News

Upcoming Wills for Heroes Clinics (as of 9/30/13)

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 at bcarter@runyonandrunyon.com. Learn more about the Wills for Heroes program.

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Mentors Needed for Law Student Diversity Program

As the YLD Diversity Committee begins preparations for the fourth annual Diversity Leadership Institute, it is asking attorneys across the state to volunteer to serve as mentors for law student participants. Each member of the DLI class will be assigned to an attorney mentor and will be required to interact with their member at least twice during the six-month program. The class will kick off in January at the TBA Leadership Conference in Nashville. If you are willing to serve as a mentor please contact Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist at (901) 537-1123 or abaptist@wyattfirm.com.

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Celebrate Pro Bono Month Kicks off Tuesday

Every year, Tennessee lawyers help thousands of clients by providing free legal advice. This assistance is especially celebrated and emphasized throughout the month of October, as part of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Celebrate Pro Bono Initiative. Now in its fifth year, the initiative brings together bar associations, law schools, law firms, legal services providers and individual lawyers to offer free services to those unable to afford a lawyer. This year's celebration is expected to involve more than 300 volunteers -- including lawyers, law students, paralegals and language interpreters -- in dozens of events and activities across the state. The effort is part of a national pro bono push.

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Law Launch: 3Ls Blog about Life, Law School, Future Careers

This fall, about 740 students in Tennessee began their final year of law school and the daunting task of finding a job after graduation to pay for it. Also facing this year's 3L class is a profession that many say is in the middle of dramatic change. Technological advances and fallout from the recent recession have altered the legal landscape, leaving law students with the challenge of maneuvering their careers in a climate of uncertainty. Have the last few years just been an aberration or are they a sea change? We’ll see what happens with 15 law students as they blog about their experiences this year on The Law Launch Project.

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Kingsport Bar, LAET Hosts Free Legal Clinics

The Kingsport Bar Association, Legal Aid of East Tennessee and the TBA Young Lawyers Division will host free legal advice clinics to assist low-income individuals every third Thursday of the month. The first clinic will be held tomorrow in downtown Kingsport, 243 East Charlemont Ave., at 4:30 p.m. Read the press release for more information. 

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Incubator Will Assist Young Lawyers in Memphis

The University of Memphis School of Law, in partnership with the Memphis Bar Association and the Service Corps of Retired Executives, has launched a new solo practioner incubator program for young lawyers. ESQ.BUILD, as it is known, is designed for attorneys in their first three years of practice. The idea of the program is not only to teach lawyers how to practice law, but also how to manage a law office. Program organizers say participants will have access to reduced price office space, mentoring and a range of logistical services. Participation will be limited to no more than 10 lawyers, who will be required to handle pro bono cases and donate a certain number of hours of service to the bar association in exchange for the opportunity. The Memphis Daily News reported the story.

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YLD Affiliate News for August 2013

American Bar Association YLD -- The ABA YLD held its Annual Meeting in San Francisco from Aug. 8-13. Delegates from the TBA YLD were in attendance and on hand to receive awards presented for the group’s diversity efforts and overall public and legal service projects (get details here). The Fall Conference will be held Oct. 10-12 in Phoenix at the Arizona Biltmore. For more information about the ABA YLD visit the group online or contact Nashville lawyer Matt Potempa at mpotempa@mhpslaw.com or (615) 810-8438.

Blount County Bar Association YLD -- For more information about the Blount County YLD contact President Donna Ridgel at dmridgel@gmail.com or (865) 309-5291.

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District Spotlight: Making News in Northeast Tennessee

Young lawyers in northeast Tennessee have been busy! Under the leadership of District Representative Rachel Ralston Mancl, the group collected more than 700 stuffed animals for a public service day project titled “Bears from the Bench.” The stuffed animals were donated to juvenile court judges in eight counties for distribution to abused and neglected children who appear in their courtrooms. A special thanks to the following young lawyers who helped with the project: Sunny Sandos, Meredith Humbert, Malia Lawson, Christopher Cameron, George Samuel, Holly Mancl, Robert Black, Jessica Newhart, Travis Holly, Sarah Lawson, William Phillips and Matthew Miller.

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Upcoming Wills for Heroes Clinics (as of 8/29/13)

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 at bcarter@runyonandrunyon.com. Learn more about the Wills for Heroes program at www.willsforheroes.org.

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Suggestions Sought for ‘Solo in a Box’ Resource

Immediate Past YLD President David Veile has been tapped by TBA President Cindy Wyrick to develop a “Solo in a Box” kit to assist new attorneys who have chosen to begin a solo or small firm practice right out of law school. According to Veile, the goal of the project is to have a collection of information, resources and tips that can help the new solo lawyer hit the ground running. In describing the need for this resource, Veile said, “Most of us were blessed with experienced mentors to guide us when we were brand new lawyers. Today, more and more new lawyers are hanging out a shingle and opening solo or small firm practices without an experienced lawyer on hand to provide insights into the ‘nuts and bolts’ of running a law practice.” Veile is seeking input from experienced attorneys, especially those who may have started out as solo/small firm practitioners, about what resources would be most valuable to these new lawyers. Initial plans call for the kit to include information on malpractice insurance, IOLTA rules, practice management, client interviews and choosing vendors. If there is something you wish you had known as a new lawyer or a lesson you learned the hard way – and you are willing to share it – please forward recommendations to Veile at dveile@sbdlaw.net.

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Upcoming Conference Looks at Law Student Pro Bono Issues

The TBA Access to Justice Committee will hold its annual Pro Bono & Public Interest Law School Conference Sept. 6-7 at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Law students, faculty, staff and others interested in learning more about how law students can get involved in pro bono work are invited to attend. The conference will feature presentations by TBA President Cindy Wyrick, Access to Justice Commission Chair and former TBA President Buck Lewis and representatives from law schools and legal aid programs from across the state. Participants also will have an opportunity to engage in discussions on policy issues ranging from mandatory pro bono service for law school graduates to public interest career debt management strategies.

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2014 Law Day Theme Explores History, Future of Voting Rights

The ABA has announced the theme for the 2014 Law Day. In recognition of the approaching 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the theme "American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters" calls on every American to reflect on the importance of a citizen’s right to vote and the challenges that remain to ensuring all Americans have the opportunity to participate in our democracy. One of our most cherished national ideals, expressed by President Abraham Lincoln, is “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” But government by the people is not possible without the right to vote. For this reason, establishing and protecting every citizen’s right to vote has been a central theme of American legal and civic history. Much of the struggle on voting rights began decades ago, but the work of maintaining those rights remains an ongoing challenge. This year’s Law Day theme asks Americans to consider how the right to vote was won, what challenges remain today and how the country can secure this fundamental right for generations to come.

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YLD Diversity Initiative, Other Programs Recognized by ABA

The TBA YLD was recognized for a number of programs and activities at the ABA YLD Annual Meeting in San Francisco this month. The YLD was awarded first place in the Minority Project category for its new invited guest program, which seeks to include the broadest range of perspectives and experiences on its governing board by inviting representatives from all specialty and minority bars in the state to attend meetings and participate in decision-making. The YLD also received special recognition for its annual Mock Trial Competition and its overall member service and public service initiatives. Read more about the programs that were recognized in a message from YLD President David McDowell.

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Wills for Heroes Event Helps More Than 40 First Responders

More than 40 Clarksville area firefighters, police officers, paramedics/EMT's and their spouses received free will drafting and other basic estate planning documents on Monday as part of the TBA Young Lawyer Division’s Wills for Heroes program. A local contingent of attorneys donated their knowledge and expertise at the six-hour program, which took place at the Clarksville Police Department Headquarters. To date, more than 500 TBA lawyers have volunteered their time to serve more than 2,000 first responders. The Leaf Chronicle has the story.

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YLD Recognized by ABA for Range of Programs

The TBA YLD was recognized for a number of programs and activities at the ABA YLD Annual Meeting this past weekend in San Francisco. The YLD was awarded first place in the Minority Project category for its new invited guest program, which seeks to include the broadest range of perspectives and experiences on its governing board by inviting representatives from all specialty and minority bars in the state to attend meetings and participate in decision-making. It also received special recognition for its annual Mock Trial Competition and its overall member service and public service initiatives. YLD President David McDowell provides more details below.

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O'Connor: Civics Education Answer to Politicization of Courts

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, speaking Monday to the National Conference of State Legislatures, urged lawmakers to help improve civics education in their states' schools. The former justice, who spearheaded the iCivics program, says the increasing politicization of the country's courts is a problem and that better civics education could help reverse that trend. WDEF News 12 has the story.

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New Law Firm Launches in Nashville's Hillsboro Village

A group of veteran Nashville attorneys has launched a new firm that will handle estate planning, probate, litigation and personal injury cases from an office in Hillsboro Village. The Nashville Post reports that Sean Martin and David Heller, formerly of DHPM, and sole practitioners Matt Potempa and Jennifer Sheppard have formed Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard. Martin will focus on personal injury cases, while the others will handle probate and estate planning work. Family law and probate attorney Jamie Machamer also will join the firm. "We have put together an exceptional team of attorneys and legal professionals," partner Potempa wrote on Facebook Thursday. "Our goal is to provide the absolute highest quality of legal representation to our clients and we are excited about this new venture."

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House Sends Student Loan Agreement to President

The House sent President Barack Obama legislation that prevents interest rates in new federal student loans from doubling. The bill, which has been approved by the Senate, passed by a 392-31 vote yesterday evening in the House. According to the Memphis Business Journal, the bill allows federal student loan rates to be tied to the yield on 10-year Treasury notes. "This permanent, market-based plan ends the annual game of Congress playing politics with student loan interest rates at the expense of students planning their futures," said state Sen. Lamar Alexander.

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Journal to Feature Law Students in Year Long Series

If you are a law student set to graduate in Spring 2014 (or know someone who is), the Tennessee Bar Journal would like to talk to you. The Journal plans to follow several students through their last year of law school to learn what new lawyers are facing, how they approach the job market and how this may or may not differ from expectations. Students would also be asked to blog about their law school experience. Contact Suzanne Craig Robertson by Aug. 1 if you are interested. Include your law school name, areas of legal interest and a short description of your experience in law school so far.

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YLD Affiliate News for July 2013

American Bar Association YLD -- There is still time to register for the ABA Annual Meeting, which will take place Aug. 8-13 in San Francisco. In addition, ABA affiliates in Tennessee are encouraged to submit nominations for the annual National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, which recognizes an ABA young lawyer in good standing who exhibits professional excellence, service to the profession and the bar, service to the community, and/or a reputation for or the advancement of legal ethics and professional responsibility. Nominations are due Aug. 31. For more information about the ABA YLD visit the group online or contact Nashville lawyer Matt Potempa at matt@potempafirm.com or (615) 255-5007.

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2013 Transactional Practice Offered in Nashville & Memphis

The Young Lawyers Division and TennBarU present the 9th annual Transactional Practice CLE Oct. 18 in Nashville and Memphis. This six-hour seminar will provide lawyers with the information, tools and tips needed to successfully handle transactional, traditional business and probate matters. Specifically, the course will offer practical approaches to handling real estate closings, probate matters and wills and trusts, as well as choosing the right business entity for a client. It also will cover the latest developments in health care law. The day will wrap up with a presentation and discussion about ethics and civility in the practice of law.

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Upcoming Wills for Heroes Clinics (as of 7/31/13)

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 at bcarter@runyonandrunyon.com. Learn more about the Wills for Heroes program at http://www.willsforheroes.org.

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Young Lawyers Complete TBA Leadership Program

Thirty-two attorneys from across the state, including 18 young lawyers, graduated from the Tennessee Bar Association's Leadership Law program during the association's annual convention in Nashville last month. At the group's graduation ceremony, class member and young lawyer Daniel Headrick was presented with the Larry Dean Wilks Leadership Award. The award, named for former TBA President Larry D. Wilks, is selected by the class and recognizes a class member with exceptional leadership qualities. Headrick is an associate attorney at the Knoxville firm of Paine, Tarwater, & Bickers, practicing civil litigation in a variety of areas, including employment law, product liability, personal injury and construction law. See the list of young lawyers among the group below:

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New Long Range Plan Adopted

Every five years, the YLD evaluates and revises its Long Range Plan. Under the leadership of Long Range Planning Committee Chair Stacie Winkler, the members of the committee undertook such a revision during the 2013-2013 bar year. The committee presented the new plan to the YLD Board at its summer meeting last month in Nashville. Major changes from the 2008 plan are summarized below. Questions about the changes or the plan in general should be directed to Winkler at (901) 545-7089 or swinkler@the-med.org.

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Committee Leaders Appointed for 2013-2014

Committees chairs and vice chairs also are in place for the upcoming bar year. Please feel free to contact these leaders if you would like to get involved. Want to know more about what each committee does? Get a description of each committee's activities here.

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