Rachel Pierce Waide
This year's Young Lawyers Division activities began with the swearing in of newly-elected officers during The Mississippi Bar's Annual Meeting in July. In that same month, the Young Lawyers Division partnered with the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project to host guardianship clinics in Lee and Hinds Counties. During those clinics, volunteer attorneys prepared guardianship documents for those persons who are rearing children but do not have formal, legal custody of the children. Under the capable direction of MVLP's General Counsel, Tiffany Graves, documents were prepared to allow the children to be enrolled in school. Judge Jacqueline Estes Mask and Judge Denise Owens graciously volunteered their time to execute Orders and hold hearings when necessary.
In August, a Young Lawyers Division contingent attended the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Shortly thereafter, on September 25, 2012, the Fall Bar Admissions Ceremony was held at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson. The Bar Admissions Ceremony Committee, led by Mary Largent Purvis, put together a lovely ceremony for the one hundred ninety-three newly-admitted members. Speakers included Reverend Matthew L. Canada, who offered the invocation; Jeff Styres, who spoke on behalf of the Board of Bar Admissions; Mary Largent Purvis, Dean Richard Gershon, and Dean James H. Rosenblatt, who recognized the new admittees; Judge William H. Singletary, who administered the oath to practice in the trial courts of Mississippi; Chief Justice William L. Waller, Jr., who administered the oath to practice before the Mississippi Supreme Court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals; Judge S. Allan Alexander, who administered the oath to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Mississippi; Judge Robert H. Walker, who administered the oath to practice in the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Mississippi; Judge Leslie H. Southwick, who administered the oath to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; and Lemuel G. Adams, III, The Mississippi Bar President. I was honored to address the new admittees briefly, as well.
The Mock Trial Committee's chair, Clarence Webster, posted this year's case on Friday, September 28, and team registration forms were due by Monday, November 12. Competition dates are Saturday, January 26 for the Jackson Regional; Saturday, February 2 for the Oxford Regional; Saturday, February 16 for the Coast Regional; and Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 for the Statewide Competition. Volunteer opportunities are now available for attorney coaches and competition judges. If you would like to volunteer, please contact René Garner by email at email@example.com.
The Young Lawyers Division now includes a new committee. "Prison Dogs," chaired by Krissy Casey, is implementing its pilot program in the Monroe County Jail under the direction of Sheriff Cecil Cantrell. That program pairs shelter dogs with inmates in jails or prisons. The inmates learn valuable skills as dog trainers, and once training is complete, the dogs are adopted by families or sent to service organizations for further training. The program is in need of volunteer dog trainers, as well as supplies, such as dog food, leashes, collars, and crates. To volunteer, to make a donation, or to make a recommendation for a volunteer dog trainer, contact Krissy Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our division looks forward to an active winter and spring, with expansion of the Prison Dogs program, as well as Wills for Heroes events in Oktibbeha County, Copiah County, and Lauderdale County.