Around the Country
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 fall came and went, ABA YLD affiliates educated the community and themselves on election laws, embraced new attorneys, and reached out to high school students.
Election Education
The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Voter Awareness Committee prepared a pamphlet and PowerPoint presentation to educate the public about the voting process and voters’ rights. Eight hundred letters, including information about the voting process, were sent to high school principals around the state. The materials also were made available on the Young Lawyers website. The TBA YLD received quite a response from teachers requesting attorneys to come and speak to their students about the voting process. The TBA YLD teamed with the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women to coordinate attorneys to go into the schools and speak to students on this topic.
Member Outreach and Programming
The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is continuing to produce its newsletter, Tennessee Young Lawyer, as a member benefit. The quarterly publication provides a forum for sharing TBA and YLD news, as well as giving young attorneys the opportunity to publish articles and address topics that are of particular interest to those new to, or in the early stages of, their careers. The publication continues to expand with the addition of a new feature highlighting the accomplishments of young lawyers across the state. This year, the publication is “going green” and converting to an online publication. The first online edition was e-mailed to members in September.
The Oregon New Lawyers Division sponsored a rafting trip for young lawyers for the first time. Forty-one attorneys in eight rafts shot the rapids of the Santiam River. Participants’ registration fees were partially subsidized by the ONLD, which plans to schedule the annual event for different rivers each year, with the Deschutes or Clackamas River candidates for next year.
The Nebraska Young Lawyers hosted approximately eighty lawyers at Quarry Oaks Golf Course during its annual golf tournament fundraiser. The event helps raise money for Nebraska Young Lawyers to participate in ABA YLD events throughout the year.
The Georgia State Bar Young Lawyers Division held its 2008 Summer Meeting in Austin, Texas. Events included a welcome reception and group dinner, a joint service project with the Texas Young Lawyers Association, a tour of the state capitol, a poker tournament, a YLD general session meeting, and a CLE program.
The Omaha Barristers hosted the annual “County Attorneys v. Public Defenders” softball game, which was won by the Public Defenders this year in an ongoing rubber match between the two rivals.
Under the leadership of newly elected Chair Patti Ramseur, the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its Annual Leadership Conference at the Greensboro, North Carolina, offices of Smith, Moore & Leatherwood. The conference began at 9:00 a.m. with a networking breakfast. Ramseur shared her vision, “Adapt, Grow and Succeed,” for the upcoming year. A highlight of the Leadership Conference was a speech by Janet Ward Black, 2007–2008 President of the North Carolina Bar Association. Black spoke about community involvement and North Carolina Bar Association projects.
The Washington State Bar Young Lawyers Division held its “WYLD Express No. 10” in Yakima Valley. The event offered another opportunity to earn low-cost CLE credits while networking with other young lawyers from around the state. This event took place September 13, 2008, at the Silver Lake Winery in Zillah, Washington. Attendees earned two general CLE credits and one ethics credit. The cost to registrants was only $15 each. A whitewater rafting option was also available on Sunday, September 14. Topics covered in the CLE included ethical traps for the unwary young lawyer, an overview of police misconduct, and the common sense use of experts.
Recognizing that young attorneys have a vital stake in the future of the state’s communities, both as policymakers and in the profession, the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum selected thirty attorneys for Class 4 of its Leadership Academy. The program was implemented to identify and train outstanding lawyers to be leaders in the state of Alabama. The Alabama State Bar is now accepting applications for the 2008–2009 leadership class.
The Nebraska Young Lawyers Continuing Education Committee has organized the annual “Nebraska Survey of the Law,” which took place on September 26, 2008. The seminar is one of the premier yearly continuing education events in the state of Nebraska and is one of its most highly attended seminars. The Nebraska YLS anticipates that it will only gain in popularity when CLE is made mandatory, which is anticipated in 2009.
Future of the Profession
The South Dakota Young Lawyers Division, realizing the importance of establishing and renewing its presence with The University of South Dakota School of Law, decided to host a BBQ event at the law school for the third year students. This event was held in September at the law school. The Young Lawyers Board held its monthly meeting at the same time.
At the request of the Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Section , the Kentucky Bar Association agreed to hold its two-day mandatory program for new bar admittees, entitled the “New Lawyer Program,” in conjunction with the 2008 Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention. The response was overwhelmingly positive from both the new admittees and attorneys who attended the convention. As a result of the events occurring simultaneously, new admittees were able to attend one day of programming developed by the KBA YLS for young lawyers attending the convention.
The Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division recently held a diversity reception, including a presentation of scholarships to minority students. They also held a reception at Drexel Law School to welcome incoming law students and speak to them about getting involved in the various Philadelphia bar associations, including the YLD.
The Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division planned and organized two school-based projects—“Junior Judges” and “Ready for the World,” in which Hawaii attorneys reached over 3,250 of Hawaii’s public school students. The YLD hopes to continue to reach Hawaii’s young throughout the school year with their “Professionals for Drug Free Kids” and “Goldilocks” project (which is in its inaugural year in Hawaii).
The Washington State Bar Young Lawyers Division hosted the 15th annual “Pre-Law Student Leadership Conference” in Yakima. A diverse group of nearly fifty high-school students from around the state gathered to learn about careers in law and get a taste of the practice. Held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Yakima, the conference exposed students to ideas and issues in criminal, immigration, and racial discrimination law. During small group workshops, students participated in discussions, roleplaying, and even jury decisions concerning factual scenarios written specifically for the conference by volunteer attorneys. Representatives from four colleges and universities from across Washington were also on hand to answer students’ questions about how to get into college. Keynote speaker Commissioner Lisa Castelleja inspired the teens by relating her experiences growing up the fourteenth of sixteen children in the lower Yakima Valley and rising to become the first Latina commissioner in King County.
On September 26, 2008, the Forsyth County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its annual “Bridge the Gap and Swearing in Ceremony” for new attorneys. As part of the “Bridge the Gap” program, new attorneys are provided a tour of the Forsyth County Courthouse and given presentations by local bar association members, local judges, and representatives from the local trial court administrator’s office.
Giving Back to the Community
The South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division and the bar’s CLE Division co-sponsored “Creating Families Forever: The How-to of the Adoption Process” on October 9. This seminar was held in conjunction with the YLD’s new service project, “Families Forever,” which is designed to educate South Carolinians about adoption and provide them with tools to help families stay together forever.
The Iowa Young Lawyers Division State Fair Committee presented the “Trial by Jury” mock trials each night during the Iowa State Fair. Fairgoers were chosen to be jury members, attorneys, judges, court reporters, and witnesses in presenting the trials.
The Iowa Young Lawyers Division Justice for All Committee held its annual golf fundraisers in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. A portion of the entry fees and sponsorship money goes to promote and encourage the provision of pro bono legal services.
The Cincinnati Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section held its 2008 “Run for Kids” event that raised $16,327 for ProKids with more than 500 participants/attendees. Cumulatively, the YLS has raised more than $147,000 for the ProKids organization.
Kudos to Jocelyn Gabrynowicz-Hill, an associate at McCarter & English, and James A. Wells, an associate at Haines & Associates, who were two of the thirty-five Pennsylvania attorneys selected as this year’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track.” Gabrynowicz-Hill and Wells are active in both the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Divisions . With the help of a panel of judges, The Legal Intelligencer , and the Pennsylvania Law Weekly , these young lawyers were selected as the future leaders of the state’s legal community.
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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!