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Young Lawyers Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

President’s Message – August/September 2017

Happy Labor Day weekend! We in the YLC have been putting together a busy summer and are glad to have a few updates for you.


The Board of Governors met on August 19 in Fredericksburg. We considered many issues including the request from Chief Justice Lemons to review and respond to the American Bar Association’s National Task Force on Well-Being report released August 14. We are putting together an explanation of how we are furthering lawyer wellness (translation: we have a lot of your work to report!) and will release it to the Virginia State Bar and to you via our social media channels. Watch for that report soon.


I look forward to meeting you all soon at the Institute! Of course, you are more than welcome to contact me if you need anything. You can find me at


Now for an update on what’s going on around the YLC!


Young Lawyer Leaders Institute


We look forward to seeing you in a couple short weeks. We have a great program planned for you! If you have not sent in your RSVP form, please do so as it is due now. If you search your emails, use the terms “RSVP 2017” or “Maureen Stengel” to find the email.


This year we will look to add new programs and ideas to the mix. However, in order to do that, we will be sending out an online portion of the program to cover topics that we have covered (exhaustively) in previous years. Watch for a link next week to view the videos and certify your understanding of the program.


Professional Development Conference – coming to a city near you!

It is that time of year again. Do you need CLE (or know someone who needs CLE to make the October 31 deadline)? Come to our six hour CLE conference. We will fulfill your two hours of ethics and four hours of in person programming requirements. Come to two conferences and get your full CLE requirements for the year!


September 22 - Tysons Corner

September 29 – Virginia Beach and Roanoke

October 6 – Richmond and Washington, DC


Registration details will soon come to your email boxes. These conferences sell out, so be ready.


Do You Know a Good Leader? We Could Use Their Help!

We are filling the final spots for our leadership team and would love your recommendations! As of this writing (September 2017), we have openings for the following program chairs (or co-chairs):


Wellness Initiative Bench Bar Relations Committee Public Relations Committee Mental Health Law Committee Pro Bono Committee Minority Prelaw Conference – Hampton Roads


Reply to Laura O’Brien ( and myself ( if you have someone interested in one of these positions. Similarly, interested volunteers may fill out the interest form on our website.


District Leadership Teams

As part of the new vision for district involvement, President Chris Fortier wants to implement district leadership teams to allow for talented leaders to implement our programs and projects on a regional level. Our District Representatives will serve as Presidents of these regional young lawyer leadership teams. Individual leaders would be responsible for one program or an area of projects, such as member services, public service, wellness, or diversity and inclusion.


Hurricane Harvey Pro Bono Assistance

On August 29, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order allowing out of state attorneys to provide pro bono legal assistance to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Attorneys will need to sign up here and will be contacted by someone who coordinates attorney assistance. All attorneys will need to do their work through a Texas legal aid program, pro bono agency, or bar association. More information can be found here. Now, you know what to say when someone says, “I wish I could help!”


Star of the Month – July

Congratulations to Carteia Basnight of Hampton! Carteia has served as District Representative for the First (and ad hoc) and Second Districts in 2016-2017. In that role, she has put together many public service projects aimed at promoting the Rule of Law. This summer, she completed a Rule of Law Day program at Mary Passage Middle School for their summer program with 32 students ranging from 12-17 years old. They discussed the rule of law and conducted a mini mock trial using a skit of the stolen car. Congratulations Carteia!


Star of the Month – August

Congratulations to Alex McDonald of Washington, DC! Alex has been the chair of this new series that launched earlier this year. Currently, we are up to 20 articles (of which he has drafted or edited) that touch all parts of Virginia practice. Alex also serves as an managing editor of Docket Call, our quarterly publication that provides YLC news and relevant practice articles to our membership. Congratulations, Alex!


More Awards!!!!!

Every year, the YLC puts its organization and programs up against other young lawyer organizations from around the country in the ABA Young Lawyers Division Awards of Achievement program. Programs in the member service, public service, diversity and inclusion, and newsletter go into competition as well as an overall award. We compete in a Division that includes Florida, Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and Michigan. This year, we proudly won two first place awards for Diversity and Inclusion (Hill Tucker Institute) and Public Service (Hogar Naturalization Clinics partnership). Congratulations to our volunteers and leaders who work on these programs!


Practice Tips Series

We are proud to present the third installment of the Practice Tips Series, a publication featuring practical how-to articles, written by and for members of the Virginia State Bar. This month's installment features articles on day-to-day issues like writing effective research memos, seizing important moments, and preserving the attorney-client privilege over e-mail. You can find all the articles here:


If you read an article you like, or even something you think could be better, please contact the Editor-in-Chief of the Practice Tips Series, Alex MacDonald (, and let us know what you think. The Practice Tips Series is always improving, thanks largely to feedback from readers like you. And if you think you might like to write an article yourself, let us know! We’re always on the lookout for new talent and fresh ideas.


Interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution?

The Joint (VSB-VBA) ADR Committee is hosting a symposium on September 25th at Troutman Sanders in Richmond. The theme is “Attracting 21st Century Clients and Efficiently Solving Their Problems.” More information and registration is here.