Ame The Affiliate LogoAmerican Bar Association Young Lawyers Division - The Affiliate - July/August 2010 - Volume 35, Number 6, New Bar Year Promises Exciting Public and Member Service Projects

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The Affiliate - July/August 2010 - Volume 35, Number 6, New Bar Year Promises Exciting Public and Member Service Projects

Justin L. Heather is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate and a litigation associate with the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.





New Bar Year Promises Exciting Public and Member Service Projects

By Justin L. Heather

The 2010–2011 bar year promises exciting new public and member service projects Plans are already in place for programs that will improve the lives of ABA YLD members and some of the most vulnerable and unrepresented members of our society. ABA YLD affiliates are strongly encouraged to reach out to the ABA YLD leadership to learn more about these programs and how they can either benefit ABA YLD Members or how certain programs may be implemented by your bar group.

Public Service Project: Serving Our Seniors
The ABA YLD’s public service project for the 2010–2011 bar year—“Serving Our Seniors”—is designed to provide low-income seniors with certain essential elements of a basic estate plan. As one of our must vulnerable and unrepresented populations, many seniors face critical economic and health decisions without the ability to engage counsel to advise them regarding their options. Seniors are often the victims of fraud and abuse and require legal assistance to consider and implement a basic estate plan to protect themselves and their estates.

The ABA YLD’s upcoming public service program is designed to fill this need.

“We developed the ‘Serving Our Seniors’ program for two primary reasons: to empower seniors to take steps now to plan for their future and to educate seniors about estate planning so they can protect themselves from being victims of fraud,” said Scott Henry, Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and one of the founders of the “Serving Our Seniors” program.

This program provides a comprehensive multi-media package including educational outreach, training, and implementation materials designed to empower ABA YLD affiliates to provide low-income seniors with basic estate plans. The materials in the program address estate planning documents such as a power of attorney for health care, a power of attorney for property, a living will, and simple wills.

While basic research has been completed for each state, young lawyers, including estate planning lawyers, from each jurisdiction are necessary to ensure successful implementation. The ABA YLD hopes that every ABA YLD affiliate can work with area legal aid organizations to implement the “Serving Our Seniors” program. For the upcoming bar year, the ABA YLD intends to implement the program in a minimum of 25 different jurisdictions.

If you would like to be involved in the ABA YLD’s upcoming public service program, please contact Justin Heather, the Senior Advisor for the “Serving Our Seniors” program, by e-mail at or phone at 312/407–0637.  

A Cornucopia of Projects to Benefit ABA YLD Members
The ABA YLD will sponsor a number of member service initiatives during the 2010–2011 bar year. These include, among others, increased attention to ABA YLD committees, ABA YLD conferences, and the inaugural New Partners Conference.  

ABA YLD Committees . The ABA YLD has over 30 committees spread across several different practice areas. Each committee oversees the written materials and programming for the ABA YLD in their respective practice areas. These committees produce extensive published materials and the CLE programming for young lawyers at various ABA YLD conferences and meetings.

“The focus this year is on providing value to our members,” explained Andrew Schpak, in-coming Committee Director. As Committee Director, Andrew will oversee all ABA YLD committees and has enumerated three primary goals for committees during the upcoming bar year:

  1. each committee will hold two teleconferences,
  2. each committee will submit two program proposals, and
  3. each committee will submit four or five 101 Practice Series articles.

Andrew also encourages Committee Chairs to incorporate the ABA YLD public service project or elder law into the subject matter of these teleconferences, programs, or articles. All members are encouraged to become active in their respective committees.

The committees are a great benefit to members who seek to develop their knowledge, skills and networking in a certain area of the law. If you would like to learn more about these new committee initiatives, please contact Andrew at .

ABA YLD Conferences . Each bar year the ABA YLD hosts four conferences in various locations throughout North America. The 2010–2011 bar year will be no exception, with conferences planned in Sante Fe, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Toronto.

As Mario Sullivan, next year’s Conference, Programs and Products Director, explained, “All ABA YLD conferences provide numerous opportunities to connect, collaborate, and learn from fellow ABA YLD members as well as members of other ABA entities.” These conferences allow young lawyers to network, learn more about the ABA YLD, and assist in the governance and policy decisions of the ABA YLD. “At the conferences, we host several networking events, CLE and professional development programming sessions, and programming focused on eliminating bias and enhancing diversity in the profession,” Mario said. For more information on the ABA YLD’s conferences during the 2010–2011 bar year, contact Mario at .

New Partners Conference . In the upcoming bar year, the ABA YLD will introduce an additional conference—the New Partners Conference. This conference will provide programming directed towards new partners and in-house counsel.

Dan McKenna, next year’s New Partner Conference Coordinator, explained that “ABA YLD members have always been the foot soldiers pursuing the greatest benefits for our members and potential members. February 2011 will see a marriage of these two qualities when we introduce the New Partner Conference as the absolute ‘must attend’ conference for all young partners and in-house counsel.” The programming for the New Partners Conference covers a broad range of topics, including ethics of multi-state marketing and the value of substantive specialization to the economics of partnership and law practice management. The conference will be held in February 2011 in Philadelphia. To learn more about the New Partner Conference, please contact Dan at .

The 2010–2011 ABA YLD bar year offers much promise for its members. Every ABA YLD member is strongly encouraged to become involved in the ABA YLD’s public service projects and to take advantage of the many programs and projects aimed toward benefiting individual members to expand his or her professional network and support the works of the ABA YLD.