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NELA’s 2014 Annual Convention is Coming to Boston in June!
Wednesday, June 25th to Saturday June 28th
Westin Boston Waterfront
For information on how to register for the convention, please click here.
WELCOME TO BOSTON: BLAZING THE FREEDOM TRAIL
A Message from MELA’s President, David E. Belfort
The Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (MELA) is thrilled to invite and welcome you to Boston for the 2014 Annual Convention, Blazing The Trail: Courage | Challenge | Change. Not only will the conference offer a wonderful opportunity to learn the nuances of cutting edge issues in employment law from the leaders in our field, but we look forward to connecting with longtime colleagues, meeting new friends and enjoying the camaraderie of the largest employee side employment “law firm” in the nation.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of the most hospitable states in the nation relative to employee rights. MELA, an affiliate member of NELA, is a statewide organization of roughly 180 members on the rise; our membership has grown about 20% in the last year alone and our influence has never been stronger. MELA is actively involved in advancing the interests of workers in the Commonwealth through both legislative and judicial initiatives. MELA has submitted numerous amicus briefs on a variety of key pro-employee issues, has engaged in aggressive lobbying efforts to promote pro-worker bills (and strenuously oppose adverse legislation) and has collaborated closely with civil rights organizations, labor leaders and bar associations to advance employee rights in every sector. We are proud that our highest court was the first to recognize same-sex marriage and we consider ourselves lucky to practice (and live) in a state where our Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has recognized associational discrimination for some three decades.
We are delighted at the prospect of having one thousand like-minded lawyers join us for the 2014 national convention so we can share and learn from each other’s experiences and develop new approaches relative to both administering our organization and our client advocacy. Boston’s rich history serves as an ideal backdrop for celebrating our collective fight for freedom and equality on behalf of those who cannot advocate for themselves. Indeed, Boston is the birthplace of this country’s freedom and democracy as we know it; as plaintiffs’ employment lawyers, we fight daily to uphold the principles that our foreparents struggled to establish right here in this city. The American Revolution started here. The Massachusetts Constitution, established in 1780, is the oldest original democratic constitution in existence, and formed the basis for our United States Constitution. The likes of celebrated Supreme Court Justices Holmes and Brandeis practiced here. Presidents Obama, JFK and GW Bush studied at Harvard, just across the Charles River in Cambridge.
Due to Boston’s small geographic size, we suggest you leave the car behind as you explore its many attractions. After a day of Blazing the Trail at the Convention, you can blaze the Freedom Trail through the cobblestone streets of the North End of Boston, where the air is scented with fresh pasta dishes and cannolis in the making. The Freedom Trail will weave you through 16 historical sites that form the perfect introduction to Colonial Revolutionary Boston. In just a few hours, you can cover two and a half centuries of American history--unless you choose to stop off at The Bell in Hand Tavern. The Bell in Hand first opened its doors in 1784 and claims the distinction of being the oldest operating pub in the United States (although like everything else in New England – this too is debated); their cold ale just may derail your trailblazing ambition!
While New Englanders are most proud of our recent, multiple, sports successes, (New Yorkers are encouraged to visit Fenway Park, if they dare!) we also take pride in our many wonderful cultural offerings. Boston is a very small big city! Ride the Green Line subway to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), which houses an international collection that ranks among the world’s best; or visit the new Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), which overlooks the Boston Harbor and is just a 10 minute walk from our convention site, the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. The Museum of Science is also a short cab ride from the convention and boasts incredible permanent exhibits on space travel and natural history. Or you can cross the bridge to Cambridge, home to world famous Ivy League rivals Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University as well as a myriad of entertainment options like the renowned folk haunt Club Passim in Harvard Square and the cutting edge Middle East Nightclub in Central Square.
When NELA meets this summer in Boston for our 2014 Annual Convention, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There can be no better place to celebrate this accomplishment than Boston, where slavery was judicially banned in 1780, eighty three years before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Boston went on to pass the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and evolved into a national stronghold of the abolitionist movement. This tradition of forward-thinking advocacy for civil rights, equality and freedom will undoubtedly provide energy and inspiration for the 2014 NELA convention.
Come join us in New England this June to learn and develop collective strategies for fighting bigotry, bias and discrimination – and to have a whole lotta fun, too! While we will be motivated by our past successes, our focus will be on the mountainous challenges still to be addressed. Explore Boston, its history and culture; eat delicious food; catch up with old friends; and work for a better tomorrow!
If you have any question about Boston, feel free to contact me or any of our officers or executive board members. See you in June!
David E. Belfort, President
Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
Bennett & Belfort, PC
Tel: (617) 577-8800