Virginia State Bar

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Young Lawyers Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

President’s Message - December 2017

As we enter the height of the holiday season, I want to wish you and yours a fantastic season! Given that, I am grateful for all the work you do on behalf of Virginia’s young lawyers and the YLC. You have done a lot of work that has affected plenty of others. I hear it everyday but I wanted to pass to you that the leaders of the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia legal community are grateful for your work and impressed with what you do! I look forward to serving you for the second half of the bar year. Now, some updates from the YLC:


Virginia Lawyer


Check us out in this month’s Virginia Lawyer! The December issue is devoted to the YLC and young lawyer issues. We have a number of pieces by our membership including:


The Young Lawyers Conference is Here for You by Chris Fortier

Lawyers and Stress: Small Changes for a Better Life by Helen Chong, Tammy George, and Brent Mattocks

We Must Combat Racial Disparity and Create a More Diverse Legal Profession by Shemeka Hankins

Manners and Messages, E-mail for Young Lawyers by Benjamin Shute

The Future of Student Loans: The Brunner Test in the 21st Century and The Consumer’s Hunger for Change by Christina T. Parrish

Tumultuous Time Requires Engagement by Young Lawyers by Melissa Little


You can read the issue here if you cannot wait to receive the magazine in your mailbox. A HUGE thank you to Dean Lhospital, our immediate past president, who laid the groundwork with the VSB to have them feature articles by young lawyers. A special thank you to Patrick Austin and our Docket Call team for their highly skilled edits and eagle eyes.


Docket Call


Our fall issue is out. Our regular columns make a grand appearance plus review our getting involved guide with listings of our leaders and the programs we put on. Send this to your friends and colleagues!


Is Your Local Bar or Young Lawyer Group Doing Something Fantastic?


If so, we want to know about it! Our Docket Call has a dedicated local bar events editor who will edit and put your work in the next Docket Call. This is a new feature to bring forth the great accomplishments that young lawyer leaders at the local level perform and help connect young lawyers in your local area to your events and projects. Send a brief note to our editor in chief Patrick Austin at paust003 at


Volunteer Opportunities


Do you someone who is enthusiastic and interested in serving the bar? They should consider volunteering for the YLC. There are no membership dues and we provide interesting and unique opportunities to build a leadership resume and connect with lawyers around Virginia. Our open opportunities include:


Emergency Legal Services (Co-Chair)

Professional Development Series (Co-Chair)

Wills for Heroes (Co-Chair)


Additionally, our other programs are always accepting volunteers. Our volunteer interest form is here.


CLE in Your Town


We have a lot of video on our YouTube page and most of it was accredited for MCLE credit at the time of the presentation. As you know, you can receive MCLE credit through video presentations. We will soon offer select presentations for you to offer to your local legal community. All you need to do is find a room with a TV. More information will come next month as to specific programs offered.


Help with the Updated Emergency Legal Services (ELS) Manual


ELS Chair Edwin Wu, Board of Governors liaisons Melissa Alfano and Josh Parrett, and Pro Bono Chair Erin Witte are in the heart of updating the ELS manual to include more information about Virginia laws and regulations that play into citizens’ lives when emergencies arise. This manual will help us, other bar associations, and pro bono organizations organize resources and volunteers to coordinate a unified response to disasters declared by FEMA and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. This plan will be filed with both organizations and the American Bar Association. We need assistance with developing training materials for common issues victims of legal disasters face. If you are interested, fill out our Getting Involved Form and check “Emergency Legal Services.”


Welcome New Committee Chairs!


This past month, we filled our roster with new chairs for the Hill Tucker Institute and the Pro Bono Committees. Since this is their first President’s Update, a special welcome to our new Hill Tucker Chairs Wesley Allen of Fairfax and Courtney Frazier of Richmond. Madeline Gibson of Richmond now serves as a new co-chair of the Bench Bar Dinner Committee. Our new Public Relations/Social Media committee is now led by Amanda Gregory of Chesapeake and Christina Stierhoff of Virginia Beach. The Wellness Initiative is new and chaired by Harrison Powell of Newport News and Tiago Bezerra of Fairfax. Our Pro Bono Committee is now chaired by Erin Witte of Richmond, Rebecca Eubanks of Fairfax, and Carly Anderson of Fairfax. Finally, Patrick Callahan of Richmond co-chairs the Bench Bar Relations Committee.


Are you going to Vancouver in February?


The ABA is holding it s Midyear Meeting on January 31 – February 6, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The YLC is one of the young lawyer organizations that has seats on the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Assembly, the body that votes on policy before going in front of the full ABA House of Delegates. If you will be in town, let President Chris Fortier (crfortier at know and he will certify you as a delegate.


VSB Volunteer Openings


Have you ever considered serving in one of the VSB’s committees? These are a great way to learn about how the bar operates and can provide a gateway to involvement after you age out of the YLC. The Deadline is March 9, 2018. To learn more, click here.


Save the Date


Rule of Law Day at the Capitol – March 29, Richmond

Bench Bar Dinner – March 29, 6:00 pm, Downtown Hilton Hotel, Richmond

VSB TECHSHOW – April 23, Richmond Convention Center

VSB Annual Meeting – June 14-17, Virginia Beach


Stars of the Month


Daniel Bidwell served as the YLC chair for the brand-new Rule of Law Day Program in Chesterfield County. This program was set up similar to the Rule of Law Day we have in Richmond. Judges came to speak on the courts and the rule of law while lawyer volunteers led breakout sessions with the students to digest the judges’ remarks. The program was a success and with that, Daniel gets a Star of the Month for December.


Annie Cai Larson, Jennifer Wong, and Jasmine McKinney all coordinated the activities around our Admission and Orientation Ceremony, where 533 of our newest attorneys joined the Virginia State Bar and the YLC. They led a team that registered 533 attorneys and 8 law school deans, seated over 500 families, coordinated many sponsors, getting three speakers to keep their remarks on time, and most importantly, keeping the program to schedule (which the Virginia Supreme Court greatly appreciates). For the success of the program, Annie, Jennifer, and Jasmine all get Stars of the Month.


Julie Cook has served as chair of the Professional Development Series since 2014. In that role, she plans webinars, shoots video from our CLE programs, and edits the video before publication. She also plans and coordinates the weekly video release for our web and social media platforms. This fall, she has put on two webinars for CLE credit, Investigations 101 and Accounting 101 for Lawyers (Twice). Given her work and the amount of content she has generated for the YLC, Julie Cook is a Star of the Month.


Enjoy your holiday season!