Read the Young Lawyers' Report Below

Amber B. Barlow of Kuchler, Polk, Weiner LLC penned an open letter to her fellow young lawyers. Read her thoughts about membership in the LADC below.


Hey, Young Lawyers, Be More than a Name on a Membership List: An Open Letter to Fellow Young Lawyers

By Amber B. Barlow of Kuchler Polk Weiner, LLC


Dear Young Lawyers,

As it typically happens, we as young lawyers pass the bar, get hired on at a firm, and join several professional organizations, usually ones pushed by their law firm or their senior partner’s favorite. But there is much more benefit and opportunity to joining these organizations than most realize that I would like to share. Being a member of LADC has specifically benefited not only me personally, but professionally. For example, LADC provides its members opportunities to attend CLEs, networking, getting your name out in the legal community, publication opportunities, building leadership and collaboration skills, exploring new practice areas, and learning new, current, relevant topics in your own practice areas. So if you are going to join a professional organization, LADC has much to offer, and many young lawyers should take full advantage of the membership. I encourage you to be more than just a name on a membership list.


Attend CLEs

Attending CLEs targeted to your area of practice provides many opportunities and is a treasure trove in and of itself. For example, not only are you able to learn new, innovative concepts specific to your practice area, attending the CLEs gives a chance to network and meet with other practitioners around the country practicing in the same areas. As you advance in your practice area and take on more leadership roles within your firm, the benefit from talking with other attorneys outside your firm and immersing yourself in the subject area outside of the day-to-day grind of practice is invaluable. Sometimes stepping away from your desk and engaging in conversation with other attorneys practicing in similar areas provides a time to learn new, creative methods and concepts to handle issues you have faced in your practice or may face in the future.

Not only are you able to attend CLEs targeted to your practice area, but you have the ability to attend so many CLEs that are targeted to a new practice area that you may be interested in learning and developing. DRI CLEs have a vast array of speakers and experts on specific topics in the law and the happy hours and dine arounds allow the perfect opportunity to discuss these matters with the best of the best. Attending CLEs, whether specific to your practice area or a new practice area, allows you to explore other practice areas and find your niche in your legal career. After all, there are always new things to learn and new areas to explore.



A second major benefit to being active in LADC is all the networking opportunities. Of course, attending CLEs provides a great opportunity for networking, but this is not the only way networking takes place within LADC. For example, there are many committees and forums available within the organization which puts its members in touch with one another and promotes professional connections. Who would not want access at their fingertips to collaboration efforts with other smart, talented attorneys around the country?

As many young lawyers quickly learn, it is important to get your name out in the legal community. To grow a book of business, others in the community need to know your name and know your talent. The best way to work on your name recognition is to immerse yourself in organizations where others are able to see your work ethic, talents, and character. In several years, you will be the lawyers they are calling on when they have a referral, are in-house counsel, or need a good lawyer in your state.


Building and Developing Skills

Being an active member of LADC means you are able to serve on committees, work with focus groups, and be given publication opportunities. Each of these presents opportunity to build, develop, and polish your own skills set. For example, serving on one of the many committees LADC has to offer allows you to work with others towards a common goal. Working with others, solving problems, building creativity, and communication are tools that you, as a young lawyer, will need in your own practice and certainly within your own firm. As you advance in your practice and in your firm, new leadership roles may present themselves. You will be able to use the skills and tools you have sharpened through LADC activities to bring into your own professional realm to benefit yourself, your firm, and your clients.

Publication opportunities also give young lawyers an opportunity to further use their research and writing skills. As we all know, research and writing are key components to being a good, well sought after practitioner and any time you are able to work on these skills will benefit you and your practice.


Last, sometimes, as a young lawyer, it can be difficult to find yourself, your confidence, and your voice. Most times, you are thrust into a busy trial docket with seasoned attorneys and speaking up and asserting your own ideas about the work may seem overwhelming and timid. However, working and collaborating with other attorneys through LADC helps many young lawyers develop their own voice and confidence in their ideas, creativity, and talents. Speaking up on projects and assignments through LADC will help to mold those abilities to speak up and have a confident, respectable voice in your own firm, with your own partners, in your own practice. These skills are long-lasting and crucial to your development and professional reputation.


A Fellow Young Lawyer Benefiting from Membership in LADC

Amber B. Barlow is an Associate Attorney with the New Orleans office of Kuchler Polk Weiner, LLC, where she practices in the areas of toxic tort litigation focusing on products and premises liability and environmental litigation. She received her law degree from the Mississippi College School of Law in 2012, and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Louisiana. Ms. Barlow can be reached at [email protected]