Affiliate Spotlight: State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section

Volume 37, Number 6


Susan L. Tiedemann is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate, an ABA YLD Scholar, and practices law in Washington, D.C.

The State Bar of Michigan’s Young Lawyers Section (“SBM YLS”) is the oldest and largest section of the State Bar of Michigan. The SBM YLS has been active for over 70 years. Despite its age, the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section is far from showing signs of retirement as it continues to demonstrate its active involvement in the community.

The Affiliate would like to highlight the activities of the State Bar of Michigan’s Young Lawyers Section and share what the SBM YLS has been up to lately. It has hosted a successful panel discussion on women running for office, continued its efforts with “Wills for Heroes,” hosted a program on generating impromptu skills for young lawyers, and held its 5th Annual Young Lawyers Summit.

Me? Run for Public Office?

The SBM YLS co-sponsored a panel discussion called “Me? Run for Public Office?” The SBM YLS partnered with the Women Officials Network (“WON”) and the Women Officials Network Foundation (“WON Foundation”) to put on the event. The panel was held the morning of April 14, 2012, at the Oakland University Student Center in Rochester, Michigan.

The panel consisted of local female officials from Oakland and Wayne Counties, including two mayors, a judge, and other notable women leaders within the community. During the panel, over 25 women participated in a discussion that focused on the details and mechanics of running for elected office. The event was a big success and the SBM YLS looks forward to working with WON and the WON Foundation on hosting future events.

5th Annual Young Lawyers Summit

The SBM YLS hosted its 5th Annual Young Lawyers Summit in Detroit, Michigan, on June 15–16. The Young Lawyers Summit is an event that is held specifically for young lawyers and focuses on topics targeting them. The Summit is an event that is separate and distinct from the SBM YLS annual business meeting.

Events this year included CLEs covering “Divergent Paths to the Bench,” “Becoming a Better Public Speaker,” “Business Development Tips,” “Working Your Financial Plan,” “Alternative Careers for Lawyers,” “Negotiating Work Life/Balance and Avoiding Burnout,” “Knowing Your Evidence Objections,” “Starting Your Own Practice,” and a “Persuasive Writing” seminar. A cocktail reception and dinner, during which the Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer Award was presented, followed the CLE events on Saturday evening.

Think Fast! Boot Camp for New Lawyers

The SBM YLS held an event called “Think Fast! Boot Camp for New Lawyers” on May 12 at Go Comedy! Improv Theatre in Ferndale, Michigan. The intent of the program was to prepare new lawyers to be better able to think on their feet. Frequently, new lawyers are extremely prepared for how they believe a hearing or other event will go; however, they are often thrown off when something unexpected happens in court.

The comedians from Go Comedy! worked with the young attorneys to help them respond to unexpected or unwanted rulings in court and move forward. The program was hosted at low cost to participants, who had the option to go to dinner after the program and then attend the comedy show later that night.

For more information on the activities of the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section, contact the Young Lawyers Section President, Brandy Robinson, at


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