Wednesday, March 1, 2023

REBA President’s 2023 Message

Julie Pruitt Barry

Happy March 2023!

What exciting and unprecedented times for a real estate lawyer. For those of us who have been practicing for longer than we’d like to admit, we are seeing new issues and dilemmas arising, as we tackle wide-ranging impacts and reverberations in real estate and land use, ranging from cannabis legalization to climate change. Due to COVID-19, we’ve witnessed a generational shift in measuring productivity, with the almost certain likelihood that remote is here to stay, as so many of us are now working remotely for part of their workweek. 

While many of these new land use issues create challenges for clients and their lawyers, they also offer us new opportunities, and may help make our sometimes staid practice area more interesting and relevant to fellow legal professionals. REBA is at the forefront of these issues, offering members valuable information and guidance, including section-sponsored webinars and CLE programs at the Spring Conference in May and Annual Meeting and Conference in November, on topics such as siting cannabis facilities, and the Net Zero Stretch Energy Code. Indeed, we’re even relaunching REBA News –after 20 years as a supplement to Lawyers Weekly – in an electronic format, available on the web site and emailed monthly to members, to help us ensure that content for our members is timely and truly newsworthy.

This moment of unprecedented change in real estate and land use dovetails with REBA’s ongoing mission to increase and diversify its membership, ensuring the Association’s continued future growth and success. Of course, this is true for real estate practice overall, but particularly for REBA’s ability to attract newer professionals – both legal and non-lawyer professionals – and to welcome diversity in our ranks, so that REBA more closely reflects the composition of the bar across Massachusetts. REBA, like any organization, benefits from a more diverse membership, hopefully ensuring a continuity of leadership, ideals, and mission continuing long after many of us have decided we just can’t take the excitement anymore. Achieving these goals is more possible than ever with REBA’s remote capabilities, as our members can conveniently and easily attend webinars and section meetings in all parts of the Commonwealth, as we move our 150-year-old organization into the future.

With REBA, as in much of life, what you give is what you get. I urge you to support REBA in whatever capacity you can. Join a section; participate in CLE programming; attend a webinar. Personally, my goal this year is to attend as many REBA webinars as possible – and with remote Zoom programs, it’s so convenient. For one example, this past month, I attended the Paralegal and Title Insurance Sections’ joint webinar with the Land Court’s Chief Title Examiner Christina Geaney. It was an outstanding program, with Ms. Geaney providing valuable information, insights, and tips from her office on a range of topics that would be of great value to any practitioner. 

I look forward to seeing you soon, at the Spring Conference in May or remotely, to hear about your experiences and increased involvement with REBA.

Till next time

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