News & Publications

State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division Earns Top Awards at ABA Annual Meeting

August 5, 2015
Contact: Mary McAfee or marym@gabar.org

YLD ABA 2015 Awards

Proud Georgia young lawyers take home top awards for the State Bar of Georgia's Young Lawyers Division at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. Pictured left to right: Daiquiri Steele, Jennifer Campbell Mock (YLD President-Elect), Sharri Edenfield (YLD Immediate Past President) and Heather Riggs.

ATLANTA –The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the State Bar of Georgia received the 2014-15 Outstanding Service to the Public Award, one of two awards presented to YLDs from states of all sizes, for its Military Support Initiative. The award was presented Saturday during the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association (ABA) in Chicago.

The Georgia YLD also received four first place awards within its division for Service to the Bar for its Succession Planning Pilot Program, for Service to the Public for the Military Support Initiative, for Best Newsletter and as Overall Comprehensive Best YLD.

Additionally, the Georgia YLD received Special Recognition in the Diversity Project category for its Plessy v. Ferguson Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session at its Spring Meeting in New Orleans. The Georgia YLD was thus recognized in all five ABA award categories in Division 1A, which includes the state YLD affiliates with the largest memberships (more than 8,000 young lawyer members).

"This is a record number of ABA awards earned by the Georgia YLD in one year, and I want to thank all of our officers, directors and State Bar staff for their contributions toward this success," said 2014-15 Georgia YLD President Sharri Edenfield. "Special appreciation goes to Kristie Edenfield Piasta, Edward Piasta, Quentin Marlin and Katie Sullivan Dod, who headed up our Military Support Initiative; to Josh Bosiin, chair of our Long-Range Planning Committee, and Stephanie Powell, associate dean of the Mercer Law School Career Services Office and chair of our Succession Planning Program Committee; Rizza Palmares O'Connor and Yari Lawson, co-editors of our newsletter; and Avarita Hanson, executive director of the Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism, and Morgan Clemons, co-chair of our Minorities in the Profession Committee, who organized and moderated our Plessy v. Ferguson CLE session."

The Georgia YLD's Military Support Initiative provides support to Veterans Affairs Legal Clinics, training for veterans issues, law school mentoring programs and the Augusta Warrior Project, a nonprofit with a mission to connect service members with resources to improve their lives. The Succession Planning Pilot Program seeks to connect Georgia attorneys who intend to transition out of full-time practice with new attorneys and recent graduates who may be interested in succeeding the attorney. The Georgia YLD's newsletter, The YLD Review, is published quarterly.

The YLD is comprised of approximately 10,000 lawyers admitted to the State Bar of Georgia who are 36 years old or younger or who have been admitted to their first bar no more than five years. The YLD has been strengthened over the years through guidance by the State Bar of Georgia, its Executive Committee and Board of Directors, the Supreme Court, and through dedicated service rendered by its members. In keeping with its motto of "working for the profession and the public," the YLD has more than 30 hard-working committees that produce an array of projects and programs. Through the years, the YLD has also gained national recognition by winning several American Bar Association awards for its projects and publications.