Enjoy a Little Southern Hospitality in Sweet Home Alabama, October 22–24, 2009
By Justin L. Heather
Justin L. Heather is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate and a Litigation Associate with the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
A center for the civil rights movement and the industrial heart of the South, Birmingham, Alabama offers the perfect spot for hosting this year’s Fall Conference as the ABA YLD begins a new bar year. The “Magic City ” will not only offer young bar leaders with many opportunities for networking and professional growth, but also represent the foundation for an exciting new year for the ABA YLD. The 2009 Fall Conference is set for October 22–24, 2009.
The Fall Conference will be the first ABA YLD meeting of the 2009–2010 bar year under the leadership of Chair Kelly-Ann Clarke. The conference will bring together bar leaders from across the nation, including from state and local affiliates as well as other young lawyers groups, and will provide attendees an excellent opportunity for networking, sharing ideas, discussing key issues for the coming bar year, and generating strategies to address those challenges. Especially in the current economic climate, attendees will benefit from exchanging tools for increasing and strengthening membership and accelerating fundraising efforts, including best practices learned from the past efforts of others.
2009–2010 ABA YLD Public Service Project
The ABA YLD will kick off its 2009–2010 public service project, They Had a Dream Too: Young Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement,during the meeting. As part of the celebration of civil rights, attendees will march to Kelly Ingram Park with local school children, where they will enjoy a family-style picnic and view the award winning video, They Had a Dream Too. Whether attending the Fall Conference or not, every young lawyer and bar leader should view the video (available at www.theyhadadreamtoo.org) for an enriching experience and a better understanding of the mission of this year’s ABA YLD public service project.
Attendees can also take advantage of their time in Birmingham to visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The museum offers visitors multimedia galleries and exhibits that trace the efforts of civil rights leaders in their fight against racial inequality and the struggle for civil rights, as well as providing unique insights into Birmingham’s history.
The programming surrounding the inauguration of this year’s public service project will help bar leaders formulate plans for incorporating this year’s themes and implement relevant programming in their state and local bar associations. It also will challenge and inspire young bar leaders to make a difference in their own communities and to fight against injustice wherever it may arise.
But Why Should I Attend?
Well, we’re glad you asked. In addition to the above programming and activities, the Fall Conference offers bar leaders a wonderful opportunity to (re)connect and build relationships with other leaders and young lawyers. The meeting will provide ideas, tips, and strategies for building and strengthening both your legal practice and your local bar organization, including through interactive learning experiences. The Fall Conference will also provide attendees with tools essential to advancing their careers, such as continuing legal education, professional development, and affiliate leadership programming.
For those attending their first ABA YLD meeting, the first-timers reception on Thursday evening is a must. The first-timers reception will provide young lawyers with the tools for maximizing their attendance at the Fall Conference, expanding their participation in the ABA YLD, and enjoying the camaraderie inherent in every ABA YLD event.
After the first-timers reception, everyone should attend the “Welcome Reception” to network and socialize with fellow young lawyers from across the country before turning to the business side of the Fall Conference.
Friday morning offers a full schedule of continuing legal education and professional development programs. Friday evening offers an opportunity to unwind, socialize with other young lawyers, and enjoy the ABA YLD Fall Gala to be held at the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum in Birmingham. With over 900 vintage and modern motorcycles, as well as a substantial collection of Lotus and other racecars, the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum is dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, exhibition, and history of motorcycles, motorcars, and vintage vehicles. The Gala will be sure to juice up everyone’s Fall Conference before even more programming on Saturday morning.
Don’t Miss It
Don’t miss your chance to advance your career by attending a fun-filled and inspiring weekend this October at the Fall Conference. Whether you go for the opportunity to socialize and network, for the affiliate roundtables, for the great CLEs, or to help roll out the 2009–2010 ABA YLD Public Service Project, the Fall Conference has much to offer every young lawyer.
Register by September 21 to take advantage of the discounted registration rate of $75 for members and $85 for nonmembers. The Fall Conference coincides with a very big football weekend when the Tennessee Volunteers come to Alabama to play the Crimson Tide. Area hotels rooms will sell out, so if you need a hotel room at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel be sure to book within the ABA YLD’s hotel block by the hotel deadline of September 21.
For more information and to register, visit www.abanet.org/yld/fall09.

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