Oklahoma Bar Journal

Finding Balance in 2021

By April Moaning

When I first embarked on this journey, I was not quite sure what to expect. We had grown accustomed to virtual settings and identifying people only by their eyes. Organic meetings were things of the past, and it was difficult to differentiate between family, work and social time as they all bleed into one another. It is an understatement to say I was nervous about leading an organization during a time when it was necessary to balance safety and reinvigorate young lawyers after a very daunting year. However, with the help of the Board of Directors and OBA staff, we were able to find just the right balance.

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This year we found a few creative ways to give back, such as participating in panels on the Ask A Lawyer TV show for Law Day and updating legal resources that are disseminated to the public. We also had an opportunity to attend our first in-person conference since 2019, which I mentioned in my November article. The conference served as a board retreat, and a second mention is warranted. Board members were able to strengthen their relationships, participate in team-building activities, learn about neuroscience and the law, explore the Meow Wolf art experience and brainstorm during a diversity, equity and inclusion hackathon. We left feeling inspired and eager to contribute even more of our time and skills to the OBA. We have already started planning a great CLE regarding the interplay between neuroscience, the practice of law and mental health challenges. The board is extremely excited about this new project!

My goal when I first joined the board was to inspire young lawyers, create innovative ways to govern our legal profession and pay it forward to the community. I am honored to be a member of this profession, and I am in awe that I was afforded the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I may have not always performed perfectly or met every goal, but I always operated from the heart.

It is now time for me to pass the torch to Dylan Erwin, who is enthusiastic, funny and creative. I know he will do an excellent job. I also wish to congratulate Thomas Grossnicklaus, District 3; Ben Barker, District 4; Elizabeth Stevens, District 5; Joel Auringer, District 6; and Phoebe B. Mitchell, At-Large, on winning their elections. Further, I would like to thank those board members who are continuing their service. We will have a large board next year full of new faces. I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

Once again, thank you to my entire board, as you supported me even when I introduced some topics that might have been a bit controversial. A special thank you to my executive board, as we have all watched one another experience the many facets of life. We have watched each other grow in the legal profession and as individuals. I will miss our group chats, but I will not miss the ABA YLD conferences quite yet because I intend to still tag along!


Ms. Moaning practices in Oklahoma City and serves as the YLD chairperson. She may be contacted at aprilmoaninglaw@gmail.com. Keep up with the YLD at www.facebook.com/obayld.


Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 92 Vol 10 (December 2021)