Meet the ABA YLD International Affiliates
By Julia A. Bahner
Julia Bahner is an associate editor of The Young Lawyer and the YLD District Representative for Washington and Oregon. Ms. Bahner is associate claims counsel for LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc., in Seattle, Washington.
In addition to the approximately 300 ABA YLD affiliates across the United States, the ABA YLD is proud of its affiliation with three international groups: the Young Bar Association of Montréal, the European Young Bar Association, and Le Jeune Barreau de Québec.
Young Bar Association of Montréal
The Young Bar Association of Montréal (AJBM) was started on November 4, 1898, and is now over 100 years old. In the 1950s, the AJBM became socially oriented by opening the first public legal aid office, and this service continues today. Every year the charitable and nonprofit chapter of the organization implements a program to donate clothes to those less fortunate and organizes a dinner to serve food to the homeless.
The AJBM officially represents all Montréal lawyers who have ten years or less legal practice experience, and it has a total membership of more than 4,600. The association has ten committees and offers other benefits to members, including a six-month mentoring program in which a young lawyer is matched with an experienced lawyer (free of charge) and employment assistance workshops. In addition, the AJBM has a program in which members can sit as observers on the executive boards of nonprofit organizations. Many ABA YLD members are now very familiar with this fabulous group after the success of the recent joint ABA YLD/AJBM conference in Montréal, with over 500 young lawyers from across the United States, Canada, and Europe in attendance. For more information on the AJBM and its committees, please visit its website at
European Young Bar Association
The ABA YLD’s newest international affiliate is the European Young Bar Association (EYBA). The organization was established to encourage links between, and to promote the interests and welfare of, young lawyers throughout geographical Europe. Annalisa Checchi, the EYBA’s Chair, reports that the EYBA has encouraged young lawyers in various European countries to start young lawyer organizations and has assisted them in formulating constitutions and committee structures. Thus, when young lawyers in a particular city do not have a representative association, the EYBA has been instrumental in the formation of new young lawyers groups.
The EYBA was formed in Prague, and its bylaws were adopted in May 1993. At formation, the EYBA had eighteen member associations, formalizing informal relations that had existed between many city young lawyers groups over a number of years. The number of member groups is increasing and currently includes almost sixty groups across geographical Europe, representing the interests of over 200,000 young lawyers.
Earlier this year, the EYBA held a conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the Northern Ireland Young Solicitors Group. ABA YLD Chair Justin Goldstein and Past Chairs Jay Ray and Christina Plum presented a program on motivating volunteers and also assisted in an EYBA planning session. Our representatives used the opportunity to promote the 2007 ABA YLD Spring Conference, which was held in May in Montréal, Québec, and the EYBA was instrumental in ensuring a large European turnout for the conference. The EYBA’s annual meeting is held in May each year. This year’s annual general meeting and conference took place May 25–27 in Rome, Italy, with speakers covering EU and Italian law and policy on current legal developments in key areas of practice. For more information about the group, visit the EYBA’s website at 
Le Jeune Barreau de Québec
The final international affiliate is the young lawyers association in Québec, Le Jeune Barreau de Québec. The group was founded in 1914 and has over 1,100 members. For more information about the group (warning—their website is only in French), visit
The ABA YLD enjoys a wonderful relationship with each international affiliate and looks forward to many more years of exchanges with these groups.