Advice to Affiliates: Conference Funding for Affiliate Representatives

Vol. 39 No. 4


Deepa Goraya is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate , a member of the LEAD Center Public Policy team in Washington, D.C., and a Public Policy Research Specialist at National Disability Institute, also in Washington, D.C.

Each year, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) presents two standalone national conferences, one in the fall and one in the spring, and participates in the Midyear Meeting hosted by the ABA. ABA YLD conferences are a great place to network with young lawyers and Affiliate leaders from around the country, and each offers excellent mentoring and leadership opportunities. In addition, each conference offers programming targeted to state and local young lawyer association (“Affiliate”) leaders. For example, this past October, the ABA YLD Fall National Conference in Phoenix featured a program entitled, “Tips and Tricks to Understanding ABA YLD Resources,” in which attendees were shown how to locate various resources on the ABA YLD website, such as Affiliate funding. Also at this session, Affiliate representatives participated in roundtable discussions on a variety of topics ranging from budget concerns to service project ideas, which allowed leaders to network and gather creative ideas from one another.

During the ABA Midyear Meeting in Chicago, the ABA YLD’s Affiliate Assistance Team offered a program entitled, “Bar Leadership Advancement: Transitioning from YLD Leadership to Local States and National Bar Leadership.” This program featured a panel discussion with senior Bar Presidents and Executive Directors, as well as a roundtable discussion focusing on advancement to senior bar leadership.

This year’s ABA YLD Spring Conference will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from May 15–18, 2014, and will specifically focus on Affiliates. An Affiliate Showcase will provide a platform for Affiliates to highlight their service projects and to represent their communities and local bar associations. On the first day of the conference (May 15), the ABA YLD will offer the inaugural “Affiliate Leadership Training,” which is designed to equip incoming Affiliate leaders with the resources and skills necessary to successfully lead their associations. Affiliates are highly encouraged to send their chair/president-elects to this training.

Three Affiliate representatives (four if one is a minority or a governmental or solo or small firm attorney) from each ABA YLD Affiliate are eligible for up to two days per diem at $100 per day to attend each of the two national conferences. A limited number of scholarships are also available to conference attendees who represent new Affiliates or Affiliates that have not sent representatives to a national conference for three or more years. For specific details on funding, please visit the ABA YLD website.

Affiliates can request to be considered for these reimbursements (before the Fall and Spring National Conferences) through their respective District Representative, or through the Affiliate Assistance Team Director, Anna Romanskaya, at

As an ABA YLD Diversity Scholar, I have found great benefit in the ability to attend ABA YLD conferences, where I meet and network with young lawyers from across the country who practice in all areas of the law. While attending the Fall Conference in Phoenix, I was able to take part in the official launch of the ABA YLD public service project, “Bullyproof,” where I spoke to elementary school kids about anti-bullying and became involved in The Affiliate Newsletter Team as a writer. Using the funding available to Affiliates to attend ABA YLD conferences will help Affiliates as a whole take part in the Division and the resources it offers to Affiliates while also being personally beneficial to the lucky representatives who get to attend.

For more information concerning ABA YLD affiliate funding, please contact Anna Romanskaya at, or visit the ABA YLD website.


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