These state and local bar associations are currently divided into 34 Districts, as well as 5 National Affiliate Representatives and a Representative from the ABA Law Student Division. The National and District Representatives report to one of two Administrative Directors, Kimber Gallo and Stefan Palys.
Passing on the Baton of Success
Earlier this year, newly elected and appointed ABA YLD members from across the nation gathered at the ABA headquarters in Chicago for the annual Leadership Conference to learn about their new roles for the 2013–2014 bar year. Included in this group were the newly elected District Representatives, which are colloquially referred to as “DRs.”
District Representatives serve an important role within the ABA YLD, which includes, among other things, (1) executing the ABA’s contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when a disaster strikes the District Representative’s area, (2) assisting in identifying Division programs or projects that are aimed at meeting the needs of their respective Affiliate communities, and (3) facilitating communication between state and local Affiliates and the ABA YLD.
Armed and Ready to Assist
This year’s leadership has a goal of ensuring that the ABA YLD, through its District Representatives, is reaching out to the Affiliates to provide all the necessary tools for success. Through its District Representatives, the ABA YLD provides information to local Affiliates regarding upcoming opportunities, such as subgrants, which provide funding for local Affiliate programs, networking opportunities, implementing programs, and attending Division meetings.
Administrative Director Stefan Palys knows firsthand the benefits of attending ABA YLD meetings. While an Affiliate leader, Palys attended an Affiliate leaders’ roundtable program, at which he learned approaches other Affiliates used to tackle issues his own Affiliate faced. He was able to share these beneficial ideas with his Affiliate.
Many employers and organizations are promoting diversity, so too are state and local Affiliates. Creating and implementing programs that not only promote diversity but also attract a diverse array of participants continues to be an area of improvement for many state and local Affiliates. In keeping with the ABA’s goal of promoting equality through eliminating biases and enhancing diversity, the ABA YLD has dedicated individuals available to our state and local Affiliates that can help identify ways to continue the fight for diversity.
To this end, the ABA YLD provides the Affiliate Assistance Team, which is designed to help Affiliates with any problems they may encounter during the year. The Assistance Team can help your Affiliate in any number of ways, such as the development of the Affiliate Project Database, which contains practical “how-to” guides for a variety of public service and member projects; a program bank containing CLE ideas and speaking suggestions for local affiliates; a monthly publication highlighting available resources; and last, but certainly not least, information on how to apply for subgrants to aid in the implementation of public service and member service programs. The Affiliate Assistance Team can also provide candid advice and share best practices from other successful Affiliates.
Your Wish List Can Start Now
There is no better time than right now to start a project within your local Affiliate. Numerous resources are available to your Affiliate, and if you are having difficulty getting the ball rolling, reach out to the Affiliate Assistance Team or to your District Representative. Who knows—your project may be good enough to be showcased at the ABA YLD’s Spring Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, in May 2014.
For a list of the District Representatives, visit click here. For help from the Affiliate Assistance Team, contact Anna Romanskaya, Director of the Affiliate Assistance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.