Midyear Young Lawyer Summit Recap
By Christina J. Vassiliou and Griselda Vega
Christina J. Vassiliou is an associate at Sterns & Weinroth, P.C., in Trenton, New Jersey and a member of the ABA YLD Membership Board. Griselda Vega is an attorney with Columbia Legal Services in Yakima, Washington, and the ABA YLD Summit Coordinator during the 2007–2008 year.
The latest installment of the ABA YLD’s “Year of the Summit” took place at the ABA YLD Midyear Meeting in Los Angeles on February 8. The Summit, entitled Young Lawyer: The Next Generation, brought together young lawyers, experienced attorneys, law students, and members of the National Association for Law Placement to address and resolve the most pressing issues facing young lawyers today.
The afternoon began with a warm welcome from ABA YLD Chair Justin Goldstein, followed with an address by the Summit’s keynote speaker, Michael Brandwein. Brandwein has authored three best-selling books, Training Terrific Staff, Super Staff SuperVision , and Learning Leadership, and he has written and presented three 1999 Emmy ® award-winning television programs on communication techniques, which were broadcast on PBS stations throughout the United States. Brandwein offered his expertise to YLD members by leading them through two breakout discussion sessions. During the Summit’s sessions, groups of YLD participants discussed various hot topics and compiled a list of action steps to address each issue. Hot topics included:
• how we can reduce the problems and challenges of law school debt;
• how we can improve the quality of life for young lawyers;
how law schools, law firms, law departments, and other legal employers can better prepare and train young lawyers for professional success;
how young lawyers can be better supported in assessing and managing their careers; and
how we can increase knowledge and awareness about the issues and needs of young lawyers, and involve more young lawyers in providing solutions.
The goal of the Summit was to spark discussion on these topics so that YLD members could continue the conversations with other young lawyers in their local organizations.
The Summit team, led by Griselda Vega, YLD Summit Coordinator, and the YLD Membership Board, particularly Robert Fergan (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Alan Fowler (Everrett, Washington), Kevin Hull (McLean, Virginia), and Christina Vassiliou (Trenton, New Jersey), will take the information gathered from the Summit and prepare a White Paper on the issues discussed. According to Vega, “The Summit was a tremendous success thanks to all of the young lawyers and law students who participated and provided great ideas to resolve the most pressing issues facing young lawyers today. The participants offered innovative solutions which we look forward to publishing in a White Paper to be used by the YLD and its affiliates across the country to improve member services, as well as by legal professionals who can take specific steps to improve our profession.”
Diversity Summit: The Next Generation,