ABA YLD Subgrant Program Is Ready to Roll

Vol. 39 No. 3


D’Ontae D. Sylvertooth is an Assistant Editor of The Affiliate and a Trial Attorney in the Albuquerque, New Mexico Area Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

As we kick off the new year, Affiliates across the nation are undoubtedly reflecting on the successes and challenges of the previous year. Affiliates typically use the end of the year to assess the goals, achievements, and areas of improvement for their respective organizations. This includes, among other things, a review of the previous year’s programming. Affiliates take this time to reflect on how programs can be improved on for the future and determine what new and exciting programs they would like to introduce in the upcoming year.

The ABA YLD offers a number of resources to help Affiliates meet and exceed such endeavors. For Affiliates specifically interested in improving or implementing public service or member service projects, the ABA YLD may be able to help. Whether you are a member or an officer of your Affiliate, you should acquaint yourself with the ABA YLD Subgrant Program.

What Exactly Is the Subgrant Program?

Each year, the ABA YLD provides funding to Affiliates across the country to promote quality projects developed by affiliated young lawyer organizations, while simultaneously assisting in the success of the awardees’ programs. The deadline for the 2014 Subgrant program is March 1, 2014. The program provides funding of up to $2,000 for public service projects and up to $500 for bar leadership/membership service projects.

To be considered for a subgrant, applicants must follow four simple steps. First, the Affiliate must have a program in mind that fits in the two categories mentioned above. Second, the Affiliate must submit a subgrant information form, which provides background information on the requesting Affiliate and the Affiliate’s program. Third, the Affiliate must submit a proposal in narrative format. Finally, the Affiliate must provide a preliminary line-item budget for the program. Once these four steps are taken care of, the Affiliate is well on its way to submitting a request to receive subgrant funding.

Concerned that this is your first time applying, and unsure of how detailed or specific the application needs to be? Don’t worry—we have you covered. The ABA YLD provides samples of various types of descriptions and proposals on its 2014 Subgrant Program website to better assist affiliates.

To get a better understanding of the program and its requirements, please review the ABA YLD’s dedicated webpage for the 2014 Subgrant Program by clicking here.

What’s the Competition Like?

The real question most affiliates want to know is does my affiliate’s program have a chance of receiving a subgrant? Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So let the Great One’s words inspire you. Every year, numerous affiliates apply for subgrants, however, so the competition can be a little stiff. The good news is that there is an opportunity for more than one winner in each category.

For the 2013 Subgrants, the ABA YLD received 41 applications, 11 of which were member service applications and 30 were public service applications. In total, these 41 applications requested over $65,000 in funding. To determine winners for the 2013 subgrant year, a team of 10 judges vetted each application and conducted follow-up interviews to obtain supplemental information to aide in the decision-making process. The ABA YLD granted approximately $25,000 for the 2013 Subgrant cycle and made 22 awards in the public service category and eight awards in the member service category. As you can see by the numbers, if you have a good idea, and a clear vision of how to implement your program, chances are that you will get funded.

A Sample of the 2013 Subgrant Award Winners

The Pima County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division received a Public Service Award for its Holiday Party; however, this is not any ordinary holiday party. This party benefited St. Nicholas of Myra Adoption Center, a local Tucson nonprofit organization that provides assistance to foster children and children currently living in group homes. Many of these children are victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment and, as a result, are unable to celebrate the holiday season. But thanks to the Pima County Bar Association, these children were able to shed their stresses and worries, if only for a day, and just be children—something many more fortunate children do on a near daily basis. During this party, the children received gifts, food, and, most importantly, had a great deal of FUN! What a way to bring joy to others!

The Baton Rouge Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (BRBA YLS) received a Public Service Award for its “Junior Partners Academy” (JPA) program. To implement this program, the BRBA YLS partnered with a local elementary school, Dalton Elementary, in an area with one of the highest juvenile crime rates in Baton Rouge to teach monthly law-related lessons to third through fifth graders. The program reached approximately 180 students. A unique aspect of this program is that the JPA sponsored field trips to bar luncheons, courts, and local universities to inspire at-risk students and give them the opportunity to see themselves reaching and exceeding their goals, irrespective of their current circumstances.

The South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division received a Members Service Award for its “How to be a Real Lawyer” professional development program. This program provides young lawyers with trial techniques and strategies that the young lawyers more than likely did not learn while attending law school. Essentially, the young lawyers receive advice on using practical techniques to handle everyday situations in civil litigation.

Click here to see a list of the 2013 Subgrant Winners.

The Sky is the Limit

Affiliates, now is the time, so start planning your 2014 programs and preparing your applications for the 2014 Subgrant Program. Maybe next year, your program will be one of the winning programs.


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