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.

A Message from TBA YLD President David McDowell:

At the ABA YLD Annual Meeting this past weekend in San Francisco, the TBA YLD received the following awards in its division:

Minority Project
First Place
The TBA YLD was recognized 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.

Service to the Bar
Special Recognition
The TBA YLD was recognized for its annual Mock Trial Competition.

Comprehensive
Special Recognition
The TBA YLD was recognized for its overall member service and public service initiatives.

I am truly amazed that our YLD received all of these awards. The cumulative special recognition award recognizes all that the TBA YLD does from CLE, Wills for Heroes, work with CASA, disaster relief, mock trial, public service, E-DICT, etc. That means as a group we were in essence the third worthiest bar association in the nation for our category. This is an award for each and every member of our board and the other lawyers in our state who put time, knowledge and effort into our projects. A lot of credit has to go to immediate past president David Veile for his tireless work over the years. I am so happy for him and for this recognition.

Also, we won first place with our diversity project that includes our bylaw amendment and the implementation of our invited guest program overseen by our Diversity Committee. This started many years ago with work by Michelle Sellers, David Changas, Tasha Blakney, Mason Wilson and David Veile on the diversity amendment to our bylaws. I believe that our board had some very engaged and tough discussions and decisions on this bylaw amendment that produced a result of which we all can be proud. Credit also to Ahsaki Baptist and the Diversity Committee for their work on the amendment and ultimately putting the amendment into action by communicating with our invited guests and having them attend our meetings. Of course, none of this could happen without the amazing efforts of Stacey Shrader Joslin coordinating and getting information out to invited guests. I think that we all saw the fruits of this collective labor in our meetings at annual convention in June of this year.    

Finally, but equally important, our Mock Trial Competition was specially recognized by the ABA YLD. We all know that we have one of the best state mock trial programs in the country though it is competitive and stressful at times. Plus, our mock trial program only gets better every year. Congratulations to Troy Weston for all of his work and leadership of the program over the last two years. Also, congratulations to all members of the Mock Trial Committee and to all of the former chairs. Undoubtedly, we would not have our current program if it were not for the efforts and advice of former mock trial chairs Marisa Combs (who served for three years!), Colleen Sweeney Bracken, Adam Knight, Jordan Keller, Danielle Barnes, David Johnson and all those who went before.

Special thanks goes to Marshall County General Sessions Judge Lee Bussart Bowles who prepared and submitted this year's award applications. Without Lee's work none of these awards would be a reality.

And thanks to all who make this organization a great place to serve,

David McDowell
TBA YLD President