CBA Record March-April 2020

YLS Special Issue: The Balanced Lawyer

A Letter from the Young Lawyers Section Chair By Octavio Duran, YLS Chair T his year, the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of The Chicago Bar Association set out to make big changes to improve the way we help our members and impact our community. And thus fur, we have had much success, which has made this year a thrilling experience. But before I explain what we have accomplished, I want to take a step back and explain a bit more about who we are and what we set out to accomplish. TheYoung Lawyers Section is comprised of attorneys who are less than ten years out of law school and law school students. Altogether, we number around 8,000 strong. We have an executive board of 12 officers, ranging from the chair to project officers to journal/blog editors. The officers supervise and execute much of our programming. We have 10 directors tasked with multiple roles such as assisting law school student and committee chairs. We have 10 special project coordinators, who manage all the projects that the YLS launches, including Meet the Judges and Shadowing Month. We also have over 30 committees. Committees range frompractice-specific committees such as Tort Litigation to specialized committees such as Moot Court, which organizes and runs the CBA Moot Court Competition. Committee chairs run monthly meetings, which usually center around speakers who teach on a practice-specific topic. Historically, the YLS Chair chooses a theme around which projects and programs are focused for the year. This year, the theme of the YLS is “The Balanced Lawyer” (which also happens to be the theme of this issue). Each month of this bar year has had a sub-theme, focused on specific topics and projects to assist our members. With the Balanced Lawyer theme, our goal is to help members in finding a work-life balance, and to help them gain leverage in their respective fields by improving their book of business and legal skills. We started this year with a networking sub-theme for September. We taught our members the importance of networking and how to overcome reservations and fears about networking. We then launched a Back-to-School Bash, welcoming new and returning law school students to Chicago’s legal community. We had over 200 students at our event, and many have since become actively engaged in the YLS. Students who become engaged early in the YLS discover the value that membership provides for their studies and their career. In October, we presented topics on technology, helping our members learn of time and labor-saving technology to help their respective firms improve their productivity. InNovember andDecember, we had programs centered-around public service and civility, organizing projects such as purchasing toys for children in underprivileged communities, and helping seniors and first responders with their specific legal needs. In January, knowing that most everyone has a NewYear’s resolution of getting in shape, the YLS became a part of that goal- setting group with a focus on physical health and wellness. This coincided with the relaunch of our Most Fit Lawyer Competi- tion, which was a rousing success. In February, we organized our annual Casino Night and Texas Hold’emTournament, where we raised funds for The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF). The CBF uses these funds to improve access to justice in Chicago. We also hosted an “All Bar Social,” where we brought together members of various affinity bar organizations to attend a common event under the umbrella of the YLS. We achieved historic attendance at this event, and this has been the most successful YLS event I have witnessed to-date.

The beauty of these projects is that they have been created by all the levels of our membership. TheYLS has established a system of teaching leadership skills to our members. Our members hone those skills and execute incredibly successful programs, which not only help our members, but also the legal and non-legal communities throughout Chicagoland. CBA ExecutiveDirectorTerryMurphy has said onmany occasions that the legal community cannot survivewithout bar associations. The various events highlighted above and their impacts in the com- munity show that his comments are an accurate assessment of our continued importance and need. Within this issue of theYLS Journal, we have organized a number of articles meant to help young lawyers achieve balance in their work and betweenwork and other aspects of their life. They include articles regarding maintaining physical health, avoiding the fear of failure, as well as a look into the future of the profession and how it continues to evolve. We hope these topics resonate with our readers. I hope all who pick up this issue can find their center, and maintain their balance.


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