Chair: James Baker
The Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division’s (“YLD”) Ad Hoc Anti-Racism Committee was established in response to recent events, including the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, which have again highlighted longstanding issues of systemic racism, oppression, and disenfranchisement of Black people and other persons of color in America. As lawyers, we are uniquely positioned to enact changes within the system that are necessary to stop the unjust cycle of systemic racism.
The Committee’s mission is to educate our members and the broader community regarding the history of systemic racism, as well as our collective responsibility to take action by being vocally and actively anti-racist.
Our goal is to make real progress toward breaking the cycle of systemic racism by engaging actively in anti-racist dialogue, organizing opportunities to discuss these issues openly, providing a platform for diverse individuals to share their personal experiences in order to both empower and educate, and continuing to be allies to Black people and other persons of color. To meet our goals, the Committee aims to apply a sustained focus on these issues throughout all of the programming within the YLD.
The YLD unequivocally supports equality and stands with Black and other marginalized communities of color. While we recognize it is incumbent upon each of us to actively seek out ways to provide support to these communities, we welcome and encourage feedback regarding ways we can better serve.
Meeting Time: Second Monday of the Month at Noon.
Co-Chair: Zach Gordon
Co-Chair: Alex Farone
Co-Chair: Tara Sease
The Communications Committee promotes involvement with the YLD by advertising upcoming events and programs through a weekly email called, “YLD Sidebar,” and through the YLD's social media outlets. Additionally, the Committee publishes an ABA award-winning newsletter, Point of Law, which includes substantive legal articles from YLD members and colleagues from the legal community, and highlights YLD activities. Finally, the Committee periodically conducts surveys to help the YLD best serve the interests of its members.
Coordinates: Point of Law Newsletter, YLD Sidebar, Member Surveys and Social Media.
Meeting Time: First Monday of the Month at Noon
Co-Chair: Morgan Bonekovic
Co-Chair: Jesse Exilus
In 2008, the YLD formed the Diversity Committee to address its concerns regarding the lack of diversity in the profession and ACBA. Through social events, educational events and mentoring, the Committee works independently and in conjunction with the other minority focused committees to increase and retain young minority involvement in the ACBA. The YLD Diversity Committee’s keynote event is the annual Diverse Law Student Reception, which is in the fall of each year. At the Diverse Law Student Reception, diverse law students from the local law schools are invited to attend to learn more about the ACBA and to network with the diverse attorneys of the Bar.
Coordinates: Diverse Student Leadership Initiative, Mentorship, LGBT Rights Workshop and a focus on diversity in all YLD Programs.
Meeting Time: Third Thursday of the Month at Noon
Co-Chair: Thomas Cocchi
Co-Chair: Danielle Parks
The Education Committee provides YLD members with educational programs, including CLEs and lunch -and-learn seminars, focusing on practical legal skills, mentoring from seasoned attorneys, and other topics relevant to young lawyers’ success.
Coordinates: Lunch with the Judges Series, Lunch and Learn Seminars, CLEs on Legal Skills for Young Lawyers, Bench Bar CLE
Meeting Time: Second Wednesday of the Month at Noon
Co-Chair: Elizabeth Rubenstein
Co-Chair: Anthony Bianco
The goal of the Member Services Committee is to offer the young lawyer various social and networking opportunities. These events allow young lawyers to meet other young lawyers and professionals in informal settings.
Coordinates: Happy Hours, Events with Judges, Annual Holiday Party, Esquire Open Tennis Tournament
Meeting Time: Third Wednesday of the Month at Noon
Co-Chair: Jamie Drennan
Co-Chair: Allison Erndl
The Membership Outreach Committee is responsible for recruiting, retaining, and supporting membership in the YLD and ACBA at large through new and unique endeavors. In that vein, the Committee works to develop new programs and services designed to enhance the overall value of being an ACBA YLD member. This is accomplished by connecting YLD members with other young professionals in the Pittsburgh community, by strengthening the YLD’s contacts with local law schools and new law graduates, and by implementing new initiatives to leverage the already strong existing network of YLD and ACBA members. One of the benchmark events coordinated by this committee is the Passing the Bar Bash for newly admitted attorneys.
Meeting Time: Second Tuesday of the Month at Noon
Co-Chair: Aleksandra Kocelko
Co-Chair: Rebecca Johnson
Co-Chair: Kathryn Gioia
The goal of the Public Service Committee is to serve the Allegheny County community through a variety of programs, projects, and initiatives while giving young lawyers an opportunity to network and supplement their legal practice. The legal programs offered by the committee range from providing written legal support, to full personal presentations on the specific legal issues faced by the audience – i.e. high school seniors, and senior citizens. The public service projects undertaken by the committee are for the benefit of children, military veterans, emergency service personnel, the homeless, and senior citizens. One of the committee’s benchmark projects is a massive gift drive and holiday party for children in public assistance shelters or programs. The overall purpose of the committee is to give young lawyers the opportunity to reach out to the public and not only provide a much-needed service, but promote a positive image of lawyers and the profession in the community.
Coordinates: Wills for Heroes, VIP (Very Important Papers), Children's Gift Drive and Holiday Party, Stepping Out, Fairy Tale Mock Trials, Strike Out Hunger, Lawyers and Littles, MVP (Military and Veterans Project)
Meeting Time: Second Tuesday of the Month at Noon