Legal Lollapalooza: ABA YLD Hits Chicago for Annual Meeting

Volume 38, Number 1


Kara J. Johnson is the Editor of The Affiliate and an Associate with the Bismarck, North Dakota, firm of Zuger Kirmis & Smith.

A lollapalooza is defined by Merriam-Webster as an event that is “extraordinarily impressive.” In addition to the Lollapalooza music festival that was in Chicago at the same time, the lawyers of the ABA had their own legal lollapalooza at the ABA Annual Meeting. All the ABA’s Divisions and Sections joined together for an outstanding series of meetings and programs. Among these entities, the ABA YLD hosted its Annual Meeting from August 2 through August 4 at the Swissôtel.

A Weekend of Programming

The weekend’s events began with the Council Meeting on Thursday afternoon. After reports, updates, and a lively debate, Council joined the rest of the Division to learn more about participating in ABA sections during the “Section Connect Fair and Reception for Young Lawyers.” Council then headed to the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building for the Council Dinner. After enjoying exceptional views of Chicago, savoring some wonderful food, and viewing a video highlight reel featuring Chair Michael Bergmann, Council joined the ABA YLD at Moe’s Cantina for more fun, making new friends, and reconnecting with old ones.

The educational portion of the conference began Friday morning with the plenary presentation by Honorable Ann Claire Williams, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She spoke about the importance of diversity and the impacts that we have on each other’s lives. After Judge Williams’s inspiring words, the ABA YLD offered different programming tracks that included both CLE and professional development options. Program highlights included “Understanding Communication Styles,” “Ethical Boundaries When Negotiating Settlements,” and “Demystifying the NCAA Investigation and Enforcement Process.” The Affiliate Assistance Team sponsored “The Best of the Best Affiliate Projects,” a showcase featuring exceptional programming ideas that can be easily implemented by other affiliates.


After the morning’s programming, affiliate representatives from across the country gathered for the ABA YLD Assembly, which met on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Assembly began with a roll call of states who were asked to introduce themselves using a characteristic state saying. The introductions ranged from more commonly associated state expressions such as “Aloha” from the Hawaii delegation and “Forgetaboutit” from the New Jersey delegation, to more colorful introductions such as the women from California singing “California Girls” and the Florida delegation’s cringe worthy “We’ll eat your face off.”

With all state delegations in attendance, almost 200 delegates were certified to vote on the Resolutions at Assembly. While most of the debates went relatively smoothly, a few were heated and required a hand counting of votes. The most controversial was the co-sponsorship of Resolution 10A regarding the requirement for CLEs on information technology. That Resolution passed in favor of co-sponsorship by a 89 to 65 vote. Other Resolutions considered federal legislation supporting human trafficking victims, additional language regarding dealings with opposing counsel and parties for the lawyer swearing-in oath, the use of deadly force, and fee sharing with nonlawyers. As matters on the consent calendar, the ABA YLD approved revisions to its bylaws and standing rules.

In addition to the Resolutions, awards were presented during Assembly. The Outstanding Young Military Lawyer from each branch of the military was recognized and the Rosner & Rosner Young Lawyers Professionalism Award was presented. The Awards of Achievement winners were announced and winning affiliates were recognized for their projects. For more information about the winners of these Awards, stay tuned for our next issue!

Annual Gala, Project Salute, and Chicago

On Friday night after Assembly, the ABA YLD hosted its Annual Fellows Gala at the Chicago History Museum. The History Museum was a great location. In addition to touring the museum during the cocktail hour, the ABA YLD and its Fellows had the opportunity to enjoy the gorgeous evening on the back steps of the museum, which opened onto Lincoln Park. After dinner, an awesome band kept both YLD’ers and Fellows dancing late into the evening.

After Assembly wrapped up on Saturday morning and the gavel was passed to next year’s Division Chair, Chris Rogers, the ABA YLD hosted Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans at the Jesse Brown Veterans Administration Medical Center. The ABA YLD was recognized for its efforts with this year’s public service project by receiving the Section Officers Conference Meritorious Service Award for 2012.

At the end of the ABA YLD portion of the Annual Meeting, the young lawyers had the opportunity to hit up some of the tourist attractions in Chicago. Whether they were eating deep-dish pizza, shopping the Magnificent Mile, or going on an architectural boat cruise, the YLD’ers had a great time.

For more information on the legal lollapalooza that took place at the ABA YLD Annual Meeting, contact your District Representative for the 2011–2012 annual bar year or visit


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