Message from the Chair

By Mellania E. Safarian
Clark Hill PLC

Hello New Lawyer Division:

As the year comes to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on all the amazing things the New Lawyer Division has accomplished this year. To start, we successfully changed our name from the New Lawyer Forum to the New Lawyer Division, a change that was met with unanimous approval from the Board of Directors for the San Diego County Bar Association. We also successfully added law students to our official membership. These changes were not only necessary but also pivotal to the long-term success of the New Lawyer Division.

Amongst other things, the New Lawyer Division also successfully hosted meet-ups each month at various locations throughout San Diego County. These meet-ups included happy hours at various bars, a hike at Torrey Pines, a Halloween costume party, a picnic at Balboa Park with our dogs, as well as a chili cook-off. We also co-hosted a speed networking mixer. These events were all well attended and received. But our most successful event by far was our Summer Party held at the Guild Hotel which had over 100 attorneys in attendance.

The New Lawyer Division also successfully organized and held quarterly CLE’s which included topics such as mediation, technology, collaborative justice programs, as well as discrimination and bias in the workplace. We joined forces with other sections and committees to collect over 150 pounds of trash in under two hours at Fiesta Island. And each month new lawyers published articles in our award winning e-publication, For the Record. These programs provided new lawyers with various opportunities to engage with the San Diego legal community that went beyond your standard networking event.

This year we also held elections to fill vacancies on our Executive Committee. Several well qualified candidates campaigned for only two open positions as Members at Large. The number of candidates and votes directly speaks to the level of engagement and excitement the New Lawyer Division has cultivated this year. We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum for next year. And please join me in congratulating the two newest members of the Executive Committee: Christopher Champine and Stephanie Atkinson!

None of this success would be possible without the dedication and commitment of the members of the Executive Committee. I am incredibly grateful for their passion and support. Stephanie, Kevin, Mary, and Myca, if you are reading this, thank you for making this an unforgettable year. I am confident that next year will be just as amazing, if not more, with your steadfast leadership. It has been an absolute honor to serve as Chair of the New Lawyer Division. I will cherish this experience for years to come.  

As always, I hope that you will continue to join us and be sure to look out for future emails with events, programming, and our monthly e-publication, For the Record.


Mellania Safarian

Chair of the New Lawyer Division