Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted the 2011 ABA YLD Spring Conference from May 12 to14. Those flying into the city may have noticed the billboard slogan: “Just Enough Bad.” That’s a good description of a place with legalized gambling and prostitution, 24–7 bar times, as well as beautiful, yet deadly, natural attractions.
The conference itself, however, was anything but bad. With great networking opportunities, educational CLEs, and excellent affiliate programming, the conference was a huge success.
All ABA YLD conferences are great places to network with attorneys from across the country. The Spring Conference is also an international conference, drawing attendees from around the world. More than 300 young lawyers from the United States and abroad had numerous opportunities to meet, socialize, and make lasting connections.
Thursday evening participants gathered at the Ghost Bar in the famous Palms Hotel for the “Welcome Reception.” The traditional “Friday Night Gala” was held at Voodoo Rooftop Night Club in the trendy Rio Hotel. Other networking opportunities included the group breakfasts before each morning’s sessions and the Friday lunch program, “Building and Maintaining a High Profile Business.”
To highlight successful and award-winning public and member service projects, the Affiliate Assistance Team put on the “Affiliate Showcase.” Dozens of programs were featured in a trade show format, with tables run by individuals from the state and local bar groups who ran the featured programs in their state. Affiliate leaders were encouraged to walk around to the various tables and ask questions about the successes (and failures) of the various programs and receive advice on how the program could be implemented by other state or local bar groups.
Friday and Saturday morning included great CLEs and other programming on interesting topics, including: “Making Social Media Work for You,” forensic engineering, IP, gambling law, and law practice management. There were also ethics CLEs, including avoiding malpractice and how the attorney-client privilege does (or doesn’t) apply to a company’s diversity efforts.
As always, non-CLE skills development programs were aimed at helping members develop in their careers and in striking that all-important work-life balance, including “Movin’ on Up: How to Succeed as a Diverse Associate” and financial planning one-on-one sessions.
International Oratory Competition
One of the newest, and most entertaining, parts of the conference was the International Oratory Competition co-sponsored by the ABA Section of International Law, Association du Jeune Barreau de Montréal/Young Bar Association of Montreal (YBAM), and European Young Bar Association (EYBA)—Pompeian I. Basically, young lawyers from the ABA YLD, YBAM, and EYBA squared off to determine who was the best orator (and most humorous). The winner of this year’s competition was David Freiheit of the Young Bar Association of Montreal and the runner up was Jason Sengheiser of the Missouri Bar Young Lawyers Section. For more information visit http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=YL301200.
This competition is intended to become an annual event at each Spring Conference.
Annual Meeting in Toronto
The next in-person ABA YLD gathering is the ABA YLD Annual Meeting in Toronto from August 4–6, 2011. For the first time in a few years, a contested election for ABA YLD’s officers is expected. For more information or to register, please go to www2.americanbar.org/calendar/aba-yld-annual-meeting-2011/Pages/default.aspx.