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YLD chair: Here’s why law students should come to the YLD Spring Conference in DC

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Tommy Preston
ABA Young Lawyers Division Chair Tommy Preston Jr. talks with a YLD member at the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

I remember as if it were yesterday traveling to Chicago for my first ABA conference. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect. However, I was keenly aware of the ABA’s reputation as the voice of the legal profession so I assumed I would have a great experience. I was immediately struck by the caliber of speakers, interesting topics, and the ABA’s deep commitment to make sure that law students had the opportunity to network with future mentors and employers.

At one of the conference events, I started a conversation with a female lawyer sitting near me. She talked about her passion for the ABA and encouraged me to get involved and keep coming back to meetings. Before she walked away, she handed me her business card and said “keep drinking.” I had no clue what she was talking about and waited until she left to look down at her card. I saw that she was Starbucks General Counsel and Executive Vice President Paula Boggs. Paula has long retired from Starbucks but has remained a dear friend and mentor. All because of the ABA.

YLD Spring Conference 2019 Logo

As the current Chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, I want to make sure law students have the same ABA introduction that I had. That is why I am personally inviting you to the ABA YLD’s Spring Conference from May 2-4, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

The conference will be filled with unique experiences, including a visit to Capitol Hill to hear from key members of Congress and staff, a private lecture at the U.S. Supreme Court, awesome speakers including a former US Attorney General, a Men of Color Summit, great networking, and more.

Other highlights include:

  • A View from the Hill with special guests U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and U.S. Congressman Joe Kennedy III at the U.S. Capitol
  • A panel on making a difference behind the scenes with congressional staffers
  • Special visit and lecture at the U.S. Supreme Court with host U.S. Supreme Court Clerk Scott S. Harris
  • Fireside chat with former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
  • International Oratory Competition
  • Evening at the U.S. Library of Congress (dinner/dance) with special guest Law Librarian of Congress Jane Sánchez
  • Men of Color Summit at Howard University School of Law with keynote speaker, CNN Political Analyst Bakari Sellers
  • Free improv sessions with Jennifer Strouf, founder of Improv4Lawyers (limited space available)
  • Free political consulting sessions for lawyers interested in running for office (limited space available)
  • One-on-one executive coaching sessions with Debra Forman (limited space available)
  • Luncheon with Judge of the U.S. District Court Diane Humetewa

The best part, the entire conference is FREE for law students. I know many of you will be just finishing exams or even graduating. However, I promise this conference will be one you will not want to miss.

Register now at www.ambar.org/YLDSpring1….   

I hope to see you this May in Washington.

Tommy Preston Jr. Tommy Preston Jr. is the Chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. He is director of National Strategy and Engagement and Government Operations at Boeing South Carolina. He graduated cum laude with a degree in political science from the University of South Carolina and earned his juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law.