South Carolina Young Lawyer of the Year Award Presented to Jennifer Ashburn

Trey Mills presents the South Carolina Young Lawyer of the Year Award to Jennifer Ashburn at the SC Bar House of Delegates Meeting in Columbia, SC on May 3, 2012: 

 

South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division: Get in the Game(s)

As the Bylaws read on the South Carolina Bar's website for the Young Lawyers Division:

The South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division (Division) was founded in 1974 to foster principles of duty and service to the public, promote professional responsibility, stimulate the interest of young lawyers in Bar activities, conduct programs of interest and value to young lawyers, and to assist in the coordination and improvement of local young lawyer organizations.   All lawyers practicing in South Carolina are licensed through the South Carolina Supreme Court and are mandatory members of the South Carolina Bar.  All members of the South Carolina Bar in good standing under thirty-six (36) years of age, and those admitted to the South Carolina Bar as their first bar less than five (5) years are members of the Division.

Even at my age it's nice to be involved in something that has "Young" in it. However, with that title comes some expectations, activities, and involvement of a caliber that requires a little youthful energy, excitement, and creativity. I became involved immediately with this organization upon receiving my law license five years ago. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to participate in:

  1. The annual Clemson/Carolina Pep Rally to raise money for Children Chance;
  2. Social Networking Task Force to get the "big Bar" involved in social networking (join South Carolina Bar on Facebook);
  3. Volunteering for mock trials for high school students in Greenville; and
  4. Teaching classes at the SCBar's "Law School for Non-Lawyers".

The sad fact about the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division is that only about five percent (5%) of the eligible young lawyers are active in this organization.  I know we all work hard every day and interacting with lawyers during our free time may be a bit overwhelming but it's not about you, it's about them:

  • Adopt-A-Student Program-the pairing of elementary school students and lawyers to assist as mentors and doing so through the more modern mode of communication for children that age-email;
  • Backpack Drive-school supplies collected for needy children;
  • Cinderella Project-socially and economically disadvantaged high school students that would not otherwise have a beautiful dress to wear to the prom can do so by looking through donations of gently worn formal gowns, shoes, and accessories;
  • Community Law Week- first week of May where young lawyers promote the legal profession in various ways throughout their respective communities;
  • Day of Action-you choose the day and the way to give back and just do it;
  • Disaster Relief-provide instruction on the legal issues that arise at the time of a natural disaster;
  • Families Forever-adoption awareness and information;
  • High School Digital Video Project-contest for high school students in conjunction with Community Law Week to educate, inform, and motivate students to learn more about the law;
  • Justice Jam-lawyers graced with the gift to play music help raise money for local charities;
  • Our Courts-web based educational project to teach students about being civic minded and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy;
  • Protecting Our Youth-educating "at risk" high school students on criminal law and the consequences of their actions;
  • Special Olympics-a partnership with the Special Olympics S.C. and the opportunity to volunteer for each of their three state-wide games held Mid-Winter, Fall, and Summer;
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance-free tax preparation for households with low-to-moderate incomes;
  • Voices Against Violence-a program designed to educate young lawyers about the epidemic of domestic violence and engage those young lawyers to respond and prevent domestic violence in their communities;
  • Wills Clinic-provide free wills to first response personnel including police officers, firefighters, and EMS; and
  • Publications-provide important legal information to the public.

The South Carolina YLD needs you and so does the public. Contact the South Carolina Bar and Tara Smith at 803.799.6653, ext. 146 or  tsmith@scbar.org.