AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
YOUNG LAWYERS DIVISION
INFORMATIONAL REPORT TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) is the home for
young lawyers. With over 150,000 members and 300 affiliated groups, the ABA YLD is
the largest young lawyer organization in the world.
The Division provides tools and opportunities for professional and personal success,
offers the profession a young lawyer perspective, ensures the profession reflects the
society it serves, and helps our communities through public service.
Individual membership is open to American Bar Association members under 36 years
old or admitted to practice for five years or less. Affiliate membership is open to young
lawyer organizations and special interest bars. There are no additional membership
ABA Goal I: Serve Our Members
As part of the Touch 10,000 activities more than 40 post-work “Meet and Greets”
were held in cities across the country since September 1. Touch 10,000 is a
member-to-member outreach program which matches Division leaders
(Ambassadors) with new bar admittees (NBAs) to welcome them to the ABA and to
the legal profession. The expectation is that each of the Division’s 300 Ambassadors
connects with 15 – 20 NBAs by e-mail and phone, creating 10,000 connections
annually. The Division encourages all ABA leaders to attend future events and meet
the new bar admittees.
Members have benefited from free educational programming via the Division’s
Committee Teleconference program. Through this initiative, the Division provides
educational programming covering hot topics in specific areas of law, law practice
management skills, or personal/professional themes. The live sessions are available
free of charge to the first 100 Division registrants and complimentary session
downloads are available exclusively to ABA members.
The Division launched a Bootcamp for young lawyers. Via free downloads, lawyers
and judges share their thoughts, ideas and tactics on choosing a career path, getting
the most out of your first position, networking, being a superstar associate, trial
skills, and starting your own practice.
The Division has plans to launch a Career Development initiative that will provide
tools and resources for charting your career path.
ABA Goal II: Improve Our Profession
Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA YLD and the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continue to provide immediate temporary
legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Since September 1, hotlines
have been activated for federally declared disasters in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa,
Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
The Division’s inaugural New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference
February 25 – 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was very well received and
highly effective in demonstrative the value of the ABA. The annual conference
brought together over 125 lawyers for two days of practical tips, advice, and
networking aimed at immediately helping attendees navigate their new role with
The Division’s Serving Our Seniors initiative has provided hundreds of low-income
seniors with pro bono legal services in the form of simple wills, powers of attorney,
and advance healthcare directives.
The Division has plans to launch the Project SALUTE: Young Lawyers Serving
Veterans initiative which will provide veterans with much needed pro bono legal
ABA Goal III: Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity
The Division continues to award scholarships to female and minority lawyers.
The scholarship program provides partial conference funding and an opportunity to
become more involved in the Division.
Since September 1, the Division has had 3 very successful outreach programs. As
part of the Fall Conference outreach in Santa Fe, young lawyers met with students
about preparing for and pursuing legal careers during the Santa Fe Indian School’s
Annual Career Day. In conjunction with the ABA Midyear Meeting in Atlanta, over
50 students and parents attended the ABA YLD’s second program. During the
session at historic Spelman College young lawyers also discussed preparing for and
pursuing legal careers. The third program was part of the Spring Conference in Las
Vegas and was held at the Nevada Juvenile Detention Center. Unlike the other
programs, the message and discussion focused on advice for staying out of trouble,
encouraging them to finish high school, and letting them know that they can do
anything they want with determination.
Since September 1, the Division has produced six programs: When Companies
Discuss Diversity, How Does Privilege Fit In?; Movin' on Up: How to Succeed as a
Diverse Associate and Young Lawyer; Diversity in the Workplace: Understanding
Micro-Insults and the Effects They Have on Workplace Performance and
Satisfaction; Valuing Diversity in the Legal Profession; The 101 basics of Native
American Law: An Introduction; and Diversity and Inclusion within the Legal
Profession: Whose Job Is It Anyway?
The Division has plans to hold a joint conference with the ABA Center on Racial and
Ethnic Diversity, May 3-5, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee.
ABA Goal IV: Advance the Rule of Law
The inaugural Law Day Video Contest award was presented to Bhargav Tarpara, a
freshman from Belleville High School in Belleville, NJ. The winning video was an
animated 3 minutes about The Legacy of John Adams, from Boston to Guantanamo.
The annual contest encourages high school aged students to participate in and increase
their understanding of Law Day and the chosen the year’s Law Day theme.
David B. Wolfe, Chair