The Young Lawyer Division in 2007
by David R. Hall
The Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar (the “YLD”) is looking forward to another outstanding year in 2007. With a leadership body made up of five officers, eleven committees, and six liaisons, the YLD continues to make significant contributions to the Bar and the public. The following is a brief overview of the YLD as well as a look at what is planned for the coming year.
Who is a member of the YLD? You may be a member of the YLD and not even know it. There is no need to sign-up or pay dues to be member of YLD. All members of the Utah State Bar in good standing under 36 years of age as well as members who have been admitted to their first state bar for less than three years, regardless of age, are automatically members of the YLD. Membership terminates automatically at the adjournment of the annual convention of the Utah State Bar following a member’s thirty-sixth birthday or the third anniversary of a member’s first state bar admission.
YLD’s Elections & Officers: YLD members elect new officers each summer. I (David Hall) am currently serving as the 2006-2007 YLD President. Sean Reyes is Treasurer, and Craig Hall is Secretary. Stephanie Wilkins Pugsley is the President-Elect for 2007-2008, and Debra Griffiths Handley is the Past-President of YLD.
And Justice For All: (Karthik Nadesan and Ryan Christensen, co-chairs) Now in its fifth year, the YLD continues to help organize and sponsor the “Bar Sharks for Justice” pool tournament each Fall to help raise money for “and Justice for all.” This event continues to grow in popularity and raises more money each year. This past November the tournament raised over $5,000. In addition to the pool tournament, the committee helps organize the “And Justice for all” volunteer fundraising phone-a-thon held each year.
Community Service: (Rachel Terry and Emily Smith, co-chairs) The Community Service Committee is traditionally one of the most active committees of the YLD. Recent projects have included volunteering at Globus Relief, Children’s Justice Center, YWCA, Utah Food Bank, Utah Aids Foundation and hosting the annual “Law Suit” Day during which professional clothing is gathered and donated to the Road Home and Assistance League of Salt Lake City.
Tuesday Night Bar: (Kelly Latimer, Christina Micken, and Matt Wride, co-chairs) At “Tuesday Night Bar,” volunteer attorneys provide free legal assistance to the general public, including helping unrepresented individuals obtain counsel. As its name
suggests, Tuesday Night Bar is held on Tuesday evenings between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. at the Utah Law & Justice Center (645 South 200 East). In addition, the Young Lawyers Division and the Tuesday Night Bar program sponsor CLE luncheons on areas of law that frequently come up at Tuesday Night Bar. If you would like more information about the program or would like to volunteer, please contact Kelly Latimer at email@example.com or Matt Wride at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing Legal Education: (Matt Tarkington and Keli Beard, co-chairs) The CLE committee is involved in helping to develop and sponsor CLE that is meaningful for young attorneys. The YLD has recently co-sponsored CLE luncheons on appellate brief writing, civility in the practice of law, and basics of criminal law.
Needs of Children: (Lance Rich and Jeremy Reutzel, co-chairs) The Needs of the Children Committee has been working with the Utah Heart Gallery to help children stuck in the foster care system find adoptive families. The Committee is also in the early stages of partnering with the U.S. Dream Academy, a national organization dedicated to mentoring children who are facing the anxiety and upheaval brought on by having a parent in prison.
Public Education: (Marianne McGregor Guelker and Barbara Ishimatsu, co-chairs) The Public Education Committee is working with the American Bar Association to implement the “Choose Law” program in Utah. The project aims to increase diversity in the legal profession by assisting and encouraging young individuals of color to become attorneys. The project emphasizes the importance of law in society and introduces students to the steps they need to take to go to law school.
Law Day: (Gary Guelker and Tyson Snow, co-chairs) The Law Day Committee is responsible for hosting the annual Law Day Reception and related Law Week activities. This event honors those individuals and groups who have committed their time and resources towards serving our legal community and its members. It also honors members of our local youth who participate in the Mock Trial, Art-and-the-Law, and Law-Related Education Essay contests. The theme for this year’s Law Day is “Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy.” Plans are in the works for a Law Day luncheon to be held May 1. Watch for more information coming soon.
Utah State Bar Conferences: (Chris Snow and Kurt Hawes, co-chairs) The YLD sponsors and coordinates with various practice sections of the Utah Bar to organize the “Back to Basics” CLE sessions at the Bar’s Spring and Annual meetings. The goal of the “Back to Basics” sessions is to provide valuable training to new lawyers in various fields of practice as well as refresher courses for more experienced practitioners. In addition to CLE, the committee organizes and staffs the popular “Kid’s Fair” that is part of the Utah State Bar’s Annual Conference held in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Professionalism and The Practice of Law: (Christopher M. Von Maack and Dennis Flynn, co-chairs) The Professionalism and The Practice of Law Committee works to foster and improve professionalism and civility. The committee is currently developing a free, on-line mentoring resource designed for new lawyers, but also available to the public. Attorneys will be able to choose from a variety legal topics on the Bar’s website, click a button, and view a short video presentation by an experienced attorney or judge on that topic. Filming has commenced and tutorials will be available on the Bar’s website in the near future.
Membership/Recruitment: (Seth Hobby and Brian Rosander, co-chairs) The Membership Committee works to increase participation of the 2,000 young lawyers within the Bar. This year the committee is making a special effort to reach out to law students at the University of Utah and BYU to educate them about the numerous educational and service opportunities within the Bar. Too often, the only aspect of the Bar that young attorneys are familiar with is the admissions process.
High School Debate Tournament: (Chad Derum, YLD Liason) The High School Debate Tournament Liason organizes and coordinates the YLD’s sponsorship of an annual debate tournament. Specific responsibilities include fundraising for the event, advertising and promotion, ensuring that judging commitments are met, and conducting public relations on behalf of the YLD in the high school debate community. In October 2006, the YLD and the Litigation Section co-sponsored a very successful Young Lawyers Invitational Debate Tournament held at Highland High School in Salt Lake City.
Utah Bar Journal: (Nathan Croxford and Peter Donaldson, co-chairs) The YLD Bar Journal Committee and the Utah Bar Journal actively seeks article submissions from young lawyers for publication in the Utah Bar Journal. Please send submissions or questions to Nathan Croxford (email@example.com) or Peter Donaldson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The YLD is committed to serving the legal profession and the community as a whole. I would like to personally thank the numerous attorneys who volunteer their time and energy on behalf of the YLD. Additional information regarding the YLD is available on the Bar’s website: www.utahbar.org/sections/yld. The website has contact information for all the officers, committee chairs, and liaisons. I would encourage you to contact me or any of the committee chairs if you would like to learn more about a program or become involved in the YLD. We look forward to an exciting year in 2007!
The Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar would like to thank the following attorneys for volunteering at the Tuesday Night Bar pro bono legal clinic during the 2006 calendar year. Because of their efforts, over 600 members of the public were provided with a free initial legal consultation, including preliminary legal counseling and general legal information.
Tuesday Night Bar is held at the Utah Law and Justice Center (645 South 200 East, Salt Lake City) on Tuesday nights from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kelly Latimer, Tuesday Night Bar Co-Chair, at email@example.com.
Dave L. Mortensen