YLD President's Message

Jennie Eichelberger,
Young Lawyers Division President 2014-2015

The 2015 year has gotten off to a busy start for the Young Lawyers Division, and the winter has been packed full of projects and events, both for the community and for our young lawyers. I want to thank everyone for voting and selecting a great group of incoming officers and directors to serve on the YLD Board for 2015-2016. I know the YLD Board will be in good hands with Jenny Tyler Baker as YLD President-Elect and Brad Reeves as Secretary. Thank you everyone for your willingness to serve The Mississippi Bar and help YLD continue to grow.

Our Public Service Committee has been busy this winter season, between Wills for Heroes and Lawyers in the Library. In the first year of organizing clinics for the Lawyers in the Library program, Chair Hunter Aikens has done a fabulous job. After an extremely successful event in Jackson in October, a second event was held in Pascagoula on January 22. Once again, the participation numbers were high – the nine volunteer attorneys were able to assist 30 participants with their questions about their legal issues. I want to give a giant thanks to Hunter for all of his hard work and to all of our attorney volunteers from the coast. Due to the success of the first event in Jackson, we will hold a second event, in coordination with our local affiliate, the Jackson Young Lawyers Association. This event will be held on March 19. Clarence Webster, who heads up the second part of the Public Service Committee, is busy planning multiple Wills for Heroes Events in the State. On November 14, YLD partnered with the Pro Bono Committee of the Mississippi Association for Justice to draft wills for members of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department. We look forward to more events this spring.

Our new service project, which will provide legal clinics for our homeless youth is getting ready to start with some clinics this spring across the state. We look forward to the opportunity to serve our children in need.

The High School Mock Trial Competition wrapped up on February 28 with Sacred Heart Catholic High School prevailing in the Finals. I was fortunate enough to serve as a judge in the Final Round, along with Judge Linda Anderson, Robert Gibbs, Gene Harlow and LaKeysha Greer-Isaac. The winning team will travel to Raleigh, NC, in May to compete in the National Competition. As always, we could not have this competition without the generosity of our attorneys and judges in giving their time to judge the regionals and the statewide competition in January and February. A big thank you to all of our volunteers and a huge congratulations to all participants. We know Sacred Heart will make us proud in North Carolina!

This year, YLD has concentrated on offering more services for our members. That started with the Litigation 101 Series, which has been hugely successful. This program is a series of CLEs on how to handle a case from the beginning through appeals. We are in the planning stages of a Deposition boot camp, later this spring. Additionally, the Second Annual YLD Mid-Year Conference will be held in Jackson on March 27 at the King Edward Hotel. The event will kickoff with a reception the evening before at the King Edward Hotel, and the conference will begin the next morning. This year, the conference will feature a continuation of skills CLEs, including voir dire, opening statements and closing arguments, mediation and deposition skills. We will feature two speakers, Patrick Nelson, the founder of I’m ME, and Judge James Graves of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Patrick Nelson will speak to our young lawyers about the need to think outside the box when giving back to the community and people in need and the necessity of public service. We will hear his personal story of how public service drove him and his brothers, including David Nelson, a professional football player, to form a non-profit organization to help the homeless children in Haiti. The day will close with an ethics hour of advice from Past Presidents of The Mississippi Bar. We are very excited about this event and hope to see you there!

We look forward to building on our active fall and winter as we head into the spring months. If you would like to become more involved with YLD, please contact Rene’ Garner at rgarner@msbar.org or me at jennie.eichelberger@splcenter.org