Young Lawyers Conference

Farnaz F. Thompson, President

The Young Lawyers Conference (YLC) consists of active and associate Virginia State Bar lawyers in good standing, age 36 and under, and those admitted to their initial bar for fewer than three years. No additional dues are charged for membership in the YLC. The YLC serves as a voice of Virginia’s young lawyers for the Virginia State Bar and the American Bar Association. Through its projects, the conference provides opportunities for young lawyers to participate in governing the Virginia State Bar, serve the profession and the public, and enhance the public awareness of the legal profession.

The Young Lawyers Conference currently has 7,795 members. The annual budget for the past fiscal year was $99,100.00 and has a remining balance of $25,742.57. (This figure excludes any income during the past Bar year to offset the costs of programs)

This year, the Young Lawyers Conference hosted:

July 2019

7-12: Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute at University of Richmond


August 2019

16-17: Leadership Institute in Richmond and first board meeting

27: Mentorship CLE with VirginiaCLE; accompanied by a mentorship survey that the Mentorship co-chairs used to pair mentors and mentees

October 2019

12: Minority Pre-Law Conference in Hampton Roads (William & Mary)

12: Board Meeting in Lynchburg

26: Immigration Outreach: Hogar Naturalization Clinic in Arlington

29: Bench-Bar Dinner in Richmond, VA honoring over 40 newly elected or elevated minority or female judges.

28 & 29: Wills for Heroes – serving First Responders of the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Division of Capitol Police, sponsored by the Governor’s Office in Richmond

December 2019

4: A&O Ceremony in Richmond

7: Board Meeting in Williamsburg

January 2020

14: Children and the Law – volunteer training at Regent University for a new initiative to provide information to children exiting the foster care system.

February 2020

8: Board Meeting in Staunton

March 2020

13: Inaugural Bench-Bar Conference in Richmond

May & June 2020

Wills for Healthcare Heroes created and offered to healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 2020: 

Jamilah D. LeCruise announced as recipient of the R. Edwin Burnette, Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award. 

18-28: co-sponsored Lawyer Wellness Challenge with the Virginia Bar Association.

Docket Call released new articles in October 2019, February 2020 and May 2020.

Other accomplishments: Virginia Law Foundation awarded a grant to the Wills for Heroes program to purchase new laptops for events.

Cancelled due to COVID-19

March 26 & 27: Rule of Law Day in Richmond

April 11, 2020: Minority Pre-Law Institute at GMUI would like to thank the YLC volunteers, Program Chairs, District Representatives, Section Liaisons, and Board members for their service, commitment, and leadership this year.  As a result of their work, the YLC offered young lawyers an opportunity to become more involved with the legal profession, to grow, to develop friendships, to receive mentors, to provide legal services pro bono, and to make wellness a priority.  The programs and activities that they helped oversee also drew much support from lawyers who are not a part of the Young Lawyers Conference.  Indeed, many experienced lawyers attended programs that the YLC helped organize such as the Wills for Heroes Program, the Bench-Bar Dinner, the Bench-Bar Conference, and the Minority Pre-Law Conference.




I would like to conclude by applauding YLC members for adapting our programs and services to address current events and to remain relevant to the legal profession and the public. The YLC quickly adapted the Wills for Heroes Program to the Wills for Healthcare Heroes to provide basic wills and advance directives for healthcare professionals who serve on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I also applaud the YLC Board for issuing its first ever Juneteenth statement and for partnering with the Diversity Conference to provide virtual Town Halls to discuss timely and important issues.

We did not know what this year would bring when we met together in August 2019 for our Leadership Conference, and I am proud of the work that the YLC members have accomplished and continue to accomplish to advance the legal profession, uphold the rule of law, promote true diversity, and serve the public in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The leadership of the Young Lawyers Conference for the upcoming year includes the following officers and board members:

Missy Y. York, President Nerissa N. Rouzer, 7th District Board Member
Kris R. McClellan, President-Elect Cate J. Huff, 8th District Board Member
Craig E. Ellis, Secretary Dayna Bobbitt, 9th District Board Member
Farnaz F. Thompson, Immediate Past President James Crandall, 10th District Board Member
Amanda L. Newins, 1st District Board Member Alicia Roberts, At-Large Representative
Jamilah D. LeCruise, 2nd District Board Member Breanna West, At-Large Representative
Annie C. Larson, 3rd District Board Member Christina Parrish, At-Large Representative
Victoria Walker, 4th District Board Member Ben Shute, At-Large Representative
Matt C. Perushek, 5th District Board Member Simone Williams, At-Large Representative
J. Harrison Powell, 6th District Board Member  
Updated: Jul 24, 2020