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Newsletter of the ABA Business Law Section
  Young Lawyer Committee
February 2013

Message from the Chair

Featured Articles
  Young Lawyers: Manning the Gates of Entrepreneurship
  Five Things Every Young Business Lawyer Needs to Know About Bankruptcy
  From Law Student to Business Law Attorney
  A Question for Young Lawyers: "Who is Your Client?"

Practice Tips for Being Your Best
Column by Sakina Rasheed

ABA Connections
  Volunteer to Contribute to ABA Book Series

Subcommittee Feature
  Become a "social entrepreneur"

Upcoming Webinars
  Pro Bono Opportunities for Transactional Lawyers

Editorial Board:

Ian C. Larson
    Co-Editor
    Trenam Kemker
    ILarson@trenam.com


Amy R. Rigdon
    Co-Editor
    Holland & Knight LLP
    Amy.Rigdon@hklaw.com


Andrew M. Por
    Associate Editor
    Cohen & Gresser LLP
    APor@CohenGresser.com


Natalie Panossian
    Associate Editor
    Ricoh Printing Systems America, Inc.
    napanossian@gmail.com


  Message from the Chair
 
Mac R. McCoy, Committee Chair Mac R. McCoy
Carlton Fields
Tampa, FL

Happy new year! I am extremely proud to report that since the Annual Meeting in Chicago, the YLC leadership has been hard at work implementing several new strategic initiatives. The primary goal of these strategic initiatives is to promote greater involvement of young lawyers and law students in the Business Law Section. Chief among the Committee's strategic initiatives for 2013 is an effort to reinvigorate the YLC's social, networking, programming, and administrative events held annually during the Section's Spring Meeting. We are excited to showcase these changes at the 2013 Spring Meeting to be held April 4-6, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Please look for additional details about these developments. In the meantime, below are a few important announcements that we want to share with you now.

Register for the for the 10th Annual Institute for the Young Business Lawyer:

Every year during the Section's Spring Meeting, the YLC hosts a full day of programming and networking opportunities designed specifically for young lawyers. The 2013 Institute will be held on Saturday, April 6 in Washington, D.C. and will feature eight CLE programs running in four concurrent sessions. Each of the concurrent sessions will feature a basic-level and an intermediate-level program. We will kick off the Institute with a short networking breakfast, followed by a morning plenary session sponsored by the Section's Business Law Advisors Committee. The Institute will conclude with an afternoon plenary session featuring keynote speaker David Lat, Founder and Managing Editor of Above the Law. Of course, law students are also welcome (and encouraged) to register for the Institute. Register for the Institute now by visiting the registration page.

Leadership Opportunities:

Below are the YLC leadership and volunteer opportunities currently available. If you are interested in one of these opportunities, please contact the person listed below for more information.

1. YLC Social Media and Webpage Manager: The YLC desperately needs 1 or 2 energetic, reliable, trustworthy, and tech-savvy volunteers to manage the Committee's social media presences on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Additionally, these volunteers will be asked to regularly update and manage approved content on the YLC's existing webpage. In addition to working closely with Section Staff, the volunteers will report to the YLC Chair and the Co-Chairs of the YLC Communications and Technology Subcommittee. Successful applicants may also be considered for appointment as Vice Chairs of the YLC Communications and Technology Subcommittee beginning in August 2013. If you are interested in this opportunity, please forward your CV or professional biography to me (mmccoy@carltonfields.com) for consideration.

2. YLC Director to the Section's International Coordinating Committee: The YLC has been asked to designate a liaison to the Business Law Section's International Coordinating Committee. The International Coordinating Committee is responsible for coordination with other Committees of the Business Law Section in regard to international business law issues. In order to fulfill this responsibility the Committee seeks to: identify the Business Law Committees that have international law issues and provide a list of such committees and areas of international law being addressed; provide on its website a list and link of international programs presented by the Committees during the last several years for access by members of the Section; coordinate between committees and subcommittees presenting international content at Section meetings and ensure no overlaps or timing conflicts; and provide attorneys from other countries assistance in membership and participation in Business Law Section activities. In addition, where there are initiatives to revise international business laws, the Committee will circulate information to interested Business Law Section participants. If you are interested in this opportunity, please forward your CV or professional biography to me (mmccoy@carltonfields.com) for consideration.

3. Professional Responsibility Committee: The Section's Professional Responsibility Committee ("PRC") is looking for a young lawyer to serve as the PRC's Technology Director. The PRC is also looking to involve more young lawyers in the Committee's substantive work. For more information about the PRC itself, visit the Committee's webpage http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=CL290000. If you are interested in working with the PRC in any capacity, please contact the PRC Chair, Charlie McCallum (CMcCallum@wnj.com), for more information.

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  Featured Articles
   
Young Lawyers: Manning the Gates of Entrepreneurship
By Devin Leary-Hanebrink

Freshly minted lawyers hold vast amounts of power, far more than the average debt-saddled graduate can imagine. Upon conferment of a simple degree, every new attorney receives one of the world's greatest gifts-credibility. Notwithstanding Hollywood's and Washington's fanciful tales of corruption, attorneys are, generally, well respected and presumed knowledgeable-until proven otherwise. Like your teacher said on the first day of class, "Each student starts the year with a 100%. It is your responsibility to maintain it." While new attorneys are presumed knowledgeable and granted deference, it is your responsibility to maintain it.

More...

Five Things Every Young Business Lawyer Needs to Know About Bankruptcy
By Cara Kelly, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC

Several years ago, when my practice consisted solely of commercial and business-related litigation, just the word bankruptcy left a sour taste in my mouth: not only was I completely devoid of any working knowledge of bankruptcy law, I had absolutely zero interest in learning it. (Didn't we already learn enough in law school?) I coasted in this ostrich-like existence for a few years until, inevitably, my clients started desperately requesting bankruptcy-related advice. Not only did I dread the thought of learning an entirely new subject, but the large, dusty Bankruptcy Code book in my office made a really nice base for my orchid, and I had always planned on keeping it that way.

More...

From Law Student to Business Law Attorney
By Ryan C. Higgins, Gaudry Ranson Higgins & Gremillion LLC

Entering the practice of business law can be a challenge for any young attorney, especially one without a business background. Law school encompasses a wide range of courses like torts, legal research and writing, contracts and constitutional law. In law school, students learn the basic knowledge and skills needed to practice law and pass the bar exam. Aside from taking a class on business entities, most attorneys do not really delve into business law until after law school.

More...

A Question for Young Lawyers: "Who is Your Client?"
By Samantha L. Yanco

"Who is your client?" A partner of my firm asked this question during my second week as an associate. I had just completed a first draft of three assignments for three different attorneys. The assignments were similar: brief, straightforward pre-trial motions. I had researched comprehensively, proofread closely, edited carefully and yet, there I was, staring stupefied at three slim stacks of paper spread horizontally across my desk, each with a variety of red-inked lines dashing through my words and my confidence.

More...

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  Practice Tips for Being Your Best
 

By Sakina Rasheed, Haynes & Boone LLP

This column will offer a different practice tip each issue to help young lawyers navigate the practice of law and be the best young lawyer.

Master the Art of E-Mail

We have all been guilty of drafting a substandard e-mail at some point-missing subject lines, typographical errors, misspelled words, overly vague references to a person or document, using ALL CAPS or forgetting an attachment. As a lawyer, you have either received or, in the heat of a stressful deal or case, sent an e-mail that could have been drafted more eloquently. However, consistently drafting well-crafted and polished e-mails is a simple way to set you apart as a young lawyer. Given the global nature of law practice today and the fact that e-mail may be the only contact many of your colleagues and clients will have with you as a young lawyer, your e-mails could be all that people have to rely on when assessing your work product. Here are some simple tips to help master the art of e-mailing with minimal effort.

More...

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  ABA Connections
   
Volunteer to Contribute to ABA Book Series

The ABA Corporate Counsel Committee is recruiting volunteers to work on updating the Corporate Counsel Toolkit publication. This book series was originally published in 2007 and is designed to serve as a reference guide for in-house counsel.

The series contains nine chapters with introductory level materials to help orient in-house counsel to areas of the law with which they may not be familiar. Volunteers can play a variety of roles but are mainly needed to review the last edition and suggest areas where the substantive law has changed or update sections that could be improved from the first publication.

This is a great opportunity to get involved in a publication project and give yourself the opportunity to be a named contributor on an ABA book series. A list of the chapters contained in the toolkit are included below. If you are interested in volunteering for this project, or have colleagues who might be interested, please email Cara Bradley at cara.bradley@xyleminc.com with your contact information and the chapters you would be interested in working on.

The chapters of the toolkit are:

  • Chapter 1- General Business Contracts
  • Chapter 2- Corporate Governance
  • Chapter 3- Corporate Compliance and Ethics
  • Chapter 4- Employment Law
  • Chapter 5- Intellectual Property
  • Chapter 6- Litigation
  • Chapter 7- Training Outside Counsel
  • Chapter 8 (new)- Corporate Investigations
  • Chapter 9 (new)- Cyberspace/Data Privacy

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  Subcommittee Feature
   
Become a "social entrepreneur"
By William J. Woodward, Jr., Chair, ABA Business Law Pro Bono Committee

It was news to me that people who facilitate pro bono and other kinds of social justice work are known as "social entrepreneurs" and there is actually a business school discipline by the same name.

Active participation in the Section's Pro Bono Committee is this kind of work. It is building structures and programs that make it easy for others to do pro bono work and thereby produces more of it at the client level. And while it is indirect pro bono work, there is huge potential for improving people's lives in this indirect way. Social entrepreneurship is ideally suited to business lawyers who, after all, are nearly always engaged in creating new value.

The Pro Bono Committee is in need of active, imaginative, social entrepreneurs who can take the Committee's work to the next level. We have subcommittee chair opportunities in many areas and the capacity to create subcommittees to fit a particular interest if it will advance the Committee's work.

Please consider volunteering for an active leadership position. Send your name, affiliation, and interest to our Staff Assistant, Leslie Archer, leslie.archer@americanbar.org. I am hopeful that we can engage you to help us engage others in this essential, rewarding work.

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  Upcoming Webinars
   
Pro Bono Opportunities for Transactional Lawyers
February 26, 2013
12:00 p.m. ET

This webinar will identify opportunities for transactional lawyers to give back to their communities by providing pro bono services. Topics discussed will be:

  1. finding the right pro bono assignment
  2. carrying out the assignment
  3. demonstrating to your firm how pro bono work provides value and experience

The full information can be found at http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/comadd.cfm?com=CL983500&pg=2.

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