Compiled by Natalie Holder-Winfield
Natalie Holder-Winfield is an assistant editor of The Affiliate and is a diversity consultant for QUEST Educational Initiatives, a consulting firm that provides diversity and skills development training to law firms, bar
associations, and law schools.
In each issue, The Affiliate looks at the innovative programs and events young bar leaders have implemented in their communities and shares them with affiliate bar leaders around the country.
The Maricopa County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its second annual Race Judicata in December. The 5K run at Kiwanis Park in Tempe drew nearly 300 registrants. The event raised money for the affiliate’s core community service projects that provide necessities to domestic violence shelters in the valley, free legal advice to the community at-large, and low-cost CLE programs for attorneys. Planned as a family event, the race included a kids’ dash and bounce house. After both races, participants enjoyed food and drink and received a t-shirt and goody bag.
On Halloween, the Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division sponsored its annual judicial reception and hosted the justices of the Arizona Supreme Court. All young lawyers and judges in Pima County are invited to the reception, which gives young lawyers a chance to interact with the judiciary.
The Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its annual “Christmas in January” on February 3, 2007. The program is designed to share the joys of the Christmas holiday and spirit with underprivileged children.
The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division held its “Annual Government Symposium on Lobbying” in January 2007, sponsored by the YLD Governmental Affairs Committee. For the first time, the symposium was broadcast live on the YLD’s website.
Regional, state, and national high school mock trial competitions are coordinated annually by the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division’s High School Mock Trial (HSMT) Committee to expose high school students to the legal system and encourage them to be better informed citizens. This program involves hundreds of volunteer lawyers and judges as team coaches, round judges, and planners. The HSMT Committee also sponsors an annual Law Academy, a court artist contest, and a journalism contest.
The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held a “Texas Hold’em Charity Fundraiser” on January 19, 2007. The fundraiser benefited the Chicago Bar Foundation and raised over $15,000.
The Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Council held its January 2007 meeting at Valparaiso Law School on January 27, 2007, to get the law students more acquainted with the ISBA and the YLS. In April, the Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section is hosting a judicial reception, which is designed to foster a better relationship between the bar and the judiciary and has become a fundraiser for the ISBA/YLS. As a result of the previous event, the Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section presented a $3,000 check to the Pro Bono Commission.
The Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Section has finalized its CLE programs for the 2007 KBA Annual Convention. The KBA/YLS’s one-day series of programs is targeted to young lawyers in their first few years of practice and includes topics like financial planning, appellate practice, real estate law, and representing small businesses. This year’s young lawyers programming was designed as a “young lawyers conference” within the bar association’s annual convention.
In 2006, the Kalamazoo County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section earned the Comprehensive Award from the ABA YLD for programs such as “Lunch with a Judge,” which is held monthly. In December, they served a holiday dinner for over 200 people at the Ministry for Community in Kalamazoo. Co-chairs Jon Jilek and Shaun Willis have made this group of young lawyers one of the fastest-growing and well-respected in the state.
The New Mexico State Bar Young Lawyers Division started its mentorship program with the University of New Mexico. On November 2, 2006, the Young Lawyers hosted a social in which young lawyers were paired with law students. The program has about 50 attorneys and 50 law students participating this year. The Young Lawyers also conducted a professional clothing drive, in which hundreds of pounds of business attire were collected to aid individuals looking for employment.
On December 20, 2006, the Albany County Bar Association Young Lawyers Committee held its twelfth annual holiday party. Many of the YLC were in attendance for this event, which benefited the children of the Parsons Child and Family Center.
The Mecklenburg County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is gearing up for its annual highly regarded “Law Explorers” program, in which high school students learn over a period of several weeks about various aspects of the legal profession. This program concludes with a mock trial run entirely by the students, and the students receive elective credit that counts toward graduation.
The Greensboro Bar Association Young Lawyers Section organized and conducted its annual swearing-in ceremony for new attorneys, implemented a “Child Safety Day” service project (in which the volunteers work with local agencies to make identification cards for children), and implemented a “preceptor” mentoring program.
The Wake County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division conducted its annual Clothing Drive to assist local charities.
The Columbus Bar Association New Lawyers Advisory Committee held a business development lunch in January 2007. During this lunch young lawyers learned how to develop professional relationships that can lead to future business opportunities. The affiliate also plans to participate in a community-wide “Rock ‘n Bowl” for a local children’s hospital. Proceeds from the event go to the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Children’s Hospital.
The Cincinnati Bar Association Young Lawyers Section sponsored a tax planning workshop for young lawyers in January 2007.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is in the middle of its statewide mock trial competition. The competition began in February, with the finals taking place at the end of March. It is also finalizing plans to institute a Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Fellows program, similar to the Fellows of the ABA YLD.
The South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division conducted a Relief Project to provide assistance to Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, one of the communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The YLD Disaster Relief Committee organized a collection of educational books, calculators, markers, and other school supplies.
The South Carolina Bar Young Lawyersheld its annual “ Cinderella Project Dress Drive” to benefit high school girls in Columbia and Beaufort who lack the resources to purchase gowns for the prom. Prom dresses in good condition are donated to underprivileged high school students.
The El Paso County Bar Association New Lawyers Section has implemented Choose Law: A Profession for All and is presenting the project to local high schools and the El Paso County juvenile facility.