101 Practice Series: Member Service Project Mentors Attorneys New to Practice
Isa Gonzalez-Zayas is an assistant editor of The Affiliate and is an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This year’s ABA Young Lawyers Division Member Service Project, “101 Practice Series,” was introduced in October 2006 at the Fall Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, through a series of continuing legal education programs. The project also includes articles that will appear on an ongoing basis on the YLD Member Service webpage at www.abanet.org/yld/projects.html.
These articles and the seminars are designed to target young attorneys in practice for three years or less.
As part of the project, at the 2007 ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami, Florida, the Member Service Committee, along with the YLD Law Practice Management Committee and the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Economics of Law Practice Committee will present a CLE program entitled “Law Practice 101: How to Write a Solid Retainer Agreement and a Bill That Your Client Will Pay.” The seminar will be presented on February 10, 2007, by a panel of speakers that will highlight three key components of managing a law practice: how to retain a client, write the bill, and get paid. Other programs that are part of the project will be presented at the 2007 ABA YLD Spring Conference in Montréal, Québec, and at the 2007 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.
The second component of the project is the “101 Series” articles. All YLD committees are urged to write a series of articles that young attorneys can use as a mentoring tool for their law practices. “The idea is to provide young attorneys practical tips and advice in a quick, easy format on different substantive areas of the law, as well as law practice management,” said Sunil Harjani, vice-director of Membership. The idea for the project started within the YLD Litigation Committee during the 2005–06 year. Harjani chaired that committee last year, and Maralee MacDonald spearheaded the “Litigation 101” Project.
To date, a myriad of articles are available for all YLD members to review. The articles are brief in nature and encompass topics including litigation and the courts, family law, child advocacy, and bankruptcy. Articles on other practice-related topics like public service, career information, and legal skills are also available. For example, for young attorneys pondering whether to open their own practices, they may find helpful the article entitled “Opening Your Own Shop—10 Things You Should Know,” by Matthew B. Butler. New attorneys may also be interested in articles like “First Arbitration: Ten Things You Need to Know,” by Clinton P. Sanko, or Cara Bradley’s article on “Practical Tips for Closing the Deal.”
The Member Service Project is still looking for writers who are eager to share their knowledge on these areas of practice with other young attorneys. The Member Service Committee will compile the best of the “101 Series” articles and publish them. At this point, it has yet to be determined how many articles will be selected for publication and when the publication will be released, but the committee hopes to make its decision by the Spring Conference. If you want to see your name published, what better way than to get it on the ABA YLD webpage.
To participate in this year’s Member Service Project, submit an idea for an article, or to submit an article, please contact Sunil Harjani at firstname.lastname@example.org.