If you’re an attorney who decided to practice consumer bankruptcy law here in the Central District of California, then you absolutely MUST join the Central District Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Association (“CDCBAA”). It is NOT just a matter of filling out forms, the petition being the forms to be completed are just the starting point. There are so many considerations to be made when representing consumer debtors in bankruptcy that every counsel needs guidance and direction from their established peers. Here are just some of the many benefits to joining this incredible grass-roots organization from their brochure:
1. A DIRECT OPPORTUNITY FOR PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING WITH YOUR PEERS: You’ll have a free exchange of ideas common legal and business matters.
2. “Local Local” RULES AND PRACTICE TIPS: Get the inside scoop on what judges and trustees want at our meetings instead of learning the hard way.
3. MENTORSHIP: Opportunities to get good advice on troublesome issues in tough cases; hone practice skills & avoid malpractice.
4. AN INCREDIBLY ACTIVE LIST-SERVE: email questions to the whole bankruptcy community online and get answers quickly–worth the price of admission.
5. MARKETING MUSCLE: Advertise your services on their website and link to your website for improved search engine ranking.
6. MCLE UNITS OF REAL USE IN YOUR CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY PRACTICE: 16 MCLE hours each year (approximate) in 8 seminars on Saturday mornings–with judges, experts, and our awesome clerks.
7. FREE ANNUAL AWARDS AND CELEBRATION DINNER: Rub elbows with your peers, the trustees & the Court. Included in membership dues.
8. EARN ADDED CREDIBILITY WITH YOUR CLIENTS AND THE COURT: Put CDCBAA on your resume’, website and promotional materials to increase your credibility.
The members meet about eight Saturdays during the year to address changes in the Central District, statistics, judges preferences, local rules, and volunteer opportunities. After each member meeting there is usually a 2 hour MCLE topic of interest. Their list-serve is incredible and worth your membership alone, but the added MCLE programs and the awards dinner make for a great group of consumer bankruptcy practitioners that care about our field of law, the consumers and efficiency in our courts.
Just remember this is very grass roots. Membership dues are based upon calendar year at $250.00 per attorney, so it’s best to join in January to get the best bang for your dollars. I can tell you that within the last two years of my association with this group that they are willing to share their information, papers, wisdom and time for those that ask and are nice. Combined experience of the core group has got to be more than 1,000 years!