January 25, 2019

President’s Farewell

BY: Brian T. Wesley

Dear Virginia Young Lawyers,

As this bar year winds down, the YLC begins the important tasks of elevating new executive leadership; appointing new governors; and assigning new program chairs, district representatives and volunteers. All of these tasks play a pivotal role in the continued success of the YLC and our ability to provide top programming to young lawyers around the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The assignment of new program chairs, district representatives, and volunteers may be the most important of all our YLC roles. Our ability to generate new programs and priorities is enhanced by fresh thoughts and ideas. This organization continues to energetically grow and thrive as a result of new young lawyers joining our ranks, with a willingness to share their own experiences and ideas. Volunteers continue to expand our reach within communities, and typically take on greater responsibility as future program chairs or district representatives. Many years ago, I became involved with the YLC—as a volunteer for the Northern Virginia Minority Pre-Law Conference. As a new lawyer, I wanted to get involved with a bar association and assist those in my community, not knowing that a willingness to volunteer then would lead me to addressing you today.

The YLC continues to flourish. For years, the YLC has been recognized nationally and garnered the attention of larger young lawyer organizations from around the country. They want to see and understand our flourishing programs; how we expanded the diversity pipeline into Virginia law schools; how we offer free wills to our hero veterans and first-responders; how we expanded free or low-cost CLE opportunities to YLC membership; and how we quickly and efficiently incorporated young lawyer health and well-being as a focal point of our programming. This is just a sampling of the extraordinary work done by YLC executive committees, governors, program chairs, district representatives, and volunteers for many years.

As I begin to transition to my final role as YLC past-president, it is with elation that I pass the torch to our next president of the YLC, Farnaz Thompson. Farnaz possesses in abundance the leadership skills, organization, and collegial spirit to lead the YLC on its upward trajectory as the preeminent young lawyer conference in the country.

It has been an absolute honor and a privilege to serve as your YLC president this bar year and I hope that you aspire to or continue your involvement in the YLC for many years to come.

About the Author

Brian T. Wesley is the president of the Young Lawyers Conference. Brian received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2003. In 2008, Brian graduated from Howard University School of Law. He is now an associate with Reynolds | Wesley, P.C.