Oklahoma Bar Journal
Service to the Community is True Professionalism
By April Moaning
It seems like just a few weeks ago we welcomed a new slate of young lawyers to the legal profession. The most important lesson I have learned as a young lawyer is that with great power comes great responsibility. In our profession, that responsibility includes service to those who are marginalized, underrepresented or have just fallen on hard times. As stated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you.”
Service to the community is the overarching goal of the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. We lead with a servant’s heart. This includes advocating for a wide array of individuals in our community and developing ways to expand access to the justice system. We have participated in community service events all throughout the state of Oklahoma, but I am sure there are counties and communities we have yet to serve. The best way to reach the masses is to ensure we have diverse representation on the YLD Board of Directors. Thus, we need YOU to join our team and share your insight about the needs of your community.
Every lawyer who was first admitted to the practice of law in any jurisdiction within the past 10 years is automatically a member of the YLD. This means you have an open invitation to each and every YLD meeting, community service project and social event. Should you desire to serve as a representative for your district and lead by example, I encourage you to apply for the YLD Boardof Directors.
Election results will be announced at the Young Lawyers Division November meeting to be held in conjunction with the OBA Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City Nov. 2 - 4, 2022.
Article 5 of the division bylaws requires that any eligible member wishing to run for office must submit a nominating petition to the Nominating Committee. The petition must be signed by at least 10 members of the OBA YLD and must be submitted by Friday, Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. A separate petition must be filed for each opening, except a petition for a directorship shall be valid for one-year and two-year terms and at-large positions. A person must be eligible for division membership for the entire term for which elected.
All OBA members in good standing who were admitted to the practice of law 10 years ago or less are members of the OBA YLD. Membership is automatic – if you were first admitted to the practice of law in 2012 or later, you are a member of the OBA YLD!!
Article 5 of the division bylaws governs the election procedure. In September, a list of all eligible candidates will be published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal. Ballots will be emailed Oct. 3 to all YLD members at the email address in the official OBA roster. All members of the division may vote for officers and at-large directorships. Only those members with OBA roster addresses within a subject judicial district may vote for that district’s director. The members of the Nominating Committee shall only vote in the event of a tie. Please see OBA YLD Bylaws for additional information at www.okbar.org/yld/bylaws.
Nominating petitions, accompanied by a photo and bio of 350 words or less for publication in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, must be forwarded to me at email@example.com no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12. Results of the election will be announced at the YLD meeting at the OBA Annual Meeting Nov. 2-4 at the Omni Hotel in Oklahoma City.
TIPS FROM THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON
- A sample nominating petition is available at https://bit.ly/3yL2mcB. This will help give you an idea of the format and information required by OBA YLD Bylaws (one is also available from the Nominating Committee). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to request a nominating petition.
- Obtain signatures (electronic signatures are permitted) on your nominating petition from at least 10 lawyers who were first admitted to practice law in the state of Oklahoma within the past 10 years. Signatures on the nominating petitions do not have to be from young lawyers in your own district (the restriction on districts only applies to voting).
- Take your petition to local county bar meetings or the courthouse and introduce yourself to other young lawyers while asking them to sign – it’s a good way to start networking.
- You can have more than one petition for the same position and add the total number of original signatures.
- Don’t wait until the last minute – I will not accept petitions that are scanned and emailed after the deadline.
- Membership eligibility extends to Dec. 31 of any year that you are eligible.
- Membership eligibility starts from the date of your first admission to the practice of law, even if outside of the state of Oklahoma.
- All candidates’ photographs and brief biographical data are required to be published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal. All biographical data must be submitted by email, with no exceptions. Petitions submitted without a photograph and/or brief bio are subject to being disqualified at the discretion of the Nominating Committee.
- More information is available at https://bit.ly/3IW5M0K.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms. Moaning practices in Oklahoma City and serves as the YLD immediate past chairperson. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with the YLD at.
Officer positions serve a one-year term.
Chairperson-Elect: Any member of the division having previously served for at least one year on the OBA YLD Board of Directors. The chairperson-elect automatically becomes the chairperson of the division for 2024.
Treasurer: Any member of the OBA YLD Board of Directors may be elected by the membership of the division to serve in this office.
Secretary: Any member of the OBA YLD Board of Directors may be elected by the membership of the division to serve in this office.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board of Directors members serve a two-year term.
District 1: Craig, Grant, Kay, Nowata, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Rogers and Washington counties
District 8: Coal, Hughes, Lincoln, Logan, Noble, Okfuskee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties
District 9: Caddo, Canadian, Comanche, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Tillman counties
At-Large: All counties
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 6 (August 2022)