News

Service Project and Graduation Wrap Up Law Student Leadership Class

Law students participating in the TBA Young Lawyers Division's Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) met today in Memphis for a final program and graduation. The class attended the annual Lawyers Lunch and then spent the afternoon at the National Civil Rights Museum learning about the role the city of Memphis played in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. On Saturday, the group will hear from a panel of young lawyers discussing what they wish they had known when transitioning from law school to law practice and will have the opportunity to do some “speed networking.” Later in the day, the class will participate in a cleanup and painting project at a local Boys and Girls Club. The class graduation ceremony also will take place this weekend in conjunction with the TBA’s annual convention. Learn more about the DLI

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Employment for Law Grads Hits 18-Year Low

The law school class of 2011 has more depressing news as employment hit an 18-year low, according to data released yesterday by NALP. Nine months after graduation, 85.6 percent had jobs, but not quite 66 percent of them had jobs that required a law degree. This is down 9 percent since 2008. Only 12.5 percent had jobs that preferred but did not require a law degree, up from 10.7 percent for the class of 2010. The National Law Journal has more

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May News From Local YLD Affiliates

American Bar Association YLD – The 2012 ABA Spring Conference that took place in Nashville May 3–5 was a great success. The conference brought together over 325 young lawyers and legal experts from all practice areas and practice settings as well as from six countries. At the meeting, the TBA YLD was named a top four finalist for the “Next Steps Challenge,” which was created to recognize the best YLD affiliate diversity pipeline programs. The TBA YLD’s own Stacie Winkler and Matt Potempa were recognized as Stars of the Quarter for their work planning the meeting. For information about the ABA YLD or to get involved contact Matt Potempa at matt@potempafirm.com or (615) 255-5007.

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Make Plans for Celebrate Pro Bono 2012

Bar associations and legal organizations across the country will hold pro bono clinics and events as part of the national Celebrate Pro Bono effort this fall. The official Celebrate Pro Bono week will be Oct. 21–27, but Tennessee lawyers will hold events all month long. If you are interested in organizing an event in your area contact TBA Access to Justice Coordinator Sarah Hayman or call (615) 383-7421.

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Next Wills for Heroes Set for Sept. 22

The following Wills for Heroes events have been scheduled across the state. Please contact the event organizer for more details or to volunteer. To get involved in the Wills for Heroes Committee or to request a clinic in your area, please contact committee chair Bradley Carter.

Lebanon, Sept. 22
Location: Tressler & Associates PLLC, 212 North Castle Heights Ave.
Contact: Todd Tressler, (615) 444-2345.

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Register Today for 2012 Convention

Pre-registration closes today for the TBA's 131st Annual Convention, scheduled for June 6-9 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis! Don’t miss this chance to join your colleagues for the largest annual gathering of the Tennessee legal community. This year's event is packed with interesting programming and fun activities. Highlights include a visit to the famed Stax Records Museum of American Soul Music, a Bench/Bar luncheon featuring Bill Courtney, the dynamic coach at the center of the Academy Award winning documentary "Undefeated," and high-quality CLE programming on the new Code of Judicial Conduct, tips for growing your practice and more. The TBA YLD will hold its annual membership meeting and elections on Friday, June 8, at 4 p.m. at the hotel. All members are invited! Learn more and register online

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McCallie Places in Top 20 at National Mock Trial

The McCallie School of Chattanooga represented the state of Tennessee at the 2012 National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque earlier this month, placing 16th out of 46 teams. In addition, McCallie student Christian Talley was named one of seven outstanding attorneys in the competition. The Tennessee team squared off against schools from Alabama and Kansas, as well as St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic from Guam, which placed eighth in the competition, and Hinsdale Central from Illinois, which placed ninth. The case, which the students had just one month to learn, centered on the assassination of a Department of Homeland Security agent by a former CIA operative who had taken up contracting work. Following apprehension, the assassin turned informant and testified against a U.S. congressman accused of covering up a million-dollar fraud involving the theft of natural gas. Read more about the team in the Chattanoogan

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Tennessee Lawyers Turn out for ABA YLD Meeting

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division held its spring meeting in Nashville earlier this month. During the weekend, Nashville lawyer Matt Potempa and Knoxville lawyer Troy Weston organized a Project Salute clinic to help veterans obtain federal benefits. Lawyers from across the country gathered at Operation Stand Down in south Nashville to serve more than 20 veterans. Also during the meeting, Memphis lawyer and YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist spoke to attendees about the YLD’s Diversity Leadership Institute – a six-month leadership and mentoring program for diverse law students. The program was named one of four finalists for the ABA’s Next Steps Challenge Grant. TBA YLD President Mason Wilson was on hand to accept the award for that recognition.

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YLD Election Set for Next Week

All members of the Young Lawyers Division are invited to attend the YLD Annual Meeting and Elections set for next Friday, June 8, in Memphis. The meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Hernando DeSoto Room of the Peabody Hotel. The hotel is located at 149 Union Ave. in downtown Memphis. Members will decide the outcome of two contested elections, one for East Tennessee Governor and one for Middle Tennessee Governor. Learn about the following candidates on the YLD's election page:

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CASA Fundraiser a Success

The Jackson-Madison County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division raised money for the local CASA agency with a wine tasting event last week. The event drew about 100 people to support CASA, which advocates for neglected and abused children in the court system. The Jackson Sun covered the event, which sponsors hoped would raise $3,000 for the agency.

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Jackson YLD Hosts Wine Tasting for CASA Tomorrow

The Jackson-Madison County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division will host "Pour Your Heart Out for CASA" tomorrow, May 24, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Charlie Bulldog's in downtown Jackson to benefit Madison County CASA. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Admission includes appetizers and various types of wine to sample. Contact YLD President Terica Smith at (731) 426-1337 or terica@wtls.org for more information or to buy tickets.

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Advice: How Young Women Lawyers Can Succeed

The number of female lawyers in large law firms doesn’t tell the whole story, as the tally for female lawyers in leadership positions is still "depressingly low," says Colin O'Keefe, who is editorial manager at LexBlog Inc. He interviews attorney-mediator and Forbes blogger Victoria Pynchon about the numbers and the hope they give. If you want the law to be your career, she says to young female lawyers, and if you want to practice the most sophisticated and complex law with the brightest people in the world, here’s some good advice for you. Watch the interview from Forbes

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Memphis Lawyer Finds Unique Path to the Law

After spending three years in Washington, D.C., as a writer and editor focused on the pharmaceutical industry, Memphis native Adam Eckstein realized that "lawyers could accomplish a lot in their day-to-day activity" and decided to pursue a career in the law. He earned a degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and returned to Memphis to clerk for Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder. After his clerkship he accepted an offer to join Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston because firm lawyers seemed "thrilled" to be there and "genuinely excited" about their work. He hopes it will be a place to grow personally and professionally. Read more about his journey in the Memphis Daily News

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McCallie Places in Top 20 at National Mock Trial

The McCallie School of Chattanooga finished in the top 20 at the 2012 National High School Mock Trial Championship in Albuquerque last week, placing 16th out of 46 teams. In addition, McCallie student Christian Talley was named one of seven outstanding attorneys in the competition. The case, which students had just a month to learn, centered on the assassination of a Department of Homeland Security agent by a former CIA operative who had taken up contracting work. Following apprehension, the assassin turned informant and testified against a U.S. congressman accused of covering up a million-dollar fraud involving the theft of natural gas. Read more about the team's experience in The Chattanoogan

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TBA Announces Law Day Art, Essay Winners

News from the Young Lawyers Division
Two Knoxville students earned first place in the 2012 Law Day Art & Essay Competition, reports the TBA's Young Lawyers Division, which holds the statewide competition each May. This year's competition was coordinated by Jackson lawyer Ashley Holliday with West Tennessee Legal Services. The theme, "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom,"  asked students to consider the importance of the courts and their role in ensuring access to justice for all Americans.

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YLD Hosts National Gathering of Young Lawyers

The ABA YLD Spring Meeting continued this past weekend with a legal clinic for veterans, a presentation by the TBA YLD, and an award ceremony honoring two Tennessee lawyers. On Friday afternoon, Nashville lawyer Matt Potempa and Knoxville lawyer Troy Weston organized a pro bono legal clinic for veterans as part of the ABA YLD’s public service initiative for the year known as Project Salute, which helps veterans obtain benefits they are due. Lawyers from across the country who were in Nashville for the meeting helped serve 20 veterans at the event. Read more

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ABA YLD Presents Legal Clinic, Awards

The ABA YLD Spring Meeting wrapped up this past weekend with a legal clinic for veterans, a presentation by the TBA YLD, and an award ceremony honoring two Tennessee lawyers. Attorneys from across the country in Nashville for the meeting helped serve 20 veterans during Project Salute. Later, Memphis lawyer and YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist spoke to attendees about the group’s Diversity Leadership Institute, which was named one of four finalists for the ABA’s Next Steps Challenge Grant. The conference wrapped up Saturday with a panel discussion featuring Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Vanderbilt Law School Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch speaking about recent funding cuts and attacks on the judicary. TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur moderated the discussion.

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It's a Family Thing: Brother and Sister Graduate, Pass Bar, Practice with Dad

Jacob W. Fendley and Elizabeth Fendley Hahn made history this spring by being the first siblings to simultaneously graduate from the Nashville School of Law. Following graduation, both passed the bar exam and now they practice in Clarksville with their father, Mart G. Fendley. The Leaf-Chronicle has a picture

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ABA YLD Meeting Features Tennessee Lawyers

Tennessee lawyers are sharing their insights and expertise with young lawyers from across the country at this weekend’s meeting of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in Nashville. The capstone of the three-day meeting is a luncheon on Saturday with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Vanderbilt Law School Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Bar Association Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch speaking on this year’s Law Day theme “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” Other lawyers presenting seminars during the meeting include Gail Vaughn Ashworth, George Barrett, Lisa Cole, Mark Chalos, Matthew Curley, Margaret M. Huff, Anne C. Martin, Bruce McMullen, Barbara Moss, Lucian T. Pera, E. Todd Presnell, Eli J. Richardson, Lisa Rivera, Matt Sweeney, Kendrick Vaughn and Heather Howell Wright.

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New Issue of E-DICT Available (4/12)

The April 2012 issue of E-DICT, the YLD's monthly electronic newsletter, is now available. Have an item to include in E-DICT? Contact editor Adam Moore at adam.moore@regions.com or (865) 521-5274. See back issues of the newsletter on the YLD's newsletters page. Please note that the full archive is available only for members of the group, so be sure to login to the website to see the full list.

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Wills for Heroes Clinic Set for Saturday

Attorneys in upper East Tennessee will provide free wills for emergency responders on Saturday as part of the TBA Young Lawyers Division’s Wills for Heroes program. Event organizer and YLD District Representative Rachel Ralston says both attorney and non-attorney volunteers are still needed. The event takes place at the Washington County/Johnson City EMS Center at 296 Wesley St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Ralston at (423) 943-3101 or rralston@hsdlaw.com for more information or to volunteer. The Johnson City Press has more

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Project Salute Planned for Nashville

The American Bar Association YLD is holding its spring meeting in Nashville this week and will be hosting a Project Salute Clinic on Friday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The program, which is the group's primary public service initiative for the year, educates American veterans on the benefits available to them and helps them obtain those benefits. The program is being led this year by Nashville attorney Matt Potempa. To participate in the clinic, volunteer lawyers must be VA-accredited and complete a three-hour training session. To volunteer for the Nashville clinic, contact Knoxville lawyer Troy Weston at tweston@ebtlaw.com or (865) 544-2010.

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Project Salute Planned for Nashville

The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is holding its spring meeting in Nashville May 3-5 and will be hosting a Project Salute Clinic on Friday, May 4, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The program, which is the group's primary public service initiative for the year, educates American veterans on the benefits available to them and helps them obtain those benefits. The program is being led this year by Tennessee's own young lawyer Matt Potempa.

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Maury Co. Celebrates Law Day with Justice Wade, Awards

Law Day ceremonies got underway in Maury County on Thursday, with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade as the featured speaker. The event also included presentation of the Liberty Bell Award, given to senior chairman of First Farmers & Merchants Bank Virgil Moore. The award, presented by Chaz Molder, president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Maury County Bar Association, recognizes citizens who inspire a deeper sense of individual civic responsibility. Columbia Academy students were also presented with the 2012 Mock Trial Regional Competition Award by the Maury County Bar Association. The Columbia Daily Herald has the story and pictures

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YLD Leader in the News

Memphis lawyer and TBA YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist is featured in a Memphis Daily News article this week focusing on the family influences that led her to a career in the law and the satisfaction she finds in pro bono and volunteer service. She specifically mentions her role with the TBA YLD and the work she has done as chair of the group’s leadership program for law students. Read more here

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