Giving Back to the Community
For the 2011–2012 year, the Spokane County Young Lawyers Division (Washington) had 100% participation by the Board in making donations to Washington State’s annual Campaign for Equal Justice (C4EJ) for 2011. The Spokane County Young Lawyers Division is the first local young lawyers bar association in Washington to have 100% participation in the history of the Campaign. All funds raised by the C4EJ stay in Washington State and are distributed to legal aid organizations based on countywide participation levels, not dollar levels, so the Spokane County Young Lawyers participation greatly affected the distribution of funds to the county’s Volunteer Lawyer Program, which many of SYLD members contribute to on a weekly basis.
On January 28, 2012, the Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Public Service Committee sponsored a Lawyers Plunge Team. “The Polar Bear Plunge,” which benefits the Maryland Special Olympics, was held at Sandy Point State Park. The YLS had tailgating festivities before and after the plunge, which included some warm food, warm drinks, and warm spirits.
On January 21, 2012, members of the Hampden County Bar Association New Lawyers Section (Massachusetts) donated their time and served food for a “Homeless Luncheon” at the South Congregational Church.
On January 21, 2012, the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held a Wills for Heroes event in Boone, North Carolina, at the Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute Watauga Campus Instructional Facility.
On January 16, 2012, the Indiana State Bar Association held the “Talk to a Lawyer Today” program, a legal information clinic. Participating lawyers donated two hours of their time to speak with the general public about legal issues and answered telephone calls at the Volunteer Lawyer Program office.
On January 12, 2012, the New Hampshire Bar Association hosted “UnWine’d” so members could unwind and re-energize for the New Year. The holidays are not the only time funds are needed for the less fortunate, and the New Hampshire Bar Association collected food and cash donations for the New Hampshire Food Bank at the event. January was canned fish month and the Food Bank received cash and plenty of canned tuna and salmon.
On January 7, 2012, the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division held the sixth annual “Signature Fundraiser.” This year’s event, “Black Tie & Blackjack,” was held at Capital City Club and featured hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, casino tables, a silent auction, and a raffle, all to benefit the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP). GLSP is a nonprofit law firm with a mission to provide access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for low-income Georgians.
On December 10, 2012, the Cobb County Bar Association (Georgia) sponsored the “11th Annual Sleighbells on the Square 5K Race” to gather funds for the Children’s Emergency Fund, Inc. The Children’s Emergency Fund was started to raise money for families throughout the community who are in crisis, which could be the result of mom or dad being laid off from work, being injured, suffering a severe illness, or other uncontrollable situations. The Children’s Emergency Fund offers a one-time financial grant to assist with bills, clothing, housing, or other such needs, to get families back on their feet or keep them from falling behind.
On November 12, 2011, the Albany County Bar Association Young Lawyers Committee (New York) joined other groups in the community including the Albany County Bar Association Small & Solo Attorney’s Committee, at a Habitat for Humanity build day in Albany’s South End. “Morton’s Walk” will provide 10 new homes to families on Alexander Street. A great deal of progress was made framing and setting walls, ceiling joists, and stairs. Many of the future homeowners joined in the work day as well.
From October 17 to 21, 2011, the Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held a “Junior Judges” project. Volunteer attorneys visited various elementary schools on Oahu and Maui to discuss a number of social issues with students. The project was designed to help 3rd and 4th grade students facing tough choices in life to make the right decisions. Issues discussed with the students included cheating, destroying property, bullying, teasing, stealing, drugs and alcohol, gangs, and peer pressure. Students watched short video clips containing a variety of scenarios, and were then encouraged to participate in a discussion to identify the various issues from the video, what the “right choice” would be, and possible consequences for failure to make the “right decision.”
Member Outreach and Programming
On November 3, 2011, in celebration of the newly admitted members of the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held its “Winter Social & Happy Hour” at BlackFinn Restaurant with complimentary drinks and appetizers.
On October 15, 2011 the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division held an educational seminar and cocktail reception to introduce attorneys to online networking sites that provide an opportunity for practitioners to market themselves and their firms. The panelists discussed how networking sites generally fall into three types—primarily social sites (Facebook), professional networking sites (LinkedIn), and lawyer-to-lawyer networking sites, which offer lawyers a way to share legal knowledge and information.
On September 8, 2011, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Young Lawyers Committee held the “Lawyers Connect Annual Reception First Thursdays Series” for junior, mid-level, and senior associates, and even law students to foster relationships and build their professional networks. In addition to meeting new people and strengthening existing relationships, current and past members of the Young Lawyers Committee were in attendance to let the young lawyers know how the City Bar has helped them advance their careers and open doors.
The Future of the Profession
In January 2012, the Monmouth Bar Association (New Jersey), in conjunction with the New Jersey State Bar Association, sponsored a countywide mock trial competition for high school students. This program is part of a statewide program in which student teams from area high schools compete for statewide honors based on the quality of advocacy. The program’s purpose is to expose area high school students to the justice process by affording them the opportunity to participate as witnesses, jurors, and attorneys in realistic trial-type settings. Each high school team is assisted by an attorney advisor who helps the students in their preparation for the trial. Volunteer attorneys then judge the competitors and those participating in this program have found it to be an extremely rewarding experience.
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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!