Young Lawyers Division

JurisdictionUtah,United States
CitationVol. 33 No. 2 Pg. 70
Pages70
Publication year2020
Young Lawyers Division
Vol. 33 No. 2 Pg. 70
Utah Bar Journal
April, 2020

March, 2020

A Seat at the Table: Civic and Community Involvement for Young Lawyers

By Mike Squires

We are all well-acquainted with the responsibility of attorneys to “zealously assert[] the client’s position under the rules of the adversary system.” Model R. of Prof’l Conduct, Preamble: A Lawyer’s Responsibilities, ¶ 2. Of course, preparing for and arguing our client’s position in a court of law is per se attorney work. Less acknowledged, yet equally important to the practice of law, is the responsibility of lawyers to “seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, [and] the administration of justice.” Id. ¶6. Young Lawyers Division (YLD) President Torie Finlinson’s timely initiative titled “A Seat at the Table” (ASATT) focuses on the way in which young lawyers can apply themselves outside of the courtroom to further the administration of justice.

Specifically, ASATT’s goal is to encourage young lawyers to become civically involved in their communities, including running for political office, serving in leadership capacities on nonprofit boards, and preparing themselves for judgeships. Young lawyers are not only the future of the Utah State Bar, but they will be called upon to assume leadership roles throughout our communities. The talent, legal training, and expertise that our young lawyers possess will be pivotal to solving critical problems that our state and nation will inevitably face. The ASATT initiative recognizes that today is the day for young lawyers to have a seat at the table.

Running for Political Office: Running for political office and changing laws through executive and legislative processes will change the legal landscape just as much as judicial precedent and will have a lasting impact on the improvement of the law and administration of justice. There is no one better qualified to speak to and avert potential legal issues than lawyers. Lawyers have a duty to zealously advocate the position of their clients, but also an ethical responsibility to advocate for change in the political arena.

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