Young Lawyers Conference

Dean L'Hospital, Chair

In the 2016-2017 Bar year, the Young Lawyers Conference maintained its momentum and continued to operate as an engine of exceptional programming, pro bono work, and high-energy outreach and volunteer activity. The re-organization of our geographical representation structure from circuits to districts allowed us to simultaneously reduce our expenses and increase our engagement in areas of the Commonwealth outside of the population centers.  Our ten District Representatives, tied into our leadership through on-on-one relationships with Board of Governor liaisons, have been engaging in collaborative outreach with local Bar young lawyer sections, or creating them where they do not yet exist, and working with them to further our goals and mission. We are already seeing dividends from these enhanced relationships: spreading existing programs and resources to new, appreciative audiences and also benefitting from a pipeline of new ideas and talent from our community partners.   

Because our Conference comprises nearly 11,000 members and an extremely diverse constituency, we offer a continuous stream of programs and initiatives too numerous to set out fully. Our two-dozen active committees each organize at least one event per year, and some put on as many as four. Our website, quarterly Docket Call newsletter, and social media outlets detail our activities throughout the year, and I recommend them as the definitive record of our accomplishments. Highlights these year came from all quarters - our Professional Development Conference continues to grow in scope and scale, expanding to 255 participants at six sites across the state. Our Immigrant Outreach Committee was busy and expanded its offerings by partnering with community organizations. Our Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Institute partnership with the Diversity Conference continues to thrive, and our Bench Bar Celebration Dinner was thrilled to hear from Chief Judge Gregory of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals as we honored ten newly-appointed women and minority judges.

The YLC also continues to lead innovation in the Bar, debuting online registration for the PDC and many other programs, launching the Practice Tips Series online publication with sixteen articles already and more forthcoming, and creating a Wellness Initiative in collaboration with Lawyers Helping Lawyers to take a proactive and progressive approach toward the health, happiness, and longevity of Virginia lawyers.   

Finally, as always, we are immensely grateful for the support of our VSB Liaisons. Maureen Stengel is our stalwart ally and champion, and this year we welcomed Dolly Shafner, who stepped in for Catherine Huband who was a long and valued partner in our success.

Updated: Aug 21, 2017