College Columns December 2016 - Page 5

Promoting Fellowship in the First Circuit

Denise Neary, Chair, Meetings and Events Committee

borrow ideas from the First Circuit Fellows who are themselves masters of great social and professional interaction.

Each year, the First Circuit produces a stellar educational event, with a speaker’s dinner the night preceding the program, and a reception for all participants following the program.

They get together for lunch and dinner during the March College meeting.

Each May, they meet in Boston to review and vote on the Circuit Admissions Council’s recommendation for new Fellows.

They maintain an active subset of smaller Fellow gatherings-----including visits to local law schools, and for the Duberstein Moot Court practices.

And, each year, Fellows and their significant others are invited to what sounds like a perfect Friday evening in January, filled with fun and camaraderie.

On January 20, 2017, the First Circuit Fellows will host their 17th annual Wine Tasting Reception and Dinner. A 17-year tradition is something to cherish!

What are their secrets to success? Some things those who have attended the dinner think are key to the success of the evening:

• Fellows donate exceptional wine for the event!

• Honoring a distinguished Fellow

• Incoming Fellows are invited to participate as guests of the College.

• Scheduling in January, which tends to be conference/conflict free.

• Scheduling on a Friday evening, free of work, but still leaving a clear weekend

• Providing a “state of the circuit” to keep Fellows up to speed on College activities


Who gets the credit?

Many names are mentioned as key to the success of this event---but no one name more frequently than former Regent Phil Hendel, who is credited not just for having this wonderful idea, but for seeing it through with such an exacting eye for detail.

Fellow Rick Mikels followed Phil as Regent.

Rick says, “Phil not only thought this all up but he had it down cold and provided me with a list of items to make sure about. Phil was very detailed. That made me very nervous because I wanted to do a good job for Phil and the Fellows. The list Phil provided directed how many people could sit at a table; the number and size of glasses to be set at each plate for every different wine offering; described who to tip and how much and many other particulars. The best one was letting me know that I had to request that the window treatments be vacuumed because Phil thought they had been dusty in the past. I did not see any way that I could do anywhere near the job that Phil had, but I did my best. Phil never complained, so I hope that means that my efforts pleased him. At one point I suggested to the Fellows some alternative ideas for an event. I figured, that way, I could leave my mark on the event. I had absolutely no support. Everybody thought that the dinner was wonderful and that even its date in mid-winter in New England broke up the season. We have never been snowed out, and so far, we have not veered too far from Phil's pioneering ideas.”

A unifying goal of those now in charge of the event is NOT to mess up the good thing started by Fellow Phil Hendel---so like a good family tradition, what has been done in the past is worth repeating! If you make a change, make sure it is a really good change for a really good reason!

Where is the event?

The event venue has moved around a little, but is now held in the Harvard Club of Boston’s Back Bay Clubhouse.

A block of rooms is reserved at the boutique Hotel Eliot next door to the Club, for those who wish to stay over in Boston.

continued on page 6

Circuits wishing to create more opportunities for Fellows to interact socially would be wise to borrow ideas