Oklahoma Bar Journal

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About YLD Elections*

*But Were Afraid to Ask

By Dylan D. Erwin

At this stage of my long and storied legal career (read: nine years), I am dangling over the precipice separating the young lawyers from the – I suppose – not young lawyers. This awkwardly placed adjective is misleading. Under Article 2.1 of the Young Lawyer’s Division bylaws, “[a]ll members of the Oklahoma Bar Association in good standing who were first admitted to the practice of law in any jurisdiction 10 years ago or less” qualify as young. In short, it identifies the vintage of the attorney rather than the age of the individual. Not only that but by simply existing, you are automatically a member of the YLD.

Since I passed the bar, I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with the YLD. So as the resident old “young” guy, I don’t think it would be untoward to offer some unsolicited advice to you newbies out there: get involved. Get involved early and stay involved. Since holding my first office in the YLD way back in 2015, I’ve been lucky enough to be elected to every possible office within the organization. Service to this wonderful community of professionals has been a highlight of my career. Not only have I been provided with a panoply of networking opportunities, but I have also been gifted a litany of lifetime friendships.

Why does this all matter though? Why should you care? Why did the Oklahoma Bar Journal, after giving me an entire year’s worth of articles, give me another megaphone? Because I have one final duty as your YLD immediate past chairperson: to pass the torch. Elections for the 2024 OBA YLD Board of Directors are coming this October, and I think you should apply. Here’s what you need to know.


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. 11, 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.


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. 2 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 the 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 derwin@holladaychilton.com no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11. The results of the election will be announced at the YLD meeting at the OBA Annual Meeting.


  • A sample nominating petition is available at https://bit.ly/3yL2mcB. This will give you an idea of the format and information required by OBA YLD bylaws (one is also available from the Nominating Committee). Email derwin@holladaychilton.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 bar journal. All biographical data must be submitted by email, with no exceptions. Petitions submitted without a photograph and/or a brief bio are subject to disqualification at the discretion of the Nominating Committee.



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 members serve a two-year term.

District 2: Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw, Haskell, Johnson, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, McIntosh, Marshall, Pittsburg, Pushmataha and Sequoyah counties

District 3: Oklahoma County

District 4: Alfalfa, Beaver, Beckham, Blaine, Cimarron, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Garfield, Harper, Kingfisher, Major, Roger Mills, Texas, Washita, Woods and Woodward counties

District 5: Carter, Cleveland, Garvin, Grady, Jefferson, Love, McClain, Murray and Stephens counties

District 6: Tulsa County

District 7: Adair, Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Mayes, Muskogee, Okmulgee and Wagoner counties

District 8: Coal, Hughes, Lincoln, Logan, Noble, Okfuskee, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie and Seminole counties

At-Large: All counties

Mr. Erwin practices in Oklahoma City and serves as the YLD immediate past chairperson. He may be contacted at derwin@holladaychilton.com. Keep up with the YLD at www.facebook.com/obayld.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 6 (August 2023)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.