What Is Assembly?
Assembly takes place on Saturday morning during the ABA Midyear Meeting, and Friday afternoon and Saturday morning during the Annual Meeting. Voting delegates of the Assembly are ABA YLD members who have been certified to represent a national or state young lawyer Affiliate or military branch and the members of the ABA YLD Council. There are 61 total delegates from the Division’s Council, including the Officers, the Constitutional Representatives, District Representatives, National Affiliate Representatives, the Directors, and the Chair of the ABA Law Student Division. In addition to these members of Council, the Assembly has two certified delegates from each National Affiliate and certified delegates from each state and U.S. territory based on the number of young lawyers in each Affiliate, and one delegate from each branch of the military. A chart showing the number of delegates from each state can be found here. Affiliates also can appoint alternate delegates who will attend Assembly if a certified delegate is unable to do so. It is important to remember that ABA YLD Council members are not included in a state’s delegate count. For example, if Montana is allowed two delegates, but a Council member is also from Montana, then there will be three voting delegates to the Assembly from Montana.
According to ABA YLD Assembly Clerk David Scriven-Young, every Assembly has four main components: (1) debate and voting on resolutions that serve to improve the legal profession and are geared toward the interests of young lawyers; (2) ABA YLD awards to Division members and Affiliate organizations; (3) presentations from ABA leaders including the President and President-Elect regarding their plans for the year and ways for young lawyers to get involved with the ABA; and (4) presentations from ABA YLD leaders, including a report from the ABA YLD Chair and a preview of the next conference. Elections for ABA YLD Officers and Constitutional Representatives take place immediately before the Annual Meeting Assembly on Saturday morning.
The last Assembly convened on August 9 and 10, 2013, during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. A total of 205 delegates were certified for the 2013 Annual Meeting Assembly. Five ABA YLD resolutions were presented for debate, with four out of five receiving passing votes. In addition, Assembly adopted all of the resolutions on the consent calendar. The ABA YLD also presented several awards at Assembly, including the Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award, the Rosner & Rosner Young Lawyers Professionalism Award, the Child Advocacy Award, and the Awards of Achievement for Outstanding Service to the Public and Outstanding Service to the Bar. Finally, the ABA YLD presented its 2012–2013 Year-in-Review and 2013–2014 bar year preview, titled “Moving the Profession Forward.”
What Does a Delegate Do?
Each delegate plays an important role in improving the legal profession and the lives of young lawyers through debating and voting on resolutions. Delegates must attend the Midyear or Annual Meeting for which they have been certified to vote at Assembly. At Assembly, delegates are seated by district and have speaking privileges to participate in the debate on each resolution presented for a vote. At the opening of Assembly, the Assembly Clerk will announce how many delegates have been certified and how many delegates constitute a quorum for voting. Delegates are permitted a total of 20 minutes for debate on each resolution, and 10 minutes for debate on any motions presented, although debates may be extended by motion if needed. If the Council recommends adoption of a resolution, a member of Council also will present a report setting forth the reasons for the recommendation. Once the debate has concluded, delegates vote on adoption of the resolution.
How Do I Become a Delegate?
The first step for someone who wants to become a delegate is to “contact his or her young lawyer Affiliate organization to express interest in becoming a delegate,” says Scriven-Young. The Affiliate will then advise the young lawyer on how Assembly delegates are selected in each state. For the 2014 Midyear Meeting Assembly in Chicago, local Affiliates must transmit all delegate information (including name, ABA ID number, date of birth, email address, and whether the applicant qualifies under ABA YLD bylaws or the Affiliate organization’s bylaws) to their state bar young lawyer organizations by December 1, 2013. National, state, and military Affiliates must submit all delegate information to the ABA YLD via the online Delegate Certification Form by December 15, 2013. The online Delegate Certification Form and instructions can be accessed here.
To qualify for the delegate certification process, all delegates must be members of the ABA and of the Affiliate they will represent at Assembly. Once selected, delegates must register for the upcoming meeting. The upcoming Midyear Meeting Assembly is Saturday, February 8, 2014, in Chicago. Before Assembly, delegates will receive the Assembly agenda and all resolutions up for debate via email. At the meeting, delegates pick up their name badges from ABA Registration, and then certify with the ABA YLD Credentials Board at the delegate certification table to receive their delegate ribbons. Finally, with name badges, delegate ribbons, Assembly agenda, and proposed resolutions in hand, delegates (dressed in business attire!) may participate in Assembly.
Serving as a delegate is on a per-meeting basis, so Midyear Assembly delegates who wish to vote in the Annual Meeting Assembly must repeat the certification process for each meeting. This way, Affiliate members interested in serving as delegates have numerous opportunities to do so, even when they are unable to attend the next possible meeting. As an added incentive, delegates attending the Midyear Meeting do not have to pay a registration fee if only attending governance meetings (which includes the ABA YLD Assembly).
2014 ABA Midyear Meeting
We look forward to seeing you at the ABA YLD programming during the ABA Midyear Meeting, February 6–8, at the Swissôtel in Chicago, Illinois! There is no meeting registration fee. Please note that information regarding ABA YLD programming and social events will be available soon.
The ABA YLD Assembly at Midyear
Please consider being a delegate to the ABA YLD Assembly on Saturday, February 8, during the 2014 ABA Midyear Meeting in Chicago. We need and want YOUR voice and participation to help shape Division policy and the profession! To become a delegate, contact your local young lawyer Affiliate, state young lawyer bar organization, national Affiliate, or military branch, and let them know of your interest. Note that voting members of the ABA YLD Council are automatically delegates to the ABA YLD Assembly, but we ask that Council members forward this information to their Affiliate(s) and encourage them to participate in the Assembly.
Below are a few ways Affiliates can participate. Additional information about the Assembly, including a new Assembly Preview Video and Delegate Certification information, is also available online, or you can contact Assembly Speaker Myra McKenzie-Harris at Myra.Mckenzie@walmartlegal.com or Assembly Clerk Dave Scriven-Young at DScrivenemail@example.com.
- Send delegates to Chicago. Local Affiliates should submit delegate information to their state Affiliate by December 1. State, national, and military branch Affiliates should submit their delegate information to the ABA YLD via the online Delegate Certification Form by December 15. If you have any questions about the Delegate Certification process, please contact Tara Blasingame at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave Scriven-Young at DScrivenemail@example.com.
- Please note that all delegates need to register for the ABA Midyear Meeting which requires a separate registration. But there is NO registration fee. More information about networking opportunities, social event tickets, and educational sessions will be available soon.
- Take an active role in issues that directly affect young lawyers by submitting and drafting a resolution via the ABA YLD’s online Resolution Proposal Form by December 1. If you are not sure what a resolution looks like or what resolutions have been debated at previous meetings of the ABA YLD Assembly, the proposal form has links to drafting procedures and past Assembly agendas. If you have any resolution-related questions please contact Assembly Speaker Myra McKenzie-Harris at Myra.Mckenzie@walmartlegal.com.
- Volunteer to debate a resolution at Assembly. We are always looking for interested young lawyers to speak on issues of importance to the profession. Please contact Assembly Speaker Myra McKenzie-Harris at Myra.Mckenzie@walmartlegal.com if you are interested.
For more information on Assembly, and updates on the upcoming Midyear Meeting Assembly, visit the ABA YLD Assembly webpage at www.ambar.org/yldassembly. The Assembly webpage also contains links to recaps from prior Midyear and Annual Meetings, the Assembly Standing Rules, delegate count information, and information on submitting resolutions. Affiliates may contact David Scriven-Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) with additional questions on Assembly and the delegate certification process.