Compiled by Mercedes Pino
Mercedes Pino is an assistant editor of The Affiliate and is the assistant director of Career Services at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip, New York.
As 2006 came to an end, ABA YLD affiliates kicked it into high gear. Focusing on our youth, raising funds and donations during the holidays, and welcoming newly admitted attorneys, our affiliates are lending a helping hand to their local communities and paving the way for recent bar admittees.
Each year, the Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division holds an annual CLE program and fundraiser. The 2006 CLE program was followed by the annual fundraiser and beer tasting. The beneficiary of this year’s auction proceeds was the Colorado Alpine Rescue Team, which provides critical search and rescue services to residents of Jefferson and Clear Creek Counties and assists with rescue efforts throughout the State of Colorado.
The Lackawanna County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division recently conducted a “Project KidCare” day, during which it fingerprinted and provided identification for over 150 children.
The Maricopa County Bar Young Lawyers Division’s Domestic Violence Committee held its Sixteenth Annual Necessities Drive in October. The purpose of the drive is to help fulfill the most basic needs of women and children in domestic violence shelters so they can focus on the more important aspects of their recovery, such as therapy, seeking employment, and finding housing. The 2006 drive went extremely well—providing goods to approximately 180 women and 160 children. This doubled the previous year’s success! The Young Lawyers’ Annual Barristers Ball will take place on March 3, 2007, to benefit Youth Evaluation and Treatment Centers. Last year, the Ball raised approximately $10,000 for charity.
As a result of the success of the Mobile Bar Association Young Lawyers Section’s Golf Tournament, the Mobile Young Lawyers presented a $10,000 donation to the Mitchell Cancer Institute at the monthly Mobile Bar Association Luncheon on August 25, 2006. The Mitchell Cancer Institute will dedicate and name a patient clinical exam room in recognition of the affiliate.
The New Lawyers Section of the Maine State Bar Association recently organized a three-week, statewide business apparel clothing drive in conjunction with the Southern Maine Chapter of the organization Dress for Success. The event called on professionals throughout the legal community to contribute ready-to-wear business clothing for women or donate to the organization.
The New Lawyers Committee in Oakland County has focused its programs to raise money for HAVEN, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault. On November 16, a new lawyer celebration, with over fifty attendees, honored new lawyers who had recently passed the bar and also raised several hundred dollars for HAVEN. Proceeds from the upcoming “Holiday Gala” event will be donated to HAVEN as well.
The North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division maintains a handbook for senior citizens in both English and Spanish. The handbook includes information on a variety of legal issues, including federal benefit programs, estate planning issues, health care planning issues, and rights and protections.
The Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division recently completed its highly successful and widely attended “People’s Law School,” in which young lawyers educated the public about a wide-range of legal issues.
The State Bar of Arizona Young Lawyers Division continues its outstanding work on the “Wills for Heroes” project. The Arizona Young Lawyers have provided this vital service since 2004. To date, the affiliate has completed 1,757 wills and estate planning documents, conducted thirty-nine “Wills Days” in ten counties, and provided 2,320 hours of free legal services.
The Pima County Young Lawyers also supported and participated in the “Wills for Heroes” program. Through their very active participation, the Young Lawyers have created hundreds of wills for local heroes. Recently, the Board of the Pima County Young Lawyers approved the donation of funds to purchase at least one new laptop for the “Wills for Heroes” program.
The Young Lawyer’s Section of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia continues to provide a much-needed service to underserved communities in the District of Columbia through “Operation Crackdown,” which maintains a group of specially trained lawyers in Washington, D.C., who are willing to devote a portion of their time, free of charge, to help bring the menace of neighborhood drug trafficking to an end. Operation Crackdown provides community groups with free legal representation to combat these problems. Its attorneys use the civil courts and city agencies to force the owners of problem properties to stop illegal drug use, drug sales, and drug manufacturing on those properties.
The Arizona Young Lawyers Division and the Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division joined together this holiday season to host a traditional holiday party for children in group homes in Phoenix and Tucson.
In December, the Erie County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section managed the “Fax an Angel Program.” This program obtains names of Erie County attorneys who are willing to purchase a gift for a child in an Erie-area shelter and matches the attorneys with a specific child.
The Young Lawyers Section of the Delaware County Bar Association hosted its annual Holiday Party for underprivileged children. All members of the Delaware bench and bar were invited to attend this heartwarming event. Attendees enjoyed snacks and holiday activities, and of course, the highlight was a visit from Santa Claus who arrived bearing gifts!
Members of the Cleveland Bar Association Young Lawyers Section will be taking part in the statewide Ohio Mock Trial Competition in February, in which local high school students compete for a chance to advance to the state competition. Young lawyers sit on three-judge panels with other members of the bar association to judge the regional rounds of the competition.
Each year, the Young Lawyers Section of the Delaware County Bar Association proudly sponsors and organizes local high schools in a mock trial competition written and hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Students are critiqued on their skills and participate in every aspect of preparing their cases for trial. Emphasis is placed during judging on the effectiveness of the overall presentation, as well as on individual abilities and legal arguments. For more information about this event, visit www.delcobar.org/YLS/events.asp.
The Young Lawyer’s Section of the Lawyers Association of Kansas City created the Kansas City “Youth Empowerment Summit Program” (“YES Program”) to provide sophomores and juniors from area high schools the opportunity to learn, experience, and discuss issues of justice, pluralism, tolerance, and democracy. The goal of the YES Program is to initiate discussion on issues of diversity and tolerance, as well as to expose students to other students with different views and backgrounds. It is intended that the students take their experiences, as well as the skills learned and the materials provided, back to their schools to continue to address these issues with their peers.
Each year, the Missouri Bar Association Young Lawyers Section sponsors a wide array of projects that serve Missouri citizens, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. Recently, the YLS promoted a grade-school curriculum called Junior Judges: Helping Kids Make Smart Choices. The curriculum, which targets elementary school students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades, is designed to help children make good choices in the tough situations they will likely encounter throughout childhood and their adolescent years. The program is also designed to inform children of potential consequences, which they and their families may face if they make the wrong decisions. The curriculum covers cheating, property destruction, teasing, bullying, stealing, weapons and gangs, and drug and alcohol, and includes an award-winning video, which is available from The Missouri Bar.
Congratulations are in order! Andre Carman from Prescott, Arizona, received one of ten Minorities in the Profession Scholarships. The scholarship is designed to find qualified applicants from around the country who have an interest in the ABA YLD. As a scholarship recipient, Carman was funded to the ABA YLD Fall Conference in Baltimore and will be funded to 2007 ABA Midyear Meeting in Miami and the 2007 ABA YLD Spring Conference in Montréal, Québec. “He really stood out as a candidate and I look forward to working with him and his involvement in the ABA YLD,” said Mo Chavez, chair of the ABA YLD Minorities in the Profession Committee. Congratulations, Andre!
The South Carolina Bar has been named to the 2006 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, a national awards competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in Washington, D.C. The bar received the award for its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, with assistance from the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division.
Attracting Future Bar Leaders and New Members
In October, the Centre County Young Lawyers Division continued its “Lunch with the Judges” series at the Gamble Mill Inn in Bellefonte. Judge David Grine was the guest of honor.
On November 29, the Columbus Bar Association Young Lawyers Committee held a lunch with Municipal Court judges at the Columbus Bar Association’s offices. This lunch allowed young lawyers to sit down for a roundtable chat with the judiciary over lunch.
The Florida Bar YLD will hold its Affiliate Outreach Conference, February 1–4, 2007, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The purpose of the AOC is to exchange ideas and projects among the various groups throughout the state, including voluntary bar associations.
The Hennepin County New Lawyers Section (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is putting the finishing touches on its largest annual event—the “Nuts & Bolts CLE.” This all-day continuing legal education program is targeted to new lawyers and features speakers on litigation and transactional practice topics. It also features a judges’ panel and an associates’ panel. For its members, the Hennepin County NLS is hosting monthly lunchtime CLE programs addressing topics like the Fair Labor Standards Act and electronic filing in federal courts. The Hennepin County NLS continues to be active in its community. Besides a school supply drive and volunteering to serve meals at People Serving People, the affiliate is recruiting volunteers to participate in the Minneapolis Community Justice Program, a mentoring program for newly released prisoners.
Recognizing the fact that new attorneys face many challenges and exacting expectations as they begin their legal careers, the New Lawyers Section of the Maine State Bar Association prepared a forty-page Survival Guide to provide new attorneys with tools and practical advice to help them start their careers on the right path. Topics include managing a law practice, marketing and client development, making an impression with the client, and making an impression with the firm, among others.
The Nevada Young Lawyers Section will host the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference in Las Vegas this spring. The conference will provide a great opportunity for affiliate representatives from Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico to mingle with fellow young lawyers.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Section visited law schools throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to speak with law students about the important benefits of joining a bar association. As a result of such visits, over 460 law students obtained a law student membership to the PBA and its Law Student Division.
To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service or public service projects and related pictures to Affiliate_Newsletter@yahoo.com.
Note that “Wills for Heroes” is a project the ABA YLD plans to focus on in 2007-08. We look forward to recognizing your projects in future editions of The Affiliate