ABA YLD Subgrants: Easy Like Sunday Morning
By Mason Wilson
Mason Wilson is an associate editor of The Affiliate and an associate in the Memphis, Tennessee, office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC.
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), with support from the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, recently announced its 2009 Subgrant Program for ABA YLD affiliates. The program, which was designed to promote quality projects developed by affiliated young lawyer organizations, allows the ABA YLD to advance its goal of assisting in the success of affiliate programs. This goal is achieved by providing funding for two categories of projects: public service projects and bar leadership or membership service projects. If your affiliate organization is planning a qualifying project in 2009, there’s no better way to gain additional financial support than through an ABA YLD subgrant.
As legal organizations nationwide watch their budgets and available dollars dwindle during this challenging economic climate, the ABA YLD’s 2009 Subgrant Program provides a prime opportunity to supplement your organization’s project budget. Whether you’re planning a disaster relief manual for the public or implementing a young lawyer of the year award, a subgrant from the ABA YLD may be just the boost your organization needs to realize its project goals. Past projects for which subgrants have been awarded include a YLD field day, a new admittee survival guide, mentoring programs, a youth empowerment summit, a domestic violence website, and many, many other worthy endeavors.
This year, the ABA YLD will award thousands of dollars in subgrants to its affiliates. Public service awards are capped at $2,000 per subgrant and member service awards are capped at $500 per subgrant. Each subgrant is valid for a one-year time period. Any ABA YLD young lawyer affiliated organization affiliated under Articles 3.1(a) or 3.1(b) of the ABA YLD bylaws is eligible to receive a subgrant and there’s no limit to the number of subgrant applications each affiliate can submit. For a copy of the ABA YLD bylaws, please visit www.abanet.org/yld/subgrant .
As the title of this article suggests, there’s even more good news. Lionel Richie would undoubtedly attest that applying for an ABA YLD subgrant is easy. That’s right—it’s easy like Sunday morning. The application itself is comprised of three parts: a subgrant information form, a project narrative, and a project budget. The subgrant information form, as well as sample project narratives and budgets, are all available at the ABA YLD’s 2009 Subgrant Program website at www.abanet.org/yld/subgrant . The website also contains a link to the Subgrant Application Guidelines.
Successful subgrant proposals should include the following:
  • well-defined and achievable goals,
  • specific measures of success,
  • collaboration with minority bar associations and/or senior bar associations,
  • inclusion of underrepresented or diverse minority groups,
  • original and unique project activities, and
  • projects that can be replicated by other affiliates.
The project narrative should demonstrate your organization’s ability to manage and produce a good project, coordination of activities with minority bar associations and/or senior bar associations, and involvement with groups and agencies in the community whose cooperation is needed to establish a successful project. Priority will be given to projects that provide law-related services to the public and that help meet an otherwise unmet need. Finally, each proposal should contain the following information:
  • a summary,
  • an introduction,
  • a list of project objectives,
  • a project description,
  • an organizational structure chart,
  • an evaluation process,
  • a timetable, and
  • a proposed budget.
The deadline to apply for subgrants is March 1, 2009. Completed proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Gina Sadler at Gina.Sadler@americanbar.org . So what are you waiting for? Submit a proposal for your organization’s project today and try, just try to get Lionel’s song out of your head! It’s easy like Sunday morning!

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