Networking and fun go hand-in-hand at annual 'Bowling Bizarre' event

By Mike Scott

Legal News

Familiarity breeds civility, which spawns - business opportunities.

Of course, when it comes to the Macomb County Bar Association's Annual Bowling Bizarre, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Rec Bowl in Mt. Clemens from 5 to 8:30 p.m., there is also a lot of fun involved. That's the reasoning behind the MCBA holding its bowling competition and fall general membership meeting once again this fall.

As always the Bowling Bizarre will have an emphasis on networking, referrals, and, of course, strikes.

MCBA Executive Director Rick Troy expects 80 or more bar members and prospects to attend, which could result in 20 or more four-person teams. Although the Macomb Bar is focused on continuing education and advocacy, part of its mission is to develop networking opportunities for its members.

"It's kind of the rule of the trade and this is a very fun way to do it," Troy said. "I think having these events helps us to be more efficient in how we communicate with our members and how we can benefit them."

There may not be an official trophy for the winning team of the Bowling Bizarre yet as there is with some of the MCBA's other activities. But some members do take the competition seriously. Bragging rights will and do matter.

"You have some of our members come with personalized bowling balls and their own shoes and equipment," Troy said. "Then you have others - weekend warriors - who you'll want to keep your eye on because they are as likely to throw the ball in the other lane as in their own. Either way it's all about fun and camaraderie."

It is important for the MCBA to hold such events for a number of reasons. One is because the legal industry is one that is held in an adversarial sort of way by some non-lawyers. So whenever the Macomb Bar can promote the community efforts of its members, or "fun" activities that is a part of, it has a positive impact on the reputation of local lawyers, and the profession as a whole, Troy said.

He pointed to the annual Kimberly M. Cahill Civility Award that the Macomb Bar presents as an example of why such events as the Bowling Bizarre can help shape perspectives about the profession.

"You have a case where Kimberly was one of the best advocates of our profession that you could possibly get," Troy said. "You want to keep that kind of momentum going and we try to do that with our annual (civility) award winners."

The Bowling Bizarre is also an example of an opportunity for lawyers to "transfer knowledge" to each other in an informal, comfortable setting, Troy said.

"You will see our members sharing war stories with each other of various cases," Troy said. "That obviously leads to some great opportunities. So if you have someone who practices in family law meeting a professional who is in criminal law, now you have a situation where both parties can benefit (financially)."

The cost for the Bowling Bizarre is just $15 for Bar supporters or $25 for other bowlers. Participation is limited. To register, contact the MCBA's Dana Warnez at (586) 468-2940 or visit www.macombbar.org.

As for the competition itself, Troy joked that the winners are often forgotten within a few days.

"No one really remembers who won this thing from year to year," he said with a laugh. "It's bowling. We like to keep it real here."

In addition to the Bowling Bizarre, the Young Lawyers Section of the MCBA will hold its "5:01 Social" from just after 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28 at Madison's in Mt. Clemens. Like the bowling event, the Social functions as a networking opportunity for Macomb Bar members and guests.

Published: Wed, Oct 13, 2010

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