YLD Update: Bar Association Service Worth the Sacrifice
By Edward F. Beitz
Although I do not hand over the reins of the YLD until Dec. 16, which will occur at the YLD Holiday Party at the Four Seasons (don’t miss it!), this is my final YLD Update. I have been incredibly touched by the amount of positive feedback I have received from these articles, and amused by the occasional ribbing from old law school friends. I do hope for future opportunities to write for the Bar Association's publications, and that this is not a "goodbye," but more of a "see you later."
I am more than grateful for having this opportunity to serve the legal profession, and young lawyers in particular, as the YLD chair. In a year that included getting married and becoming a father for the first time, 2014 was certainly busy. With the support of my wife and help from our family, I was able to embrace this experience and accomplish the key goals I had in mind this time last year. It probably goes without saying that I learned a thing or two about time management and navigating the world on a few hours sleep (thanks to Baby Beitz).
Although all of the YLD's philanthropic efforts accomplish a great deal of good, from our clothing drive to Legal Advice Live, I am most proud this year of the collective efforts that led to the Law Star Game. The final numbers are in, and the YLD and The Legal Intelligencer raised roughly $29,000 for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. This project would not have been possible without Don Chalphin and The Legal Intelligencer, the Bar Association staff and the YLD Executive Committee and Cabinet.
Like any volunteer committee, especially one made up of busy professionals, it is not always easy to staff the YLD's numerous events and projects throughout the year. As prior YLD chairs can attest, coordinating the YLD programs would not be possible without standout folks on the Executive Committee and Cabinet and the Bar staff. If I tried to name them individually I would inevitably forget someone, so I'll refrain. I am proud to call these committee members my friends, many of whom I would not have met outside YLD service.
Bar Association service, especially in a leadership role, is a sacrifice, and it may never seem like the "right" time to get involved. Whatever you have going on, volunteering is a sacrifice. It comes with the territory. Yet, I step aside as YLD chair with no doubt that I would do it all over again. Whether it was speaking at a naturalization ceremony or taking part in a year-long commemoration of Brown v. Board of Education, the sacrifice of time energy was rewarded with privileges and life experiences that I will treasure. To any young lawyers on the fence about getting more involved with the Bar Association, as I once was, please never hesitate to contact me.
The Young Lawyers Division will be in good hands next year with Maria Bermudez as chair. I just hope that she lets me help out from time to time, because I will surely miss this job. With that, I bid you a fond "see you later," and hope that later gets here soon.
Edward F. Beitz (firstname.lastname@example.org), an associate with White and Williams LLP, is chair of the Young Lawyers Division.