Around The Country

Volume 37, Number 1

Compiled by

Blake Laurence is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate and an Associate with the Freehold, New Jersey, office of Lomurro, Davison, Eastman & Munoz, P.A.

Because summer vacations are now distant memories and the kids are back in school, we can look back on many exciting events and look forward to more. Young lawyers around the nation continue to make a difference while learning, helping others, and having fun.

Giving Back to the Community
On August 6, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (Texas) organized “Food for Thought” at the Tower Club. Food for Thought is an annual celebrity chef charity event whose proceeds benefit Big Thought, a creative learning organization striving to make imagination part of everyday learning for children. This year’s event featured chefs from many of Dallas’s top restaurants such as Tiffany Derry from Top Chef and Liza Garza from the Next Food Network Star as they showcase their culinary expertise with samplings of their signature dishes. A silent auction and a cork pull also were part of the evening’s festivities. The Dallas Association of Young Lawyers also will recognize former Dallas Cowboy Daryl “Moose” Johnston as its 2011 Gavel of Excellence Award recipient for his work with Slant 45.

On June 24, the Young Lawyers Division of the Dayton Bar Association (Ohio) hosted three events to support Care House, Dayton’s child advocacy center, including an annual 5k race called “The 5 for the Kids.” The 5 for the Kids is in its fifth year and still going strong, having raised approximately $50,000 for Care House. The DBA YLD has a dedicated committee that plans and administers the race, as well as the “Get Behind the Bar” events, at which DBA YLD members compete for tips for Care House as guest bartenders at Brixx, one of downtown Dayton’s well-loved watering holes. In the first Get Behind the Bar, the DBA YLD faced off against the DBA “Mature Lawyers Division” (MLD) and beat then handily, vindicating DBA YLD from its loss to the MLD last year. The DBA YLD held a second Get Behind the Bar event, competing this time against Generation Dayton, the Miami Valley region’s premier young professional organization. Although Generation Dayton won, the DBA YLD looks forward to partnering with Generation Dayton in future years. In addition, the DBA YLD volunteered to direct parking at the Dayton Heritage Festival to raise money for Care House and generate additional community excitement for The 5 for the Kids. Combined with the 5 for the Kids Facebook page and extensive marketing from the DBA and Brixx, the event was a huge success. Although the final numbers are not in yet, the DBA YLD raised well over $10,000 this year to support this worthy cause.

On Friday, June 10, the Atlantic County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (New Jersey) presented two donations to the Friends of Jean and the Community Food Bank totaling over $16,000. This donation resulted from the third in a series of “Rock the Kitchen” concerts at the House of Blues in the Showboat Casino/Hotel.

On May 5, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (Texas) provided animal lovers the opportunity to raise money for Operation Kindness, a no-kill animal shelter. The event included a silent auction and featured Ivy, a two-year-old lab mix. After Ivy was hit by a car, she crawled into a poison ivy patch where she was found and brought to Operation Kindness, where surgery on her leg was performed. Operation Kindness has launched a Cruelty Awareness Program to enlighten the public about animal cruelty and eventually stop animal abuse and neglect.

On April 30, the Oakland County Bar Association New Lawyers Committee (Michigan) partnered with Forgotten Harvest, for the OCBA’s “Forgotten Harvest Challenge Day.” Volunteers broke down large boxes of food into smaller packages for distribution to emergency food providers for Forgotten Harvest. The OCBA NLC closed what may be its best year yet with the “12th Annual Detroit Tigers Outing.” Their efforts and fundraising success were highlighted by an on-field check presentation to Forgotten Harvest of $11,030.09 before the first pitch.

On March 29, the Houston Young Lawyers Association’s (Texas) Teen Alcohol Awareness Committee hosted a presentation for over 50 students at the High School for Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice. The goal of HYLA’s Teen Alcohol Awareness Committee is to educate teenagers about the dangers posed by alcohol consumption and mixing drinking with driving.  

The Albany Area Young Lawyers Division (Georgia) has been busy helping the local community. In response to the recent economic crisis and the growing number of out-of-work individuals in the area, the Albany YLD held a professional clothing drive throughout the summer. Several thousand suits and other pieces of professional clothing were collected and donated to local nonprofit organizations.

The Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Seniors Committee is finishing the final revisions to the Seniors Handbook, which provides general information on legal issues facing senior citizens, from taxation and bankruptcy to palliative care and Medicare issues. The handbook will be prepared for distribution in conjunction with the first “Serving Our Seniors” (SOS) project in Muskogee and will, of course, be available at other SOS projects.

State and Local Bars Working Together
On August 11, the Grand Rapids Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (Michigan) teamed up with the Justice Foundation of West Michigan and organized a golf outing for the Grand Rapids Bar Association. Proceeds from the event were split between the organizations and will assist in the Young Lawyers Section’s funding for the 2011–2012 year and help those of less means obtain access to the justice system.

The Hispanic Bar Association of Houston (Texas) along with the Houston Bar Association, Mexican American Bar Association of Houston, and the Houston Lawyers Association were awarded the Outstanding Partnership Award by the State Bar of Texas for partnering to host the “East End and Third Ward Poster Outreach Workshops” so more minority children could participate in the American Bar Association Law Day competitions.

The King County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (Washington) partnered with the Washington Young Lawyers Division to host an information and recruiting gathering focusing on the “Moderate Means Program.” This program helps those in the 200%–400% of the federal poverty guidelines obtain legal counsel. Students from each law school in Washington will do client intake and then make referrals to an appropriate moderate means attorney. Once the referral is made, the attorney’s relationship with the client is the same as in any other case. By taking moderate means cases, the attorney agrees to reduce his or her hourly fee to approximately $50-$125, depending on the income of the client. The primary areas of referrals are in the areas of family law, landlord-tenant issues, and creditor-debtor issues.

Member Outreach and Programming
On Saturday, July 30, the Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (Michigan) hosted the “Expand Your Practice” seminar held at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Lansing Campus. The series is targeted to unemployed and underemployed lawyers in the community to provide practical knowledge in specific areas of practice.

On June 24, the Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (Michigan) hosted its first annual end of the term mixer at which attorneys, both novice and experienced, were provided an opportunity to mingle and get to know one another outside of the courtroom. A mix of attorneys in solo practice, partners and associates in law firms, and in-house counsels practicing in areas as diverse as labor law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and corporate law attended.

On May 26, the Macomb County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (Michigan) hosted a “Legal Trivia Contest.” Teams comprising five people competed to answer various legal trivia questions as well as to identify archived pictures of various local practitioners and judges. The event was a tremendous success.

The Oregon State Bar Association New Lawyers Division has a new program titled “Practical Skills Through Public Service.” This community service program is designed to give inexperienced and unemployed new attorneys the opportunity to receive training and perform pro bono legal work through participating programs. The program accomplishes two important goals: providing legal representation to populations in need and providing work experience for new attorneys eager to serve. The program connects volunteer attorneys to opportunities with legal aid programs that provide basic civil, family law, and criminal law services. The first round of recruitment ended in May and resulted in 38 applicants.

Outstanding Young Lawyers
On July 14, Keya Koul not only presented a CLE at the state bar annual meeting on behalf of the New Mexico State Bar Young Lawyers Division but also received the 2011 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

On May 18, the New Jersey State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division presented numerous awards to young lawyers who have excelled in particular areas. The Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award went to Jonathan H. Lomurro, the Service to the Community Award went to Shanna McCann, and the Service to the Bar Award went to Amy Miller.

• • •

To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service or public service projects and related pictures to BLaurence@LomurroLaw.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!

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