Compiled by Mercedes Pino
Mercedes Pino is the Editor of The Affiliate and the Director of Career Services at the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida.
As winter snows melted (in some places), young lawyers helped the environment, gave back to their communities, and came together to learn and have a good time.
Lawyers Go Green
For Earth Day 2009, the Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will present Practicing Green. Designed to encourage attorneys and law firms in Allegheny County to reduce their environmental footprint, the program will feature a free CLE program, awards for firms and individuals who use the best environmental practices, and a “Trees & Trash” day.
The Multnomah (Oregon) Bar Association Young Lawyers Section volunteered to help beautify Willamette Park. Working with Friends of Trees they planted trees in Willamette Park along the South Portland Riverbank. Volunteers also helped to restore a natural area and generally had fun in the mud.
On Saturday, February 21, Austin Young Lawyers Association volunteers partnered with the Austin Parks Foundation’s “Trees for Pease” tree planting in Pease Park. The group spent the morning planting trees and bushes, as well as spreading mulch and topsoil. The AYLA volunteers teamed up with volunteer groups from around the city to plant over 100 trees in the park and assist in erosion control efforts. The group’s efforts helped replace several trees lost in last year’s storms and assisted in preventing further erosion damage to the park’s landscape.
Giving Back to the Community
The Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division continues its “Legal Line Hotline.” Volunteer attorneys participate in the program, which runs every Wednesday evening from the hours of 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Attorneys answer a telephone hotline and provide free legal information to the public. This one-hour weekly program assists members of the public who may not have access to an attorney and need general advice or who just want to be pointed in the right direction to get information. Attorneys provide information regarding landlord/tenant, creditor/debtor, consumer protection, family, criminal, and real estate cases.
The North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its first “Legal Feeding Frenzy.” The project was launched in conjunction with the NCBA’s 4ALL campaign and with the support of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who graciously agreed to partner with the NCBA YLD for this project and to help make it a success. “Legal Feeding Frenzy” is a food drive conducted by legal communities throughout North Carolina to benefit the state’s major food banks. Inspired by a similar event started in 2007 by the Virginia Bar Association , a goal of collecting 250,000 pounds of food was set to help feed North Carolina’s needy families.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division created a statewide outreach program, the “KidCare Program.” The program promotes awareness among families of the need to maintain records of their children through the creation of identification cards. The cards include the child’s birth date, height, weight, and other pertinent information, including fingerprints. The identification cards have proven to be invaluable in locating children who are missing or have otherwise become victims of unfortunate occurrences.
The Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Denver Department of Human Services hosted a “Winter Festival” for foster kids and their families. The kids enjoyed an artistry and magic show by Dennis Michael. Thanks to donations and contributions, each child received a large and small toy, a piece of sporting equipment, a book, stuffed animal, and candy. The Young Lawyers also raffled off tickets to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, as well as a gift certificate to The Tattered Cover and other items.
The Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section is organizing its annual “Together We Can: A Book Drive for Grades K–5.” The Young Lawyers Section is accepting donations of new and gently used books appropriate for children in grades K–5. All books will be donated to a Baltimore City elementary school that does not have the resources to fully fund a school library.
The Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection developed The Farm Transfer Guide . The Guide incorporates comments and technical advice from a wide range of respected agricultural professionals and provides practical information for farm families who are dealing with the issues involved in moving into or out of a farming business. The Guide also covers such topics as family issues, farm business arrangements, financial considerations, economic feasibility, legal and tax matters, and finalizing and monitoring the transfer process.
The Multnomah (Oregon) Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Service to the Public Committee volunteered with the Oregon Humane Society to help homeless pets in the Portland area find new homes. Family, friends, and children over the age of twelve were welcome to join the YLS in this worthy endeavor.
The Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division designed the “Junior Judges Project” to teach third through fifth grade students facing tough choices to make good decisions. The project addresses such issues as cheating, destroying property, bullying, teasing, stealing, drugs and alcohol, and gangs and weapons. Volunteer attorneys first show a video presenting real-life situations and then facilitate discussion in the classroom. Students become the “junior judges” who must make decisions on these simulated “real-life” situations. The duration of each presentation is approximately one hour.
Member Programming and Events
The Houston Young Lawyers Association’s 2009 “Bench/Bar Conference” took place aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. The CLE cruise allowed young lawyers to earn almost an entire year of CLE credit while mingling with members of the judiciary.
The Young Lawyers of Delaware County (Pennsylvania) invited all young and old attorneys, bench and bar, and family and friends, to participate in its “Second Annual Texas Hold’Em Tournament.” Those in attendance tested their poker skills while raising money to help underprivileged children. All proceeds will benefit the Young Lawyers’ Annual Holiday Party for underprivileged children.
The El Paso Young Lawyers Association brought back its Basketball League. The season began with a St. Patrick’s Day Game Celebration.
In March, the Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held an Open House. Colorado’s young lawyers, Colorado’s local and specialty bar associations, and CBA’s sections and committees were invited. It was a great opportunity for young lawyers in Colorado to get more involved in their local and specialty bar associations. After the Open House, guests were invited to attend a Denver Nuggets basketball game at a substantially reduced ticket price.
The Houston Young Lawyers Association hosted the “Family Fun Spring Fling,” an exciting morning at the Nature Discover Center, for its members and their families. HYLA provided moon bounces, treats for the children, and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. In addition, Bunny Buddies brought a live bunny to meet the children.
The Dallas Association of Young Lawyers is continuing its “Mentor Match” project, which is designed to pair experienced attorneys in a variety of fields with less experienced attorneys in need of mentoring. Any DAYL member may sign up to become a mentee on the “Mentor Match” website. Mentees can search a database of accomplished attorneys in the greater Dallas area, customizing their searches by a number of criteria, including practice area, years of practice, firm size, age, and other considerations. Once a mentee finds a mentor who matches the desired criteria, that mentee may request a match. A mentor who accepts will provide just the sort of advice that the mentee needs. Participating mentors consult on practicing law, rainmaking, balancing work with personal life, and anything else affecting attorneys immersed in the exciting challenge of practicing law.
Future of the Profession
The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section hosted a “Law Student Speed Interviewing Workshop.” The workshop gave law students an opportunity to practice their interviewing skills with attorneys who work in a variety of practice settings, including firm, corporate, and government. Over the course of an hour, students met with different practicing attorneys every seven to ten minutes. Students unable to get into the workshop could still participate in the reception immediately following.
The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division hosted the “Tennessee State High School Mock Trial Com-petition.” White Station High School of Memphis claimed the state mock trial title March 14, defeating Battle Ground Academy of Franklin in the twenty-ninth annual competition. It was White Station’s first bid to state in six years and the school showed up in force, fielding two teams. The green team won the championship, while the gray team placed sixth out of 18 teams. The school will represent Tennessee at the national mock trial competition.
The Oregon State Bar’s New Lawyers Division announced its 2009 “High School Essay Contest.” The contest is open to all Oregon high school students and three winners will be chosen and receive $500, $350, and $250, respectively, for first, second, and third place entries. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate this project into their curriculums; however, in the past the most competitive entries were received from students who engaged in projects on their own initiative.
The Austin Young Lawyers Association hosted two “Take a Law Student to Work” days. The program allowed law students to shadow young lawyers during trials, hearings, depositions, negotiations, mediations, closings, docket calls, among others.
To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service or public service projects and related pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to recognizing your projects in future editions of The Affiliate
and may even use them to lay the foundation for national outreach!