WILL DAVIS, YLD President, State Bar of Georgia
The YLD: Opportunities to Learn and Serve
If you are like me at the age of 22, when you entered law school, you did so with dreams of making a positive difference in society by using your law degree to help others in their times of need. Whether they are dealing with the consequences of an arrest, going through a divorce, purchasing a home or making a major business decision, people often need lawyers to help.
Those of us fortunate enough to make it through law school, pass the bar exam and get a job have the opportunity to see those hopeful thoughts realized right away, although perhaps not as quickly as we thought. I’ll tell you up front: I am one of the lucky ones. With my parents’ encouragement and support, good schools and landing my first job with the Albany office of the Georgia Legal Services Program, those opportunities did come quickly, and I am thankful for that.
But I have also benefited greatly from my decision in 2012 to get involved with the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia. It was the summer meeting of Jon Pannell’s year as YLD president. I was immediately impacted by the collegiality of those in attendance and the capacity that YLD members have to work together, from different backgrounds but toward a common goal: to work to promote the legal profession and our communities as “the service arm” of the State Bar.
For seven years now, through involvement in the YLD, I have made connections—and some lifelong friendships— with people whom I otherwise might never have met, much less worked with and learned from. Through these experiences with other young lawyers, I have discovered that differences we bring in terms of background, geography and practice areas, make us far more alike than we are different.
By choice, we are members of a profession that, by its nature, is adversarial. It’s stressful. It can be hard. We often have to take the blame for things that are not our fault. Clients may love us. Clients may hate us. Judges may love us. Judges may seem to hate us. The YLD, however...