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Bullying is an old problem that has developed a modern twist, one that is taking an increasingly significant toll on our nation’s youth. It is something we each have likely encountered at some point, both as children and adults. We need to do our part as talented advocates and natural advisors by taking the initiative on this issue.
Oscar Wilde once famously quipped: “Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.” Aside from the double negative, the ABA YLD is set to challenge the veracity of Wilde’s aphorism. Aiming to assist young lawyers navigate the many minefields of the tumultuous legal profession, the ABA YLD is preparing to launch a new member service project: “Ask an Experienced Lawyer.”
On February 6–8, hundreds of young lawyers from across the country will travel to the Swissôtel in my hometown of Chicago for the ABA YLD Midyear Meeting. Although the temperatures may be brisk (historically around 25 degrees), the ABA YLD will offer so many programs and networking opportunities, you might not even notice the cold weather—but bring a scarf, just in case.
I never imagined that my time at the Fall Conference would be so productive, that I would meet so many new people, or that I would feel so welcomed. I had been to conferences before, but I always felt that I was operating as a free agent. This time was different—I was an ABA YLD Scholar.
As we kick off the new year, Affiliates across the nation are undoubtedly reflecting on the successes and challenges of the previous year. Affiliates take this time to reflect on how programs can be improved on for the future and determine what new and exciting programs they would like to introduce in the upcoming year. For Affiliates specifically interested in improving or implementing public service or member service projects, the ABA YLD may be able to help.
Affiliates around the country have been diligently serving their communities, their members, and the profession. The following summaries highlight Affiliate activities nationwide. Consider which events you could incorporate into your Affiliate’s initiatives and feel free to contact the sponsoring Affiliate for more information about a particular event or project. For Affiliates organizing great events, please forward any information or photos you have of your group’s activity. It may be selected for inclusion in the newsletter’s next issue.
If you find it daunting to keep track of the many constantly evolving activities, programs, and services offered by the ABA YLD, or wonder how to implement some of these projects with your own organization, then your District Representative is going to be your new best friend.
The Smith County Young Lawyers Association, headquartered in Tyler, Texas, provides opportunities for young lawyers in Smith County to meet one another and network, serve the community, and serve the legal profession. It is very active, with several long-term events planned for the 2013–2014 year.
Partnerships and preparedness are critical to being able to respond swiftly to the legal needs of disaster survivors, and the young lawyers in Colorado have set a high standard in their response to the devastating floods that claimed at least eight lives and damaged at least 19,000 homes this past September.
Some things are just ubiquitous facts of life—everyone knows that the sky is blue and the ocean is salty. If you’re involved in the ABA YLD or the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference (VSB YLC), you also know that Chris Fortier is a stellar example of leadership. Both the ABA YLD and VSB YLC have benefited greatly from Chris’s leadership and dedication.
The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section boasts over 9,000 members and 25 substantive committees. It hosts a wide range of educational programs, outreach activities in the community, and professional development opportunities. Given the breadth of its coverage of both substantive areas of law and other events, new lawyers can readily find a place to get involved that best aligns with their strengths and interests.
For the past few years, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has designated the last week of October as National Pro Bono Celebration Week. According to ABA President James R. Silkenat, the Celebration is a “national effort to meet the ever increasing [legal] needs of our most vulnerable citizens.” Indeed, the week showcases thousands of lawyers performing legal services without compensation—for the public good.
The Affiliate Leadership Listserv is intended to serve as a resource for executive leaders of Young Lawyer Associations (“Affiliates”) to connect, ask questions, and share information.