Bob Young completes term as Chair of Law Practice Division of ABA

by Mandy Hicks

Bob Young
Bob Young

Attorney Bob Young, partner at English Lucas Priest and Owsley LLP, has completed his term as Chair of the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association. Bob has served in the position for one year.

The Law Practice Division helps lawyers better manage the business side of their practice. The division publishes books, holds conferences and meetings, conducts continuing legal education seminars online and works to increase diversity in the profession. In his role as Chair, Bob had several national level speaking opportunities and helped organize events and educational opportunities for attorneys. About 15,000 attorneys are members of the Law Practice Division.

Bob previously served as Vice-Chair of Law Practice Division and Chair of the Law Practice Management Strategy and Planning Committee. He also was Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Law Practice Division for three years, from 2009 to 2011.

In addition to the ABA, Bob is a member of the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association, American Association for Justice, Kentucky Justice Association, Kentucky Bar Association and American Bar Association. Bob received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green in 1986 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1990. Besides the Kentucky and Tennessee Bar, his bar admissions include the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.

Bob’s law practice focuses on medical malpractice, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.

A copy of Bob’s speech to the ABA Law Practice Division is below.

Bob Young’s Speech to the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association

July 31, 2015

This is the point in time where I am supposed to give a speech about the state of the Law Practice Division.  When I sat down to prepare this, I reflected back to my interview for leadership within our Division. In a suite at the Atlanta Ritz Carlton, I was asked by the Nominating Committee:

“What is your leadership style?”

I told them I would apply to the Division the same style that had worked in my 20-plus years in the law practice, and, for that matter, life.

The key things I believe in are as follows:
Surround yourself  with the very best and brightest, put them in the right positions, have trust in them, let them do their work and leave them alone unless the ask for your help.

That has worked in my life, worked me in my practice and I think it has carried over and worked well for the Law Practice Division.

Last year, I had a number of meetings with Cindy and Pam to prepare for the year. We kept talking about what I would like to accomplish most during my year as chair. For me, it kept coming back to spreading the word about the great things we were doing within the Law Practice Division, improving the brand and convincing every member of the ABA that they should be a member of the Law Practice Division.

Let’s talk about how YOU, not me, have helped accomplish that goal.

  1. For our Fall meeting in San Diego, we had 144 attendees. For the Spring meeting at Disneyworld, we had  178 attendees. Both of these were attendance records.
  2. For TECHSHOW, the number of conference attendees plus exhibitors was 1,883, which is the highest since we’ve began tracking registration in 2007. What a tremendous event and the word is starting to spread that TECHSHOW is much more than Law Firm technology. It touches all four of the Division’s core areas.
  3. Speaking of TECHSHOW. How about these numbers:
  • Exhibit Sales -­ $465,250
  • Sponsor Sales -­ $245,995
  • Program Ad Sales -­ $22,783
  • TOTAL -­ $734,028

A huge thanks to Brett Burney and the entire TECHSHOW Board.

I want to make a few points about our growth this past year.

  1. Law Technology Today has seen growth of nearly 140% in the last year.  We’ve had more than 130 people contribute, and it’s been so popular that we’ve had to add additional advertising space.
  2. On sales, the LTRC generated $172,000 in revenue this year on just the projects and publications it has launched since joining LP.
  3. Net ad sales for the Law Practice magazine are $201,000 including the print and digital editions.
  4. Distribution for the magazine is around 16,000 when you factor in digita,l and we have been approached by the membership committee of the ABA who recognized our great publication and wants to figure out a way to get it to every ABA member. What a compliment!
  5. Distribution for Law Practice Today (webzine) now goes to about 300,000.  It also goes out to 43 law schools at current count.
  6. With our book sales, we’re looking at net revenue of $36,213 as of the end of June on gross revenue of $394,390.  That isn’t a great margin, but we LOST $51,512 in FY 2014 so this as an $87,725 swing in the right direction over the last year, and it sets us on course for the years to come.
  7. We’re at 20 CLEs/webinars through the Ed Board.
  8. Thanks in large part to our membership committee who work tirelessly to attract new members and retain our current ones, this year we have moved up from 13th to 10th in terms of the largest entities within the ABA. Our terrific brand is starting to spread!
  9. The Women Rainmakers held their spring 2015 Local Programming Event the week of May 11th in cities across the United States and Canada. And for those of us who got to attend, what a wonderful job our WR Board did on the WR Workshop held in the Fall in San Diego. Our speakers included the ABA President Elect Paulette Brown and our own soon to be ABA  President Elect Linda Klein. ABA Women Rainmakers will also be a co-sponsor of the Women of the Section of Litigation Conference to be held Nov. 5 to 7, 2015, in Chicago.

When we talk about the State of the Law Practice Division, I think it can be described in two words. Thanks to you, those words are: “absolutely terrific!!”

When I say thanks to you, I mean all you who are members, chairs and co-chairs of our numerous LP Boards and entities.

You also includes our staff, who have  tremendous pride in the Division and their work product, and is always willing to go beyond the call of duty to make the Division what is today. Thanks to all of you!!

When I think back on the last year, there were are least three of our Staff who received significant promotions. Marisol Massini was promoted to Senior Meeting Planner. Josh Poje was promoted to the Director of the Law Practice Division and Pam McDevitt to Director of Law Practice and Technology. Just last year, Cindy Galvan was promoted to Associate Director of the Division. For years, we have recognized what a great staff that we have in the Division, but it is also especially gratifying to see their great work and accomplishments also being recognized by their peers.

Finally, although I would like to thank all of you by name, we don’t have that much time. But I want to call out a few names.

  1. First, thank you Micah Buchdal for giving me a funded position and allowing me to Chair the Diversity and Inclusion Committee years ago. You did this at a time that you barely knew me. Your trust in me at that time will never be forgotten!
  2. Thanks to those of you who served on the Nominating Committee who gave me a chance to be in the LP Leadership chain. Like Micah, I didn’t know a lot of you at the time, but the trust you showed to me to place me in such an important position is still a point of pride for me.
  3. And finally, I and especially the Division would not have the success it has today but for Pam McDevitt. I could spend hours talking about what she has done for me and the Division in the time that she has been here. I am so happy and proud of her in the steps she has taken in the ABA. The Division and the ABA are so much better because of her work.

Surround yourself  with the very best and brightest, put them in the right positions, have trust in them, let them do their work and leave them alone unless the ask for your help. I would encourage you to apply this same principle to your work, your life and your organizational involvement.

The great accomplishments and terrific state of the Law Practice Division prove that it works!

Thank you!