June 2016

Making the Most of Your SDCBA Membership

By Michael Olinik

The Butler Firm, APC

Starting out as a new attorney or changing career paths to open your own practice are complicated, confusing challenges to navigate through.  Fortunately, as a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, you have many resources available to you to help you through your new adventures.  Of course, the SDCBA has various sections, mixers, brown bags, and CLEs to help you network in and learn more about your area of law.  The practice of law, though, involves actually practicing law, and the Bar Center at 401 can help you with that as well.

The Bar Center at 401 offers an office away from your office for those times when you are running around town for your clients.  It is located at 401 West A. Street, Suite 1100, conveniently located near the Hall of Justice, the Federal Courts, and the new courthouse.  If you are between appearances and do not want to give up your parking spot, the Bar Center features a collaborative workspace with free Wi-Fi, copiers, office supplies, and even drinks and snacks.  You can use the space to recharge, or attend to your emails or other tasks without the need to return to your office.  The Bar Center saves you and your clients travel time and expenses — and who couldn’t use a snack between hearings?

The Bar Center also offers small conference rooms for up to two hours, if available.  You can even make reservations to ensure a room is reserved for your use.  These conference rooms are excellent places to meet with clients or witnesses who cannot make it to your office.  You can also arrange to meet opposing counsel — a neutral location to hold required meet and confers and pre-trial mandatory meetings.  If your regular office is messy due to all of the hard work you’re doing, you can also use the space to meet with a mentor to discuss your case.  For those who need larger spaces, you can also rent the Bayview Conference Room and the Cityview Conference Room.  Even the Conference Center in Suite 120 is available for rent, if necessary.  Space is sparse downtown, but as an SDCBA member, you have a space reserved for you right downtown. 

Find yourself downtown more often than your office?  You can even arrange to have your mail delivered right to the Bar Center!  While the Bar Center cannot function as your main office address, you can have your mail sent there, c/o the Bar Center, waiting for you to pick it up downtown.  Together with the collaborative workspace, this option may allow you to save time and another trip from the office back downtown.

Finally, if you need a break from work, you can also rest in the Member Lounge.  There, you can read a newspaper, have a snack, or chat with other attorneys in the lounge.  The lounge opens at 8:30 a.m., so you can even wait out that traffic heading back to North County on Friday mornings.  There is a concierge that can assist you, and the lounge is open until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 3:30 p.m. on Friday.  You can use the Bar Center as a solace in the midst of downtown.

For more information on how to take advantage of the membership benefits available to you, please visit the SDCBA’s website.  Of course, you could also visit the Bar Center yourself and talk with the SDCBA team and see the Bar Center itself.  The Bar Center is there to help you be a better attorney, so take advantage of your membership so that you can better serve your clients.