Get Ready for the “Trials” of an Attorney: The ABA YLD Practice Series
by Timothy R. White
Timothy R. White is an assistant editor of The Affiliate and practices in Austin, Texas.
Often as an “attorney,” people expect you to know everything there is to know about the law. Therefore, the first few years of an attorney’s career are not only confusing, but also downright scary. Maybe it’s just me, but on my first day of work, I was asked to respond to discovery. This seems like a pretty routine task these days, but back then I wondered whether I would be disbarred for not knowing an answer or missing a deadline.
We all know that law school and the bar exam do not completely prepare you for the “trials” you’ll experience as an attorney. On that first day as an “attorney,” you could not possibly have known all of the correct legal procedures or how to win your first court case. That’s where the ABA YLD’s 101 Practice Series and the upcoming 201 Practice Series can help.
The ABA YLD’s 101 Practice Series is an online resource exclusively for new lawyers who are members of the ABA. The Series includes over 170 quick tips and tools that provide basic training in both substantive and practical aspects of practicing law. As the ABA YLD website suggests, it is an “essential resource for lawyers in their first three years of practice.”
Robert King, ABA YLD marketing, communication, and media director, noted that the 101 Practice Series has thrived since its inception. In May 2007, the Series received 799 webpage views; four months later, by September 2007, the 101 Practice Series received an eye-popping 3,926 webpage views, and its exposure is still increasing. In fact, “in the last six months for which statistics are available [June–November 2007], the 101 Practice Series files have seen an average of 1,804 webpage views per month,” reiterates King.
The 101 Practice Series provides not only general legal tips, but also field-specific advice to improve your practice. For example, you can find an article on transitioning from the government sector to private practice as well as an article offering advice on preparing for an international arbitration hearing. Currently, the ABA YLD has 140 articles posted on the Series webpage. According to King, “the initial benchmark was 100 articles, but due to the outstanding success of the program we generated a lot more!” As the legal community continues to recognize the value of this uniquely beneficial and cost-free program, the number of articles posted has been increasing with every passing month. This demonstrates that young lawyers are not only submitting articles to the Series, but they are using the articles on the website as well.
Because of the dramatic success of the 101 Practice Series, the ABA YLD will be unveiling an additional collection of these popular articles. Tracy Kaempf, ABA YLD program and committee manager, reveals that “a selection of the 101 articles is being published as a book titled: The 101 Practice Series: Breaking Down the Basics.” The compilation will put into print some of the more popular articles from the 101 Series, which will allow easier accessibility and convenience for young lawyers. Kaempf adds, “Starting in 2008, new bar admittees who are ABA members will receive a complimentary copy [of this book].” More seasoned esquires can purchase the book through the ABA Web Store.
The 201 Practice Series, the next installment in the ABA YLD’s Practice Series, is set for release in spring 2008. The 201 Series will go a step beyond its predecessor 101 Series and will focus on more advanced topics that are relevant for young lawyers who already have a baseline of knowledge in their fields. While 101 articles might explore basic issues and skills in a particular area of the law, 201 articles will likely explore more probative items such as legislative updates and important court decisions in a certain concentration.
Affiliates can especially benefit from taking advantage of what the 101 and the upcoming 201 Practice Series have to offer. If you or a member of your affiliate would like to write for the 101 Practice Series, please review the guidelines and instructions for submitting articles at In addition, if you would like to reprint or re-post any of the 101 Series articles, you can do so by requesting reprint permission via the form posted on the 101 Series page linked above. Reprint permission is granted free of charge, but submitting the form is required.
If you surf around the 170 articles posted in the ABA YLD’s 101 Practice Series, you’re bound to learn something new. And, even if you are a more experienced “young” lawyer and feel that you know much of what is covered in the 101 Practice Series, be on the lookout for the 201 Practice Series debuting in spring 2008—it is sure to offer something new for everyone!
For more information on the 101 Practice Series and updates on the introduction of the 201 Series, visit