YLS Young Lawyers Section
In Brief In this issue
A Periodic Newsletter of the Young Lawyers Section of the Arkansas Bar Association
Hats Off 2
Vol. 15 #4
Write for In Brief!
In the news 3 Tech Tip-SOLOS-The Yellow Pages are Dying. Now What? RJ Martino 5 Congratulations to New Members
Safe or Sorry: Procedural Safeguards in Child Support Contempt Proceedings Jessica S. Yarbrough
Tasty Tips Rashauna Norment 9 CLE Calendar 10 Arkansas Traveler 11 YLS Report Brian M. Clary 12 Lawyer-2-Lawyer Mentor Program
Opportunities to write for YLS In Brief include: • Tech Tips (discuss technology that you use in your practice, etc.) • Legal Articles (use this as an opportunity to tell us about your favorite practice area, discuss rule changes, analyze recent cases, etc.) • Arkansas Traveler (play the part of a critic as you share your unique dining experiences, shops, hotels, entertainment venues, etc.) • What Judges Want (volunteer to interview a judge and share the judge’s answers to your questions with other young lawyers) • Tasty Tips (if you have a fun recipe you would like to share, submit it and it might be selected to be included in the newsletter) If you are interested in writing for a future issue, please contact Tasha@TaylorLawFirm.com.
Emily S. McIllwain and her husband, Jonathan McIllwain, welcomed a baby girl (Molly Ann) to their family on July 17, 2011.
Graphic Design & Layout Anna Hubbard Assistant Editors Andrew M. Taylor Tasty Tips Editor Rashauna Norment What Judges Want Editor Mandy Thomas Contributors H. Brock Showalter Daryl Taylor
Young Lawyers Section Chair: Brian M. Clary Chair-Elect: Vicki S. Vasser Sec-Treas: Anne Hughes White Immediate Past Chair: Brandon K. Moffitt
YLS Executive Council: District A: Ryan Pettigrew Brian R. Lester Vicki S. Vasser District B: Cory D. Childs Grant M. Cox Tasha C. Taylor
Editor-In-Chief Tasha C. Taylor
Clayton J. Smith and Stephanie Egner Smith were married on October 1, 2011 at Garvin Gardens in Hot Springs. Clayton is a staff attorney with the Center For Arkansas Legal Services in Hot Springs and Stephanie is a patent attorney with the Roberts Law Firm in Little Rock. Christopher Brockett’s firm, Hatfield, Sayre & Brockett, recently opened a branch office in Ozark to provide legal services to the River Valley Area. Christopher was also recently named a rising star in tax by Mid-South Super Lawyers and one of the best tax lawyers in Little Rock by Soiree magazine. Keith Pike and Bethany Pike recently welcomed their first child, a girl (Emerson Caroline), to their family on October 13, 2011. Keith is an attorney at the Wagoner Law Firm, P.A. in Little Rock. Bethany is an attorney with Watts, Donovan, and Tilley, P.A., in Little Rock.
Click here for the recently published list of Little Rock lawyers voted top in their specialties by peers and magazine readers. If you have information on YLS Members who deserve a “Hat’s Off” or would like to submit ideas for articles, please contact the editor of “In Brief,” Tasha Taylor at Tasha@ TaylorLawFirm.com.
District C: Timothy R. Leonard Susan Weaver Ryan M. Wilson At Large Representatives: Tessica Dooley Cliff McKinney Law Student Representatives: University of Arkansas at Fayetteville School of Law: Angela Artherton UALR William H. Bowen School of Law: S. Kate Fletcher
YLS In brief
YLS Challenge Reminder Participation in YLS activities throughout the year will put you in the running for winning a great gift at the 2012 Annual Meeting.
Earn points by volunteering for YLS service projects and Association community events, attending YLS meetings and social events, or referring new members to the Association. A member is entered into the contest if they accumulate over 5 points during the year (ending at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Hot Springs). Each member must attend at least one meeting, social event, and service project. The additional two points may be accumulated in any manner previously mentioned. YLS has been keeping track of participants, but it is your responsibility to let me know of referrals and Association community events. You can contact me email@example.com. Good luck and we hope to see you at our next event! --Brian Clary
In the news 18 & Life To Go Workshops
Members of the Young Lawyers Section and Pulaski Technical College’s Amicus Curiae Paralegal Club sponsored two free workshops to Pulaski Tech students and cadets from the Arkansas National Guard Youth Challenge on October 19th and 28th. The workshops focused on topics from YLS’s handbook “18 & Life to Go: A Legal Handbook for Young Arkansans” and all participants were given a CD of the handbook.
Thank you to the lawyers and judges who volunteered to read to students at Rockefeller Elementary in Little Rock on November 15th to help promote literacy.
In the news YLS Minority Outreach Committee Thank you to the YLS Minority Outreach Committee for presenting a great panel discussion to students at Philander Smith College on November 16th. Nine panelists spoke to a group of students over lunch about â€œWhat I Wish I Knew Before Law Schoolâ€?
Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Minority Outreach Committee Members: Brian Clary, Cory Childs, Camille Edmison-Wilhemi, Kenya Gordon, Katina Hodge, Valerie James, Tamla Lewis, Kathleen McDonald, Rashauna Norment, Byron Walker
A Guide to Arkansas Statutes of Limitations F R E E D O W N L O A D T O M E M B E R S www.arkbar.com Seventh Edition Revised March 2011
Prepared By Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section
A r k a n s a s
B a r
A s s o c i a t i o n
Save the Date 2012 Annual Meeting June 6-9, 2012
June 6-9, 2012 Hot Springs
The Arlington Hotel & Hot Springs Convention Center
Joint Meeting with the Arkansas Judicial Council
For more photos, Find us on Facebook!
Become a fan! Join the Group! Arkbar Young Lawyers Section 4
YLS In brief
SOLOs—The Yellow Pages are Dying.
Now What? By: RJ Martino Attorneys have focused on the Yellow Pages as their main source of advertising for decades. Before the Internet, the phone book was the best game in town. Back then, when a person was ready to buy legal services, they would grab the Yellow Pages, flip to the legal section, find the most compelling ad, and call the listed attorney. Nowadays, with smartphones, people literally have Google in their pocket. Yellow Page usage is dropping dramatically and fewer and fewer people are using phone books to find legal services. Frankly, Yellow Page advertising doesn’t work like it used to. Many attorneys see this as a problem. They worry, “if people are not using the Yellow Pages to find me, what are they using?” The truth is, Yellow Pages are being displaced by Google. There are now more active wireless devices than there are people in the United States. When someone is ready to find a lawyer they whip out their iPhone and “Google it.” So, the real question is, how do you get your name in front of these users?
Google has made it easier than ever to reach your target audience. Through Google’s Adwords product, the site’s search results show an advertisement for your law practice based on where the user is located, and what they type into the Google search bar. So, if a user searches for “top malpractice lawyers” your ad could show up at the top of list. Another great part of Google Adwords is that you are not charged until someone actually clicks on your ad. Because of this, Google Adwords is often referred to as “Pay per Click” or “PPC” advertising. Additionally, you get to set your daily budget to whatever you feel comfortable spending. In summary, Google Adwords allows you to  show ads only to people within the areas you are licensed to practice,  show ads only to people actively looking for your legal services,  only pay when people actually click on your advertisement, and  spend as much or as little as you’d like (there is no minimum budget). Never before has a small law firm been able to create a nationwide advertising campaign on a shoe-string budget. Although Google Adwords is an unbelievably powerful tool, it is just the beginning of a successful Internet presence. RJ Martino is a 2010 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and is an attorney in Little Rock. He is president of iProv, LLC and can be contacted directly at 501-6837229 or firstname.lastname@example.org. RJ consults with clients to help develop an online marketing strategy, find problems with existing strategies, or to help build an online marketing strategy from the ground up.
ARKANSASFINDALAWYER® www.arkansasfindalawyer.com NEW! Reduced rate for members practicing <2 years call 501-375-4606 for details
Market Your Law Practice for only $75/year 5
Congratulations Storm Bruce Adams Lauren Elizabeth Alexander Laura Susan Avery Lauren Oswalt Baber Adam James Bailey Russell Payton Bailey Joseph Grant Ballard Melissa Leigh Bandy Kayla Michelle Barnett Colleen Ann Barnhill Robert Bradley Beach Brandon Wayne Beam Tyler Heath Benson Philip Stanley Beuth Jessica Alan Billingsley Adam Loran Bodeker Kristy Elizabeth Boehler Jessalynn Mett Born Clark Joseph Brown Alex Roberto Burgos Benjamin Neal Burns Kyle Eckert Burton Jennifer Leigh Bush Kara Lynn Byars LaTrenia DeShawn Byrd Bart Widener Calhoun Jonathan Michael Camp Jennifer Lynn Carleton Margaret Katherine Carver Walden Matthew Cash Glenn Edward Cason Kevin Daniel Christian Adrielle Lynn Churchill Jennifer Marie Cole Joshua Ryan Collums Jared Shane Cox Cory Scott Crawford Stephen Wheeler Creekmore Jacqueline Sue Cronkhite Amber M. Davis-Tanner Jeremy Joseph Disotell Justin Edward Downum Lyndsay Carol Duncan Jana Kristen Eager Megann Elizabeth Edwards Richard Martin Elliott Tai Jacquelyn Estopy Bryant Edward Ferguson Brittney Dawn Flinn Brianne Autumn Franks Kelly Micaela Freeze John Daniel Gallagher David Louis Gershner 6
YLS In brief
to the new members admitted to the practice of law September 2011
Timothy Joseph Giattina Kenya Jurae Gordon Angela Michelle Griffith Elizabeth Marie Gunsaulis Haley Michelle Heath John Tyler Henderson Ashley Camille Henson Jacob Russell Howell William Marshall Hubbard Hannah Oldham Huegel Tyler Cole Humphries Seth Daniel Hyder Amanda Renee Jarvis Seth Ryan Jewell Amy Katherine Johnson Ronnie Scott Johnson Brian Williams Johnston Jillian Rebecca Jones Justin Kyle Kavalir Tiffany Tackett Kell James Cameron King Erin Ann Knapp Kristopher Curtis Koelemay Allison Elizabeth Koile Jennifer Morganne Lancaster Clinton Wade Lancaster Scott Michael Lar Holly Michelle Lar Shawn Alexander Latchford Hoss Cody Layne Lois Anne Lea Nicole Michelle Lecointe Victoria Leigh Laura Anna Lensing Tammy Michelle Lippert Aimie Jo Lockwood Kale Lewis Ludwig Jason Elliot Lynch George Andrew Makris Thomas Martin Marks Samuel Adam Martin Heather R. Martin-Herron Kyle Thomas Mayton Clayton Edward McCall Jonathan David McFadden Lisa Marie Medford Michael Alan Moats Angela Lee Moore Jonathan Tyler Morgan Matthew Ross Mulling Patrick Henry Murphy John William Murry Gregory James Northen
Christopher Ryan Oâ€™Quinn Robert Christopher Oswalt Chanley Shaâ€™ Painter Martinque Marie Parker Tiffany Renae Parker Brandon Heath Patterson Elizabeth Calhoun Pearce Lisa Marie Perez Rachel Elizabeth Pickett John Dorsey Pike Joshua Landes Potter Jacob Stem Potter David Lee Powell Stephen Charles Rauls Jeffery Christopher Rippy George Pierce Ritter Glenn Scott Ritter Jace Mark Roberts Joshua Michael Robles Quincey Maurice Ross Matthew Scott Runge Octavio Lopez Sanchez James Tucker Sayes Jessica Jean Schirmacher Meghan Marie Schroeder Lisa Michelle Simpson Charlcee Cay Small Stephan Craig Smith John Edward Steiner Patrick Kyle Story Noah Michael Strom Jessica Melinn Stutte Ahban David Sumler Jeffrey Martin Swann Ryan Alan Swanson Jessica Lindsey Tankersley Mary Tipton Thalheimer Diane Torres-Porter Jeffrey Troy Wall Katie Elizabeth Watson Robert Michael Wells Laura Ruth Westbrook Wesley DeWayne Whitmore Alisha Kay Williams Hunter Mark Windle Courtney Marie Witte Billy Charles Woodell David Randal Wright
Safe or Sorry?: Procedural Safeguards in Child Support Contempt Proceedings By: Jessica S. Yarbrough
On August 15, 2007, a circuit judge entered a judgment of paternity, establishing Mark Glass as the biological and legal father of eight (8) month old Christopher Jones. According to Mark’s income, he was ordered to pay $75.00 weekly in child support. Mark made consistent payments for about six months and then gradually began reducing his weekly amounts until he had completely abandoned his obligation. After one year, several attempts at service of process and a considerable amount of arrearages, Mark was served with a Motion For Citation and an Order To Appear And Show Cause. At the hearing, Mark purged himself of the contempt by making the required child support payment. He also told the court that he had gone through a financial hardship, including that he had become the father of twin daughters and had recently obtained additional employment. He left the hearing excited and relieved that he had escaped the wrath of doom and assured the court that he would make timely payments on his current obligation. This time, he made about seven payments before he stopped complying with the court’s order. The next year, Mark was again ordered to appear in court for failure to meet his obligation. He appeared pro se. The mother of the minor child appeared with private counsel that successfully persuaded the judge to hold Mark in willful civil contempt of court; Mark was jailed accordingly. Although this is a simple hypothetical situation, it may have been a common factual scenario involving non-custodial parents that failed to meet their child support obligations. It is imperative that the “best interest of the child” standard is maintained in enforcing support obligations. However, the recent jurisprudence of Turner v. Rogers, No. 10–10, slip op. (June 20, 2011), has affected this practice of finding individuals in willful civil contempt and ordering incarceration in child support proceedings. On June 20,
2011, the United States Supreme Court decided Turner, in which the Court held that even though the non-custodial father was sentenced to 12 months incarceration for contempt, that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not automatically require the provision of counsel for an indigent defendant at civil contempt hearings.1 Circumspectly, the Court held that Turner’s incarceration violated the Due Process Clause. The Court’s rationale reinforces the need for accuracy in determining the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay in that “ability to pay” defines whether contempt is civil or criminal in nature. If a party is found in criminal contempt, he is protected by the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.2 Conversely, in a civil contempt proceeding, it is not likely that a court will punish a defendant who is unable to comply with its order.3 If a defendant is held in willful civil contempt and imprisoned without a determination as to “ability to pay,” a contempt proceeding may be incorrectly classified as civil instead of criminal and may run the risk of wrongful incarceration, thus violating a defendant’s constitutional rights that arise in criminal proceedings.4 A South Carolina Family Court found Michael Turner, the pro se non-custodial father, to be in civil contempt and sen-
tenced him to 12 months imprisonment. Turner appealed and the case was certified to the South Carolina Supreme Court, who affirmed the family court’s ruling that Turner was in willful civil contempt and that he was not constitutionally entitled to counsel. At the family court civil contempt hearing, Turner received neither counsel nor the benefit of alternative procedural safeguards like those the United States Supreme Court provides in its opinion. Turner was not given clear notice that his ability to pay would constitute the critical question in his civil contempt proceeding. Ultimately, the trial court failed to make a finding as to Turner’s ability to comply with the terms of the child support order,5 which led to wrongful incarceration and a violation of due process. The United States Supreme Court’s analysis in Turner provides that the Due Process Clause does not automatically require the provision of counsel in civil contempt proceedings. Particularly, no right to counsel exists where the custodial parent is not represented by counsel and the State provides alternative safeguards. The Court looked to its past jurisprudence for factors in determining what safeguards the Due Process Clause requires to make civil proceedings fundamentally fair. See, e.g., Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 335 (1976). Such safeguards include: (1) notice to the defen-
Jessica Yarbrough is an attorney at McKissic & Associates, P.L.L.C., and is admitted to practice in Arkansas and Illinois. Her practice areas include family law, personal injury, civil litigation, and workers’ compensation. She may be reached at email@example.com.
dant that his “ability to pay” is a critical issue in the contempt proceeding; (2) the use of a form (or other equivalent) to elicit relevant financial information; (3) an opportunity at the hearing for the defendant to respond to statements and questions about his financial status; and (4) an express finding by the court that the defendant has the ability to pay.6 Even in the dissenting opinion, Justice Thomas agrees that the Constitution does not provide that a payor parent held in contempt of court is entitled to appointed counsel. Furthermore, he opines that Turner’s due process rights were violated because the South Carolina Family Court’s procedures were inadequate in determining Turner’s ability to pay.7 Arkansas attorneys who practice in the family law arena and seek to enforce child support obligations should be quite familiar with Administrative Order Number 10, which provides guidelines for calculating payor obligations. It has been vitally important that attorneys make certain that parties in domestic support proceedings complete an Affidavit of Financial Means. In addition to this practice, attorneys in Arkansas who represent either the payor or payee parent in civil contempt proceedings should now seek to adhere to the Supreme Court’s guidelines regarding procedural safeguards. Failure to do so could result in a violation of a payor parent’s due process rights if he is ultimately incarcerated without a proper finding as to
whether he is able to meet his child support obligation. Attorneys seeking to hold the payor parent in contempt should now (1) ensure to place the defendant on notice that his ability to pay is the critical issue and (2) ensure to present questioning at the contempt hearing which allows the defendant to make statements concerning his ability to pay. This is exceptionally critical when dealing with pro se defendants. To make certain that the defendant receives proper notice of the critical “ability to pay” issue, attorneys must certify that a copy of a Financial Means Affidavit is served upon the defendant along with the Motion For Citation and Order to Show Cause. At a civil contempt hearing, if an attorney does not elicit detailed statements from the defendant concerning ability to meet the child support obligation, she should anticipate that the presiding judge may present follow-up questions to the defendant to warrant that a proper finding can be reached regarding the defendant’s ability to pay. At the end of the day, Turner v. Rogers establishes that an indigent defendant has no automatic right to the provision of counsel at civil contempt proceedings for child support, even if he is facing incarceration for up to one year. The Court stresses the importance that state courts must exercise procedural safeguards to ensure fairness in contempt proceedings. Thus, it behooves us as attor-
neys to keep our antennas raised toward the Arkansas Committee on Child Support to receive information on possible updates or further changes within our state regarding procedural safeguards in civil contempt proceedings so that we may be “safe” rather than “sorry.” Endnotes 1. Turner at 15. (This decision concerning appointment of counsel does not address civil contempt proceedings where underlying support payments are owed to the State for reimbursement of welfare funds or other unusually complex cases. Payments were owed directly to the custodial parent in this case). 2. Id. at 8 (citing United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 696 (1993); Cooke v. United States, 267 U.S. 517, 537 (1925)). 3. Id. at 8 (citing Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 442 (1911)). 4. Id. at 12 (citing Dixon, 509 U.S., at 696). 5. Id. at 16. 6. Turner at 14 (citing Tr. Of Oral Arg. 26-27; Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae 23-25). 7. Id. (Thomas, J., dissenting) (Justice Thomas expressed that the issue of the family court’s inadequate procedures should not have been heard because it was raised for the first time in an amicus brief, and thus, may not have been preserved). n
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program can help. We understand the competition, constant stress, and high expectations you face as a lawyer, judge, or law student. Sometimes the most difficult trials happen outside the court. Unmanaged stress can lead to problems such as substance abuse and depression. Arkansas JLAP offers free, confidential help. All JLAP services are confidential and protected under ARJLAP Rule 10 of the Arkansas Code.
Call 501-907-2529 • Email firstname.lastname@example.org 8
YLS In brief
Easy No-Crust Cranberry Pie Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes Ingredients 1 cup white sugar 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans) 2 cups cranberries 2 eggs, beaten ½ cup butter, melted 1 teaspoon almond extract Instructions 1.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, salt and flour.
Add nuts and cranberries, stirring to coat with dry ingredients.
Stir in almond extract, eggs and butter.
Pour mixture into a greased 9-inch pie pan.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a fork or toothpick inserted near
the center of the pie comes out clean.
This recipe is a quick and easy addition to your holiday meal – plus no crust! Whipped cream or ice cream may be used as a topping. Enjoy!
Rashauna Norment is a registered patent attorney at Calhoun Law Firm, where her practice focuses on prosecuting patent applications, as well as applications to register copyrights and trademarks, forming legal entities for businesses, and assisting in litigation involving infringement and business disputes. You can reach Rashauna at R.Norment@CalhounLawFirm.com. Rashauna enjoys experimenting with cooking, working in her flower garden trying to develop a green thumb, and spending time with family and friends. 9
-CLE CLE CALENDAR January 26-27, 2012
Mid Year Meeting Peabody Hotel, Memphis
February 17, 2012
Construction Industry Conference Embassy Suites, Little Rock
February 23-24, 2012
51st Annual Natural Resource Law Institute Hot Springs Convention Center
Arkansas Bar Association 2012
Mid Year Meeting 2 0 1 2
M i d - Y e a r
M e e t i n g
January 2627, 2012
Tr a d i t i o n , I n t e g r i t y & Tr u s t
Peabody Hotel Memphis
January 26-27, 2012 The Peabody Hotel Memphis
March 2, 2012
3rd Annual Northwest Arkansas Conference Embassy Suites, Rogers
March 8, 2012
ADR Conference Embassy Suites, Little Rock
April 4-5, 2012
Bankruptcy Skills Workshop Little Rock
April 5-6, 2012
16th Annual Bankruptcy Debtor/Creditor Law Institute UALR Bowen School of Law, Little Rock
April 13, 2012
Courtroom Essentials Fort Smith
April 26-27, 2012
16th Annual Environmental Law Conference Inn of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs
June 6-9, 2012
114th Arkansas Bar Association Annual Meeting Hot Springs
June 18-22, 2012
Best of CLE-Little Rock UALR Bowen School of Law, Little Rock
June 28-29, 2012
Best of CLE-Northwest Embassy Suites, Rogers
September 28-29, 2012 Solo & Small Firm Conference Lake DeGray State Park Lodge, Bismark
See inside for new tracks for 2012 Mid-Year Meeting, including new CNA
Thursday Bonus Mediation Workshop Followed by CNA Risk Management for Attorneys Friday New Track Track 1: Family Law & Technology Track 2: Probate & Trust
Friday afternoon 5:00-7:00 p.m. Reception welcoming American Bar Association President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson
Heavy hors dâ€™oeuvres decadent desserts
in the exclusive peabody rooftop skyroom Cocktail attire optional
Saturday - House of Delegates Meeting
go to www.arkbar.com to register 10
YLS In brief
Photos courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
This is the place to share your tips and reviews of the unique restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, hiking trails, entertainment venues, etc., that you have encountered while traveling around Arkansas. To submit your Arkansas Traveler review (in 150 words or less) about your unique encounter with all things cool in Arkansas, e-mail Tasha@ TaylorLawFirm.com.
Fowl Play Cafe and Sporting Goods 252 Flora St., Hickory Ridge, AR 72347
The burgers are greasy, the fried food is aplenty, and the prices are hard to beat.
l to r: Sarah Cowan and Clint Rankin
During Spring Break, I traveled with seven law students and several volunteers throughout the Arkansas Delta to meet with people in need of free legal services. This “Road to Justice” project, as it has been dubbed, gave us the opportunity meet with potential clients in Earle, Cotton Plant, Lepanto, and Osceola and provide them on-the-spot legal advice. During our week on the road, we also had plenty of opportunities to try some local flavor along the way.
On our trip back to Legal Aid’s Jonesboro office from Cotton Plant, we stopped at a local restaurant/shop in Hickory Ridge called Fowl Play Café and Sporting Goods. A statute of a bear that appeared to be waving to us sat out front, and after we swung open the screen door and stepped inside, we were greeted with a hefty supply of duck hunting supplies, random trinkets, and food that probably isn’t all that good for the heart, but I’d like to think is good for the soul. Want fried green beans? Fried pickles? Fowl Play has it. How about a marshmallow gun to carry with you? Done. Or perhaps you’d like to purchase a camo jacket to wear whilst eating a piece of chocolate pie that you’ve ordered? Yep, you’re good to go at Fowl Play. If you’re looking for healthy dining options, this is not the place for you. However, if you’re looking for some southern comfort food and a place with local character, the attorneys and volunteers involved in Legal Aid’s Road to Justice project recommend Fowl Play. The burgers are greasy, the fried food is aplenty, and the prices are hard to beat. Sarah Sparkman is a Staff Attorney with Legal Aid of Arkansas in Jonesboro.
Young Lawyers Section Report
by Brian M. Clary
Originally printed in the Fall 2011 issue of The Arkansas Lawyer magazine. Reprinted with permission.
In Need of Mentoring Most of us should appreciate the wisdom that comes from experience. This principle was not as clear during our teenage years (at least not for me) when our parents were sources of irritation, not insight. At some point in our personal lives, we recognized that our parents had travelled the road before us and that their fortunes and mistakes could help us on our own journey. The same should be true in our professional lives. As a young lawyer, I often seek out an “adult” when faced with an issue of first impression. Whether facing a grave legal matter or simply trying to choose between the circuit or county clerks, I know an adult has been there before me. These adults are my mentors. All young lawyers should have at least one. Who is a mentor/mentee and what is the mentor/mentee relationship? The dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide” and a mentee “as one being mentored.” Trust is critical to the mentor/mentee relationship. Just as a client expects that her attorney will keep her confidences, a mentee should be confident that his mentor will do the same. Mentors should be ethical practitioners and serve as good examples both to the mentee and the larger legal community. At a recent American Bar Association meeting, a managing partner in a large firm suggested different types of mentors that had been helpful to him during his early career. His mentors were either “coaches” or “advocates.” The coach provided advice on a given topic, suggested alternatives, highlighted pitfalls, and sent him on his way with a word of encouragement. His coach was his immediate supervisor. His advocate, on the other hand, was a senior partner that supported his professional development, spoke up for him in a crowded board room, and came to his defense after a mistake had been made. However you describe them, mentors wear different hats and can provide insight on any number of topics. A mentee may 12
YLS In brief
not find everything he or she needs in one mentor. One mentor may provide professional development, another offer work/ family balance, and yet another stop us before we go off the rails. A seasoned mentor can be of great assistance and comfort when staring an ethical dilemma in the face. Where can I find a mentor? Many of us work in an environment that provides ready-made mentors. Young lawyers in large and medium size firms may have many options. The mentee may find a mentor in the same practice group or one that shares similar community interests. He or she may also find a mentor completely unlike himself. These mentees may also be the beneficiaries of in-house mentorship programs. Others may find a mentor by chance or in court. From time to time, you may see a successful lawyer or judge and think to yourself “I want to be her when I grow up” or “he really has it together.” Jump at the opportunity to take those attorneys to lunch and pick their brain. I suspect they will enjoy the experience as much as you. The Association provides a wealth of opportunities to forge mentor/mentee relationships. Serving on a committee, volunteering at an event, or socializing at the Bar Center puts young lawyers in contact with an array of attorneys from across the state. In addition to these efforts, the Association will begin to ask for “adult” attorneys to serve as mentors to young lawyers. While this program is open to all young lawyers, it may be especially helpful for those recent graduates that are contemplating hanging out their own shingle or those moving to rural parts of the state that lack an established legal community. The program will further the Association’s goal of “fostering and maintaining on the part of those engaged in the practice of law high ideals of integrity, learning, competence and public service, and high standards of conduct.” It will also “encourage cordial relations among attorneys.”
Why Mentor? Experienced Attorneys Wanted. A successful program will require experienced attorneys to serve as mentors. It is our hope that judges and attorneys of all backgrounds will give serious consideration to those young lawyers that request assistance. The Association seeks attorneys engaged in the active practice of law, retired attorneys, attorneys from rural and urban areas, and attorneys from all areas of practice. Please share your wisdom. You are an excellent source of information and guidance. Mentors will benefit from sharing their values with a new generation of attorneys. Mentors will also appreciate the difficulty of starting a new practice in today’s economic environment. You may even learn a thing or two from your mentee. If you are interested in serving as a mentor or having a mentor, be on the lookout for more information in the Association’s newsletters and YLS In Brief. n Young Lawyers Section Chair: Brian M. Clary Chair-Elect: Vicki S. Vasser Sec-Treas: Anne Hughes White Immediate Past Chair: Brandon K. Moffitt Executive Council: District A: Ryan Pettigrew, Brian R. Lester & Vicki S. Vasser District B: Cory D. Childs, Grant M. Cox, & Tasha C. Taylor District C: Timothy R. Leonard, Susan Weaver & Ryan M. Wilson At Large Representatives: Tessica Dooley & Cliff McKinney Law Student Representatives: University of Arkansas at Fayetteville School of Law: Angela Artherton UALR William H. Bowen School of Law: S. Kate Fletcher
2 L Arkansas Bar Association Mentor Program
Introducing the new Lawyer-2-Lawyer Mentor Program The Arkansas Bar Association’s new Lawyer2-Lawyer Mentor Program is designed to provide a variety of mentor relationships to young lawyers who have been licensed in Arkansas for five or fewer years. Mentees can choose from the following three options:
What Type of Mentor Do You Want?
❒ The Mid-Day Mentor
❒ The One-Year Mentor
1-2 Hours per Mentor Relationship
1 Year Traditional Mentor Relationship
The Mid-Day Mentor Program is meant to be an informal and relaxed program that allows experienced lawyers (the Mentors) and young Lawyers (the Mentees) the opportunity to share in a brief Mentor relationship over lunch.
The One-Year Mentor Program is the Traditional Mentor-Mentee Relationship, where you will be paired with a Mentor for a period of one year. Mentees will be provided with contact information for their Mentors and will be encouraged to meet together quarterly.
When you sign up for the MidDay Mentor Program, you will receive a roster which will include the names of lawyers who have volunteered to be Mid-Day Mentors. If you are interested in one of the lawyer’s areas of practice and experience, simply contact that lawyer and offer to take him or her to lunch.
❒ The Mega Mentor (Both) Can’t decide what type of Mentor you want? Choose both! You can be paired with one Mentor in the One-Year Program and still peruse the Roster of Mid-Day Mentors to find other lawyers you might be interested in taking to lunch as part of the Mid-Day Mentor Program.
Simply fill out the Mentee Application and you will magically be paired with a Mentor who can help answer some of your questions and provide you with some guidance as you work to start your career.
Where else can you get an hour of a lawyer’s time for the price of lunch? The Arkansas Bar Association Mentor Program is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section 13
MENTee APPLICATION FORM Introducing the New Lawyer-2-Lawyer Mentor Program The Arkansas Bar Association Mentor Program is designed to assist young lawyers with five years of experience or less (“Mentees”), in any particular practice area of law, by matching them with more experienced lawyers having five or more years of experience (“Mentors”). The purpose of the Mentor Program is to provide Mentees with professional, ethical and practical assistance on an individual basis. Mentors will be matched with associates based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, practice areas and geographic location. See the attached form for more information about the Mentor Opportunities available in the Lawyer-2-Lawyer Mentor Program.
Arkansas Bar Association Mentor Program
To participate in the Mentor Program, just follow the 3 easy steps below:
Decide Which Program You’ll Participate In: ❒ The Mid-Day Mentor
1-2 Hours per Mentor Relationship
❒ The One-Year Mentor
1 Year Traditional Mentor Relationship
❒ The Mega Mentor (Both)
Tell Us a Little About Yourself
___________________________________________________________|_________________________________________________ Name Supreme Court ID ________________________________________________________________________________|____________________________ Company Name Number of Attorneys in Firm ___________________________________________________|___________________________|____________|_________________ Mailing Address* City State Zip Code *Please list your address you prefer to have closest to Mentor ____________________________|_____________________________________|__________________________________________ Telephone Number Fax Number E-mail Address __________________________________________|___________________________________________|______________________ County of Your Practice Bar Admission Date Birth Year ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Special Skills and/or practice areas and/or Special Preferences ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Professional Affiliations and Section/Committee Membership 14
YLS In brief
How did you initially become interested in getting involved in the Mentor Program? ❒ I saw an article/ad in the Bar Association Publications ❒ E-Bulletin ❒ I had a mentor when I was changing area(s) of practice
❒ I had a mentor when I was newly admitted ❒ A Bar Association staff contacted me ❒ A Bar Association member contacted me
Areas in which you practice – please indicate and rank the top five areas comprising your practice. (i.e., 1 being most relevant and 3 being of lesser relevance). __ Administrative Law __ Appellate Litigation __ Bankruptcy __ Business & Commercial Litigation __ Civil Trial Practice __ Commercial Law __ Consumer Law
__ Corporate Law __ Criminal Law __ Debtor/Creditor __ Elder Law __ Family Law __ General Practice __ Intellectual Property
__ Taxation __ Personal Injury __ Public Sector __ Real Estate Law __ Wills/Trusts/Estates __ Other __ Other
Please select any of the following areas of experience that you would like to discuss with your Mentor. ❒ Building and Developing Networking Skills ❒ Following the Rules of Professional Conduct ❒ How to Become a Partner in your Firm ❒ How to Build a Good Resume ❒ How to Develop Good Interview Skills ❒ Landing a Nontraditional Legal Job ❒ Law Office Management ❒ Litigation Skills
❒ Running for Judge ❒ Running for Other Political Offices ❒ Single Parents Who are Lawyers ❒ Starting Your Own Law Firm ❒ Transition from Government Lawyer to Private Practice ❒ Transition from Student to Employee ❒ Work-Life Balance ❒ Other
Signature ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Signature* Date *Your signature above acknowledges that you have been licensed in Arkansas for five years or less and are a member in good standing of the State Bar of Arkansas.
Send us Your Application by February 3, 2012
Arkansas Bar Association Mentor Program
Please Fax, E-mail, or Mail your completed form to the Arkansas Bar Association no later than December 2, 2011 for joining the Program by January 2012. Fax to: (501) 375 -4901 E-mail to: email@example.com Mail to: Mentor Program, Arkansas Bar Association 2224 Cottondale Lane Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
The Arkansas Bar Association Mentor Program is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section 15
YLS In Brief January 2012