News + Press

SC Bar Young Lawyers Division sweeps first-place honors at ABA Annual Meeting

August 07, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Aug. 6, 2015) - The SC Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD) won six Awards of Achievement at the American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting on Aug. 1 in Chicago, IL. The awards included first place in five categories: Comprehensive (overall programs), Newsletter (S.C. Young Lawyer), Diversity (lunch series), Service to the Public (Cocky’s Reading Express) and Service to the Bar (family events). The SC Bar YLD was also awarded Most Outstanding Single Project Nationwide for its family events. Additionally, Beth Palmer of Rosen Hagood, LLC and Tommy Preston of Nexsen Pruet, LLC were both named ABA YLD Stars of the Year.
 
“I am tremendously proud of the accomplishments of the SC Bar YLD over the past year and thrilled with the unprecedented level of recognition that we have received from the ABA YLD,” said Lynsey Kmetz, immediate past president of the SC Bar Young Lawyers Division. “This is attributable to the outstanding leadership within our division and our young lawyers’ dedication to service.”
 
Comprehensive Programming
The SC Bar YLD won the first place Comprehensive Award of Achievement in recognition of its broad range of outstanding programming in 2014-15. Programming considered included the following committees and projects:

·       Annual Bar Convention’s wellness and public service programming
·       Bridging Broad Street Series
·       The Color of Justice’s ‘So you want to be a lawyer?’
·       Community Law Week
·       Courthouse Keys
·       iCivics
·       Family-friendly social events
·       Special Olympics Bowling Buddies
·       The Business of Being a Lawyer
·       The Cinderella Project
·       The Diversity Symposium
·       ‘The Mysteries of Running a Law Practice’ Lunch Series
·       Voices Against Violence
·       Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
·       Public Service Project Committee’s Project Street Youth


Most Outstanding Project and Service to the Bar: Family Events
The SC Bar YLD won Most Outstanding Project Nationwide as well as first place in Service to the Bar for its family-friendly events. In an effort to engage young lawyers who have families and are unable to attend after-work events, the Membership Events Committee, chaired by Sable Burgess of Sherpy & Jones, PA, coordinated three family events throughout the state and invited young lawyers and their families to attend on a weekend afternoon. All three events were an overwhelming success and allowed for greater involvement from the ever-increasing portion of YLD members with families.
 
Newsletters: S.C. Young Lawyer
Winning first place in newsletters, S.C. Young Lawyer is a quarterly publication that includes substantive articles and information on the SC Bar YLD’s ongoing events. The S.C. Young Lawyer Committee was co-chaired by Marshall Newton of Robinson McFadden & Moore, PC and Brandon Smith of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, LLP.
 
Diversity: Diversity Lunch Series
The Diversity Lunch Series, an extension of the Diversity Symposium and Career Fair Committee, won first place in the Diversity category. There were three luncheons in the series geared toward to raising awareness about diversity and inclusion amongst young lawyers: "Women in Law Taking Care of Business," "Minority Report: People of Color Making Major Moves" and "Invited to the Party, Now Shall We Dance?: Let's Talk About Diversity and Inclusion." The lunch series was co-chaired by Nicole Davis of the S.C. Department of Social Services and Ashley Myers of Myers, LLC.
 
Service to the Public: Cocky’s Reading Express
Cocky’s Reading Express, which allows young lawyers to join Cocky in reading to elementary aged children in an effort to promote childhood literacy, took first place in Service to the Public. YLD participates in Cocky’s Reading Express during Community Law Week, which is co-chaired by Edward Rawl of Fisher & Phillips, LLP and Meggie Baker of HopeHealth, Inc.
 
ABA Stars of the Year: Beth Palmer and Tommy Preston
Beth Palmer of Rosen Hagood, LLC received an ABA YLD Star of the Year award for her service as the ABA YLD Public Service Director and her efforts with Project Street Youth, which organizes legal clinics for homeless and transitional youth nationwide.

Tommy Preston of Nexsen Pruet, LLC received an ABA YLD Star of the Year award for his role as the ABA YLD Membership Director. He was also awarded the 2015 ABA Law Student Division Friend of the Division Award for his outstanding contribution, advocacy and efforts towards the ABA Law Student Division.
 
The SC Bar YLD thanks the 2014-15 division officers Lynsey Kmetz, President; Patrick Wooten of Nelson Mullins, President-Elect; and Ryan Neville of Wills Massalon & Allen, LLC, Secretary/Treasurer, for their service and outstanding support of these award-winning programs.
 
For more information about YLD programs, visit www.scbar.org/yld.
 
The SC Bar YLD includes all members of the SC Bar under the age of 36 and those with less than five years of membership.
 
The SC Bar, which has a membership of more than 15,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.
 
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