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Blake R. Laurence is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate and an Associate with the Freehold, New Jersey, firm of Lomurro, Davison, Eastman & Muñoz.
Compiled by Blake R. Laurence
The holidays are over, your New Year’s resolutions have been made, but ABA affiliates continue to change the lives of their members, future members, and their surrounding communities.
On October 29, the Fort Worth (Texas) Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association in conjunction with Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and the Kubes Family, will host the first annual “Cowtown Double-Down Casino Night.” All proceeds benefit the Jeff Kubes Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be given to at least one law student at TWU School of Law per year. At the end of the gambling, attendees were able to place their earned tickets in the basket(s) of their choice to win prizes. This event will keep the memory of a great young lawyer alive and assist one or more deserving law students.
The Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division continues its weekly “Legal Line” program. Every Wednesday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. volunteer attorneys from the HSBA provide free legal information through the “Legal Line” hotline stationed at the HSBA office. This pro bono project is available statewide and provides free legal referral services to the public, regardless of income, and especially serves those who do not have access to an attorney or cannot leave their homes to visit an attorney. Over the past ten years the program has helped approximately 10,000 callers with various legal questions and inquiries. Volunteer attorneys do not give out legal advice but guide the callers to other agencies or public services that may be able to provide more detailed assistance. On average, at least ten-to-twelve calls are received each Wednesday.
The Jackson (Mississippi) County Young Lawyers held a “Speech Competition” on October 30, 2009, to find and develop the next generation of attorneys among area high school seniors based on their power of speech and research skills. Scholarships of $1,500, $1,000, and $500 were awarded to seniors based on their ability to speak for five minutes on the topic: “Generation Google, Right to Privacy and the Internet.” In the spring, the JCYL will put on a fundraiser to raise money for the scholarship fund for the following year’s scholarship.
In October, the Maine Bar Association New Lawyers Section organized a “dress clothes” clothing drive with the Salvation Army. The purpose of the clothing drive was to assist those who have been hit hard by the economic recession and are seeking employment.
The North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division ’s Law-Related Education Committee focused on meeting the needs of foster children. The Committee revised the YLD’s high school guidebook, Life and Laws 101, Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities After 18, for distribution to foster children throughout the state. The guidebook focuses on issues such as voting, military service, jury duty, using credit responsibly, banking, employment, consumer protection, contracts, landlord/tenant rights, transportation, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, weapons, and other real world issues. It has been updated and revised to include additional topics of particular interest to foster children.
On October 21, the Alaska Bar Association New Lawyers Section kicked off its “Voices Against Violence” project with a reception, film screening, and various speakers. Following the kickoff event, a direct mail campaign will begin for resource and home screening kits.
On October 7, the Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section hosted an event in which Sarah Weddington, the attorney who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court at the age of twenty-six, spoke.
On October 23, the Dallas (Texas) Association of Young Lawyers presented the 2009 “Diversity and Inclusion Forum.” The Forum consisted of a luncheon with a keynote speech by U.S. Circuit Judge Catharina Haynes on diversity and public service, followed by three panel discussions with distinguished practitioners, in-house counsel, and state court judges. The panel discussions focused on (1) clients’ responses to diversity initiatives and the opportunities and challenges presented by such responses; (2) where the concept of “diversity” is heading and a look at the laws that contribute to our current understanding of “diversity”; and (3) challenges specifically facing non-obvious minority groups, such as gays and lesbians and religious minorities. In addition, the DAYL is revising its handbook entitled Representing Yourself: What You Need to Know and translating it into Spanish for the first time.
On July 25, the Oregon New Lawyers Division held its “Second Annual Rafting Trip.” A total of forty-five new lawyers attended. This event provided new lawyers a chance to mingle and meet other new lawyers in a very informal and fun atmosphere.
In October 2009, the Washington State Young Lawyers Division, Oregon New Lawyers Division, and Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held a joint board meeting. In addition, the three bar associations will work together to put on a “Reciprocity CLE” designed to provide attendees with the CLE credits they require to gain reciprocity in the other state.
Leaders of Tomorrow
On September 17, the Austin (Texas) Young Lawyers Association held its “11th Annual Evening with the Judiciary.” The event’s purpose is to introduce Austin’s young lawyers to the federal, state, local, and administrative judges before whom they will practice throughout their careers. Over the years, this reception has become AYLA’s signature event, providing an opportunity for young lawyers to meet members of the judiciary in a relaxed social environment.
On October 3, the San Antonio (Texas) Young Lawyers Association ’s members participated in the judging of the annual “Speech and Debate Tournament” held at John Jay High School. Volunteer judges listened to arguments and oral interpretation performances, gave the competitors feedback, and ranked the competitors. With SAYLA’s constructive criticism, students had an opportunity to enhance their public speaking, organizational, and critical thinking skills
Future of the Profession
The Albany (Georiga) Area Young Lawyers Division began a mentoring program for pre-law college students at the two colleges in town (Darton College and Albany State University). Members of the organization meet, either in person or through e-mail, with pre-law students and encourage them in their interest in the profession as well as law school. Some mentors will review personal statements and writing samples of the students they mentor and help with their applications for law school. Members also speak about the legal profession at local high schools during the month leading up to Law Day, and right before Martin Luther King Day each year they speak about the civil rights movement and the role that lawyers played in it.
On September 8 and 11, Wake County (North Carolina) Bar Association Young Lawyers Division officers welcomed Campbell Law students to Wake County, made presentations to students about upcoming Wake YLD activities, and encouraged students to become involved in volunteer activities with the bar. The Wake County YLD is in the process of planning and facilitating joint service and social events this fall between the Young Lawyers and Campbell Law students.
Food, Fairs, and Feet
On October 30, the Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Bar Association Young Lawyers Section sponsored the Eleventh Annual “Belly Up with the Bar,” which is a cook-off, brewfest, and outdoor party with live music. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation’s Youth Education Program.
The Nebraska Young Lawyers Section partnered with the Nebraska Attorney General’s office for the “Quashing Hunger Food Drive.” This was the YLS’s first annual campaign, which ran from September 21 through October 2, 2009. The campaign is a competition between law firms in the Nebraska Food Bank Network’s five regions. The law firm raising the most amount of food per capita won the “YLS Barristers’ Bowl.”
On August 27, the Oakland County Bar Association New Lawyers Committee held a fundraising event at a local restaurant to educate and inform attorneys about their chosen charity of the year, the Oak Park Business & Education Alliance (OPBEA). The organization provides career-focused education programs to students that are considered “at risk” within Oakland County school districts. The event raised more than $865 for the OPBEA
During the Lane County Fair from August 18–23, the Oregon New Lawyers Division (ONLD) staffed a booth in the vendor area of the fair. The booth contained public information materials on legal subjects produced by the Oregon State Bar. The ONLD organized local attorneys to staff the booth and answer questions about the bar and other legal topics (without providing legal advice). The booth is always a hit with those at the fair and the local attorneys who staff the booth.
In August, the Iowa Young Lawyers Division conducted the “Trial by Jury Program” at the Iowa State Fair. Lawyers from across the state volunteer as judges and attorneys. “Trial by Jury” highlights the effort by the YLD to inform the public about the process and procedures associated with the legal system.
The Hattiesburg (Mississippi) Area Young Lawyers held its “First Annual 5K Charity Run” on October 17, 2009, at the Longleaf Trace, Jackson Station in Hattiesburg. All proceeds from the charity run were donated to the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter in Hattiesburg.
On October 16, the Utah Young Lawyer’s Division and Women Lawyers of Utah kicked off YWCA’s “Week Without Violence” by hosting a “Walk Against Violence” in Liberty Park. The Walk included both a 5K Fun Run and a 1K High-Heel Challenge. All proceeds from the event went to benefit the YWCA of Salt Lake City.
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To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service or public service projects and related pictures to email@example.com. We look forward to recognizing your projects in future editions of The Affiliate and may even use them to lay the foundation for national outreach!