Around the Country
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 we kick off another bar year, ABA YLD affiliates are already off to a great start by giving back to the community, networking, and providing guidance to new attorneys and law students.
Giving Back
The Mobile Young Lawyers Association hosted its annual “Band Party” on August 21 at Oysterella’s. RC and the Moonpies, featuring Ricky Chancey, guitarist for the Hank Williams, Jr. Band, provided the musical entertainment. The “Band Party” is a charity event with a small donation requested at the door and given to Family Promise, an organization that helps local families facing poverty and homelessness.
On September 20, the Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its “ISBA YLD Day at the Races,” a networking and social event co-sponsored with the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. The event, held at Arlington Park Racecourse, benefited the Illinois Bar Foundation/YLD Children’s Assistance Program.
The Young Lawyers Division of the Memphis Bar Association held its First Annual YLD softball tournament on September 13 at Willow Field in East Memphis. It was a co-ed, double elimination tournament to benefit the Downtown Porter Boys & Girls Club. Teams were made up of lawyers, paralegals, and other legal support staff.
Community Outreach
To benefit Nashville’s homeless population, the Nashville Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its “Annual Toiletry Drive for the Homeless.” Items collected included soap, shampoo/conditioner, razors for shaving, shaving cream, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and more. Toiletries went to local homeless shelters and organizations.
The Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section presented “Together We Can: A Book Drive for Grades K-5.” The YLS accepted donations of new and gently used books appropriate for children in grades K-5 on behalf of a Baltimore City Elementary School that does not have the resources to fully fund a school library.
The Done in a Day Committee of the South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division sponsored a backpack drive to benefit students in public schools along I-95. Items collected included loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, pocket folders, protractors, dividers, mechanical pencils, dictionaries, large boxes of Kleenex, as well as various other supplies.
On September 20, the Dade County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section coordinated the 2008 “Miami-Dade Coastal Cleanup.” The YLS invited all law firms, attorneys, and their friends and families to take part in accomplishing its mission to remove trash from shorelines, waterways, and beaches and make the public aware of marine pollution. The event took place on Saturday, September 20, and was held at various sites throughout Miami Dade County, including South Beach, Haulover Beach Park, Oleta River State Park, Crandon Park, Village of Key Biscayne Club, Matheson Hammock Park, Biscayne National Park, Morningside Park, and Virginia Key Beach, among others.
The Fayette County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section held its seventh annual “Back 2 School Drive.” The Young Lawyers collected backpacks, binders, scissors, calculators, markers, glue, and various other supplies for the Fayette County School Board to distribute during the first few weeks of school.
The Austin Young Lawyers Association held its “Caritas of Austin Toiletries Drive.” As in prior years, AYLA collected different kinds of toiletries over the summer at law firms throughout the city. The particular focus was on small-sized bottles of toiletries such as shampoo (like the ones that you get in hotels). Throughout the drive, AYLA kept track of each individual’s donations and awarded prizes at the end of the drive to those who contributed the most. The tally was not in at press time, but last year, the toiletries drive raised over 1,000 lbs. of items and $1,300 in monetary donations!
Coming Together
The Boston Bar Association New Lawyers Section presented a program entitled “Beacon for New Lawyers: Tips for Getting Ahead in the Greater Boston Legal Community.” Participants were invited to the Boston Bar Association on Beacon Hill to hear candid advice about how to make a name for yourself in the legal community from leading attorneys. Specific topics included the best places to network, what you need to know about the political landscape, how to get involved in the community, and opportunities for creating a dynamic career.
In cooperation with the Workers Compensation Section of the Atlanta Bar, the Atlanta Counsel of Young Lawyers sponsored a wine tasting/wine edutainment event on August 21. A wine company, WineStyles, coordinated the wine education and wine tasting parts of the event. Then, at their leisure, guests proceeded to the blind tasting tables where they tried to match the wines being sampled to the tasting notes provided by WineStyles. Those who matched all wines correctly were given a prize and entered in a drawing for a larger prize. Those not wanting to participate in the tasting proceeded directly to the tables where they learned about the wines without the blind tasting.
The Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Section annual luncheon featured humorist-at-law Sean Miller, who entertained attendees with humor and the message to keep perspective in the practice of law. The Section also presented the 2008 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award to LaToi D. Mayo, a Lexington practitioner with the firm of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs.
On September 21 the Maricopa County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its “Race Judicata” at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. Young lawyers brought their families to participate in a 5K, a one-mile race, or a Kids’ Dash. They had music, refreshments, a play area for the kids, and awards.
The New Mexico State Bar Young Lawyers Division is planning its “Justice for All Ball” this fall. This first annual event is intended to recognize long-term commitment by New Mexico attorneys and judges to providing access to justice for low- and moderate-income persons. Planned and hosted with Equal Access to Justice, the Inaugural Pamela Minzner Equal Access to Justice Award will be presented.
The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section hosted its third “Meet the Committees Night & Social Hour” on Tuesday, September 18. The event provided an opportunity for both members and nonmembers to learn how YLS committees can help them advance their careers with leadership opportunities, stay current on changes in the law, and make personal and professional contacts. The event featured complimentary cocktails and appetizers and law students were welcome.
The Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its YLD Golf Outing, a four-person scramble format tournament, on Friday, September 26, 2008, at Birdsfoot Golf Club. It was a wonderful opportunity for all members of the ACBA to network, practice firm development, entertain clients, and experience Pittsburgh’s newest golf destination, Birdsfoot Golf Club, which has been featured in Golf Magazin e, Pennsylvania Golfer , and received a four-star rating from Golf Digest . All members of the ACBA were invited to attend and encouraged to bring their clients. Prizes were awarded for skill competitions and lunch was provided.
Future of the Profession
The Young Lawyers Division of the Federal Bar Association hosted its annual summer program for law clerks working in the federal sector to meet federal government lawyers and discuss career development, agency missions and operations, and employment opportunities for graduating law school students. The program, held over several sessions, provides law students the opportunity to ask questions of experienced government lawyers and visit various federal agencies.
The Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section hosted a CLE entitled “Short Calendar 101: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know.” Intended to conquer the apprehension most new attorneys feel speaking before a judge in a courtroom filled with peers, this program instructed attendees on how to present themselves for oral argument before the court and provided an overview of the Connecticut short calendar system. Topics included what a short calendar is, marking pleadings, when to request oral argument, how to prepare for oral argument, and how to effectively present yourself to the court.
During the 2008–2009 bar year, the Kentucky Bar Association Young Lawyers Section is partnering with the KBA for a joint online web mentoring program called “Brief Insights.” Kentucky attorneys will be recording short presentations on substantive legal, ethical, and law practice management topics that will be available online.
The Hawaii State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division co-sponsored an “Associates Bootcamp,” a three-part program held over three consecutive Friday morning sessions on “what they don’t teach you in law school.” The Bootcamp is designed for first- to third-year associates, but all were welcome. Participants learned how to communicate effectively with partners, clients, other colleagues, and manage their expectations; how to market themselves and develop their reputations within their firms and to the public; how to make effective presentations to partners and clients; how to bill their time effectively; common sources of irritation to partners, clients, and colleagues; common ethics traps for new lawyers; and many other practical topics.
The Wyoming State Bar Young Lawyers Section brought in Mike Cash, a former stand-up comic, to present a CLE entitled “Trials: Tips, Tactics & Tales with Mike Cash.” In this fast-paced program, rich with demonstrations, Cash presented tips and tactics illustrated by tales from actual trials in which they were successfully employed. Cash proved to be spellbinding speaker who engaged participants as only a former comic can.
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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!