YLD Winter Happenings

While the weather may have been chilly, the YLD has stayed warm this winter by planning and leading multiple successful events and panels. Our law students continue to show up big and are very active on each law school campus. In addition, our YLD committee chairs have been planning, fundraising, and yes, even having a little bit of fun!

Law Students

In the fall, the YLD leadership team made a concerted effort to encourage law students to join our committees. With a big social media push led by our fearless #Fairylawmother (Kayla Britt, Law Student Division Director), we made the ask to law students to sign up for our committees. And our law students responded! We are always thrilled to have new committee members, but we are especially excited to welcome our law students at this early stage in their careers. Our hope is that they will continue to serve with us for years to come.

Thirteen YLD members stand together outside after a group event. They are smiling.

The campaign to recruit law students to join YLD committees is on!

In addition, our law student representatives have been busy planning events on each campus. This fall, we hosted the following events:

  • October 18, 2022: The University of North Carolina hosted a panel called “Finding that First Job and Setting Yourself Up for Success”
  • October 24, 2022: Wake Forest University hosted a pro bono panel
  • October 27, 2022: North Carolina Central University hosted an Entertainment Law panel
  • November 3, 2022: Duke University hosted a panel on government careers in North Carolina
  • November 10, 2022: Campbell University hosted a panel on JD-Preferred and Alternative Careers
  • November 12, 2022: Elon University hosted a Wills for Heroes event

Way to go law student reps! Thank you for bringing such great content to our law schools.

A Black panelist wearing a coral shirt is shown at a podium. Three presenters are seated at a table nearby.

Panelists present “Government Careers in North Carolina” program.

Our Grab-a-Coffee (GaC) program (led by Matt Meinel and Alex Gwynn) started up again for the spring on January 17. The program pairs law students and practicing attorneys by subject matter and geographic region to meet for 30 minutes to an hour over coffee. We are hoping to meet or beat our 212 matches from our fall session of the program, so please sign up if you are willing to help with this program.

Finally, on January 19, after NCBA’s winter board meetings, the Bar Center hosted over 200 law students for our annual Law Student Reception. We were so excited to host this event in person this year after our break for COVID, and the turnout did not disappoint. NCBA leaders and law students networked for over 2 hours in small groups at tables organized by practice area. Law students also played Bingo to try to check off categories of activities, like meeting a lawyer from your hometown or talking to an attorney in a particular practice area. I even spoke with two law students who drove to this event from Ohio because they plan to relocate to North Carolina after law school. Thank you to our law students for showing up and thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this event a success.

An aerial shot captures Morgan, who stands addressing a large group of law students standing in the bar center foyer.

NCBA President Clayton Morgan addresses the Law Student Reception.

Legal LINK

The YLD’s Legal LINK (Leadership, Information, Networking, and Knowledge) Program, chaired by Cherell Harris and Jasmine Gregory, seeks to provide educational programming about legal careers to high school students who are underrepresented in the legal profession. The program has now expanded to Mecklenburg County while continuing to serve Wake County and Durham County. By exploring a partnership with Lawyers for Literacy, the program has been able to serve more schools. The committee has plans to host panels at Hillside High School, the Durham County Youth Detention Center in the next month. The committee also plans to start programs at Hornets Nest Elementary and David Cox Elementary in Mecklenburg County.

Day of Giving

On November 29, the YLD’s Foundation and Development Committee, chaired by Sarah Clark and Riley Smith, partnered with the North Carolina Bar Foundation (NCBF) to encourage YLD and NCBA members to give to the NCBF on the day of giving. Sarah and Riley, along with our YLD social media ambassadors, led a social media campaign that started over a month before the event, encouraging members to save the date and telling them when to give. The NCBF and yours truly (YLD Chair) partnered on a campaign to reach out to past YLD Chairs and encourage them to give. The initial goal of the YLD was to raise $10,000. However, our group loves to exceed expectations. As a result, we raised over $40,000, including 21 new donor gifts and 25 YLD gifts. Way to go, team!

Second Quarterly Meeting

The YLD hosted its second quarterly meeting of the bar year on December 3 at the offices of Fox Rothschild in Greensboro. We had over 20 leaders attend in person and even more attend via Zoom. We planned for the spring and spent time together at a holiday social afterwards. A cheese plate, holiday cookies, and beverages were had by all with the backdrop of some festive décor.

Professionalism for Newly Admitted Attorneys (PNA) Program

The YLD welcomed our newly admitted attorneys who just passed the bar exam on December 6 and 7 through the NCBA’s PNA program. We were pleased to welcome these attorneys to the profession. We were also proud to have so many members of YLD’s leadership speaking at the event, which included Collins Saint, Jonathan Bogues, Michele Livingstone, Kayla Britt, Sheila Spence, and Samantha Gordon.

Looking ahead, we have an exciting spring planned, including Legal Feeding Frenzy, the ABA mid-year conference, Law Week and Liberty Bell Award, and Well-Being in the Law Week. This article is just a summary of all of the great things the YLD is up to. Our leadership team, committee chairs, and committee members deserve all of the credit for the great work that they are doing. Please continue to follow along and join us for an event soon!

Lisa Williford is 2022-23 chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.