Oklahoma Bar Journal
Young Lawyers Division | A More Involved YLD Lays the Path for a Stronger Legal Community
By Caroline M. Shaffer Siex
A New Year offers the opportunity to conquer new and old challenges, and I am elated that I am stepping into the New Year as YLD chair. Over the years of serving on the YLD Board of Directors, I have been rewarded with opportunities to help our community. The board has given me amazing experiences. From planning and organizing hospitality suites to assembling bar exam survival kits, my opportunities have been plentiful. Now, I can lead and guide other YLD board members to help serve our bar and community.
The great journey of life can be unpredictable, and we have certainly felt some unpredictability together. In recent years, the pandemic certainly proved a barrier to in-person events. I have followed several YLD leaders who handled some of the hardest times to be in charge of a board. I am incredibly grateful to follow in their footsteps. As the late David Bowie once said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise I won’t bore you.”
THERE WILL BE A FOCUS FOR THE YLD TO HOST IN-PERSON EVENTS
I am following my friend and longtime community service advocate, Dylan Erwin, in this leadership role. Dylan brought so much energy into the YLD to rally around community service. I will be looking to him as immediate past chair to collaborate on community service ideas and steal some wisdom. One of my goals as chair is to ensure we have a Wills for Heroes event in 2023. As the daughter of a combat veteran, this project is dear to my heart, and it’s an amazing opportunity for the YLD to serve those who served our country.
Another goal is to have YLD events that involve members of the whole OBA coming together. The YLD has revived the new lawyer swearing-in happy hour. It would be great to involve more non-YLD members who can also welcome our new bar members. Joining the bar is an exciting time for these new lawyers; I hope we start coming together to truly celebrate in unison.
Lastly, the YLD organizing a CLE has gone on the back burner. Another goal for this year is to put on a CLE directed at young lawyers and the changing dynamics facing them in the field. A CLE targeted to young lawyers can help anyone who may still feel like they are navigating the basics of the legal practice.
INVOLVEMENT WITH THE YLD IS NOT LIMITED TO BEING ON THE BOARD
If I had a dime for every time someone asked how to get more involved, I could buy a half tank of gas! (That’s a lot these days.) Of course, serving on the board is a great way to be involved, but it’s not the only way. Some people may not be able to do the consistent commitment as a board member. Maybe the lawyer is no longer a YLD member, but they love supporting the YLD. There are plenty of ways for you to get involved.
The YLD will always encourage additional hands at community service events. Collaborating on our projects to give guidance and support is another valuable way to support the YLD’s mission. Regularly, we need sponsors to help with our events to make them successful. Every small contribution can make a difference in the YLD’s success. Support for young lawyers keeps the integrity of our profession strong and builds colleagues who can likewise return their support to non-YLD lawyers.
Until the next article, stay open to hope and new opportunities.
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 94 Vol 1 (January 2023)