Around the Country
Compiled by Rachel E. Kopp
As with the changing seasons, ABA YLD affiliates are springing into action to give back to their communities, attract future bar leaders, and make great things happen in the South.
Community Outreach
This fall, the Tacoma Young Lawyers Division (Washington State) held a young lawyers vs. old lawyers softball game, with a barbeque following the game.
The Ramsey County Bar Association New Lawyers Section (Minnesota) held a networking session at a glass studio so members of the legal community and students from William Mitchell College of Law could come together in an evening of creativity and conversation.
The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section hosted its second Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament and raised over $15,000. The YLS also continued its Life in the Balance programming. February was designated “Career Month” and featured a networking session with Chicago’s top young attorneys, a “Meet the Firms Night,” and a “Government Service Career Fair.”
In conjunction with the Black Heritage Festival, the Telfair Museum of Art, and the Owens‑Thomas House, the Savannah Bar Association’s Younger Lawyers Division (YLD) , recently held a mock trial to commemorate the anniversary of the landmark trial of the slave traders from the ship, The Wanderer . Local attorneys, including Colin McRae and Chris Smith of the law firm HunterMaclean, dressed in period costumes to re-enact the 1859 case involving the last ship to bring slaves from Africa to the United States.
Mingling with Judges
At the Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Section’s first reception and dinner with the Justices of the Kentucky Supreme Court, young lawyers had the opportunity to interact with members of the judiciary in a relaxed setting.
Giving Back
The young lawyers of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s New Lawyers Section ’s(NLS)recent community efforts include: aiding Minnesota flood victims last fall when thousands were affected by devastating floods; organizing a “Wills for Heroes” training program so members could begin to participate in Minnesota; launching Choose Law ; conducting four free CLE programs for members; working with the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) to conduct “We the Jury” programs at local schools; and raising over $4,300 and collecting over 100 toys for Toys for Tots at a huge winter social event to benefit the organization.
The Knoxville Barristers (Tennessee) have also been devoted to their local communities. The Barristers’ Committees organized an annual “Laser Tag Challenge for Charity” and raised over $1,000 for local charities, conducted a professional clothing drive for KARM in April, held a women’s clothing drive to benefit the Safe Haven shelter in June, conducted a school supplies drive to benefit ChildHelp USA in July, sponsored a Coats for the Cold drive for KARM in November, sponsored the Salvation Army Angel Tree at their annual meeting, conducted mock job interviews at Knox Area Rescue Ministries, and raised $2,600 for their charitable efforts at the Kentucky Bar Association golf tournament.
Attracting Future Bar Leaders
In January, the Multnomah Young Lawyers Division (Portland, Oregon) kicked off its second annual “Youth Film Project,” a film festival to encourage fourth to twelfth grade students to think critically about democracy, government, justice, and the law. Over forty local students participated in the film festival. Each participant was treated like royalty as he or she arrived on the red carpet at the Hollywood Theatre and each was personally congratulated by
an Oregon Supreme Court Justice on a job well done.
The Kentucky Bar Association YLS is in the process of finalizing the materials for its “U@18” project, which is designed to educate high school seniors about the rights and obligations of becoming an adult.
The National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (NLGLA) is thrilled to announce that the 20th Anniversary Celebration of its Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference will be held September 4–6, 2008, at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. The 2008 event will mark the Career Fair and Conference’s first return to San Francisco since the first national lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legal conference in 1988. For more information on Lavender Law 2008–San Francisco and the Michael C. Greenberg Writing Competition, visit, or contact D’Arcy Kemnitz at 202/637-6384.
Great Things Are Happening in the South
The help of the Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers Section (Alabama YLS) has been enlisted by Alabama State Bar President Sam Crosby to participate in the Alabama State Bar “Wills for Heroes” project. So far, the Alabama State Bar has conducted Wills for Heroes clinics in Montgomery, Mobile, and Birmingham. The YLS, in association with its special grants programs, was able to provide a substantial stipend to a Mobile-based child care center in 2007, which the YLS plans to continue to support in 2008. The YLS’ FEMA Committee is compiling an Alabama FEMA manual, which is very close to completion.
In 2007, through proceeds raised at a golf tournament and a black-tie event, the Young Lawyers Section of the Birmingham Bar (BBA YLS) raised $55,000 for two local organizations: Cornerstone School of Alabama and the Alabama Heart Gallery.
The Montgomery Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (MYLS) held its inaugural “Young Lawyers Wiffle Ball Tournament” this summer as well as a fall reception to honor new members of the Alabama State Bar.
Kudos . . .
To Walt Leger III , a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Council , who began his term as state delegate to the Louisiana House of Delegates on January 15, 2008. Walt will be targeting such issues as tightening ethics laws, improving education, providing and funding health care, and supporting small business growth. Walt serves as the Orleans Parish Representative to the Louisiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Council, a Board member of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the New Orleans Bar Association, and a member of the Young Leadership Council. Congratulations, Walt!
• • •
The Affiliate