Council of Affiliates established to nurture greater collaboration between the YLD and other young lawyer groups
YLD President Todd Baker says the move is designed to nurture greater collaboration between the YLD and all of Florida’s voluntary bar associations and expand the reach of their combined community service.
“We have an affiliate outreach conference where we get all of the affiliates in a room once a year, and we felt like this was a logical extension of all of the wonderful things that come out of that,” he said.
Better known as the “AOC,” the multi-day annual conference crescendos when affiliates deliver timed presentations about their service projects and compete for a share of $50,000 in YLD grants.
The Council of Affiliates will give young voluntary bar associations an opportunity to meet more frequently with YLD leadership, exchange ideas, and have a bigger voice in community service projects, Baker said.
“We said it’s going to be less about us telling you what to do, and more about us collaborating, and that’s truly the goal,” he said.
So far, the affiliates appear to be impressed with the idea.
The August 24 inaugural Council of Affiliates meeting attracted 80 participants, said YLD board member Brandon Sapp.
“For 4 o’clock on a Tuesday, that was incredible,” Sapp said.
The meeting gave participants an opportunity to discuss programs that are working, and others that aren’t, Sapp said.
“We also talked about how our organization, as a group, can better assist, or better help them connect with other organizations throughout the state of Florida,” he said.
The Council of Affiliates will make it easier to coordinate promotion, said YLD board member Charise Morgan-Joseph.
“We already know that they are doing great work in their voluntary bar associations locally,” she said. “But now they have a statewide audience, the things that they do, we promote and feature and announce on social media, both before and after the event.”
The Council of Affiliates will also serve as a hot house for ideas, giving each affiliate the ability to replicate programs that have been successful in other parts of the state, or pool resources for larger impact, Baker said.
A YLD initiative to promote October as community service month will be the next test of the concept, Baker said.
“We’re going to encourage all of our affiliates to participate in some form of giving back to their community, so to speak,” he said. “And then we’re going to aggregate that data, report back on it, and hopefully, when they see that we had 40 affiliates participating this year…and the next year we have 50, and the next year we have 60, and then the year after, we have full participation.”