San Francisco Annual Meeting: Assembly and Awards Update
Josiah J. Puder is an assistant editor of The Affiliate and practices with the Roseland, New Jersey, firm of Lum, Drasco & Positan LLC.
Although the weather in San Francisco hovered around the cooler than expected sixties (forcing many YLD delegates to purchase coats on their arrival in the city), the atmosphere at the 2007 Annual Meeting YLD Assembly was nothing less than warm and sunny. Three resolutions were approved and spirited awards were given to child advocacy lawyers, military lawyers, and affiliates for their services to the bar and public.
YLD officers were elected in a no-contest vote: Justin Goldstein (Chair), Elizabeth Acee (Chair-Elect), A.J. Schaeffer (Secretary-Treasurer), Deborah Smith (Assembly Speaker), Chauntis Jenkins (Assembly Clerk), Jonathan Wolfe (Board of Governors Nominee), Jay Ray (Division Delegate), and Danny Van Horn (Division Delegate).
The following resolutions were approved by Assembly vote:
• ‑Resolution 07-A-2YLA—Encouraging the recognition and importance of distance learning programs with no limitation on the number of continuing legal education credits that may be earned through distance learning;
• Resolution 07-A-2YLB—Encouraging states and jurisdictions with continuing legal education requirements to accept and accredit the full range of distance learning formats; and
• Resolution 07-A-1YL—Urging all law schools to permit students from traditionally underrepresented groups, who are otherwise qualified to attend that law school, to be given the option of being admitted as nondegree auditors of a limited number of courses for a limited time prior to full admission.
A ceremonious ovation was given to members of the military for their outstanding achievements as young lawyers. In addition to special recognition for military lawyers, a moving presentation was given by child advocacy lawyers who encouraged young lawyers to become involved in advocacy that rewards on a visceral level.
The Annual Awards of Achievement were presented to various affiliates in the following categories: Comprehensive, Single Project—Service to the Bar, Single Project—Service to the Public, and Minority Project. The results can be seen on the ABA website at www.abanet.org/yld/aoa.html.
In addition to the various awards that were distributed, YLD members were graced with informative speeches from invited guests, including: Laurel Bellows, Chair of the ABA House of Delegates; Paula Boggs, executive vice-president and general counsel and secretary, Starbucks Coffee, Stephen Zack; Tommy Wells, ABA President-Elect Nominee, and William H. Neukom, incoming ABA President and a Past Chair of the ABA YLD.
Several outgoing YLD officers left Annual Meeting attendees with emotional speeches. In particular, Jay Ray shared heartfelt thoughts with the YLD as he finished his term as YLD Chair; Ray will not face retirement without further YLD duties, as he will serve as a YLD Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates this coming bar year. Justin Goldstein, the new YLD Chair, gave a rousing speech and welcomed everyone to take an active role in shaping the future of the Division. “We set some ambitious goals and are looking forward to getting as many people involved this year in order to accomplish all that we have set out to do,” Goldstein said.