YLD Committees

The committees of the Young Lawyers Division are responsible for the planning and implementation of many of its projects. To know more about the committees, please see the information below. 

  • Attorney Wellness: This committee's primary responsibility will be to help attorneys accomplish professional development and growth while also achieving fulfillment in their personal lives.

  • Bar Admissions Ceremony:The Fall and Spring Bar Admission Ceremonies are sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division. The induction ceremony enables new attorneys to be admitted to practice in all state trial courts, the Mississippi Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 

  • Bylaws: The Bylaws Committee continually reviews the bylaws to insure they are current, relevant, and reflective of the YLD and is responsible for providing suggested interpretation of bylaw application and drafting amendments for presentment to the YLD Board.

  • Child Advocacy: The Child Advocacy Committee focuses on legal issues concerning children.

  • Communications: This committee will focus on how to get young lawyers involved in YLD and the legal community. 

  • Disaster Legal Assistance: The Disaster Legal Assistance Committee coordinates emergency legal assistance for victims of natural disasters.

  • Diversity and Social Justice: This committee will encourage minority and diverse members to participate in Young Lawyer Division activities and promote minority and diverse involvement in the legal profession. This committee will also evaluate the access and opportunity for all members of the Young Lawyers Division to actively be engaged and heard through activities within the Young Lawyers Division.

  • High School Mock Trial: The High School Mock Trial Committee provides educational litigation experience to Mississippi high school students by sponsoring regional and statewide mock trial competitions and sending the state champion team to the National High School Mock Trial competition. Lawyers, judges and teachers throughout the state get involved in all levels of the competition as coaches, judges and committee members.

  • Lawyer in Every MS Classroom: Lawyer in Every Mississippi Classroom is a program sponsored annually by The Mississippi Bar Young Lawyers Division. This program offers classrooms throughout Mississippi a visit from a lawyer during the school year. Any teacher, Kindergarten through 12th grade, is invited to have a lawyer visit for one class period (approximately 55 minutes)

  • Law School Relations: This committee will encourage participation and involvement with YLD by law students at MC School of Law and University of Mississippi School of Law. 

  • Local Affiliates: The Local Affiliates Committee is compromised of the presidents of the local affiliate organizations across the state.

  • Long Range Planning: The Long Range Planning Committee is responsible for developing and amending the division's Long Range Plan, which sets out the future goals and objectives for the YLD.

  • Nominations, Elections & Awards: The Nominations, Elections & Awards Committee solicits nominations and selects persons to run for a position on the YLD Board of Directors. This Committee also accepts nominations for the annual Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, which is voted on by the YLD Board of Directors.

  • Public Service: The Public Service Committee works to coordinate Lawyer in the Libraries events across the state. At Lawyer in the Libraries events, attorney volunteers meet with participants to provide limited legal advice in the areas of Criminal Law & Expungement, Family Law & Child Custody, Wills & Estates, and Social Security Disability. The committee also coordinates Wills for Heroes. Wills for Heroes is a pro bono program created by the Wills for Heroes Foundation and works nationwide with affiliate organizations to provide free estate planning documents to America's first responders. 

  • Seminars: This committee will plan and implement multiple seminars each year, including the New Lawyer Program and the Litigation 101 Series.

  • Solo and Small Firm Practitioners: This committee will focus on issues facing solo and small firm practitioners.

                                                                                                                                                                                          

Young Lawyers Division 2021-2022 Committee Chairs

Attorney Wellness
Cecelia Virden, Ridgeland
Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy
(601) 974-8732
cvirden@maronmarvel.com

Bar Admissions Ceremony
Kyle Williams, Jackson
Mississippi Attorney General's Office
(601) 359-4233
kyle.williams@ago.ms.gov

Child Advocacy
Reagan J. Spears, Philadelphia
MS Department Human Services
(601) 213-6073
reagan.spears@mdhs.ms.gov

Communications
Alex Parker Shoemaker, Purvis
15th Circuit Court District of Mississippi
(601) 794-3482
ashoemaker@circuit15.org

Disaster Legal Assistance
Ashley N. Cox, Cleveland
Cox & Moore PLLC
(662) 843-8351
ashley@coxandmoore.com               

Diversity and Social Justice
Kimberly M. Hampton, Oxford
U.S. Attorney Office - Northern District of Mississippi
(662) 234-3351
kimberly.hampton@usdoj.gov

High School Mock Trial
Co-Chair: Kye C. Handy, Jackson
Balch & Bingham LLP
(601) 965-8147
khandy@balch.com

Co-Chair: Elizabeth E. Hyde, Ridgeland
Gilchrist Donnell PLLC
(601) 790-2884
ehyde@gilchristdonnell.com       

Law School Relations
Co-Chair: Michael D. Anderson, Jackson
Wells, Marble, & Hurst PLLC
(601) 605-6913
manderson@wellsmarble.com

Co-Chair: Marissa J. Watson, Oxford
Daniel Coker Horton & Bell P.A
(601) 480-9345
mwatson@danielcoker.com

Lawyer in Every MS Classroom
D. D. "Beau" Melton III, Plantersville
John Michael Bailey Injury Lawyers
(662) 719-7200
ddmelton3@yahoo.com  

Nominations, Elections & Awards
Yeager M. Bass, Clarksdale
Merkel & Cocke P.A.
(662) 627-9641
ybass@merkel-cocke.com

Public Service
L. Gabby Cantrell, Jackson
Mississippi Attorney General's Office
(601) 359-5119
gabby.cantrell@ago.ms.gov

Seminars
Co-Chair: Lindsey E. Lazinsky, Oxford
Mississippi Attorney General's Office
(662) 232-2461
llazi@ago.ms.gov         

Co-Chair: Clayton H. Gestes, Jackson
Richard Schwartz & Assoc PA
(601) 988-8888
cgestes@1call.org

Solo and Small Firm
K. Ryan Walker, Water Valley
The Law Office of Kenneth Ryan Walker, PLLC
(662) 506-2702
ryan@krwalkerlaw.com