Getting Involved as a Young Lawyer
by Julianne O'Bannon Germinder
Guin Martin Mundorf, LLC
As a young lawyer, getting involved in your profession can only serve to benefit you. Getting involved in the Bar is an especially effective way to network with other lawyers, while giving you the opportunity to give back to the profession. But the question for many young lawyers is, how do I get involved? The Missouri Bar provides several different opportunities.
If you’re apprehensive about committing too much to the Bar while also learning how to be a lawyer, you can always take advantage of the programming and activities set up by YLS (Young Lawyers Section) committees. These committees include community service, citizen outreach and education, CLE, pro bono/access to justice, publications, and our very own newsletter committee. These committees allow interested parties to partake of the activities of the committee without any required time commitment. For example, Betsy Blake wrote an article for this month’s newsletter as a voluntary contribution to the newsletter committee, without serving on the committee. Another way to get involved in committees is to actually join the committee. Joining the newsletter committee would give you a chance to work with young lawyers from across the state to put together a quarterly newsletter. Yet another way to be involved with the committees is to simply attend events put on by the committees, such as CLEs put on by the CLE committee. Information on committee activities is posted on the YLS calendar and on Facebook as it becomes available.
The Missouri Bar YLS Committees are largely made up and spearheaded by those on the YLS Council. The YLS Council consists of representatives of the different geographic areas across the state. These representatives run in elections every two years to represent the interests of other young lawyers in their area. Aside from committee work as described above, the YLS Council fulfill many other roles across the state from helping with the swearing in of new attorneys twice a year (as I did in April along with Morgan Murphy) to organizing social events at the Annual Meeting every year to coordinating service activities across the state. One member of the YLS Council even serves as the liaison to the Board of Governors every year. If you’re interested, nominating petitions are due soon. Please check the YLS website for more details.
Aside from the more formal work of the YLS Council, YLS holds many regional events across the state every year, including happy hours and other networking events. YLS also supports the work of many local affiliate bar associations across the state. Information for the affiliate in your area can be found on the YLS website of The Missouri Bar.
Finally, the Missouri Bar Leadership Academy targets the recruitment of young leaders to further develop their skills and allow them the chance to commit to service to The Missouri Bar. This in-depth program is filled through a competitive nomination process. The time period for this year’s applications has already passed, but please consider applying in the future if it interests you.
No matter what involvement you choose in the Bar, you will be a better lawyer and person because of it. For information on all of these programs, check out the YLS website at http://www.mobaryls.org/index.php .