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Federal Bar Association To Assist Young Lawyers At Las Vegas Forum

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Today’s young attorneys face unique challenges in launching their legal careers, something the Federal Bar Association plans to address at a Las Vegas conference.

The group holds its inaugural Rising Professionals Symposium in Las Vegas at a time when the supply of law school graduates is greater than the number of legal jobs available.

Technology platforms such as LegalZoom allow people to handle routine matters without representation, cutting into bread and butter legal work like wills and incorporations.

Another obstacle is fewer law firms are offering the associate-to-partner career path that many young attorneys used to follow, according to bar association President Kip Bollin.

"It's tough being a younger lawyer out there," Bollin said. "It's a lot harder than it was 20-something years ago when I was starting out in the profession."

Bollin said they'll address those challenges during the symposium with speakers who have been through the process. 

The symposium will also work to connect newer lawyers with each other and with mentors.

“We’re working to create opportunities to connect people up, help the younger lawyers find each other to help start creating their professional national network,” Bollin said.

He said one of his goals as president of the Federal Bar Association is to help create a home for members of the organization especially younger lawyers.

The 19,000-member Federal Bar Association brings together the judges, attorneys and other legal professionals who make up the federal court system.

Amanda Perach is the president of the Nevada Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She said Las Vegas offers unique opportunities for younger lawyers.

Unlike some bigger cities, younger lawyers in Las Vegas get the chance to work on complex cases much faster. However, most people coming out of law school, even one as well respected as Boyd School of Law at UNLV, are not prepared to practice law.

“Law school doesn’t really prepare you to be a lawyer. It prepares you to think like a lawyer but the day-to-day tasks of a lawyer and the practice of law doesn’t really come from law school it comes from practice and experience,” she said.

She said first starting out can be daunting, which is why the Nevada State Bar requires young lawyers be part of a mentorship program that addresses sometimes-difficult issues such as substance abuse, ethics, and client communication. 

 

Kip Bollin/Federal Bar Association President

Amanda Perach/Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney and president of the Federal Bar Association's Nevada Chapter

Kip Bollin, president, Federal Bar Association; Amanda Perach, Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney and Federal Bar Association Nevada chapter president

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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.