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Column: ISBA Young Lawyers Section has busy year

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The Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section has historically been the largest and most active of all the ISBA sections, and it is frequently referred to as the “service arm” of the ISBA. All ISBA members age 36 and under are eligible to become a member of the YLS, and I encourage eligible members to join this dynamic organization.

jasaitis-michael-mug.jpg Jasaitis

I have often been asked about the focus of the state bar’s YLS. If one were to take a look at the governing bylaws, the purpose of the YLS is set forth as follows:

[T]o stimulate the interest of new and young lawyers in the objectives of the Indiana State Bar Association (“ISBA”), to carry on activities which will be of assistance to new and young lawyers in the practice of law, and the citizens of this state, and to make reports and recommendations to the governing bodies of the ISBA.

This essentially means that our mission is to assist in the development of new and young lawyers. The activities and accomplishments of the YLS have certainly advanced this important purpose.

The YLS served the young, the old and the less fortunate with a multitude of service projects, which included the award-winning “Young Lawyers Serving Hoosier Seniors” community service joint projects with local law school students. Networking opportunities with judges from across the state were provided at the inaugural “Dinner with the Judiciary” events and the annual YLS-hosted Judicial Reception. The section also resurrected the state bar’s annual golf outing with a special emphasis on honoring past YLS leaders for their service.

With the incredible amount of participation from the YLS governing council and the entire membership, the YLS has even been recognized on the national level. Specifically, the American Bar Association awarded the Indiana YLS two national awards in the all-around comprehensive and the service project categories. The YLS also received recognition at the recent National Association of Bar Executives’ annual conference, where the YLS received the Luminary Award for Excellence in Publications for its “Legal Stuff (You should know!),” a publication that provides high school seniors with a basic understanding of various areas of law that may affect their lives.

The YLS council members spent countless number of volunteer hours organizing, marketing and attending events to benefit the public and lawyers, with a focus toward those that are young and/or new. Moreover, the YLS could not function as efficiently without the full backing of the state bar leadership, administration and staff. Without question, the ISBA leadership, including Past-President Jeff Lind and current President Erik Chickedantz, fully supported the activities of the YLS and even solicited input involving decisions made at the highest level of the ISBA.

As the immediate past chair, here are a few resonating thoughts in closing:

If you want to get involved in the YLS or the ISBA, simply contact the ISBA. The various YLS committees are not limited to Council members. If there is an interest, and you are willing, the YLS and the ISBA will find a spot for you to serve.

Never underestimate the power of networking. I have yet to meet an attorney that has not benefited from networking in some fashion. So get out and meet your colleagues and members of your community. It will come back to you in a positive manner.

The members of the judiciary in this state, from the trial court all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court, were once in your shoes. My experience is that they want to see young and new lawyers succeed, so don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance and advice.

If you have a passion in a certain area of the law, find a feasible way to pursue it. Take a risk if you have to. Do what you love, and it won’t feel like you are going to work, but rather your calling.

Be yourself and never forget where you came from. When that new or young lawyer comes to you 20 years from now for assistance, remember this message and take the time to provide direction.

Your current YLS Chair, Jason A. Cichowicz, was a big part of this past year’s YLS efforts and will provide this section with strong leadership into 2012. I see the level of involvement increasing during his term, and I’m absolutely confident in the continued success of this section. The YLS will dedicate itself to the steadfast commitment of providing opportunities and assistance to new lawyers in the practice of law. I am honored to have served the YLS, and with the continued participation, and the leadership that will follow, the future of this section is brilliant.•

__________

Michael J. Jasaitis is an attorney with the Crown Point law firm Austgen Kuiper & Associates. He is immediate past chair of the ISBA Young Lawyers Section. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  2. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  3. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  4. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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