June 7, 2011

Sophia Lee, Chief Counsel in Litigation at Sunoco, Inc., to Deliver Keynote Speech at Diversity Scholarship Reception, June 16

Sophia Lee, Chief Counsel in Litigation at Sunoco, Inc. and Secretary of the Philadelphia Bar Association, will deliver the keynote address at the YLD's Diversity Scholarship Reception, next Thursday, June 16, at Kokopelli Restaurant and Tequila Bar. READ MORE

Register Now for Bench-Bar at Harrah's, Oct. 14 & 15

Registration is now open for the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference Oct. 14 &15 at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. Click here to register. READ MORE

Learn More About the Newest Bar Association Member Benefits Here: Classifieds and Fastcase

CLICK HERE for a list of upcoming pro bono training programs.


Lee to Deliver Keynote Speech at YLD Diversity Scholarship Reception, June 16

Sophia Lee, Chief Counsel in Litigation at Sunoco, Inc. and Secretary of the Philadelphia Bar Association, will deliver the keynote address at the YLD's sixth annual Diversity Scholarship Reception, next Thursday, June 16 at Kokopelli Restaurant and Tequila Bar (Upstairs), 1904 Chestnut St. The event takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and is co-sponsored by the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania.

Five outstanding local law students will be honored at the event: Tanishka V. Cruz, nominated by the Hispanic Bar Association; Sammetria L. Goodson, nominated by the National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter; Jacquie T. Huynh-Linenberg, nominated by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of PA; Sean-Tamba Matthew, nominated by the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia; and Muthuramanan "Ramana" Ramaswaran, nominated by the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia.

Click here to register for this free event, which includes food and drinks.

Lee is responsible for managing Sunoco's portfolio of nationwide litigation, including commercial, environmental, insurance, toxic tort, personal injury and products liability matters. She is also involved in the development of litigation policies and best practices.

Prior to joining Sunoco, Lee was a member of the litigation department at Reed Smith LLP and the labor and employment department at Blank Rome LLP. She also served as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the late Honorable James McGirr Kelly, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Active in Philadelphia's civic and charitable communities, Lee serves as Vice Chair of the Mayor's Commission on Asian American Affairs and on the boards of Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program and the Women's Law Project. With her chef-husband, Michael O'Halloran, Ms. Lee is co-owner of Bistro 7, a contemporary French restaurant located in Old City Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Business Journal has recognized Ms. Lee as a 2010 Minority Business Leader. Lee is also Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania

Lee received her J.D. and LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, where she was a member of the Temple Law Review and the Moot Court Honor Society. She received her B.A. in English from Cornell University.


Tanishka V. Cruz is a third-year law student at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, where she serves as co-president of the Latin American Law Students Association and a lead editor of Drexel Law Review. She is also a full-time law clerk for the Sachs Law Group, LLC in Philadelphia and previously served as a judicial intern in the chambers of the Honorable M. Teresa Sarmina of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Taniska is committed to community service and recently volunteered with the 2011 Pennsylvania Migrant Farm Workers Tax Clinic and as a Fellow with the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. She intends to pursue a career in immigration law with the goal of specializing in deportation defense cases.

Sammetria Goodson is a recent graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she served on the Executive Committee of the Black Law Students Association, as a member of the ABA Client Counseling Competition Planning Committee, and as a student member of the Faculty Hiring Committee. Sammetria was also an Academic Core Enrichment Counselor to first year students, a BLSA mentor to lower-division students, a member of the 2010-11 Temple American Inn of Court, and a member of the Christian Legal Society. Sammetria served in Temple's Elderly Law Project Clinical program and as an official poll watcher, a student marketing liaison for the North Philadelphia Arts & Culture Alliance, and a member of the Sharon Baptist Church Legal Ministry. Sammetria interned at Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and the City of Philadelphia Law Department.

Jacquie Huynh-Linenberg is a third-year law student at Rutgers School of Law-Camden. She earned a B.S. in Management Information Systems and International Business from Drexel University and an M.B.A in New Ventures and Entrepreneurship from Pennsylvania State University. Jacquie is heavily involved with diversity initiatives and, during the 2010-11 school year, served as the president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, the Environmental Law Society, and as an auction co-chair for the Association for Public Interest Law at Rutgers. She currently serves as the Business and Marketing Editor for the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion and provides pro bono services to the Financial Literacy Project and Voters' Rights Project. This summer, Jacquie will be a legal intern with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia.

Sean-Tamba Matthew recently completed his first year at Temple University Beasley School of Law. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science. While at Penn, Sean worked as a summer intern for Penn's Fox Leadership Program where he co-developed the Big Brother Big Sisters/St. Francis DeSales Financial Literacy Program. Sean spent two years working at Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA as a Fellow and has continued his participation with Big Brothers Big Sisters at Temple as a Mentor. He is active in the Black Law Student Association, the Student Public Interest Network, and will serve as the co-vice president of the Business Law Society next year. Last year, Sean was a recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Foundation's Scholarship. This summer, he will work as a Summer Law Clerk at Regional Housing Legal Services.

Muthuramanan "Ramana" Rameswaran recently completed his first year at Temple University Beasley School of Law and is currently a summer associate with Page, Wolfberg, & Wirth in Mechanicsburg, Pa. At Temple Law, he serves on the executive boards of the South Asian Law Student Association and the Health Law Society. He also serves as the student representative to the law school's Faculty Curriculum Committee. Prior to law school, Rameswaran attended medical school, worked at two local Fortune 100 pharmaceutical companies and served as one of the commonwealth's first South Asian emergency medical services chief officers. Rameswaran is a long-time resident of the Philadelphia region who continues to serve as a merit badge counselor for his old Boy Scout troop, as well as Parliamentarian of his local ambulance company.

Each year, the Young Lawyers Division presents a $500.00 scholarship to select local law students in recognition of their excellence in academic achievement, community service and commitment to the Philadelphia area. The YLD Cabinet and YLD Executive Committee liaisons to Philadelphia's minority bar associations select the scholarship winners from submitted applications

Click here to register.

TODAY AT NOON: Women's Images and Issues of the 20th Century, Co-sponsored by the YLD and WIP Committee

Catherine Gourley, an award-winning author and National Women's History Project affiliate, will present "Women's Images and Issues of the 20th Century: An Interactive Program on how Popular Culture Portrayed Women Throughout the 20th Century," a program co-sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division and the Women in the Profession Committee today, June 7 at 12 p.m. at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor.

Stories of women who either exemplified conventional behaviors or changed them will be presented in a fascinating slide show. With a focus on primary-source photographs, illustrations and moving images, this program will examine the influence of popular culture on our perceptions of women and women's issues in the 20th century.

Click here to register for this free program (excluding lunch).

Take Part in VIP's 30 for 30 Challenge

Matthew S. Olesh and Martha F. Reilly, co-chairs of Philadelphia VIP's 30th Anniversary Engagement Committee, are calling upon the members of Philadelphia's legal community to participate in the "30 for 30 Challenge." They are asking all Philadelphia-area attorneys to commit to 30 hours of pro bono service this year with an organization of their choosing in honor of Philadelphia VIP's 30th anniversary.

The "30 for 30" pledge form is available on Philadelphia VIP's website at phillyvip.org. All pledge signers will be recognized at a special 30th Anniversary ceremony during National Pro Bono Week this October. Philadelphia VIP will also track all participation and provide special recognition to practices of varying sizes with the highest rates of participation.

Registation Now Open for Bench-Bar at Harrah's, Oct. 14 & 15

Registration is now open for the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference Oct. 14-15 at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. Click here to register.

The Bench-Bar & Annual Conference provides attendees with the opportunity to earn CLE credit while networking with colleagues and members of the bench.

(Check out the brand-new website for the event here, where you can learn how to win an iPad 2.)

Registration for members is $349 if booked by Sept. 16. For non-members, registration is $399. Members of the Young Lawyers Division and public interest and government attorneys can attend for $199. For those wishing to attend only the Grand Reception at The Pool at Harrah's on Friday, Oct. 14, tickets are $150 for all members and $175 for non-members. Tickets will be an additional $25 if purchased at the door.

For those wishing to attend Friday's session only, tickets are $299 for members, $149 for the Young Lawyers Division and government or public interest attorneys and $349 for non-members. Members and guests wishing to attend without receiving CLE credit will pay $200. For non-members, the cost is $225. Admission includes all sponsored meals and events. Those wishing to attend programs on Saturday, Oct. 24 will only pay $229, while YLD members and government and public interest attorneys can attend for $79 and $279 for non-members. Click here to register.

Current Bench-Bar sponsors are: Iron Mountain.

Philadelphia VIP's 16th Annual Summer Pro Bono Program, June 17

Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono legal services in the city, will host its 16th annual Summer Pro Bono Program on Friday, June 17 from 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. The program is geared specifically to law students at the start of their careers to educate them about issues of poverty in Philadelphia and to promote an ethic of service to address those issues through pro bono work.

Participants in the Summer Pro Bono Program will:

  • Attend a training on VIP's work with the City of Philadelphia's Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, an innovative program that provides thousands of homeowners an opportunity to negotiate face to face with lenders’ representatives to save their homes from foreclosure.
  • Discuss the importance of pro bono with judges from the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Bar Association leaders and VIP Board Members during a complimentary luncheon.
  • Shadow a volunteer attorney or housing counselor assisting a client at a conciliation conference during the summer months.

Registration ends Wednesday, June 8. Registration forms can be found at www.phillyvip.org underneath the "Events" heading. Questions can be directed to Bailey Andersen at jvolunteer@phillyvip.org or (215) 523-9567.

Chief Judge Lippman to Speak; Judge Rufe to Be Honored, June 27

Hon. Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of the State of New York and a strong advocate for equal access to justice, will be the keynote speaker at the Bar Association's Monday, June 27 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon.

The Association will also present the Sandra Day O'Connor Award to U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe at the event and honor the newest members of its Year Clubs, attorneys who have been practicing law for more than 50 years. The O'Connor Award is conferred annually on a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community.

As New York's chief judge, Lippman has championed equal access to justice issues and taken an active leadership role in identifying permanent funding streams for civil legal services, strengthening the state’s indigent criminal defense system, addressing the systemic causes of wrongful convictions, and reforming New York's juvenile justice system, among many other areas. Judge Lippman's four decades in the courts have been marked by a commitment to fostering a justice system that is independent, open, accountable and responsive to the people it serves.

Judge Rufe was nominated to the Eastern District by President George W. Bush on Jan. 23, 2002. She was confirmed by the Senate on April 30, 2002, and received her commission on May 3, 2002. She received her B.A. from Adelphi University and received her J.D. from State University of New York at Buffalo Law School.

Judge Rufe began her professional career as an assistant and coordinator in the Juvenile Division of the Bucks County Public Defender's Office in 1977. She was a deputy public defender with the Bucks County Public Defender's Office from 1980 to 1981. She served as solicitor for the Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency from 1984 to 1988. She served as a judge on the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas from 1994 to 2002.

We will also welcome Hon. Bruce W. Kauffman to join us in saluting the distinguished careers of our senior members of the Bar Association as we induct new members into the 50-, 60-, 65- and 70-Year Clubs. Our two new 70-Year Club members, Albert Konefsky and George Ovington, will receive special recognition for their extraordinary record of service.

Tickets for the event, to be held at the Hyatt at The Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets, are $55 for members and $65 for non-members. Click here to purhcase tickets.