Member Service Project Recap: 101 Practice Series
By Sunil R. Harjani
Sunil R. Harjani practices in the Chicago office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and is vice-director of membership and the coordinator of the 2006–07 Member Service Project.
During the 2006–07 bar year, the ABA YLD presented the 101 Practice Series as its Member Service Project. The focus of the project was on the lawyers who are new to our profession and who are in their first three years of practice. The goal was to provide these new lawyers with basic training in both substantive and practical aspects of law practice. Too often, the youngest members of the profession do not receive the mentorship and training they need to learn basic lawyering skills. Young lawyers often specialize too early without knowing basic information about other areas of law that are critical to becoming a well-rounded lawyer (e.g., real estate, intellectual property, or environmental law) or important practical skills (e.g., negotiating settlements or drafting contracts).
During the past bar year, the ABA YLD solicited and obtained articles on a host of different topics from all members of the YLD, YLD substantive committees, and beyond. The full list of topics for which articles are available on the ABA YLD webpage appears in the box accompanying this article. These articles are short, “how to” pieces that span two-to-four pages and quickly provide the reader with an excellent overview of a particular area of the law. This project was a huge success. To date, over 140 articles have been posted. The 101 Practice Series is the most accessed area of the YLD website. We have received fantastic feedback from our members on the useful information contained in these articles, and this project has received significant attention from ABA members.
In addition, as part of the 101 Practice Series, the YLD hosted four CLE and professional development sessions at two of our conferences this past year, namely “Ethics 101—Conquering Ethical Dilemmas (and Staying Out of Trouble . . .),” “Women in the Profession 101—Ten Issues That Young Women Lawyers Face That Everyone Should Know About,” “Government Practice 101—The Revolving Door: How to Transition Between Government and Private Practice (CLE),” and “Law Practice Management 101—Effective Retainer Agreements and Bill Writing.” These seminars attracted audiences of thirty attendees or more and featured dynamic speakers and active audience participation.
The 101 Practice Series will continue during the 2007–08 bar year and a “201” project will be initiated that is designed to give young lawyers additional substantive information beyond the basics. The success of this project is the result of hard work by YLD substantive committee members, their chairs, the committee directors, the member service team, and the YLD staff. Please visit to view these articles.
Articles Available on YLD Website
With the participation of the ABA YLD’s numerous substantive committees, 101 Practice Series’ articles, discussing different areas of substantive law as well as professional development articles to improve your legal skills, are available at . The articles are brief and cover a broad range of topics and issues, including:
Air and Space Law
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Appellate Advocacy
Antitrust Law
Bankruptcy Law
Bar Services & Public Service
Business Law
Career Development
Children and the Law
Civil Practice & Procedure
Constitutional Law
Corporate Counsel
Criminal Law
Environmental Law
Estate Planning
Ethics & Professional
Family Law
Government Law
Health Law
International Law
Labor and Employment Law
Personal Injury Law
Public Education
Real Estate Law
Solos and Small Firms
Tort and Insurance
Trial Advocacy
Women & Minority Lawyers