


1. Keep the Lawyers in the Bar Association
2. Use as Discipline Monitors (to assist disciplined lawyers)
3. Use on Volunteer Probate Panels
4. Use as Mentors to Law Students
5. Legal Aid Volunteers
6. Volunteer Mediators
7. Volunteer Legal Services (to the under represented)
8. Help Pro Pers (unrepresented litigants)
9. Serve as Expert Witnesses
10. Provide Speakers for Non-Lawyer Groups, Churches, etc.
11. Create a Citizen's Law School
12. Teach Consumer Law Courses
13. Write Articles for Bar Publications
14. Provide Speakers for Bar Lunches
15. Provide a Forum for Senior Lawyers to Discuss and Solve Common Problems
16. A Resource on Elder Care Issues
17. Provide Volunteers for Non Profit Organizations in the Community
18. Provide Volunteers for Senior Centers
19. Provide Volunteers for Domestic Violence Prevention
20. Provide Volunteers for Organizations Serving the Underprivileged
21. Encourage Pre-Retirement Planning
22. Provide a Panel to Assist Sick or Injured Lawyers
23. Provide a Panel to Assist in Closing a Law Practice
24. Provide Assistants for the Bar Association During Periods of Peak Needs
(mailings, staffing booths, etc.)

Discussion Materials Follow.

"How a Bar Association Can Benefit From a Senior Lawyers Committee"

Senior Lawyers are ready, willing and able to serve as valuable resources for a Bar Association, the members of the Bar Association and the community from which the Bar Association draws its members.

Lawyers are generally eligible to be part of Senior Lawyer Committees at age 50 or 55 and/or upon having 25 years of experience as a lawyer.

Although most lawyers who voluntarily retire do so between age 55 and 75, Senior Lawyers activities include planning for retirement which should start no later than age 50. Many of the financial, professional and social aspects of transitioning from full time practice should be anticipated and prepared for starting as early as age 50.

Basing entry upon age rather than years of experience also encourages women and minorities and second career lawyers to participate.

Although there are innumerable benefits to the Senior Lawyer in being involved in a Senior Lawyer Committee, this presentation will also cover benefits to the Bar Association itself and the community.

SERVICES TO BAR ASSOCIATIONS

Assisting the association in administrative tasks.
Almost every Bar Association needs staffing help at one time or another. Many Bar Associations are perpetually understaffed in terms of what the members need and want. Some Bar Associations are understaffed at specific times or in connection with specific events (conventions, CLE seminars, membership dues and telephone solicitation for members or for dues, funds or participation in events.). Senior Lawyers' names are typically recognized and respected among lawyers. Their personal support of Bar Association activities can sometimes accomplish results as good or better than communications from officers or staff of the Bar Association.

Writing articles for, and assisting with Bar Association Journals and publications.
Many Senior Lawyers have extensive writing experience and can assist the Bar Association in the writing, editing and publishing of various Bar Journals and publications.

Serving on Fee Arbitration and Mediation Panels.
Many Bar Associations provide arbitration and mediation for fee disputes, both as between clients and lawyers and as between lawyers. Senior Lawyers can serve on these panels.

Speakers at Bar Association Lunches.
Senior Lawyers are often available as speakers at Bar Association Lunches both on topics of their choosing and as fill in speakers when the scheduled speaker is not available.

Remain as dues paying members and encourage other lawyers to remain as members.
Senior Lawyers who remain active in Bar Associations serve as a role model to other lawyers not to drop out of the Association.

SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION

Speakers at Community functions.
Senior Lawyers are available as part of a pool of speakers who are able to speak to various groups in the community on various topics for various events. Typical groups include churches, schools and other non-lawyer groups.

Law Day.
There are often many opportunities for the Bar to improve the public's opinion of the legal profession. The Senior Lawyers can provide speakers to schools and civic groups on the subject of Rule of Law or other topical subjects. The Senior Lawyers can also help with the logistics of coordinating speakers and speaking opportunities.

Legal Aid Volunteers.
Senior Lawyers often can be available one or two days a week to assist legal aid and similar activities serving the poor. Senior Lawyers can do legal research, interview clients and witnesses and assist in the preparation of the case for the regular legal aid lawyer.

Provide volunteers for non-profit organizations in the community.
Many communities have many non-profit organizations which need legal assistance. The legal assistance can range from attending Board Meetings to preparing routine minutes to helping with tax or other legal matters which may arise.

Providing volunteers for Legal Services for Senior Centers.
Senior Lawyers can assist in client intake at Senior Centers, referring Seniors with legal problems to the appropriate agency or referral service for further assistance. Legal problems of Seniors may be age related or non age related.

Provide volunteers for Senior Centers for non legal work.
Senior centers often need non legal assistance. Many Senior Lawyers like to help senior citizens even if no legal services are involved.

Serve as a source of small claims judges and community arbitration and mediation panels.
Bar Associations frequently provide attorneys to sit as commissioners or pro tem judges in small claim courts. Some bar associations also provide arbitrators and mediators for local merchant disputes and neighbor disputes.

Helping the courts prepare pro per litigations.
Many litigants go to court without a lawyer. Typically, the amount involved is too small or they can't afford a lawyer. Senior Lawyers can assist both the court and the parties by reviewing a file before the litigants show up at the courthouse. Frequently, the court file needs attention so that the court can conserve time and energy when hearing the matter.

Creating and staffing a Citizen's Law School.
Many Bar Associations have created "Citizen's Law Schools" where the local community can attend classes on legal subjects taught by senior and non Senior Lawyers. The topics are taught at a non lawyer level. Typical subjects are: wills, divorce, accidents, etc., depending on the community needs and interests.

Teaching consumer law courses.
Senior Lawyers can teach non lawyer level courses on various aspects of consumer law in schools, seminars and at senior centers, etc.

Provide volunteers for organizations which assist the underprivileged.
Many organizations which serve the underprivileged would benefit greatly by having a senior lawyer available to assist even one day per week.

SERVICES TO LAWYERS IN THE BAR ASSOCIATION

Providing Probate Panels for deceased or disabled lawyers.
Senior Lawyers are available (where permitted by local practice) to help disabled lawyers and spouses of deceased lawyers in closing a practice.

Providing a panel for temporary assistance for sick or injured lawyers.
Senior Lawyers can form panels to give temporary assistance to sick or injured lawyers and lawyers who need emergency "coverage" while on vacation.

Discipline Monitors.
Many discipline systems require that a disciplined lawyer receive "mentoring" to monitor compliance with a disciplinary sentence or condition of practice. Senior Lawyers can serve as monitors.

Mentors.
Senior Lawyers often provide mentors on both an individual basis and on group basis to young lawyers and to law students.

Elder Law programs.
Senior Lawyers tend to have senior clients. Senior Lawyers tend to be more expert in elder law issues than non seniors. This expertise is the result both of knowing elder law for their clients and knowing elder law for themselves.

Provide programs on pre retirement planning.
Retirement as a lawyer can either be a rebirth or a death sentence. The likelihood of a successful fulfilling retirement can be greatly enhanced by pre retirement planning. Pre retirement planning enables a lawyer to successfully transition from a full time law practice with all its pressures to a happy fulfilling retirement outside of law or retaining some contacts with law. Senior Lawyers who have "been there done that" are uniquely able to assist other lawyers plan for retirement.

Providing a Forum for Senior Lawyers to discuss common practice and personal problems and share solutions.
Many Senior Lawyers want to remain active as lawyers at various levels of activity. Senior Lawyers must face and resolve the problems of aging as it affects lawyers. Problems of eye sight, hearing and memory might impact a lawyer's ability to practice law. A Senior Lawyer must know when and how to transition from full time law practice to retirement or semi retirement.

 

 


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