CBA Record March-April 2021


The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section 1971-2021

Stronger Together: 50 Years and Counting By Kaitlin King, Alexander Passo, and Jacob B. Berger, Co-Editors of the Young Lawyers Section Journal in the CBA Record T he Young Lawyers Section (YLS) was founded in 1971 to address the needs and interests of newly

of reaching the mythological island of Ithaca, “Without her, you wouldn’t have set out.” We live in a great city, and my years in the YLS gave me the impetus to explore it, search out opportunities to serve in different venues, and embark on “the marvelous journey.” budget, staff, and administrative structure. The Section’s programming has been propelled forward with the steadfast work of its leaders. As the Section looks forward to the next 50 years, the YLS Journal reached out to past YLS Chairs for their reflections on the first 50 years.

accomplish even our most serious goals and facilitate the search for innovative ideas to address real needs. It is a tribute to the Section’s ongoing leadership that we have never espoused any one philosophy and there have been no glass ceilings. From the beginning we have focused instead on the problem of method, generating fresh bold ideas to meet the big- gest problems. As Daniel Burnham said, “Make no little plans.” My time at the helm persuaded me that our greatest purpose should be to inspire young lawyers to open windows, to bring their training and skills in the practice of law to the events and con- cerns of the larger world. Quoting that wonderful old poem about the dream Since its inception, the Section has enjoyed national prominence, having repeatedly received the American Bar Asso- ciation award for the best Young Lawyers Section in the United States, as well as numerous awards for individual projects and programs. With over 7,000 members, the Section has its own officers, rules,

admitted attorneys. Through a diversity of substantive practice committees and public service projects, the YLS affords a wide variety of ways for attorneys to participate and pursue innovative ideas and programs.

1970’s and 1980’s

David Hilliard 1970-1971

What stands out most about the inception of the YLS? “Fifty years ago, when we first organized the Section, we hit the

ground running. We drew 3,000 mem- bers, immediately making us one of the largest assemblies of young lawyers in the country. I served as the Section’s founding president. From the outset we focused our efforts on community service and profes- sional development, and I am proud to see that this commitment has never wavered. I might add that the spirit of cheerfulness has always been a part of us! It helped us

Thomas Hayward, Jr. 1971-1972 Do a n y s p e c i f i c moments or experi- ences stand out from your time with the YLS? “David Hilliard and I

met for lunch after attending a Chicago Council of Lawyers event and discussed

26 March/April 2021

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