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MSBA’s New Lawyers Section (NLS) Annual Report – 2007-2008

Dan Gilchrist, Section Chair

I. Introduction.

 The NLS had another productive year furthering its mission to represent new lawyers and to promote their involvement in the MSBA.  My personal goal this bar year was to increase member involvement through a variety of useful activities, while at the same time improving the public image of lawyers.  We furthered those goals through the hard work of many new lawyers, including the NLS officers and committee chairs.  This report is respectfully submitted on their behalf.

II. Officers and Committee Chairs.

 Erika Donner served as vice chair.  Lacee Anderson served as secretary.  Christina Weber served as treasurer.  Jennifer Lurken served as CLE Committee chair.  David Classen served as Community Service chair.  Emily Finger and Katie Gettman each served partial terms as the Social Committee chair.  Shanda Pearson and Margaux Soeffker acted as co-editors of our quarterly newsletter, The Hearsay.   Additionally, almost two dozen other NLS members acted as liaisons to other MSBA sections and committees.

Elections for the upcoming bar year were held during our May 2008 Council meeting.  Erika Donner was elected chair. Lacee Anderson was elected vice chair.  Christina Weber was elected treasurer. Charles Delbridge was elected secretary. 

III. Social/Community Events.

A. The MSBA NLS teamed up with the Ramsey County and Hennepin County New Lawyers for an annual NLS Spring Social and food shelf fundraiser, held on April 24th, 2008.  It was a huge success.  The April 24th event was attended by about 130 new lawyers and raised nearly $3,000 dollars and collected several pounds of food, which was all donated to the Second Harvest Heartland food shelf.  The event helped hundreds of local families.   

B. A large committee of NLS members donated their time, resources, and funds to make the New Lawyers Section’s 3rd Annual Toys for Tots Happy Hour a huge success. The event, held December 6th at the Graves 601 Hotel, raised over $4,300 dollars and generated over 100 toys for the Toys for Tots organization. About 100 lawyers attended the event and, along with 15 law firms, donated cash and toys to help hundreds of deserving children enjoy the holiday season.

C. In January 2008, The NLS sponsored a law student/attorney networking event at a glass blowing studio in St. Paul, which was organized by law students interested in MSBA involvement.   This was one of three law school-related networking events attended or organized by NLS members.

D. Our members organized visits to several local high schools to encourage children of all backgrounds to “Choose Law” as a profession, using program materials provided by the ABA-YLD. 

E. We sponsored and organized the MSBA Convention’s Late Night Social (with a live band), as well as a ‘hospitality’ suite after the MSBA's President’s Reception in Duluth in mid June. 

F. After severe flooding in southern Minnesota resulting in a federal disaster declaration, the NLS provided the flood victims with free legal advice and guidance (utilizing our own disaster preparedness manual).

G. Overall, we increased attendance at our monthly meetings and saw more members become involved in activities.

IV. CLEs/Training/Newsletter.
Providing free CLEs and training to our members was important this year.   Through the efforts of our CLE committee chair, Jennifer Lurkin (and others) the NLS conducted training for NLS members that desired to provide free “Wills for Heroes”.  We invited nationally-known financial adviser, Tom Haughty, to Minneapolis to present "Real Life Financial Planning for Young Lawyers".  We conducted four free CLE sessions for our members.   NLS members contributed for publication dozens of substantive articles for the NLS’s quarterly newsletter, The Hearsay.

V.  ABA Involvement

NLS members are very active in ABA events and ABA politics.  The Minnesota delegation at the ABA’s Young Lawyer Division conferences and at its Assembly meetings is known around the country as an active and a large group.  This year was no exception.  The NLS sent numerous delegates and representatives to the ABA Young Lawyers Division conferences and Assembly in order to influence the ABA, to cement relationships, and to encourage new attorneys to become active in the MSBA and ABA.   Two of our active members, Jennifer Daugherty and Mike Miller, were also active in the ABA. Jennifer as a YLD district representative and Mike as a House of Delegates member.

VI.  Recognition. 

Four of our very active members, including officers and committee chairs, were named “Up and Coming Lawyers” for 2008 by Minnesota Lawyer.

VII.  Summary.

I am proud of the accomplishments of our NLS members this bar year.  The free CLEs, the ABA involvement, the high-school and law school outreach, the Toys for Tots fundraiser, and the food shelf fundraiser are just some of the many ways that the MSBA New Lawyers Section is bringing lawyers together to strengthen the community and the profession.   I applaud our NLS members that continue to take time from their schedule to get involved.  It is on their behalf that this report is respectfully submitted.
                                                                        Dan Gilchrist, Section Chair (2007-2008)


- Last Updated 07/07/08 -