Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

Seat at the Bar: What the DBA Does for Young Lawyers ~ By Raul Chacon, Jr.

Legal culture, legal community, “the bar” — terms that, to an outsider, seem imposing, foreign, mysterious and even threatening at times — can and should be words that young lawyers understand and absorb in their professional identities. But every young lawyer must struggle initially to find out how to be part of the legal community after defining what that community is. This is nothing short of a daunting task. Fortunately, the DBA YLD is here to help.

The DBA YLD’s purpose is simple: to stimulate the interest of young and recently admitted lawyers in the objectives of the Denver Bar Association, to promote professional and social understanding and cooperation among young and recently admitted lawyers, and to contribute to the educational and professional advancement of all lawyers in general and young and recently admitted lawyers in particular. In short, the DBA YLD exists to help young lawyers find their place in the legal community and to feel engaged. The DBA YLD is a member and participant-driven organization, and its ability to serve its purpose depends on young lawyers’ involvement.

This year, the DBA YLD has a wide range of opportunities for young lawyers to be involved in the legal community. Some events are specifically designed to motivate young lawyers to practice and introduce them to critical resources. For example, the DBA YLD is sponsoring its annual Court Orientation on November 17. This event is a full-day, low-cost CLE featuring judges, court staff and practicing attorneys. It is designed to arm young lawyers with the tools they need as they begin work as practicing attorneys. Court Orientation also serves as an informal networking platform through which young lawyers can meet and connect with other newly admitted lawyers. At the conclusion of the event, young lawyers will be able to network with even more members of the legal community at this fall’s premier Barristers After Hours happy hour social.

CLE opportunities don’t stop at Court Orientation. The DBA YLD sponsors monthly CLEs designed by young lawyers and for young lawyers as part its Coffee Talk Series. Coffee Talk offers low-cost CLE credit and features topics specifically aimed at young lawyers. In addition, Coffee Talk serves as a forum for young lawyers to give accredited CLE presentations and is an ideal public-speaking opportunity for young lawyers. Young lawyers can also get published by submitting articles to appear on the DBA YLD’s blog. Any member of the DBA YLD executive council can facilitate planning a Coffee Talk presentation or a blog entry.

Social and professional networking opportunities also abound. From monthly Barristers After Hours to organized outdoor activities, including hikes, the annual Ski CLE trip, sporting events, relay teams for the Colfax Marathon and the spring Golf Tournament, young lawyers have countless ways to get to know their peers.

Young lawyers also have the opportunity for community involvement through Lawsuit Days (a clothing drive sponsored each fall), food drives, book drives and other events throughout the year. The success of these activities depends entirely on member participation. Young Lawyers can help coordinate and contribute to these community-focused activities that help raise the visibility and impact of the legal community.

Young lawyers can stay up-to-date with upcoming DBA YLD events though its newsletter, by visiting dbayounglawyers.org and by checking us out on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We hope you will join our dynamic community! D

raul-chacon-webRaul Chacon, Jr. is an associate at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart and currently serves on the DBA YLD Executive Council. He can be reached at raul.chacon@ogletreedeakins.com.

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