by Mey Ly


DAYL had an amazing year in 2014! Together, we completed over 140 projects with 40 of them being completely new. Of course, this could not have happened without everyone who was involved last year – from the committees and their chairs and sponsors, to the Board, and of course, The Cherie Harris.

There were a few special leaders, however, that really made last year phenomenal. As president, I was so humbled by how good they made DAYL look.

Outstanding Director

Outstanding means something that stands out among others – someone who is marked by superiority or distinction. While I had such a tough time choosing one board member because I had an incredibly impressive board, Jennifer Larson simply rose above with the sheer amount of time she devoted to DAYL last year. In addition to being a fantastic board member at board meetings, attending events, and supporting her committees as board liaison to Membership and CLE, she was also a pivotal co-chair of the 2013 Leadership Class project. Their class hosted the DAYL Charity Ball, which raised $50,000 for EPIC – the largest amount raised by a leadership class to date. If that’s not outstanding, I don’t know what is.

Catalyst of the Year

A catalyst is generally defined as a substance that accelerates action – and I could not think of a better definition for Terry James. If you don’t know him, you ought to – his enthusiasm and energy is unmatched by anyone I know. Terry is Catalyst of the Year for his contribution as a new board member, as a leadership class facilitator and as a liaison to the Lawyers Promoting Diversity committee. In each of those arenas, he effortlessly inspires those around him to make things happen, and undoubtedly, the DAYL is a better organization with Terry James’ leadership.

Presidential Merit Award

I googled the definition of merit (the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward) and quite frankly, hated it because it failed to adequately describe Leslie Chaggaris’s contributions to DAYL. So I’m going to define it as the Best DAYL Member Ever Award. Leslie has not only been a phenomenal co-chair, who has brought a floundering committee back to life – by getting sponsors and recruiting co-chairs and spearheading meetings, but last year, she helped me tackle two huge projects –a prospective membership initiative, and the Big Give Back. The Big Give Back was an especially huge endeavor – a collaboration with our sister bars to host three free legal advice clinics in underserved areas. Leslie’s always-positive attitude and graceful execution of these major contributions to DAYL is why she is receiving the Presidential Merit Award.

Best New Co-Chair of the Year

While DAYL does not typically give out a new co-chair of the year award, I was compelled to recognize this new co-chair for going above and beyond. Last year, he not only chaired one of my new committees, Young Employment Labor Lawyers, which was a great success, but he also took on being the Captain of our new kickball team and planned a welcome back happy hour for law students – which was completely his idea. He doesn’t just stop with his committees – he is constantly thinking about how we can recruit and engage members and make DAYL a better organization and that’s why Justin Gobert is the Best New Co-Chair of the Year for 2014.

Outstanding Committee Chair

Last, but not least – Outstanding Committee Chair is the most difficult award to give out because we have so many great co-chairs. After all, we have about 30 committees with anywhere from 3-6 co-chairs and choosing one person out of over 100 excellent, community-minded young lawyers is tough. But this committee chair stood out. Beyond his countless hours in expanding the Law Students Assistance committee by adding new programming and outreach and beyond his frequent attendance at DAYL events outside of his committee – Alex Bolton stood out for his maturity and professionalism in representing DAYL to our local law schools and judges. It is one thing to plan events with young lawyers and for young lawyers – but once administrators and judges get involved, things simply need to be handled at a sophisticated level and Alex Bolton rose to that task. That’s why he is Outstanding Committee Chair for 2014.

Thank you again to everyone for making 2014 so incredible. I’m looking forward to all the great things Jonathan Childers, his board, and his chairs will undoubtedly accomplish in 2015!