Oklahoma Bar Journal
YLD | Next Year's Words
By Dylan D. Erwin
The older I get, the sneakier the years become. It seems like it was only yesterday that 2019 had turned into 2020. Lo and behold, I turn around to hang my coat up, and it’s already 2022. Regardless of the endless and increasingly rapid march of time, I hope each one of you had a safe and restful holiday season. Each new year brings its own set of trials and tribulations, but it also brings potential and excitement. 2022 is no exception, and in my honest opinion, this coming year is going to be an amazing one for the OBA Young Lawyers Division.
“As attorneys, we are in a unique position to help our community in a very specific way. In the words of Liam Neeson, we have a very particular set of skills.”
As the 2022 YLD chair, I feel as though I am merely riding on the coattails of my predecessor. Our 2021 YLD chair, April Moaning, did an amazing job navigating the YLD through an interesting and confusing time. Thanks to April’s selfless leadership, we were able to turn what became yet another “Zoom year” into one replete with memorable and fulfilling experiences. This coming year, I hope to build on her goals, as well as adopt a few of my own. As this is my first article for you all in a promised set of 10, I wanted to take the time to discuss some of those goals.
THE BEST PROGRAM IS A CO-PROGRAM
As lawyers, we are social creatures. More than anything, working from home and the introduction of the “virtual happy hour” has cemented that fact. In that spirit of social camaraderie, one of my main goals for the YLD in 2022 is an emphasis on co-programming. Whether it is with different practice sections within the OBA, different OBA committees or even county bar associations around the state, I’m a firm believer in the power of a good co-program. Not only does co-programming allow for the pooling of resources, but it also helps unify us as an association.
THE SERVICE ARM OF THE BAR
Ever since my halcyon days as the District 9 director under the leadership of LeAnn McGill, a constant refrain within the YLD has always been that we, as a division, are the “service arm” of the bar. This is a job I took to heart and ultimately served four years as the head of the YLD Community Service Committee. One of my goals for 2022 is one I’ve had since becoming a member of the division. As attorneys, we are in a unique position to help our community in a very specific way. In the words of Liam Neeson, we have a very particular set of skills. It is my belief that the best way the YLD can serve the community is by using those skills and providing aid in a way no one else can.
OKLAHOMA IS MORE THAN OKLAHOMA CITY AND TULSA
Growing up in Lawton and spending my first year of practice as an assistant district attorney for Comanche and Cotton counties, I’m very aware of how easy it is to feel excluded from bar activities if you aren’t practicing in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. In the past, we’ve done a number of community service events and held meetings in other parts of the state. This is a trend I hope to continue. Some of the closest friendships I’ve made as a member of the YLD are with attorneys I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet but for my membership. I want everyone else to have the same opportunity. In this spirit, my lodestar for the year is ensuring that each action taken by the YLD buttresses the idea that we are a division within the OBA, not just the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Bar Association.
As T.S. Eliot reminds us, “Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.” It is in that spirit that I am thrilled and honored to serve as the voice for Oklahoma’s young lawyers as the 2022 YLD chair. Until next we meet, onward and upward.
Mr. Erwin practices in Oklahoma City and serves as the YLD chairperson. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep up with the YLD at www.facebook.com/obayld.
Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 1 (January 2022)