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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 approaching along with colder temperatures, but ABA YLD affiliates won’t let a little cold weather slow them down when it comes to organizing new and exciting events for their members.
The Harrison County (Mississippi) Young Lawyers Association held its charity skeet/trap/pistol event to benefit the Red Cross on June 6, 2009. The event was a big success. HCYL also hosted a “Wills for Heroes” program on the Gulf Coast on July 10–11, 2009.
The Iowa Young Lawyers Division’s “Justice For All” Committee put on its annual “Justice For All Golf Ball” near Cedar Rapids on June 11. The proceeds of this annual event are donated to the Iowa State Bar Association’s Public Service Project. This committee also put on a similar golf event in the Des Moines area on August 28, with the proceeds again benefiting the Public Service Project.
On June 13, 2009, members of the Birmingham (Alabama) Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and the Magic City Bar Association teamed up with Hands on Birmingham, a local volunteer organization, for a day of service to the Birmingham community. The event received local news coverage, and, despite heavy showers, all service locations were well attended.
The South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division teamed up with EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia to assist with its summer camp program. Several camps were offered that taught children about science, art, cooking, and music in fun and creative ways. Whether it was helping a child overcome his fear of sliding down Eddie (the museum’s forty-foot centerpiece), teaching a child how a bird makes a nest, or measuring out flour for a cake, volunteers gave each child one-on-one time that sent them home with a bit more confidence and an extra piece of knowledge.
On November 27, 2009, the South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is hosting a “Carolina/Clemson Pep Rally Fundraiser.” All proceeds raised at this event will benefit Children’s Chance, a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund a variety of programs designed to meet the financial, emotional, and psychological needs of children with cancer and their families. Last year, the Division raised nearly $1,600 for Children’s Chance.
The North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Wills for Heroes Committee greatly expanded this project in an effort to serve more first responders. They have conducted numerous clinics throughout the state, and their efforts have paid off. In Charlotte on March 14, 2009, the YLD prepared wills, powers of attorney, and health-care powers of attorney for approximately 250 first responders and their spouses. On April 18, 2009, the YLD held a clinic in Raleigh, preparing over 400 wills, powers of attorney, and health-care powers of attorney for approximately 142 first responders and their spouses. In Statesville, on April 25, 2009, the YLD prepared over 280 wills, powers of attorney, and health-care powers of attorney for approximately 95 first responders and their spouses. On May 30, 2009, the YLD held a clinic in Wilmington, where it prepared approximately 114 wills, powers of attorney, and health-care powers of attorney for approximately 38 first responders and their spouses.
The New Mexico State Bar Young Lawyers Division continues to give back to the communities where its members live and work. The Young Lawyers held a “Wills for Heroes” event in Moriarty on June 27, 2009.
The Utah Young Lawyers Division held its first ever speed mentoring event in May. Young lawyers were exposed to more experienced and distinguished bar members in a relaxed environment, allowing for meaningful connections and conversations to occur. In light of the recent economic challenges in the legal profession, many conversations focused on alternatives to “traditional” legal jobs or advice on how to get the first big break in the profession. A follow-up mentoring event is planned for law students and young lawyers in the next couple of months.
The Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association presented its third annual PhiLAWpalooza on July 16. The concert featured music from area bands composed of Philadelphia attorneys.
The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division held its “Past Presidents Dinner and Casino Night” on June 25, with a “Roaring 20s” theme. Attendees wore their best 1920s dress and danced to flapper jazz.
Future of the Profession
The Maine Bar Association New Lawyers Section continues its efforts to ease the transition from law school to practice for new lawyers and to strengthen its connection with students at the Maine School of Law. The MBA NLS sponsored a happy hour on July 10, 2009, with recent graduates that corresponded with the last day of the Bar-Bri preparation course.
The Nebraska Young Lawyers Section partnered with the Nebraska State Bar Association Leadership Academy to offer two seats to YLS members who demonstrate a desire to learn more about bar governance and grow their networks. One seat will be automatically offered to the recipient of the YLS Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award; the second seat will be offered as a scholarship to a member selected by the YLS Executive Committee.
The North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Military Issues Committee implemented a new project titled “USERRA Mediation/Ombudsmen Project.” This project involves recruiting and training attorneys to serve as mediators between members of the National Guard or Reserve and employers when disputes arise regarding their rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA provides job protection and rights of reinstatement to civilian employees who are called to active duty in the Guard and Reserve. To implement this project, the YLD worked with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) organization as a part of its Ombudsmen Services Program. The Committee held its first training program on Friday, June 5, at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP in Greensboro, for which attendees received CLE credit. The training covered the requirements of USERRA, mediation skills and practices, and an overview of the USERRA grievance process. Following completion of the training session, participants became members of ESGR’s Ombudsmen program and will be periodically contacted to conduct mediations based on geographic location and availability.
On May 28, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Domestic Violence Committee offered a CLE entitled “How to Effectively Represent Your Domestic Violence Victim Client—Legal and Practical Aspects for Attorneys.” CLE participants learned how to effectively represent a domestic violence victim in any legal action, how domestic violence affects your attorney-client relationship, and how to effectively communicate with your client (from the initial meeting going forward). The CLE also included a view from the bench as the Hon. Dean M. Fink provided tips for advocating for your client and proving the alleged domestic violence. The dynamics of a victim leaving an abusive relationship when companion animals are involved also was discussed. In addition the Domestic Violence Committee has developed a program entitled “Legal Assistance to Women in Shelters” (LAWS Program). The goal of the LAWS Program is to provide education, resources, and tips to victims of domestic violence to familiarize them with the legal process from starting a case to the final trial. The format for the LAWS Program consists of a series of three one-hour legal seminars presented at the shelters.
On Friday, June 5, 2009, and Saturday, June 6, 2009, the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan held its “Second Annual Young Lawyer Summit” at Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. The event was attended by over 120 attendees. The summit provided substantive programming, seminars addressing young lawyer issues, and networking opportunities all in one event. The YLS had an incredible panel of speakers including Third Circuit Court Judge Daniel Ryan, Seventh Circuit Court Judge Joseph Farah, and Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Borrello.
On June 17, 2009, the Boston Bar Association New Lawyers Section and the Senior Lawyers Section sponsored a program titled “Taking the Long View: Seeing Your Legal Career Through the Challenges of an Economic Downturn.” The panel provided a forum for law students and new lawyers to hear from experienced attorneys who have lived through, and thrived during, the ups and downs of past economic cycles. Instead of focusing on how to find a job in today’s economy, panel members presented a broader view of the challenges and opportunities they have encountered throughout their careers.
In June 2009, the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s Meetings and Conventions Committee implemented the “Just One More” initiative, which rewards those who attend YLD meetings and bring a friend with a chance to win a $50 gift card to select restaurants.
The Monmouth and Mercer County (New Jersey) Young Lawyers Divisions have continued hosting lunches with their county’s judges. Each month, a different judge speaks regarding practice in his or her particular practice area, appearance in his or her courtroom, or ways lawyers should conduct themselves at trial. These opportunities allow young lawyers to meet the judges in a small setting and become familiar with each courtroom.
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To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service, pro bono, or public service projects and related pictures to Affiliate_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!