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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. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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