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YLS Committees

YLS committees are a great way to learn more about a specific practice area.  Most committees meet during the noon hour at the CBA and feature expert speakers, legislative updates and case law developments.  There are no special requirements or extra section fees to join.

With 25 committees specifically geared for the new attorney, make new contacts and develop a network of business referrals that are critical to growing and maintaining a vital law practice. Join a committee today!


Bankruptcy
The Committee will continue its tradition of close contact with the practitioners and judges of the bankruptcy bar. The monthly informal luncheons are an excellent opportunity for an attorney to network, keep abreast of current issues in the law, and question prominent attorneys in the field. The Committee will sponsor two bankruptcy seminars.


Career Assistance
The Career Assistance Committee sponsors programs for lawyers of all levels of expertise facing career changes. The Committee addresses job search techniques, networking strategies, lateral transfers, alternative career options including contract, part-time and non-legal practice opportunities, stress management, and more. Forums include monthly speakers, workshops, support groups and presentations with other CBA and YLS committees.  Members should also consult the CBA's website for information on the Chicago Bar Career Center.


Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition
The  Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Competition, run by the Young Lawyers Section's Moot Court Committee, will be held in the fall of 2014 at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. The Competition allows students representing law schools from across the country to develop their appellate advocacy skills by preparing briefs on current legal issues confronting federal courts and arguing their positions before practicing attorneys and judges. Committee members create the appellate record, score and critique the briefs, recruit judges for oral arguments, and organize and manage the Competition. Volunteers are needed to grade briefs and judge the competition. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the YLS.


Civil Rights
The Civil Rights Committee focuses on exploring a multitude of views on a wide variety of legal issues that are currently at the forefront of civil rights jurisprudence. The Committee invites speakers to its monthly meetings to provide insight and practical guidance on pertinent legal issues related to civil rights litigation and mediation. We welcome practitioners, attorneys, judges, professors, and law students who are interested in discussing civil rights in the context of a broad range of practice areas.


Corporate Practice
The Committee aims to serve the diverse needs of young corporate law practitioners including those at small and large firms alike. The committee will sponsor two extended seminars on topics germane to our committee members' representation of closely held and public entities. The Committee will assist young lawyers in addressing the needs of their clients, developing professional skills, and making contacts in the Chicago legal community.


Creative Arts
The Committee provides an opportunity for young lawyers to learn about art and entertainment law topics from seasoned practitioners and members of the art community. We strive to create a friendly environment where members can share their experiences, garner valuable tips, and network. Topics for past luncheon meetings have included the right to publicity, film production agreements, and representing screen writers. The Committee also holds two seminars designed to provide practical advice on an important topic of art or entertainment law.


Criminal Law
Perceptions about our criminal justice system directly affect society's confidence in (and respect for) the rule of law. With this concept in mind, the Criminal Law Committee seeks to provide an opportunity for young lawyers to actively engage in efforts to improve the quality of justice in our community. To further this end, the Committee will invite jurists, current and former prosecutors, and prominent defense attorneys to share their experiences, opinions and advice respecting the practice of criminal law.


Diversity
The committee strives to build a strong professional and social network for minority attorneys as well as develop community outreach programs to better serve our communities. Meetings feature some of the most knowledgeable people in the legal community addressing a variety of innovative issues that are currently facing minority attorneys. The Committee works to provide a network of acquaintances and explore issues that face minorities in the legal profession.


Education
The YLS Education Committee aims to provide young practitioners with an opportunity to address and understand issues within the area of public education law at the pre-K, primary, secondary and post-secondary levels.   The monthly meetings will offer presentations and discussions with practitioners regarding myriad topics, including labor relations, employment, special education, student discipline, student rights, policy development, board governance, funding issues, federal mandates, Illinois State Board of Education mandates and reporting requirements, and new school laws. The committee also address practice before federal and state agencies, such as the Office for Civil Rights, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.


Environmental
The Environmental Law Committee provides information concerning the legal and scientific aspects of an environmental law practice.  Such a practice can include litigation, transactional work, and counseling clients to comply with the complex regulatory and statutory scheme that seeks to control pollution, remediate contaminated property, and conserve and manage natural resources.  The Committee also raises awareness of different career paths and provides career guidance to law students and young lawyers that are interested in environmental law.


Estate Planning
Drafting an effective estate plan involves more than just using the latest form book or computer program. Today's estate planner must stay current with recent developments in case law, tax law, and new planning techniques. Committee members discuss recent developments on a monthly basis over lunch prior to hearing a presentation on various estate planning topics such as: innovative drafting and succession techniques, trust administration, retirement planning, estate gift & GST taxation and more. Experienced estate planners who share their insight on the practice and career development typically give presentations.


Family Law
This Committee is geared to young family law practitioners. At informal monthly luncheon meetings, experienced and respected matrimonial attorneys, jurists, and experts will discuss everyday practical and legal aspects of practicing in this volatile and dynamic area of law. In addition, formal seminars will keep the young attorney apprised of current legal developments and the many sophisticated nuances of family law practice. Both the luncheon meetings and the seminars will provide an opportunity for young attorneys to interact with Chicago's family law associates and prominent family law attorneys and judges.


Health & Hospital Law
The Committee provides a forum for members to exchange viewpoints and keep up-to-date, by both committee members and guest speakers, on current legal issues and developments related to the health care community. In addition to monthly luncheon meetings and workshops, the Committee presents two seminars during the year, both of which provide in-depth reviews of timely health law providers (ie., physicians, hospitals, and ancillary service providers) and payor and insuring arrangements (ie., PPO, HMO, PSO, and TPA).


Health & Wellness
The Health and Wellness Committee's goal is to promote a healthy work/life balance among attorneys. In connection with the Young Lawyers Section, the Committee organizes and encourages participation in Chicago's Most Fit Attorney competition as well as other athletic events such as Race Judicata. The Committee will host seminars and publish literature on topics such as nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction.


Insurance Coverage
As new lawyers quickly learn, insurance coverage issues touch upon almost every area of litigation. The Committee is designed to educate new lawyers about insurance coverage issues and provide a forum for members to discuss emerging topics. Insurance coverage issues concerning a variety of topics will be addressed, including: intellectual property, construction law, bad faith, and environmental and professional liability. Guest speakers from the legal community and/or the insurance industry will address topics relevant to both the insured and the insurers at monthly meeting. In addition, the Committee also will present seminars during the year on timely, substantive and procedural coverage issues.


Intellectual Property Law
The Intellectual Property Committee presents monthly talks and discussions on current developments on copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret law. Many talks also concern the nexus between the Internet and IP law. The meetings are not only for IP specialists but are also for general practitioners with an interest in this rapidly changing field.


International Corporate & Trade Law
The International & Foreign Law Committee deals with both private and public international law, including U.S. and foreign legal aspects of international business transactions, litigation and arbitration, taxation of foreign income, foreign investment laws, treaties, the United Nations and other international organizations. The committee also explores the nuances and importance of international criminal law.


Labor & Employment Law
The Labor & Employment Law Committee is concerned with all legal issues that arise from or affect the employment relationship, including labor-management relations, personnel policies, discrimination claims and other state and statutory claims affecting employment. The committee also addresses practice and procedures before federal and state agencies, alternative dispute resolution forums, and the courts within which employment issues are resolved.


Law Exploring
In conjunction with the Career Exploring Division and the Boy Scouts of America, the Committee teaches trial advocacy skills to high-school students interested in careers in law and government. Each meeting during the school year focuses on practicing a different trial advocacy skill with the students. The program culminates by selecting and preparing a trial team to participate in the American Bar Association's national high school mock trial competition. Committee members coordinate activities and act as teachers and mentors to the students.


Law Student
The Law Student Committee provides a forum for Chicago area law students not only to participate in the CBA, but also to cater a committee agenda to their specific interests.  The Committee is involved in numerous activities throughout the year, such as orientation displays for students, the All-School Reception, a meeting with Illinois Bar Examiners, the Blood Drive Competition, social events, and a law student newsletter. The Committee often presents students with their first taste of a professional association or introduction to legal contacts outside their educational institutions and can provide an eye and career opening experience to all. Students interested in getting involved with this committee should call the Chair or contact their school's representative for more information. 


Legal & Regulatory Compliance
The YLS Legal and Regulatory Compliance Committee's goal is to address and explore the pressing regulatory issues of the current business market. The Committee provides attorneys with the tools necessary to effectively strategize and solve these complex legal and regulatory issues. With the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency ("CFPB") in 2011 under the authority of Dodd-Frank, there are new rules and regulations that must be adhered to. The CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (The Compliance Committee's goal is to address and explore the pressing regulatory issues of the current business market. The Committee provides attorneys with the tools necessary to effectively strategize and solve these dynamic legal and regulatory issues. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") together have guided companies on how to remain compliant for the benefit of the consumer in such a complex regulatory environment. Hence, the Committee focuses on federal and state based regulations that have a strong impact on various financial markets, including but not limited to the credit card, insurance, credit reporting, and banking industries.


Professional Responsibility
In these times of increasing public criticism of the legal profession, we are seeing greater enforcement of the Rules of Professional Conduct by our courts and bar associations. Through meetings, seminars and discussions with other lawyers, the Committee will address the issues relating to the ethical proprieties of professional conduct of lawyers. The Committee will also review news and developments in the area of professional responsibility from court decisions, ethics opinions, and disciplinary proceedings.


Public Outreach
The Public Outreach Committee serves as the YLS vehicle for delivery of free legal services to the public in certain areas. The committee currently oversees workshops at which volunteer lawyers create free estate planning documents for low-income seniors and emergency first responders through the Serving Our Seniors program and Wills for Heroes, respectively. Estate planning experience is not required as a training occurs before each workshop.


Real Estate Law
This Committee discusses basic issues in property sales, ownership, management, and taxation. In addition to extensive seminar offerings that address practitioners' concerns and basic principles of commercial and residential real estate transactions, the committee meets each month for lunch presentations. In addition to presentations from judges, recent topics have included technical requirements of perfecting mechanic's liens, new HUD regulations requiring lead-based paint disclosures, purchasers' due diligence requirements in commercial transactions, tax sale proceedings, choosing lease escalation terms, forcible detainer practice, consumer fraud issues, and ethical considerations.


Social
The Committee arranges for gatherings of friends and colleagues at different festive locations in the Loop, River North or Lincoln Park. Socials are generally held on the second Wednesday of each month. This is a great opportunity for young lawyers to unwind and relax after a busy day of legal work. Each social gathering lasts from approximately 6 to 8 p.m. and includes savory appetizers as well as discounted (and sometimes free) beverages. 

Tort Litigation
The area of tort litigation covers a vast spectrum of problems and challenges.  Practitioners may be faced with handling everything from a simple auto accident case to a class-action products liability lawsuit. Attorneys practicing in this area must become conversant in complex scientific principles and medical procedures and, in turn, must convey these concepts to a jury.  Additionally, attorneys must be familiar with venue and jurisdictional rules, and be aware of any quirks in the local law. The Committee's purpose is to provide its members with the information necessary to pursue or defend their cases from the initial investigation of the case to its resolution. Monthly meetings keep attorneys current on new theories of liability and methods of practice and procedure. Luncheon and seminar speakers are drawn from the most notable members of the bench and bar.

Women in the Law
The Committee sponsors an annual seminar that addresses women's issues within the legal, political, and societal arenas and provides a forum to discuss current issues affecting women.  The Committee also runs a mentor program that joins new and experienced attorneys together in a mentoring relationship.  The Committee further co-sponsors events throughout the year with organizations such as the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women, and the National Association of Women Lawyers.  The Committee provides an excellent opportunity for women within the legal profession to meet other women in diverse practice areas, discuss issues of special interest to women, and be a strong voice within our community.