Committees, Programs & Sections

YLD Committees

YLD Advocates for Students with Disabilities
This committee provides technical support and networking opportunities to the community of attorneys whose practice or passion includes students with disabilities and their families. The committee works to promote this practice area by providing continuing education opportunities and support on issues such as estate planning, civil rights, health care issues, powers of attorney, juvenile justice and guardianships.
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YLD Appellate Admissions
This committee arranges the biannual ceremonies for admission of new Bar admittees to the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Court of Appeals of Georgia and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
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YLD Aspiring Youth Program
This committee works to teach conflict resolution skills through the art of debate to incarcerated youth. Specifically, this committee assists at-risk youth by working to increase rehabilitation rates and graduation rates from high school and college by demonstrating the importance of education, hard work and commitment. Young lawyers serve as positive role models while developing mentoring relationships with these youth.
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YLD Business Law
This committee addresses issues specific to young lawyers whose practice involves either commercial litigation or commercial transactions. The committee monitors and addresses legal developments in the areas of business, commerce and finance on both federal and state levels.
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YLD Community Service Projects
This committee provides opportunities for young lawyers to participate in local, state or national service projects focused on various social issues, such as working with organizations that address the needs of underprivileged children, hunger, domestic violence and the environment.
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YLD Criminal Law
This committee strives for the improvement of the criminal justice system, and where appropriate, seeks to implement changes. The committee annually sponsors CLE seminars and the Commitment to Justice Award and is comprised of both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys.
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YLD Disaster Legal Assistance
This committee provides free legal assistance to persons affected by presidentially declared major disasters. Disaster Legal Assistance (DLS) is a federal disaster assistance program operated by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and executed throughout the country by each state’s YLD pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with FEMA. DLS connects those in need to free legal services on legal matters that arise directly from major disasters.
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YLD Ethics & Professionalism
This committee develops educational programs to assist lawyers in achieving the ethical and professional standards set forth for the legal profession. This committee works with the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism to raise awareness in new developments concerning ethics and professionalism in the legal field. The committee recognizes one young lawyer who has demonstrated outstanding professionalism with its annual Ethics & Professionalism Award.
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YLD Family Law
This committee provides educational and networking opportunities to young lawyers whose practice involves family law. The committee sponsors a networking event as part of the annual Family Law Institute, as well as an annual signature fundraising event to raise money and awareness for causes involving family-related issues in Georgia.
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YLD High School Mock Trial
This committee provides educational litigation experience to hundreds of high school students by sponsoring an annual statewide mock trial competition, sending a team to the national competition, and holding a fall law camp. Young lawyers, judges and teachers throughout Georgia get involved in all levels of the competition as coaches, judges and committee members.
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YLD Intellectual Property Law
This committee promotes communication and relationships among young lawyers practicing in the various areas of intellectual property such as trademark, copyright and patent law. The committee focuses its efforts on networking events and CLE programs, often in conjunction with other Bar sections and groups within the legal community.
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YLD Intrastate Moot Court
This committee sponsors the annual Intrastate Moot Court Competition among students from Georgia law schools. It organizes and conducts all aspects of the competition.
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YLD Judicial Law Clerk
This committee serves the professional needs of, and addresses issues specific to, young lawyers serving as staff attorneys or judicial law clerks in either state or federal courts throughout Georgia. In this regard, the committee monitors and addresses legal developments and issues facing the courts. Moreover, the committee provides a forum for young, practicing lawyers to gain insight from other young lawyers serving in the courts. The committee also sponsors CLE programs, covering topics of interest to staff attorneys and judicial law clerks, and offers networking events throughout the year.
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YLD Juvenile Law
This committee engages young lawyers interested in child welfare and juvenile justice and empowers these individuals to improve the practices and policies affecting children. The committee promotes advancement of the profession through monthly meetings, annual CLE events and special recognitions, such as the Excellence in Child Welfare Award. It also encourages Georgia lawyers to become certified Child Welfare Law Specialists. The committee organizes and co-sponsors the Celebration of Excellence, a statewide ceremony for graduating foster youth. The committee assisted in drafting the comprehensive revisions to Georgia’s Juvenile Code and continues to provide technical support after the adoption of this legislation.
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YLD Labor & Employment Law
This committee conducts educational programming and social events to enhance the skill of, and foster collegiality among, young lawyers engaged in the practice of labor and employment law.
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YLD Law School Fellows Program
The YLD Law School Fellows Program is designed to promote knowledge of and participation in the YLD at the law school level. Each year, the five Georgia law schools select a 2L and a 3L representative to become fellows in the YLD. The law school fellows attend YLD meetings, participate in YLD programs and serve on YLD committees. The law school fellows, together with the director of the Law School Fellows Program are charged with promoting awareness of the YLD for all law students who are interested in becoming involved after graduation.
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YLD Law-Related Education
This year’s president of the State Bar of Georgia, Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, and YLD President Sharri Edenfield have worked tirelessly to bring the iCivics program and curriculum to Georgia middle and high schools. iCivics is a nonprofit organization, founded and championed by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, that is designed to (1) teach students about American government and civil society, (2) invigorate students’ civic learning through interactive and engaging learning resources and (3) inspire students to be active participants in our democracy. The YLD LRE Committee will work to ensure that the inaugural year of the iCivics program is a great success by working to place lawyers who are willing to work hands-on with local teachers in classrooms throughout participating Georgia school systems. Volunteers will serve as presenters to the students (one to two sessions a month as needed) on various legal and governmental topics as determined by the respective teacher in the classroom in which the volunteer is placed. Topics may include discussing the importance of the Constitution; the differences between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government; presenting pivotal cases on any of the topics presented in the curriculum; or talking to the students about the path to becoming a lawyer, judge, legislator, etc.
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YLD Leadership Academy Alumni
This committee provides continuing leadership development, community service, pro bono opportunities and networking opportunities for Leadership Academy (LA) alumni. The committee annually hosts the LA Holiday Luncheon and other events and programs to encourage members to sustain the relationships formed with their LA class, as well as forge new relationships with other LA alumni while serving the community. Members must be LA graduates.
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YLD Legal Food Frenzy
This committee coordinates with the Office of the Attorney General to host the statewide “Legal Food Frenzy,” a food drive and fundraiser competition among Georgia’s law firms, law schools and other legal organizations. The committee partners with community legal leaders across the state to spread awareness about Georgia’s hunger problems, and to make a significant impact by gathering both canned food donations and monetary donations to help those affected by hunger in the state. Community leader sign-ups begin on March 1, and the competition runs from late April to May 1.
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YLD Legislative Affairs
This committee promotes education and involvement in the state legislative process. Working with the State Bar’s director of governmental affairs, the committee promotes Bar and/or YLD-initiated legislation and assists other YLD committees in legislative-related matters, including co-hosting the annual legislative luncheon with the Leadership Academy.
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YLD Litigation
In keeping with the motto of the YLD, the Litigation Committee is committed both professionally and civically to advancing the practices of young litigators throughout the state. The committee prides itself on fostering long-term relationships with fellow litigators on both the plaintiffs’ and defense side of the Bar through social activities. Also, the committee recognizes the dedication and service of judicial support staff by hosting the annual Clerks’ Luncheon during the holiday season, as well as a reception honoring the members of the judiciary and distinguished young litigators to conclude the Bar year. A strong emphasis on learning from the shared experiences of the stalwarts of our legal community is forged through the committee’s annual “War Stories” lecture series, which is held in three parts in the spring.
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YLD Long Range Planning
This committee is responsible for formulating and exercising various long range plans to meet the current and future needs of Georgia’s young lawyers. Through legislative efforts and community advocacy and partnerships, this committee seeks to expand access to justice by coordinating opportunities for new and experienced attorneys to serve their local constituents in diverse and often underserved geographic regions throughout Georgia.
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YLD Military Support
This committee promotes assistance to military service members and veterans through various outreach opportunities. In addition, the committee works to provide education to young lawyers on the particular issues that service members and veterans may face.
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YLD Minorities in the Profession
This committee encourages increased participation by minorities in the Bar and the YLD, examines the problems affecting the minority lawyer and expands the opportunities for minority lawyers within the profession.
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YLD National Moot Court
This committee conducts the Region V competition of the National Moot Court Competition through the ABA.
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YLD Non-traditional Legal Careers
There are a number of great jobs outside of the traditional practice of law in which young attorneys are well suited: document review, government-related work, consulting, nonprofit, education, information technology or anything else non-legal. This committee engages those young attorneys whose career or current job is beyond the traditional practice of law.
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YLD Public Interest Internship Program
This committee oversees the Public Interest Internship Program, which funds grants for public interest internships for law school students and young lawyers.
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YLD Real Estate
This committee promotes communication among young lawyers practicing in the various areas of real estate law as well as networking with other practice groups to enhance the availability of business opportunities. The committee provides CLE programs as well as social activities that promote networking and Bar participation.
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YLD Signature Fundraiser
This committee organizes and orchestrates an annual fundraising event to raise money to support a designated charitable organization.
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YLD Solo/Small Firm
This committee seeks to provide opportunities for and support to solo practitioners and young lawyers who work in small firms. Recognizing that the economy and many other factors contribute to young lawyers hanging their own shingles, this committee focuses on providing discounted CLEs, organizing networking events and creating projects aimed at sharpening the skills and increasing the success of active member participants.
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YLD William Daniel Mock Trial
This committee hosts an annual criminal mock jury trial competition among law students. The talented competitors are law students hailing from law schools across the country. All Georgia law schools are also invited to participate. Every summer, the William W. Daniel National Invitational Mock Trial Committee sends hundreds of applications to ABA accredited law schools. Only 18 schools are invited to compete in this well-known competition named in honor of the late Judge William W. Daniel of the Superior Court of Fulton County.
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YLD Wills Clinic
The First Responders Wills Clinic is a pro bono, all volunteer program designed to provide essential estate planning documents—last will and testament, property power of attorney and advance health care directive—to first responders and their spouses at no cost. The program has been developed as a continuing statewide service project. Wills Clinic events are held in large cities and small towns across Georgia. Before each Wills Clinic, the program organizers host a one- to two-hour tutorial on the basics of estate planning. In the tutorial, the organizers review the applicable law and go through the estate planning documents for each attorney volunteer. The organizers then discuss the logistics of the Wills Clinic event and field questions.
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YLD Women in the Profession
This committee’s mission is to ensure the success of women attorneys by providing a forum for the exchange of dialogue and ideas on concerns of women, sponsoring programs directed to business and professional development, organizing networking activities, and supporting organizations and causes which advance the status and progress of women in society.
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