Illinois Bar Journal

August 2019Volume 107Number 8Page 8

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Why YLD? Opportunities!

The ISBA’s robust and essential Young Lawyers Division.

David B. Sosin

Years ago, with wisdom and foresight, the ISBA created the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) to promote inclusiveness in the profession and to acknowledge the unique contributions new attorneys can bring to the Association. New attorneys are often overshadowed by older, more experienced colleagues. But in creating the YLD, the ISBA ensured that the voices of young attorneys would be heard. Nothing can be truer today.

ISBA leaders are often asked why a new attorney should join the YLD or how the Association benefits a young attorney or law student. The answer is simply, “Opportunities.”

While the YLD has evolved throughout the decades, its original goal remains the same: to create career-boosting opportunities for new attorneys and law students.

YLD’s own efforts

This year, thanks to the YLD’s leadership—especially Chair Jennifer Haase, Vice Chair Zachary Sorman, and Secretary Judith Conway—the division will continue to create unique, engaging programs that will focus on increasing participation and developing professional skills. The YLD and its leadership should be praised for their unique ideas, which have resulted in programs and events that have increased (and continue to increase) the Association’s presence in the legal community. For the past several years, the YLD has planned and executed complimentary networking events attended by hundreds of our colleagues; revamped old events and turned them into vibrant, healthy ones that connect attorneys across the state; and introduced one-hour, well-attended lunchtime programs on topics such as networking, advanced legal research tips, and launching a law firm. With support from ISBA’s Member Services and CLE committees, the YLD also has created the Practice Ready Series—a series of branded CLE programs that provide critical information for new attorneys in their first five years of practice.

The YLD also sponsors the Lincoln Award Legal Writing Contest, in which dozens of new attorneys compete for the opportunity to be published in the Illinois Bar Journal.

Last but not least, the YLD organizes the monthly Yoga & Pilates Brunch. One Saturday a month, this yoga or Pilates class invites you to strengthen your body and calm your mind.

More ISBA opportunities for younger attorneys

While the YLD is responsible for creating programs and events that cater to the needs of older and younger ISBA members, the Association in general provides many additional opportunities for new attorneys, including:

  • The ISBA’s substantive law section councils and standing committees, which our younger lawyers are strongly encouraged—if not actively sought out—to join.
  • With Illinois Lawyer Now, ISBA’s new blog aggregation website, young attorneys who blog can heighten their online visibility by adding their blog to the site—among the first of its kind operated by a state bar association.
  • Our online community platform, ISBA Central, helps to connect attorneys in many different disciplines across the state. In ISBA Central, online discussion forums organized by practice area present complex legal questions that are discussed and solved by an active group of practitioners. The platform is ideal for younger attorneys wanting to practice more effectively and efficiently.

The list of wide-ranging opportunities for younger attorneys continues to grow each year. Whether you prefer to engage with one another online, in-person, through CLE, or at social events, there is a place for every one of our YLD members.

The next time you are asked why new attorneys should join the ISBA and the YLD, remember to tell them, “Opportunities.”

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