Vol. 39 No. 9
Compiled byTonnya Kennedy Kohn
The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the American Bar Association aims to touch as many new bar admittees as it can.
With more than 150,000 members and 300 affiliated groups, the YLD is the largest young lawyer organization in the world and provides professional opportunities designed to help young lawyers network, learn, and practice. Through its Touch 10,000 program (YLD’s member-to-member outreach program), current YLD members will connect with new bar admittees.
While, the ABA memberships of Law Student Division members are automatically transferred to the YLD after they pass the bar exam, young lawyers who are not ABA members are encouraged to join the organization that represents the needs and concerns of the newest members of the legal profession.
Membership is open to ABA lawyer members under 36 years old, or admitted to practice for five or fewer years. YLD membership is free. Annual ABA membership for those admitted to the bar less than one year is free as well, but becomes $100 for those admitted more than one year but less than four years. Affiliate membership is open to young lawyer organizations and special interest bars. There are no additional membership dues.
In addition to representing the newest members of the profession, the YLD seeks to reflect the society it serves, and provide young lawyers and young lawyer organizations with the tools and opportunities for professional and personal success.
In addition to the Touch 10,000 program, YLD provides several benefits to its members, including The Young Lawyer newsletter, The Affiliate newsletter, and The 101 Practice Series: Breaking Down the Basics––a training guide examining the fundamental aspects of law practice. The YLD also sponsors CLE programs and hosts regular meetings and Division-wide conferences.
New YLD members are encouraged to join one or more committees for free. There are more than 25 practice areas to choose from, ranging from antitrust to women in the profession.
Committee membership allows you to connect with other lawyers who share your interests. YLD committee membership includes access to exclusive online articles/features and advance notice of CLE programs.
New lawyers are invited to become active in the Division through one of its several initiatives, which currently include pro bono legal services for low-income seniors; free legal assistance for disaster victims; the Mentorship Project, which provides resources for mentors, mentees, and organizations; and the Law Day Video Contest for high school students.
There are also multiple opportunities for leadership. Each year, the Division solicits candidates for committee chairs, liaisons to other ABA entities, and help planning conferences and programs. Apply for a Division leadership position. The YLD accepts applications for Division leadership positions December 1–February 15 of each year. For more information, visit the YLD website atwww.americanbar.org/groups/young_lawyers.html.