September-October 2013

The path to Y: Inviting and including the next generation of members

Features

The path to Y: Inviting and including the next generation of members

How different are Generation Y/Millennial lawyers from the rest of the bar association—and how can you build bridges to help welcome your youngest members and leaders? In this article, experts and leaders from bar associations and other professional organizations share what they’re learning about Gen Y—and what’s working as they revise, retool, and revamp for the years ahead.

It’s unlikely that the legal profession will ever go back to the way it was. The question is, how can bar associations attract, retain, and help young lawyers today … and tomorrow? That’s according to William D. Henderson and Michael Bossone, who led a plenary at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, in San Francisco. Also participating were more than 30 law students. What did bar leaders learn from them during roundtable conversations?

You know you need to reach out to your younger members and potential members. But how? And do you know what one word should be in all of your bar’s promotional materials? Here’s a summary of the specific, practical tips that were discussed during a joint program at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, National Association of Bar Executives, and National Conference of Bar Foundations.

You may have heard that a training program is set to begin soon in Washington state for nonlawyers who will become limited license legal technicians. Here’s the latest, as discussed at NABE’s 2013 Annual Meeting, as well as the approach California is taking, and a program in Baltimore in which social workers are trained to help homeless people with needs that touch on legal issues.

Did you know that only 15 percent of equity partners in the nation’s largest law firms are women—and that this has remained largely unchanged for the past seven years? Or that only 2 percent of partners are women of color? Now that you know, what can you do about it? Laurel G. Bellows, immediate past president of the American Bar Association, has some ideas—and a downloadable toolkit that she calls a “conference in a box”—that will help you make important changes within your legal community.

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