YLD President's Message

Julie Gresham    

     This year's Young Lawyers Division activities began with the swearing in of newly-elected officers during The Mississippi Bar's Annual Convention in July.  In August, a Young Lawyers Division contingent attended the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.  During the convention, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division introduced its new Public Service Project for 2013-2014.  The project, "BullyProof: Young Lawyers Educating and Empowering to End Bullying," is designed to educate students, staff, faculty and parents regarding bullying in our school systems.  The project's goal is to empower parents, educators, students and young lawyers by providing them the resources necessary to end bullying in our schools.  The Division decided to bring the program to Mississippi.  Lane Staines, Chair of the Child Advocacy Committee, is working with her committee to implement the program in our state.  
     On September 24, 2013, the Fall Bar Admissions Ceremony was held at Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson.  The Bar Admissions Ceremony Committee, led by Matt Eichelberger, organized the admission ceremony for the 205 newly-admitted members.  Speakers included Reverend Edward O'Connor, who offered the invocation; Jeff Styres, who spoke on behalf of the Board of Bar Admissions; Matt Eichelberger, Dean Richard Gershon, and Dean James H. Rosenblatt, who recognized the new admittees; Judge Patricia D. Wise, 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 Jane M. Virden, who administered the oath to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Mississippi; Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III, who administered the oath to practice in the United States District Courts for the Southern District of Mississippi; Judge Rhesa H. Barksdale, who administered the oath to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; and Guy W. Mitchell, III, The Mississippi Bar President. I was honored to address the new admittees briefly, as well.

      The Mock Trial Committee's chair, Michael Carr, posted this year's case on Friday, September 20, 2013.  Competition dates are Saturday, January 18 for the Jackson Regional; Saturday, January 25 for the Oxford Regional; Saturday, February 1 for the Coast Regional; and Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st for the Statewide Competition.  Volunteer opportunities are now available for attorney coaches and competition judges. If you would like to volunteer, please contact RenĂ© Garner by email at rgarner@msbar.org.

   The Young Lawyers Division also added a new committee this year.  "Solo and Small Firm Committee," chaired by Graham Carner, is working to address issues that face young lawyers who are either opening their own law firm or who are working in a small-firm practice.  The Division recognizes that more and more young lawyers are no longer joining large law firms after law school.  As a result, the Division wants to ensure that it is addressing these lawyers' needs.   
    We look forward to an active winter and spring.  If you would like to become more involved in YLD, please contact RenĂ© Garner at rgarner@msbar.org or me at jgresham@brunini.com.