WHAT WE DO
The purpose of the Young Lawyers Section is to provide young lawyers with education, social activities, networking opportunities, opportunities to do community service, and representation in the Maryland State Bar and American Bar Associations.
In addition to providing such opportunities for young lawyers, it is the goal of the Section to increase diversity within the entire Bar and to provide leadership opportunities to members who may not otherwise have access to such opportunities. The Section strives to provide new and innovative programs that will benefit young lawyers in Maryland and the District of Columbia personally and professionally. We try to assist new lawyers make the transition between law school and the practice of law.
View the YLS Annual Report for additional information.
The Committees of the Young Lawyers Section
One of the most important ways that a young lawyer can get involved in the Young Lawyers Section is through its many committees. Through the Section’s committees, opportunities for leadership are many and limited only by the imaginations of our members.
The Activities Committee
The Activities Committee is responsible for the planning and preparation of social functions and events geared towards young lawyers. The Committee is responsible for organizing the Section's biggest event, the annual Spring Charity Event. The Spring Charity Event has raised thousands of dollars for local non-profit organizations over the past two decades, such as The Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc., The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, and the Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc. This event is held at different exciting venues throughout Maryland and features wonderful food, great music, a silent auction and plenty of fun. The year the Spring Charity Event will raise money for Believe in Tomorrow.
The Disaster Relief Committee
The Disaster Relief Committee, in conjunction with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Office of Disaster Assistance Programs of the Federal Emergency Management Agency works to develop a disaster relief plan for providing a network of volunteer attorneys to provide free legal services to victims of federally declared disasters in the State of Maryland.
The Committee has developed a Disaster Relief Volunteer Attorney Network. Volunteer attorneys on the Network assist disaster victims with their legal questions in the event of a major disaster in Maryland. Attorneys can provide “intake services” in which they speak with disaster victims to identify their legal needs and provide general legal advice, or provide full representation to indigent disaster victims.
The Disaster Relief Committee has assisted victims and their families following 9/11, the tornados, and most recently, hurricane Isabel. The YLS Disaster Relief plan can be found here.
The Education Committee
The Education Committee is committed to offering educational, professional, and personal development seminars to Maryland young lawyers in a myriad of areas including ethical concerns.
The Legislative Committee
In conjunction with the Maryland State Bar Associations Legislative Office, the Young Lawyers Section Legislative Committee reviews legislation introduced by the Maryland General Assembly. Any legislation that pertains to or affects young lawyers is discussed with the Young Lawyers Section Council. The Council, collectively, determines whether to support, oppose or simply monitor the legislation. Whenever the Council takes a position on legislation, the Legislative Committee communicates the position with members of the Maryland General Assembly. In the past, the Young Lawyers Section has monitored issues pertaining to the budget and has supported legislation that affects funding for a loan repayment program that young lawyers may qualify for.
The Membership Committee
The Membership Committee conducts a continuing campaign to obtain new members, plans and sponsors events which benefit the entire membership, such as happy hours and educational programs, and generally promotes the benefits of membership in the Young Lawyers Section.
The Policy Committee
The Policy Committee is responsible for the maintenance and updating of the Section’s Long Range Plan, for the review of any proposed amendments to the Section’s Bylaws, and for any other policy matters that may arise.
The Pro Bono Committee
The Pro Bono Committee promotes pro bono legal service across Maryland by sponsoring pro bono projects, activities and events and by working to provide attorneys with the training and support they need to become successful advocates. The Committee recognizes young lawyers who provide pro bono service, with one outstanding young lawyer receiving the “Alex Fee Memorial Award” given out each year at the MSBA Annual Meeting in June.
The Publications Committee
The Publications Committee is responsible for the Young Lawyers Section's award-winning publication, The Advocate. Published four times a year, The Advocate is a source of information to the membership by providing articles on substantive and] timely issues, practice tips, and notice of upcoming Section events and news. The Publications Committee also hosts an annual Authors Reception, a cocktail and networking reception at which contributors to The Advocate from the bar year are honored. If you are interested in writing an article for The Advocate, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our Web page for archived issues, additional information, and upcoming deadlines.
The Public Service Committee
The Young Lawyers Section’s Public Service Committee provides members of the Maryland State Bar Association an opportunity to participate in community service projects throughout the state in an effort to give back to the people of Maryland through its One Bar/One Communty initiative. Each month, the MSBA YLS Public Service Committee organizes an outreach effort and/or collections program designed to encourage involvement by its members. Past volunteer programs have included volunteer opportunities with Harford Habitat for Humanity, Maryland SPCA, Our Daily Bread, Maryland Food Bank, and Friends of Patterson Park. Additionally, the YLS also participates in the MSP Polar Bear Plunge benefitting the Special Olympics each January in Sandy Point State Park and Toys for Tots in December.
The Resolutions Committee
The Resolutions Committee is focused on presenting the Young Lawyers Section with current issues of legal interest in Maryland. The Resolutions Committee also works to develop Resolutions relating to legal issues of importance affecting young lawyers. In addition, the Committee plans the program for the annual Open Meeting, which includes a panel discussion of a topic of interest to young lawyers by prominent attorneys and judges.
The Technology Committee
The Technology Committee is responsible for maintaining the YLS calendar on the MSBA website by coordinating with the MSBA's technical staff. The TC also helps the Secretary to maintain the calendar on the Facebook page and other forms of media. In the future, the committee will also be responsible for managing the renovations to the YLS website and will serve as the liaison between the YLS and the MSBA technical staff.
-The Nominating Committee