Around the Country
Compiled by Rachel E. Kopp
Rachel E. Kopp is the Editor of The Affiliate and practices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C.
Even though the lazy days of summer are still only a promise for some parts of the country, ABA YLD affiliates have been enjoying springtime success in giving back to their communities, sponsoring membership support activities, and providing outreach to their members.
Giving Back
The Dallas Association of Young Lawyers (DAYL) 2007 Leadership Class recently hosted DAYLympics. The afternoon event matched sixteen teams competing against each other in events such as dodgeball, relay races, and tug-of-war, and raised over $7,000 for the Dallas Independent School District. The DAYL also held a silent auction and happy hour to raise money for Operation Kindness in conjunction with Animal Cruelty Awareness Month (April). On April 29, 2008, DAYL hosted “Dinner & Dialogue,” an evening event designed to facilitate open and rewarding discussion about current hot-topic headlines covering racial, religious, gender, and political divides, in an effort to streamline effective communication and understanding on these issues.
Young lawyers from the Oklahoma County Bar Association YLD were striking to benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma County during the YLD’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake “Law Bowl” fundraiser event that raised a little over $7,000 for the organization. The OCBA YLD is also currently working in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to form a nonprofit entity that will raise money to benefit kids in DHS custody in Oklahoma County.
Membership Support
The membership committee of the Washington State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division continues its efforts to reach young lawyers from all cities in Washington by organizing free CLE programs with social activities around the state. For example, a low-cost Ski/LE was held in Bellingham, Washington, which included three CLE speakers, a hot buffet lunch, and a day of skiing at nearby Mt. Baker. The membership committee also organized trips to a Seahawks football game in the fall and a Sonics game in January.
The Kentucky Bar Association New Lawyers Section has been working with the 2008 KBA Annual Convention planning committee to hold its two-day mandatory training program for all new lawyers in conjunction with the bar association’s annual convention.
The Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division participated in the Tulsa University College of Law’s ChiliFest on April 4. This year’s theme was “Building a Better Bar One Bowl of Beer Chili at a Time.” While the OBA YLD team won the popular vote for best chili, they lost out in the overall race. The OBA YLD used the event to promote its activities and opportunities to young lawyers (and young lawyers to be).
The Vermont Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held its annual mid-winter thaw in Montreal, Quebec. Members enjoyed CLE sessions with representatives of the Vermont judiciary and mingled in the Omni Hotel’s ballrooms for two evenings of great food, networking, and live jazz. The Vermont YLD also held its annual Spring Mixer in mid-May at the Main Street Grill in Montpelier.
As part of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section ’s Life in the Balance Series, the months of February and March were designated “Career” and “Transition,” respectively. YLS programming for these months consisted of a diverse range of subjects including “Meet the Firms Night,” a “Government Service Career Fair,” and numerous events bringing together young lawyers and more seasoned attorneys to share their advice about planning careers and transitions in roles, both within the profession and in personal matters.
Community Outreach
The Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers Section put on its “SanDestin CLE,” which generated funds to supports its special grants program, as well as its “Iron Bowl CLE” in November. In addition, the YLS conducted several other events for the community, including two Alabama State Bar Admissions Ceremonies in 2007, with plans to conduct two ceremonies in 2008, and a minority pre-law conference in 2007, with plans to hold a similar conference in 2008.
Over the past six months, the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division has been engaged in a number of activities, including:
  • raising money and awareness for Hearts Everywhere Reaching Out (H.E.R.O.) for Children,
  • volunteering with the Fulton County DFCS to sort holiday presents donated to thousands of children in foster care,
  • supporting the Georgia YLD’s third annual Leadership Academy class,
  • planning for the twentieth anniversary of High School Mock Trial in Georgia,
  • helping to organize the High School Mock Trial National Competition’s 2009 national tournament in Atlanta,
  • honoring clerks at Metro-Atlanta area courts during the Georgia YLD Litigation Committee’s Holiday Luncheon, and
  • drafting a Model Juvenile Code using grants from the Georgia Bar Foundation.
The South Carolina Bar Association YLD has continued to be active in its community as well. Brian Knowles, Co-Chair of the YLD Wills Clinic Committee, on behalf of the SC YLD, presented a check for $1,400 to Battalion Chief Spencer Suggs of the City of Charleston Fire Department to honor the firefighters who lost their lives battling a fire at a furniture store in Charleston on the evening of June 18. The YLD also initiated “Courthouse Keys” to provide young lawyers the opportunity to meet members of the judiciary in an informal setting. So far, young lawyers met with the Honorable Gary Hill and the Honorable John C. Few of the Thirteenth Judicial District (Greenville), the Honorable Daniel Pieper of the South Carolina Court of Appeals (Charleston), Master-in-Equity Judge “Jimmy” Spence of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit (Lexington), Chief Justice Jean H. Toal of the South Carolina Supreme Court, and the Honorable Michael G. Nettles of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit (Florence). In addition, with assistance from the Family Law Section, the South Carolina Young Lawyers produced a DVD entitled “Why Me?” to help parents understand the effects of divorce on their children. The YLD’s committees have also accomplished the following:
  • The Division contributed funds to the EdVenture Children’s Museum Early Childhood Professional Development Training program, which provides education and training to caregivers for children from at-risk homes. The Division also made a monetary donation to the EdVenture Summer Camp program to help offset registration fees for economically disadvantaged children in order for them to participate this summer.
  • The YLD’s Professionalism Committee hosted a joint luncheon in Charleston with the South Carolina CPA Young Members Group. At the luncheon, approximately sixty young lawyers and accountants listened to a presentation on estate planning by Charleston CPA and attorney Mike Branham of Young Clement Rivers. The goal of the luncheon was to strengthen the bonds between lawyers and accountants and to foster relationships that would help both better serve their clients in the future. The YLD Professionalism Committee is dedicated to fostering relationships between lawyers and all professionals across South Carolina.
  • The Cinderella Project Committee of the YLD has scheduled several “Cinderella Projects” in Columbia, Aiken, and Charleston to provide prom dresses to socially and economically disadvantaged high school girls.
  • The Division’s Done-in-a-Day Committee completed a very successful Backpack Drive in concert with the Children’s Law Center to benefit Department of Juvenile Justice probationers and parolees returning to school in their local communities. The Drive donated approximately seventy backpacks and several boxes of school supplies to students across the state. The Done-in-a-Day Committee also collected nonperishable items for “Operation Christmas Stocking” in which volunteers filled over 5,400 stockings and care packages that were shipped to military men and women serving overseas.
Kudos . . .
to Ginny Nissen Waller who was recently named “South Carolina Young Lawyer of the Year” by the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division. The Young Lawyer of the Year award recognizes an attorney for his or her excellent service and contributions to the legal profession and/or to his or her community. The award was presented on May 5 at the S.C. Bar House of Delegates Meeting. Ginny has served proudly as Chair for the YLD’s Done-in-a-Day Committee, Community Law Week Committee, and Justice Jam Committee, and currently serves as the ABA YLD’s District 10 Rep. Ginny is also involved in the Bar’s Pro Bono and Law Related Education Committees, the Richland County Bar Association, and the South Carolina Women Lawyer’s Association. For the 2008–2009 bar year, Ginny was appointed to the ABA YLD’s Public Service Project Team on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Congratulations, Ginny!
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To highlight the achievements and successes of your affiliate, please send updates of member service or public service projects and related pictures to 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!