Let's Get NALP-y

By Michael Nguyen and Clara Solomon
May/June 2023

Welcome back from the Annual Education Conference (AEC)! Whether it was your first conference or your tenth, it was great to connect in person. Your interest in the profession and industry is reinvigorated. Now, how can you channel this enthusiasm for NALP?

As leaders of the 2022-2023 Nominating Committee, we heard from many members over the past year. Our members have deep passion for NALP, and many of you are looking to build your leadership experience in the organization. Here are some tips we picked up from current NALP leaders:

A great way to learn about NALP is to join a section. What better way to cement new relationships from the conference than working with other members in an area of interest? You can flex your NALP leadership muscle by volunteering to help with section charges. It can be intimidating that some members may appear to have much more knowledge, but remember, we all started somewhere, and seasoned NALP members want to help advance you.

Another option is to become active with your city/regional group. Although city groups are not officially part of NALP, there is overlap in memberships. Getting involved locally is a great way to learn about your market and to build relationships with people in a smaller cohort.

As the AEC moves into the rearview mirror, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day of our jobs, and the fall nomination season for the 2024 cycle will be here before we know it. Take the time between now and then to learn about various NALP roles for you. In addition to section membership and leadership, consider elected roles: Regional Leadership Council, to serve as a resource to members in your area; Nominating Committee, to serve as an integral part in the recommendation of future NALP leaders; Conference Planning, to select programming and shape themes for the future AEC. There are many gateways to NALP involvement. Another benefit of NALP engagement: take your knowledge back to your own organization, thereby raising your profile.

People often look at the names on the screen at the Annual Business Meeting and wonder, “how did they get there?” Some perceive NALP as an insider’s club, and it is not. NALP leaders are dedicated members like you, who, over time, have been involved in various NALP activities to learn how a complex membership organization operates and advance it forward. Learn from prior members of committees about the roles within our large organization (this is where you network and build relationships!). Where else do you have the chance to learn about how this organization functions and directly impact its future?

There are many ways to get involved, big and small and for all levels of experience. All of these paths are open to you; there is no one recommended path towards NALP leadership. The formal nominating process for slated and elected opportunities will open in the fall, but don’t lose the momentum you gained in Vancouver. Reach out, step up, and get involved now. NALP needs you!

Michael Nguyen (michaelnguyen@dwt. com) is Director, Lawyer Talent Acquisition for Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Vice-Chair of the 2022-23 Nominating Committee, and will be the co-lead for the inaugural NALP AAPI affinity group for 2023-2024.

Clara Solomon (solomonc@mercury. law.nyu.edu) is the Senior Director of Career Services at New York University School of Law and served as Chair of the 2022-2023 Nominating Committee.

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