Bundle Up for the 2014 Midyear Meeting in the Windy City

Vol. 39 No. 3


Andrew J. VanSingel is the Editor of The Affiliate and an attorney with Prairie State Legal Services in Wheaton, Illinois.

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 events at the ABA 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.

The Division schedule is packed with events to help you grow your practice, take your next career move, and make a difference in your community and the legal profession. Concurrently, the Division is also hosting The New Partner Conference—a must-attend event for lawyers who recently made partner or are on the partner track.

There is no registration fee for the Midyear Meeting; however, there is a registration fee for the New Partner Conference (advance tickets are $300 for ABA members, $350 for nonmembers before February 6, $400 onsite) and the Friday Dinner Dance is ticketed ($95 before February 6, $150 onsite). The entire Midyear Meeting is business attire.

Getting Down to Business

On Thursday, February 6, the ABA YLD Council will meet in the afternoon, followed by a program entitled “What I Wished I’d Known About My Job Search,” which will feature a panel of young attorneys discussing the trials and tribulations of finding employment and things to be mindful of when engaging in your own job search.

The ABA YLD also will feature another installment of CareerLine LIVE!, which made its debut at the 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas. The event features a multi-dimensional experience, in which volunteers communicate with hundreds of new lawyers and law students from around the country and provide one-on-one career advice via the telephone, Internet, and in-person. Following CareerLine LIVE!, there will be receptions for both first time attendees and New Partner Conference attendees.

Friday events will feature numerous programs, many for CLE credit, including post-DOMA implications for employee benefits, conducting a successful job search, going solo, trial tips and preserving appeals, obtaining a public interest job, and going from law school to becoming a solo practitioner.

The main event for Saturday is the ABA YLD Assembly, where young lawyers will debate and vote on resolutions impacting young lawyers and the profession. Delegate certification will be open all day on Thursday and Friday (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. The Assembly will take place at the Swissôtel, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Getting Social

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so be sure to unwind and connect with other attendees during the social events at the Midyear Meeting.

On Thursday, there is a first time attendee reception from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Zurich B on the first floor of the Swissôtel. The New Partner Reception is a ticketed event and is from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the offices of Baker & McKenzie LLP (visit www.ambar.org/newpartner for more information).

The ABA YLD Council Dinner will be on Thursday evening at Epic beginning at 6:00 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and drinks and is open to Council Members and their guests (ticketed event: $125).

On Friday, all attendees are invited to the ABA YLD Dinner Dance, which will be held at the Stadium Club at U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. Enjoy dinner, drinks, a spectacular view of the field, and Your Villain, My Hero, a regionally renowned cover band (ticketed event: $95 before February 6, $150 onsite).

If you are still in town on Saturday night, be sure to catch the Fellows Debate & Reception, which takes place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Zurich D, which is located on the first floor of the Swissôtel. The debate features an entertaining discussion between the ABA YLD Fellows (those who have “aged out” of the Division) and ABA YLD members on a pre-determined topic (e.g., in 2012, the topic was “Who Won the Recent Pro Sports Lockouts—the Players or the Owners?”).

Explore the City

Whether this is your first time to Chicago or you are a seasoned traveler to the Windy City, there are plenty of things to see and do. A few nearby attractions that are worthy of your time:

  • Michigan Avenue—Just a few blocks West of the Swissôtel lies Michigan Avenue, better known as “the Magnificent Mile,” which offers enough stores to make even the experienced shopper’s feet hurt.
  • The Tribune Building—This famous building is located on the corner of Michigan and Illinois and features a façade that includes artifacts from around the world, which you can see and touch, such as pieces from the Great Wall of China, Lincoln’s Tomb, and the Parthenon.
  • The “original” Billy Goat Tavern—A must-see for any tourist, located on Hubbard and Lower Michigan Avenue.
  • Chicago Water Tower—Built in 1869, this is the only public building to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and is located on the northern end of Michigan Avenue.
  • Chicago Pizza—The debate over Chicago vs. New York style pizza is epic, and the debate over the best Chicago Pizza still rages. Giordano’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Gino’s East are usually featured in that conversation, all of which are less than a mile from the Swissôtel.
  • Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef—Some of the iconic hot dog places are a journey from the hotel (Hot Doug’s, Hot Dog Station, Superdawg); however, Portillo’s, which is my personal favorite, is a short walk from the hotel. Get the Italian beef sandwich, dipped, and then do not plan on doing anything for the next few hours, unless your plans involve a nap.
  • Big Joe’s—Go on Friday night for the cheap drinks, stay for the turtle races that start at 9:30. Yes, turtle races—something you just have to see.

With all of the programming, social events, and attractions, the Midyear Meeting in Chicago will prove to be a great time, despite the cold weather. Be sure to share your experience on Twitter, by using the hashtag “#abamidyear” and handles “@ABAYLD” and “@ABAesq” before, during, and after the meeting.

Although the Swissôtel is the host hotel, the Club Quarters and the Hyatt Regency Chicago also have special rates. Click here to book your hotel, and click here to register for the meeting and purchase your tickets. For more information about the Midyear Meeting visit www.ambar.org/yldmidyear.


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