Fall 2007 - #1. VBA ANNUAL REPORT.


Vermont Bar Journal


Fall 2007 - #1.




It's a pleasure to report to you on the activities of your VBA during 2006-2007. We continue to expand the services and resources available to you and this year we succeeded in many ways. We instituted two new benefits of membership as part of our expanded efforts in lawyers' assistance. We hope these new benefits will assist all of you in caring for yourselves and your colleagues. First, the VBA contracted with INVEST EAP, an employee assistance program that will provide short-term counseling to address issues that arise in your personal or professional lives. The lawyers' assistance program offers a significant benefit to VBA members and their families, providing a resource to help address emotional and mental health issues, substance abuse, gambling problems, family and parenting ques-tions, and similar personal problems that can be deleterious and disruptive to a member's practice and state of mind. INVEST EAP provides confidential, face-to-face and telephonic assessments, as well as short-term counseling, to VBA members and their families. INVEST also provides assistance to management at firms dealing with employee problems and a referral network for addressing long-term problems. The short-term features of this program come at no cost to VBA members (and their families). Initial reports from INVEST show some usage and in the coming year we're committed to spreading the word as to the availability of this service to all our members. Remember that you can extend this benefit to your staff at a cost of less than $2.00 per month; call me if you'd like to do that.

Secondly, as part of its expanded package of services to members, the VBA has instituted a new mentoring program that will match lawyers seeking advice with experienced lawyers with advice to offer. We need volunteers to serve as mentors. If you are interested in serving as a mentor, full details and application forms are available on the new VBA website. There, you'll also find forms to request a mentor. Attorneys involved with the Vermont Bar Association mentoring program would be provided insurance coverage through the VBA malpractice policy. They are also exempt from the rule requiring attorneys to report to the Professional Conduct Board instances of misconduct by fellow attorneys. We appreciate your willingness to serve the legal community.

2007 saw the VBA host its second Solo and Small Firm Conference, again at the Basin Harbor Resort. Almost 120 of you came together for two days of programming and collegiality. The format we use for this conference has proven to be successful, as most attendees spend the night at Basin Harbor, extending the time to renew old friendships and make new ones. We're going back in 2009--May 18 and 19, 2009, to be exact...

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