For Young Lawyers

October, 2006

A Student’s Perspective on the ABA Annual Meeting

Having just finished my first year of law school, I was a little frustrated by the law this summer. Outside of working at a law firm, I was trying to think of it as little as possible. However, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the ABA Annual Meeting in Hawaii this summer, as the law student liaison for the Probate and Trust Division of the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section.

I truly had a warm reception by the members of the Section. While there I realized that the ABA Annual Meeting, though very informative, can also be a lot of fun. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly making me – a student – feel right at home.

For students, the ABA Annual Meeting may be one of the best deals around. First of all, it was a great vacation. How can one go wrong with choosing Hawaii? Next year will be in San Francisco, which will also be a great time. Second, for the price of the registration fee, you get nearly everything open to you. The events are many and varied ranging from professional to social. Although the RPPT Section currently does not hold many CLE programs at the Annual Meeting, many other sections do, which makes the meeting a fantastic opportunity to learn about areas of law that you may be interested in. For a student, it was a great chance to hear a snippet of an area of law and the issues that lawyers presently face.

Not only were the lectures very good and informative, the people were amazing. Every person that I met at the Annual Meeting from the RPPT Section was truly helpful. Watching and talking to successful attorneys who would like to put so much back into the legal community really helped me put perspective in my own life.

Often times we get the impression that lawyers are overworked and have little time for outside activities. However, at the meeting, I learned that many lawyers strive to balance their busy lives with some time to give something back to the community. Many of the lawyers active in the RPPT Section spend their free time working within the ABA for the benefit of all lawyers and law students. Lawyers from across the country and from many different backgrounds helped me to see what lawyers in today's world are facing and what they are currently thinking about.

As students, we often feel that we do not have time to do much else than school, and sometimes this is the case. However, I found that as law students we should all collaborate together to better our situation and those of future law students. The Law Student Division is currently working on a number of issues that were discussed at the Annual Meeting that would benefit us all. Financing the expensive costs of law school was the major topic of the week. Many ideas have been thought of, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

The RPPT Section is currently working on several issues that students may find relevant. One concern that was discussed at the meeting is the lack of real estate courses at most law schools. Though a major area of law that many students are currently interested in, schools seem to be cutting back on real estate courses. The RPPT Section is trying to prevent this and is currently doing research into various schools. Often times, as students, we find that lawyers are not interested in the problems of students; however, I realized that many of the attorneys involved in the ABA are very interested in engaging law students in the ABA and the legal community.

See you in San Francisco next August!


Anthony Marinaccio is the ABA Young Lawyers Division Liaison to the Probate and Trust Division of RPPT.