Anchorage Bar Association


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The Anchorage Bar Association Young Lawyers Section organized the state finals of the 13th Annual High School Mock Trial Competition this past March. In organizing such competition, the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) looks to a small group of volunteers (the committee) to draft the problem, coordinate with court personnel to reserve enough courtrooms, recruit different schools to participate, recruit a sufficient number of judges for all competition rounds, and organize the banquet and awards ceremony. Of course, the committee performs many more tasks to ensure a successful competition.

Having organized the state final competition for the past couple of years, the committee wondered if Alaska could host the National Mock Trial Competition. With this task in mind, two committee members attended this year’s National Competition hosted in St. Paul, Minnesota.

At each National Competition, planners decide on where the National Competition will be held three years out. Some of the key factors in selecting the winning city are: (1) courthouse capacity for 50 teams to compete; (2) hotel(s) with 500 rooms and banquet facilities; (3) proximity of the host hotel(s) to the courthouse(s); (4) obtaining sufficient number of volunteers to judge the national competition; and (5) activities/attractions for the participants.

This year, there were three cities vying to host the 2005 National Competition -- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fort Worth, Texas; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Representatives from the three hopeful venues attended various meetings and provided extensive "resumes" detailing why it was the best venue to host the National Competition. Each representative had already coordinated with hotels, courthouses, and local attorneys and judges and obtained agreements with each about participating in a national competition.

Having attended this year’s National Competition and two meetings where the three hopefuls for hosting in 2005 gave their presentations, the YLS planning committee now has a good picture of what to accomplish to host, wishfully, the 2009 National Competition.

Can Anchorage host this national competition? We certainly have wonderful courtroom facilities, a number of hotels in the downtown area, and beautiful outdoor attractions that can be enjoyed by everyone! With the cooperation of the Anchorage business and legal community, the committee looks forward to the challenge of organizing a National Competition.

Michelle Higuchi is an associate at Guess & Rudd.

Young Lawyers Hold Successful Second Job Fair

The Anchorage Bar Association Young Lawyers Section recently hosted a Job Fair for new and young attorneys at the Hotel Captain Cook. This was the second year that the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) hosted such job fair, and the organization hopes to make it an annual event.

This years job fair brought both public and private employers, including the Alaska Civil Liberties Union, Birch Horton Bitner and Cherot, the Federal Judiciary, Guess & Rudd, Lynch & Blum, Richmond & Quinn, and Ross & Miner. Each employer sent one or two representatives, including someone involved in the hiring process and knowledgeable about future hiring prospects. In addition to these employers, an associate from Burr, Pease & Kurtz attended to discuss his practice and the possible hiring needs at his firm, and YLS had a few representatives there to meet attendees and discuss with them YLS activities and membership.

This years participants came from law schools in Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Wyoming. Additionally, currently practicing young lawyers, summer associates, successful February 2002 Alaska Bar examinees, and July 2002 Alaska Bar examinees attended the job fair. The participating employers indicated they were extremely impressed with the attendees.

Both employers and participants expressed their appreciation to the YLS for providing this helpful forum. And, per many employer and participant requests, YLS anticipates hosting this job fair annually, with each year to have more participants and to be more successful for all involved.

YLS would like to thank the employers and participants who attended this years job fair. YLS would also like to thank everyone who helped make this a successful event and give special thanks to the small group of volunteers who donated their time and energy to organize this years wonderful job fair. By all accounts, those volunteers made this years job fair a great accomplishment. So, a special thanks to Christine DeYoung, Carl Johnson, Michelle Higuchi, Jeff Holloway, Emilee Moeller, and Kara Nyquist.

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