SPECIAL FOR THE AJT//
The Atlanta Young Jewish Attorneys Network (AYJAN) is an organization focused on promoting relationships between Jewish attorneys of all ages in Atlanta.
AYJAN’s bi-monthly meetings provide an outlet for sharing information about job openings and community events as well as “war stories,” current projects and recent articles authored by fellow Jewish attorneys.
The organization was founded by Atlanta-based attorneys Jody Brown, Taylor English Duma, LLP; Raanon Gal, Ford & Harrison, LLP; Eric Fisher; and Jeffrey Fisher, Kilpatrick Townsend. The founders, such as Fisher and Brown, here offer details about this unique group as well as their personal thoughts on AYJAN.
The group holds one formal meeting per quarter and also has periodic speaker events or group pro bono projects.
In 2012, The Jewish Federation of Georgia hosted a speaker event for the group. Ralph Levy – the former managing partner of King & Spalding, LLP and current chairman of NYSE company RenaissanceRe Holdings, Ltd. and Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Neutral – served as guest speaker.
Purpose and Founding
AYJAN was started in an attempt to promote relationship building among young-ish (age 40 and under) Jewish attorneys in and around Atlanta.
We realized that the professionals with whom we meet in court or across a table negotiating a deal are likely going to be the people we see at our children’s school events, community functions and other social gatherings. Thus, AYJAN provides another platform for these individuals to get to know each other outside of the office.
One Member’s Personal Interest
According to founder Eric Fisher:
“During a particularly contentious business litigation dispute, I was embarrassed to learn that one of my adversaries was not only involved with many of the same community activities as me, but knew many of the same people as I did. Once we found this common ground, the litigation became much more civil, and all parties benefitted.
“By expanding the number of attorneys I know, particularly those who are my contemporaries and share common interests, I believe being a member of AYJAN will be beneficial to my clients, decrease the level of stress in my daily work and expose me to community events of which I was unaware. [And] in the past year, through AYJAN, all of this has come to fruition.”
According to founder Jody Brown:
“In this difficult job market, attorneys have used AYJAN’s events as a venue to explore job opportunities, and have found success in doing so. From new graduates who are simply looking to land interviews to government employees who are ready to transition into the private sector and even experienced attorneys are simply hoping to find a new firm – an AYJAN event can and has proved fertile ground to learn about all of these options.”
Goals, Second Year and Beyond
AYJAN started this year with an event called “Pro Bono Work and Volunteerism in 2013” and would like to focus more on getting attorneys exposed to work they can do outside the office – both with legal and Jewish nonprofits. As membership continues to grow, the group members will naturally develop bonds with more of their contemporaries.
And in addition to providing fun events, AYJAN would like to mobilize members to get more involved with community events. Participants believe this group will truly become a force for positive change in the Atlanta legal community as well as the Atlanta Jewish community.
More information can be found on the group’s LinkedIn page at linkedin.com/groups/AYJAN-4257314/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro.