March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, and I will observe it as I have for many years – contemplating my current state of affairs while sipping on a pint of Guinness. This is a personal tradition that began many years ago when I was a law student at Marquette. Inevitably, I will conclude that life is good and that I am blessed with family, friends, my career, and the privilege to serve as the State Bar president for a year that goes by very quickly. What message do I wish to impart on the observance of my patron saint’s day?
com pfiedler axley Patrick J. Fiedler, Marquette 1980, is a litigator with Axley Brynelson LLP, in Madison.
“Youth is wasted on the young” is a quote from George Bernard Shaw, the famed Irish playwright. This sentiment hit home last July when I turned 60. That month I received an email advising me that I am now eligible for membership in the Senior Lawyers Division. Assuming that I live to be 120 years old, I have now officially reached middle age. So, in the manner of a grey-haired sage, I offer one pearl of wisdom to the young lawyers – get involved!
The Young Lawyers Division is a vital and energetic part of the State Bar. Membership in the YLD is automatic for attorneys who are either under 36 years of age or in their first five years of practice. Although the YLD has many positive qualities, there is one that stands above the rest. In my opinion, the YLD makes every eligible lawyer feel welcome and offers the opportunity to get involved in a number of ways.
The YLD makes every eligible lawyer feel welcome and offers opportunities to get involved in a number of ways.
This month is the Fifth Annual Lawyers Leadership Conference. It will be held on Friday, March 21, at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay. The attendees will include approximately 150 young and new lawyers from across the state. Registration opens at 11:30 a.m., and the conference kicks off at noon with a luncheon and a keynote address by the Honorable William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The program emphasizes leadership and includes great speakers and networking events. Having attended this conference in the past, I can assure you that the attendees will find lots of social activities to engage in once the formal program ends. If you attend, I can guarantee you that you will renew old acquaintances, make new ones, and have a great time.
Not able to make the conference? You don’t have to sit on the sidelines until the next one in 2015. Now is the time to get involved in the YLD. The YLD has two primary objectives – to assist young and new lawyers in the practice of law and to involve them in public service. It offers a host of opportunities. And it has an associate program for law students. For more information, log on to WisBar.org and visit the Young Lawyers Division webpage.
If you are a YLD member, I encourage you to take advantage of what the division has to offer. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. Sláinte!