Compiled by Rachel E. Kopp
Rachel E. Kopp is the Editor of The Affiliate and practices in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff.
Even though the bar year has just begun, YLD affiliates have been busy kick-starting their programming. From educating students about the law to assisting with disaster relief to fundraising, our affiliates are making a difference in their local communities.
The Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco held its twenty-third annual “Judges’ Reception” the evening of July 12, 2007. The highlight of the event was honoring the U.S. Magistrate for the Northern District of California, Edward M. Chen, with the Barristers Choice Award. The award was voted on by the entire Barristers Club membership and recognized Judge Chen’s extraordinary efforts to educate and encourage new lawyers in the courtroom. More than 350 members of the Bay Area legal community, including more then fifty state and federal judges and their clerks, attended the “Judges’ Reception.” Among those in attendance were California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George and San Francisco Superior Court Presiding Judge David Ballati. The funds raised from this event help to support Barristers programs that encourage mentoring of area students, increase diversity in the legal profession, and help law students bridge the gap between school and practicing law.
Attracting Future Bar Leaders
The Illinois State Bar Association YLD created the Young Lawyers Survival Guide, which is given to new lawyers at their swearing in ceremony and provides useful tips for young lawyers entering the profession. The ISBA YLD has also made membership free for all law student members, with section newsletters available to them online at no additional cost. It is working with the law student division to create a mentorship program to pair young lawyers with law students as they transition into the legal profession.
Although the Kentucky Bar Association’s bylaws provide for a law student division, that division has been defunct for many years. The Kentucky Bar Association YLS is working to revitalize the Division by reaching out to law schools to encourage interest in bar activities and public service and to encourage these future lawyers to join the section.
The Knoxville Barristers’ ( Tennessee) Mock Trial Committee hosted a local High School Mock Trial competition featuring nine teams from area high schools in February. The winning team from Bearden High School placed fourth in the statewide competition sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division ( TBA YLD ). Also in February, its Law School Mentor Committee conducted mock interviews for over forty first-year law students at the University of Tennessee College of Law. In addition, the affiliate’s Law Week Committee presented the educational mock trial video “Curly Pig v. B.B. Wolf” to third graders at over twenty area elementary schools and sponsored an art contest featuring the Law Day theme of “Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy.” The winner of its local competition, a fourth grade student from Cedar Bluff Intermediate School, placed first in the statewide competition sponsored by the TBA YLD. On May 4, the Knoxville Barristers co-sponsored the annual “Law Day Luncheon” at which Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen was the featured guest speaker.
The Washington State Bar Association YLD membership committee co-sponsored the “Second Annual Race Judicata 5K” run on October 14, which raised money for University of Washington law students to work in public interest internships.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association YLD and the Berks County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section ( Pennsylvania) co-sponsored a successful Zone 2 and 3 caravan on July 15 at a Reading Phillies baseball game.
The Hennepin County Bar Association New Lawyers Section (Minneapolis, Minnesota) arranged attorney panel presentations at local high schools at which attorneys discussed what they do and how they got to where they are. The HCBA NLS also continued to serve meals at People Serving People, a local homeless shelter.
Members of the Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and other Iowa attorneys presented the “Trial by Jury” program at the Iowa State Fair, August 9–19. This is a program in which lawyers put on a mock trial for the public, and the audience acts as a jury. In addition, the Iowa YLD organized a “Justice for All” golf tournament on August 31, to raise money for its Volunteer Lawyers Project.
The Nebraska State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held its annual “Golf Scramble” fundraiser on July 27.
In August, the Fayette County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section ( Kentucky) concluded its sixth annual “ Fayette County School Supply Drive.” The affiliate was able to collect over $400 and several boxes of supplies for the Fayette County Schools. The FCBA YLS also co-sponsored the fourth annual “Grape Expectations” competitive wine tasting/silent auction event held on August 23 to benefit Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky.
- To the Snohomish County YLD ( Washington), which was recently approved as a new ABA YLD affiliate!
- To Tim Burns , treasurer of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (PBA YLD) and a sole-practitioner in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, who was recently named an “Up and Comer 35 and Younger” by Johnstown Magazine for his volunteer legal efforts to save an historic bandshell slated for demolition by the city of Johnstown. Two years ago, Johnstown City Council voted to approve the demolition of the historic Roxbury Park Bandshell, a municipal stone pavilion built by President Roosevelt’s Work’s Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. Burns worked to secure a preliminary injunction on behalf of several concerned citizens to block the demolition. After an eight month court battle, the Johnstown City Council finally reconsidered its decision and turned control of the bandshell over to a private nonprofit group formed by Burns, who serves as its solicitor.
To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service or public service projects and related pictures to A ffiliate_Newsletter@yahoo.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!