THE CALIFORNIA NEW LAWYERS SECTION-MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS AND COMMUNITY
Written by Paige Samblanet1
The Environmental Law Section of the California Lawyers Association takes pride in being a section that not only supports its own members, but also supports and partners with other sections. One of those sections, specifically, is the New Lawyers Section. The New Lawyers Section (the "NLS") is a proud part of the California Lawyers Association (the "CLA") and is one of eighteen sections of the CLA, representing all lawyers in California who have been practicing 8 years or fewer. This means that N LS represents roughly 50,000 members-making it one (if not the) largest section of the CLA.
The name NLS may be new to many practicing attorneys in California, who remember the section under its previous name-CLA Young Lawyers. The name was officially changed in early 2022 in part because, while many new attorneys are "young" so to speak, that does not encompass all lawyers who are new to practicing law in California-such as those who recently were admitted to the California State Bar but have been practicing for decades, or those who changed careers and are now recently barred attorneys later in life. The name change represents what the N LS Section embodies, a community for all new lawyers. This new name is further supported by the NLS purpose and mission: to advance practical skills, leadership and pro bono opportunities, networking, and support to meet the unique needs of California’s diverse community of new lawyers. Put simply, the NLS provides a soft landing into the practice of California law and provides a community to support California’s new lawyers.
The NLS Executive Committee is made up of the officer team, at-large members, and liaisons to each of the seventeen other CLA sections. The NLS Executive Committee’s main goal is to provide a space for new lawyers to feel welcomed and prepared, and to make some life-long friends in the process. The current Chair of NLS, Jake Zindulka, had this to say about the section: