Oklahoma Bar Journal

Election for 2024 Leadership

By Caroline Shaffer Siex

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. We are currently in the golden month, October. We are done with the 100+ degrees, the leaves are falling and scary movies are streaming abound! We revive friendly arguments over football teams and pumpkin spice.

With the cooler season, we also have the final OBA wrap-ups. A new YLD Board of Directors will be elected soon. During this month, each member of the YLD will have the opportunity to vote in contested elections. I think many young lawyers do not understand the YLD board and what it means to select your representative.

As always, we like to remind you that anyone who is a member of the OBA who has been practicing for 10 years or less is a young lawyer. You are also automatically part of the YLD. The YLD has a Board of Directors, who after qualifying with a nominating petition, run for each district and/or at-large seat. Each lawyer is a volunteer who wants to work to serve other YLD members.

Now why should you care to vote? You are truly picking who is going to help your district. I went to law school in Tulsa, live in Tulsa, work in Tulsa and the list would continue. To have someone serve as my representative to the bar can make an impact on my legal community and aspects of my career. For example, a tradition returned to Tulsa of happy hour social events for newly sworn in lawyers. For at least a few years, this event was not occurring in Tulsa. However, it was occurring in Oklahoma City. The reason was not known why this event was not happening, but (with the exception of the pandemic era) I helped return these for the new Tulsa admittees. These events are a great kickoff – held not only to celebrate joining the bar but as an initial networking event.

After serving on the board, I made more connections across the state, and then I was able to share my connections with others in Tulsa. That was just my own experience of how serving could impact those within my district. This is just to show how voting can make a difference in YLD activity and opportunities within your district.

The announcement of the election results coincides with another special time of the fall – the OBA Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting will take place Nov. 1-3 at the Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City. In conjunction, the YLD Board of Directors will hold its meeting where election results are announced. It’s also one of the times that YLD members who do not normally have the opportunity to attend board meetings can meet the YLD board.

The YLD board always has fun and hosts the party! At past Annual Meetings, we have enjoyed magicians, foosball tables, 80s costumes and more. If you have not gotten involved with the YLD and would like to at least meet your representatives, this would be a great chance. Let’s not forget – if you have not yet completed your MCLE for the year, the Annual Meeting can give you all the credits that you need.

YLD members, it is now your duty to select those who will ultimately lead. Please look at the candidates in your district, and don’t forget to vote! Again – 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 and is eligible to vote. Please take a moment to read the candidate information and vote; voting is a quick and easy process. Voting for YLD elections is conducted by electronic ballot, which will be emailed to you Oct. 2. You may cast your vote any time before midnight, Oct. 27. To ensure you receive a ballot, verify the OBA roster contains your current email address. You may do so by visiting MyOKBar or by calling the OBA Membership Department at 405-416-7080. If you do not receive a ballot, email  derwin@holladaychilton.com.

Ms. Shaffer Siex practices in Tulsa and serves as the YLD chairperson. She may be contacted at cshaffer@gablawyers.com.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 8 (October 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.