The job of the Affiliate Assistance Team (AAT) is to assist affiliate leaders develop and implement bar service and public service projects and to promote ABA YLD projects and services to the more than 300 young lawyer organizations affiliated with the ABA YLD. This year’s AAT Director is Erica Grinde. The Vice-Directors are Melissa Doeblin and Anna Romanskaya.
New Leadership Track Programming
The AAT is taking a different approach to its conference programming at the Spring and Fall Conferences this year. The programming for the Fall Conference in Charleston included a three-hour block of affiliate leader programming on Saturday, October 20, 2012. The goal of the leadership track programming is to bring together affiliate leaders from across the country on the Saturday morning of the Fall and Spring Conferences to attend programming focused on affiliate issues. The AAT hopes the leadership track will allow affiliate leaders to network with one another in addition to gaining valuable information and ideas to take back to their local affiliates. In addition, the Saturday programming will not conflict with the CLE programming offered on the Thursday and Friday of these conferences.
The leadership track at the Fall Conference in Charleston included the Affiliate Showcase featuring affiliates that participated in the 2012 Awards of Achievement, which were awarded at the Annual Meeting in Chicago on August 4, 2012. Affiliate leaders had an opportunity to see these award-winning projects and discuss with other affiliate leaders ways to develop and implement projects throughout the bar year. In addition, the resources obtained from the Awards of Achievement participants are valuable tools to assist affiliates in the implementation of their own projects.
Following the Affiliate Showcase, affiliate leaders and ABA YLD District Representatives were invited to attend a roundtable discussion during which they discussed issues facing affiliates across the country. The AAT invited talented affiliate leaders to present the topics to the entire group. Once presented, affiliate leaders and District Representatives had the opportunity to discuss the issues in more depth. The AAT sees the roundtable as another opportunity for affiliate leaders who are facing similar issues and challenges to network together.
The final hour of the leadership track programming featured an introduction of ABA YLD initiatives and projects for the year including this year’s public service project, “American Voter.” The Diversity Team also discussed how affiliates can get involved in the “Next Steps Challenge.”
Routine Teleconference Calls
In addition to conference programming, the AAT sponsors four long-distance programming teleconferences throughout the bar year commonly referred to as Affiliate Teleconferences. The Affiliate Teleconferences for the 2012−2013 bar year were scheduled for Wednesday, September 26, 2012, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, and Wednesday, July 17, 2013. All of the calls will begin at 11:00 a.m. Central Time. In order to participate in these calls, interested affiliate leaders must register through the ABA YLD Affiliates webpage.
The first teleconference, on September 26, 2012, took place before the Fall Conference. During this teleconference, Min Cho, the Young Lawyers Division Diversity Director, discussed how affiliates can participate in the Next Steps Challenge. Affiliates were encouraged to review the ABA report, Diversity in the Legal Profession: The Next Steps. This report represents the culmination of a two-year ABA Presidential Initiative that examined the state of diversity in the legal profession. The primary goal of the Next Steps Challenge is to increase diversity in the profession, and the ABA YLD and the Diversity Center implemented this initiative for the first time during the 2011−2012 bar year. Affiliates across the nation participated in the inaugural year of this initiative. The ABA YLD is encouraging all ABA YLD young lawyer affiliates across the country to undertake projects and programming focused on increasing diversity within the legal profession during the 2012−2013 bar year. Next Steps Challenge finalists for the 2011−2012 bar year participated in the September 26, 2012, teleconference.
The AAT aims for the Affiliate Teleconferences to serve as a resource for affiliate leaders. Even if an affiliate is unable to call-in to the teleconference live, transcripts for each call will be posted on the ABA YLD Affiliates webpage for affiliate leaders to reference. The ABA YLD affiliates webpage is located at www.ambar.org/yldaffiliates.
ABA YLD Affiliate Project Database
The AAT is working with the ABA YLD Public Service Team to create an Affiliate Project Database that will serve as an online archive of ABA YLD and affiliate projects. The idea of the Project Database is to offer a one-stop shop on the ABA YLD website where affiliate leaders can review member service, public service, and Next Step Challenge projects created and implemented by the ABA YLD as well as by other affiliates. Affiliates will be able to access information about projects they are interested in implementing. The Project Database will be an online version of the Affiliate Showcase. Affiliates are encouraged to contact the AAT if they would like project information added to the database. Currently, the primary source of content for the database is Awards of Achievement entries.
The AAT has a full slate of programs for the 2012−2013 bar year that will assist affiliate leaders in the development and implementation of bar service and public service projects. For additional information regarding these programs, including the leadership track programming, the Affiliate Teleconferences, or the Affiliate Project Database, contact AAT Director Erica Grinde (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Vice-Directors Melissa Doeblin (email@example.com) and Anna Romanskaya (firstname.lastname@example.org).