April-May 2017: Did We Cover Every Map Dot?
Unlike my previous messages, it did not take me long to decide what to say or how to end my final message.
In my first message in June 2016, the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Council made a pact and set out a goal: “Together we embark on a mission to get young lawyers from every ‘map dot’ around the state engaged in helping those in our community who ‘have too little’.” Has it really been a year since our first message? It couldn’t be, right? Has the Council that I humbly led done enough? Have WE conquered what we set out to conquer? As I compiled my notes, it became apparent . . . WE HAVE.
Since August 2016, the YLD and young lawyers from across the state have assisted more than 3,700 victims through the Flood Disaster Relief Hotline. This hotline has been reactivated for the tornado and storm victims in the Greater New Orleans area and the YLD will continue to assist in these efforts.
In a joint effort with the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education, the YLD has expanded its law-related education program from the classrooms to the homes and now provides parents and adults with law-related education.
The YLD has worked diligently with the United Way to move our joint efforts to all parts of the state that had not been included in the past, mainly north Louisiana.
In January 2017, the YLD hosted its annual Professional Development Seminar which was attended by 130 young lawyers from throughout the state.
The seminar was followed by the YLD’s newest program, the Louisiana 64 Symposium. The symposium was attended by representatives from 10 parishes who shared ideas and plans, then took those ideas back to their local bars and communities.
In conjunction with other great groups, the YLD co-hosted a Black History Month CLE with more than 40 attendees to discuss the criminal justice system and jury bias which expands across the state.
On March 11, 2017, the High School Mock Trial Competition was held at the 4th Judicial District Courthouse in Monroe. The competition included eight teams and more than 90 students, coaches and teacher volunteers from across the state. The winning team will represent the state in Hartford, Conn.
On March 25, 2017, the YLD hosted its annual Law School Mock Trial Competition with teams from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Southern University Law Center, Tulane University Law School and Mississippi College.
The YLD’s Wills for Heroes Program has served an unbelievable amount of heroes from across the state, including from Baton Rouge, Bogalusa, Raceland and surrounding areas. More than 150 wills were written for our local heroes as of press time.
I truly believe this year’s YLD Council has gone above and beyond what has been asked of them and have reached every map dot across the state. Truthfully, and without hesitation, I can say this was the best Council I have ever served on and could not have done it without the constant efforts of each member and their families. So, I will sincerely end my last message with this: “From the bottom of my heart, thank you Erin Braud, Brad Tate, Dylan Thriffiley, Cristin Bordelon, Scott Sternberg, Shayna Morvant, Jeff Hufft, Lauren Gardner, Adam Johnson, Carrie Jones, Kristi Richard, Christie Wood, Ethan Hunt, Allison Foster, Kellen Mathews, Graham Ryan, Kristen Burge, and, of course, Kelly Ponder.”