January 18, 2011

Sign Up Now as a Volunteer Judge or Coach for the 2011 Mock Trial Competition

The YLD is once again teaming up with Temple University Beasley School of Law to host the 2011 John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition and needs volunteers to act as judges and coaches. READ MORE

Volunteers Needed for Tomorrow's LegalLine

The YLD and Criminal Justice Section are co-sponsoring tomorrow's LegalLine from 5-7 p.m. at Bar Association headquarters (1101 Market St., 11th Floor) and need volunteers to provide free legal advice over the telephone as well as make referrals to attorneys who participate in the Bar Association's Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS). Food and beverages will be provided. Contact Melanie Taylor at melanie.taylor@phila.gov or Brad Shuttleworth at brad@shuttleworth-law.com.

YLD Now Accepting Nominations for Peretta, Perry Awards; Deadline Feb. 7

The YLD is now accepting nominations for the F. Sean Peretta Service Award and the Craig M. Perry Service Award, both presented at the upcoming YLD Annual Meeting in early 2011. Deadline for nominations is Feb. 7. READ MORE

Click here for a list of upcoming Public Interest Training Programs.


Help Students Follow Their Passion for the Law: Sign Up Now as a Volunteer Judge or Coach for the 2011 Mock Trial Competition

The YLD is once again teaming up with Temple University Beasley School of Law to host the 2011 John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition and needs volunteers to act as judges and coaches. Each spring, students from approximately 50 public, private, and parochial schools are given the opportunity play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious criminal or civil case, focusing on real legal issues. The top two teams from Philadelphia go on to the state championship where they compete to move onto the national championship.

Interested in Judging?
Being a volunteer is a truly rewarding experience and provides a great service to the students. Only 2-3 hours of your time is needed. If you have volunteered in the past, we thank you and hope that you will do so again this year. If you have not yet volunteered for the event, we encourage you to do so. Just complete the form HERE. Please direct any questions to Kristy Littman at littmanak@sec.gov or Joe Guzzardo at jguzzardo@wglaw.com.

Interested in Coaching?
There is also still some schools that do not yet have attorney coaches. Like acting as a judge, volunteering to coach requires a commitment of as little as a few hours a week for the final month leading up to the competition. We need coaches for schools in various neighborhoods, but particularly in Northeast and Northwest Philadelphia. Anyone interested in coaching should contact Joshu Harris at jlh67@georgetown.edu.

Please remember, volunteer judges and coaches need not have any litigation experience to make a huge impact in a short time on Philadelphia high school students. Legal training and experience of any kind is an invaluable resource to students as they work to master the basics of persuasive advocacy and legal reasoning. With hundreds of student competitors, the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition's success depends upon the support of the entire legal community. Volunteer today!

Click here to view this year's Case Materials.

YLD Now Accepting Nominations for Peretta, Perry Awards; Deadline Feb. 7

The Young Lawyers Division is now accepting nominations for the F. Sean Peretta Service Award and the Craig M. Perry Service Award, both presented at the upcoming YLD Annual Meeting in early 2011. Deadline for nominations is Monday, Feb. 7, 2011.

The F. Sean Peretta Service Award is presented annually to an individual who has devoted substantial time to an innovative or non-traditional program that serves the community. Peretta was a private practitioner who died suddenly at age 31 who was a very involved community activist and a mentor to kids in his home neighborhood. He was viewed as a role model for African-American Youth.

The Craig M. Perry Service Award is presented annually to a young lawyer - 37 years old or younger or within the first three years of practice - who has devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities, including, but not limited to, pro bono and charity work. Perry was a member of the YLD Executive Committee who suffered an untimely death. He was very involved in community service and active in student-related and other YLD programs.

Nominations should include the individual's name, address and a brief statement describing his or her qualifications. The deadline for nominations is Monday, Feb. 7. All nominations should be submitted to Tracey McCloskey at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or email to tmccloskey@philabar.org.

Tip of the Month: Productive Lunches a Great Way to Begin Reaching Business Goals

By Stephanie Mensing

Has anyone else noticed the increase in phone calls following the holidays? Towards the end of every year, things seem to get a little quieter. I suppose most people are too busy shopping, spending time with family, and attending holiday parties to think about their legal needs. But right after New Year's, the calls start coming.

Not all calls lead to a good case or a paying client, but since people are at least thinking about hiring a lawyer, there is no better time for us young lawyers to stop thinking about marketing and start actually doing something to reach our business goals for the year.

Since it's January, the year's equivalent to a Monday morning, it's good to start with something simple like having lunch with someone you haven't seen in awhile. Ideas include a college or law school classmate, former colleague, former or current client, an opposing counsel or an older attorney whom you respect, vendor, someone in the financial industry, or someone you know from a non-legal professional organization (or just socially).

The point is, while it's great to have a close network of friends and colleagues, we all need to branch out some to build new relationships with others who could help us in our careers through mentoring or serving as a potential referral source.

To start, make a list of people you would like to invite to lunch and schedule one lunch date per week. You should ask where the person would like to go, but in my experience, the person often defers to me, so have something in mind. Do not worry about impressing anyone with expensive lunches, but always select an appropriate restaurant (tip: McGlinchy's is not a good choice!) and always dress appropriately.

Finally, don't forget to follow up with an email or phone call and, most importantly, keep in touch! Remember, it takes about 5 years for a contact to turn into a referral source.

Stephanie Mensing is a partner at the law firm of Wisniewski & Mensing, LLP. She can be reached at smensing@wm-law.net.

Rutgers-Camden Law School Speed Networking Event, Feb. 17; Volunteers Needed

Looking to connect with other professionals in a fun setting and help law students get a head start on their careers in the process? Looking for a way to help students, but don't necessarily have a job to offer? 

Rutgers-Camden Law School has an opportunity for you to help law students build skills essential to finding a job in a challenging market. Come participate in a Rutgers-Camden Law School Speed Networking Event, February 17 from 5:45- 8:00 p.m. 

The event was created to give law students the chance to meet local professionals, gain industry insight, learn about job opportunities and what it takes to become a successful lawyer. Students will receive the opportunity to learn more about practicing law while gaining valuable insights and advice that can help them in their careers.

Speed networking is very similar to the wildly popular speed dating. It consists of brief conversations between students and practicing lawyers, at regular intervals of time. Once the time is up, the students move on to the next lawyer, then the next, ultimately giving them the chance to meet with several participating attorneys, getting career advice and tools for communicating with professionals. In this structured environment, students can talk to people they wouldn't otherwise have come into contact with, and can decide whether they have an interest in a particular kind of employer or practice area.  Following the one-hour speed networking session there will be a short reception where participants can have the opportunity to speak more informally.

To register, submit your name, organization, practice area(s), e-mail address, telephone number and whether or not you are a Rutgers-Camden Law Alumni to Gwen Tolbert, gtolbert@camden.rutgers.edu. Registration closes on January 21 at 5 p.m. Questions? Contact careerplanning@camden.rutgers.edu.

Entertainment Corner: The "Jersey Shore" Eagles

In what is quickly becoming a new tradition, the Eagles' season ended at the beginning of this month in heartbreaking fashion. However, with one season ending another begins, just in time to fill the void left by fantasy football: Season 3 of "Jersey Shore." Unrelated? Hardly. Oddly enough, there are a number of similarities between the personalities in the Eagles' locker room and those in a beach house in Seaside Heights, NJ. If you are an Eagles fan looking to jump in and start watching "Jersey Shore," here is your guide:

The standout star on the Eagles last season was Michael Vick, while the breakout star on "Jersey Shore" is Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. In addition to sharing a first name, both of these men are larger-than-life figures: they can pull off "plays" that seem nearly impossible and know when a "play" has collapsed and it's time to cut and run. Whether you are watching the Eagles or "Jersey Shore," you watch to see what these guys do next (and to see what kind of messes they somehow wiggle out of).

DeSean Jackson is the Eagles' diminutive wide receiver with extra swagger. The "Jersey Shore" beach house has a similar character in Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. When Snooki isn't getting denied the joy of dropping inside a large hamster-like ball to ring in the New Year, her big mouth and even bigger personality demand the attention of her housemates, not unlike like the Eagles number-one wideout Jackson.

Two often overlooked but essential players on the Eagles are Trent Cole and LeSean McCoy. Arguably, these two were the offensive and defensive MVPs of the team last season. Like Cole and McCoy, "Jersey Shore" also has two cool-as-ice characters in Vinnie and Pauly D - the "V" and the "P" to "Jersey Shore's" Mikey-Vinnie-Pauly "MVP" trio. If Vinnie and Pauly D are not on "Jersey Shore," I am not writing this article. It doesn't hurt that these guys know exactly when "It's t-shirt time!" and when to "beat up the beat."

Who else was frustrated with all the games that Asante Samuel missed this past season? Sure, he is flashy, has a flair for the dramatic, and "doesn’t get paid to tackle," but he is a key component to the Eagles defense. On "Jersey Shore," there is no one flashier than Jenni "Jwoww" Farley (although you could probably tell that from her name). Jenni dresses to impress, but don't let appearances fool you - Jenni is the one person on the show that is probably tough enough to play on the Eagles, and she isn't afraid of fisticuffs. Also, she may even hit harder than Asante.

One relationship that we Eagles' fans were tired of seeing was the one between Andy Reid and Sean McDermott. Now that it has ended, viewers of "Jersey Shore" might likewise be calling for end of the relationship between Ronnie and Sammi "Sweetheart." It's possible everyone will be much bigger fans of Andy now that he's moved on from the partner who was dragging him down. Ronnie should follow his lead.

A new cast member, Deena, is being introduced this season on "Jersey Shore." Deena was cast to spice up the show and replace Angelina, the only original cast member that managed to not become famous or live up to her potential (the Winston Justice of "Jersey Shore"). Like "Jersey Shore's" new castmate Deena, the Eagles need a similar upgrade on the defensive side of the ball. Hopefully, Nnamadi Asomugha, a coveted free agent cornerback, inks a deal with the Eagles this offseason. But don't hold your breath. No deals will be signed until a new labor agreement between players and owners is in place.

And there you have it - an Eagles' Fan's Guide to the mystery and wonder of "Jersey Shore."

Joseph P. Gushue is an associate at Volpe and Koenig P.C. and can be reached at jgushue@volpe-koenig.com.

New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference, Feb. 25-26

The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association will hold the inaugural "New Partner and In-House Counsel Conference" on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26 at the Four Seasons Hotel on Logan Square in Philadelphia.

The program provides two days of practical tips and advice that can immediately help you navigate this landscape with greater ease and success through unique CLE, networking and a nationally acclaimed faculty. Conference highlights include more than 8 CLE credits including 1.5 ethics; networking sessions and small group discussions; and tracks that guide you through the issues and information you should be familiar with as you take on this new role.

The Philadelphia Bar Association is a co-sponsor of this event. Visit abanet.org/yld/newpartner for more information.

Public Interest Training Programs Scheduled

  • Philadelphia VIP will present a pro bono CLE training program, "Representing Tenants in Landlord/Tenant Eviction Cases," on January 28 from 12 to 2:15 p.m. at DLA Piper, One Liberty Place, 1650 Market St., Suite 4900, Philadelphia. Two (2) substantive CLE credits will be provided in exchange for handling a VIP case within six months. To register, call 215-523-9550 or e-mail phillyvip@phillyvip.org.

  • A Philadelphia VIP Pro Bono Training Program on Homeownership/Probate will take place February 25 from 12 to 2:15 p.m. at Blank Rome, One Logan Square, 130 North 18th St., Philadelphia. Two (2) substantive CLE credits in exchange for handling a VIP case within six months. To register, call 215-523-9550 or e-mail phillyvip@phillyvip.org.

  • A Philadelphia VIP Pro Bono Training Program on Tax will take place March 9 from 12 to 2:15 p.m. at Dilworth Paxon, 1500 Market St., 3500E, Philadelphia. Two (2) substantive CLE credits in exchange for handling a VIP case within six months. To register, call 215-523-9550 or e-mail phillyvip@phillyvip.org.

Behind the Scenes of the Marian Anderson Museum, Jan. 26

Join the Philadelphia Bar Academy for a special curated tour of the 19th century home of America's greatest contralto singer of the 20th century, Marian Anderson, on Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. This unique wine-and-cheese event will feature a live performance by a Marian Anderson Fellow. The Marian Anderson Residence Museum has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The event is co-sponsored by the Association's Diversity in the Profession Committee.

Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for African-American artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-20th century. The Marian Anderson Residence Museum is located at 762 South Marian Anderson Way (South Martin Street - between 19th and 20th and Fitzwater and Catherine streets). The cost is $15 per person. The event is open to members of the Philadelphia Bar Association only. Register HERE. Registration is limited and required in advance.

The Philadelphia Bar Association Academy provides civic and cultural educational experiences that allow for enhanced business development opportunities to members of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Academy programs provide a unique entry to the city's most vibrant institutions and leaders, offering Association members behind-the-scenes access to these institutions in a manner designed to benefit all participants.

Panel on Legal Industry Trends and Future, Feb. 1

A panel of prominent legal observers will take part in a discussion focused on legal industry trends and the future of the profession on Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at Philadelphia Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market Street, in the 11th Floor Conference Center. The program, "LAW & REORDER: Legal Industry Trends & the Future of the Profession," is co-sponsored by the Association's Large, Mid-Size, and Solo and Small Firm Management Committees; the Women in the Profession Committee; and the Bar-News Media Committee.

Topics to be discussed at the event include the threat to the billable hour, the rise of new models of legal practice, the morphing of large law firms, the development of talent management strategies, and the creation of work/life and women-friendly employers. The program will also address how lawyers can successfully navigate today's - and tomorrow's - changing legal environment, including an emphasis on productivity, leadership, mentoring, promotion, work/life balance, transition, compensation and networking.

The program will feature an interview by Comcast television's Lynn Doyle with Deborah Epstein Henry, author of "LAW & REORDER: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance" (ABA, 2010). Henry is the founder of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC. Following the interview, Doyle will moderate a panel discussion with Henry; Carol Ann Petren, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, CIGNA Corporation; JoAnne A. Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law; and Abraham C. Reich, Co-Chair, Fox Rothschild LLP.

"LAW & REORDER," has been endorsed by 25 legal and other industry leaders including general counsels, managing partners, law school deans, leaders of bar and women's associations, legal industry experts, and career and work/life experts. Among the prominent leaders who have endorsed the book are the general counsels of Wal-Mart, DuPont, CIGNA, Verizon, General Electric, Allstate Insurance and the Association of Corporate Counsel. The Feb. 1 event is part of the "LAW & REORDER" national book tour. For more information, visit www.lawandreorder.com.

The program is free of charge. Register early to avoid disappointment. CLICK HERE. Lunch is available for purchase if reserved in advance. The cost of lunch is $8 for Association members, and $9.50 for nonmembers. "LAW & REORDER" will be available for sale at the program at the discounted rate of $25, payable by cash or check made out to Law & Reorder.