May 17, 2011: ELECTION DAY!
Print the Philadelphia Bar Association's objective judicial ratings here to bring with you to the polls.

NEXT TUESDAY: YLD To Welcome Law School Deans, Present Chancellor's Forum on Future of the Profession

The Young Lawyers Division will present the Chancellor's Forum "The Future of the Profession: A Conversation With the Law School Deans" next Tuesday, May 24, at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. The event is free but advanced registration is required. READ MORE

Register Now: YLD Diversity Scholarship Reception, June 16

Register now for this year's Diversity Scholarship Reception, to be held Thursday, June 16 at the brand-new Kokopelli Restaurant and Tequila Bar (Upstairs), 1904 Chestnut St., from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Click here to register for this free event.

Brennan Award Nominations Now Being Accepted, Due June 6

Nominations are being accepted for the Philadelphia Bar Association's prestigious Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award. The award will be presented at the Association's Quarterly Meeting in September 2011. Nominations are due June 6. READ MORE


NEXT TUESDAY: YLD to Present Chancellor's Forum on Profession's Future

The Young Lawyers Division will present the Chancellor's Forum "The Future of the Profession: A Conversation With the Law School Deans" next Tuesday, May 24, beginning at 12 p.m. at Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor.

Panelists include Linda L. Ammons, dean and professor of law, Widener University School of Law; Robert Bartow, associate dean for academic affairs and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law; Roger J. Dennis, founding dean and professor of law, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University; Michael A. Fitts, dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School; John Y. Gotanda, dean and professor of law, Villanova University School of Law; Rayman L. Solomon, dean and professor of law, Rutgers School of Law - Camden, N.J.; and Robert Dinerstein, professor of law and director of clinical program at American University, Washington College of Law and member of the Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Topics to be discussed include the changing landscape of the legal profession; increased use of contract attorneys in law firms; employment opportunities; reporting standards and requirements; training new lawyers and potential changes in law school curriculum; the value of co-op programs or a year of apprenticeship; law school tuition and students loans; and class size.

The panel will be presented by Chancellor Rudolph Garcia and moderated by Brian S. Chacker and Albertine Y. DuFrayne, past chairs of the Young Lawyers Division. Chancellor's Forums bring expertise, in-depth analysis and attention to critical topics affecting the profession and the citizens of Philadelphia. The event begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. The event is free, but advance registration is required. Lunch is available for purchase for $5. Click here to register.

Entertainment Corner: Philly Beer Week, June 3-12

by Joseph P. Gushue

Philadelphia is known throughout the country for its well educated beer-drinkers. Luckily, these aficionados are rewarded with a diverse selection of microbreweries and famous pubs. The good people of Philadelphia have been crafting lagers and ales for more than 300 years - since the days of William Penn! The Declaration of Independence was even debated and ultimately drafted in colonial taverns.

This brewing tradition continues today, with two large-scale breweries within city limits, as well as many others throughout the area. What's more, Philadelphia is lucky enough to receive many kinds of beer - both from within the United States and abroad - which are difficult, if not impossible, to find in other parts of the country. These beers are served at the many great Philadelphia beer bars - 14 of which have an "A" rating on

Any day of the year, Philadelphia is one of the best cities in the United States for beer, but Philly Beer Week takes it to the extreme. Occurring every summer for ten days in early June, this is Philadelphia's ultimate celebration of everything beer. From the Opening Tap beer festival at the Independence Visitor Center on June 3 to the many wrap-up beer brunches and "clearance" events on June 12, this is shaping up to be a great ten days for beer lovers.

Philly Beer Week is special because of the many opportunities to drink beer with the actual brewer. Events are being held which will host brewers from Yards (Philadelphia), Philadelphia Brewing Company (Philadelphia) and Weyerbacher (Easton), as well as many others. Appearances will also be made by, most notably, the brewers from Lost Abbey (California), Ballast Point (California) and Cigar City (Florida). At many of these events, the brewers will bring along something special that is not normally available to the general beer consuming public.

Of the "meet the brewer" events, the most exciting one this year is the brand new beer garden created just for Philly Beer Week. "The With Love Beer Garden" will be hosted in the courtyard of the Four Seasons Hotel from June 6-10 and will be opening each day at 4 p.m. and going until 8 p.m.

In the garden, a different local brewer will be showcasing their beer each day, allowing patrons to meet the brewer while enjoying the brewery's most famous beer and some amazing food. Victory Brewing Company will start off the festivities on June 6 with their special Summer Love Ale. They will be followed by Weyerbacher, Dock Street Brewing Company, Sly Fox, Yards Brewing Company and Stoudt's Brewing Company.

The beer garden will have a special menu and serve local favorites such as the Philly beef sliders, steamed New Jersey clams, Port Richmond kielbasa sandwich and Lancaster honey-glazed chicken wings.

So come out, support your Philadelphian beer heritage, and consume some of the area’s most interesting and tasty beer.

For details on Philly Beer Week, including a full event list, visit

Joseph P. Gushue is an associate at Volpe and Koenig P.C. and can be reached at

Tip of the Month (Day): Vote!

by Stephanie Mensing

Today is the Municipal Primary. If you haven't already, make sure you get out and vote for Mayor, City Council (all 17 seats), City Commissioners, Sheriff, Register of Wills and the local and state judicial offices.

If you are still undecided about the candidates and possibly considering skipping the primary, I encourage you to review the candidates' credentials and their positions and vote for the people you feel are most qualified to lead this city (much of this information can be found online).

Finally, many of you probably know that there are more than 40 candidates for the 11 open seats on Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court. Before heading to the polls, be sure to check out the Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention's ratings of the judicial candidates on the Philadelphia Bar Association's website here.

Stephanie Mensing is a partner at the law firm of Wisniewski & Mensing, LLP. She can be reached at

Marketing Corner: How Committed Are You?

by Kimberly Alford Rice

Since the economic downturn hit several years back and legal positions have been much harder to come by, there have been unprecedented numbers of lawyers making alternative career choices. One of those choices is to hang out your own shingle.

Admirable choice, but not one without major commitment challenges. There are three specific business areas that without commitment, you'll likely face other tough choices.

Commitment to your business's success. Have you closed the door on other career choices? Do you have a backup plan if your business does not prosper? It is wise to have a Plan B to feel more assured as long as you recognize it as such and don't bolt at the first sign that "this is going to take longer than I originally thought."

Sure, starting a business (any business) is a journey and can challenge us in unanticipated ways. But if you truly envision running your own firm and go into it with realistic expectations, Plan B will be a distant memory before you know it.

Commitment to growing your business. This is a biggie. To realize positive results, you must be consistent in your business development efforts.

Do you approaching growing your business in a scattershot manner or do you routinely engage in high impact business development activities? Do you understand what this truly requires? This separates the girls from the women in that to steadily grow your business, you must engage in expanding your network, effectively communicate your value proposition, and deliver extraordinary client service each and every day. To most effectively accomplish these objectives, you must have and execute a well-crafted marketing plan. Do you have one? Otherwise, you are just engaging in random acts of marketing to no great result.

Commitment to existing clients. Lawyers are well advised to recognize the business potential of expanding relationships (and work) from existing clients while also focusing on developing new business rom new clients. We've all heard the ratio that 80% of our work originates from 20% of our clients. Much easier to service the heck out of our current clients to prove our value than to start fresh with new, untested clients. It's a balance much like so many other endeavors.

One element, however, bears highlighting and that is what exactly it means to deliver "extraordinary" service. We all know it when we see it as consumers. Simply turn that feeling on its head when you engage with your clients: return phone calls in record time; respond to emails on a Sunday afternoon once in a while; offer a little more research than was requested (and not bill for it). Truly let the client know how much his/her business means to you. Before long, you'll be handed new files.

Kimberly Alford Rice is Principal of KLA Marketing Associates, a business development advisory firm focusing on servicing the legal sector. Kimberly helps law firms and lawyers develop practical business development and marketing strategies which lead directly to new clients and increased revenues. She can be reached at 609-458-0415 or at

Help Prepare Dinner at the Ronald McDonald House, June 7

Please join the YLD for a guest chef dinner at the Ronald McDonald House located at 3925 Chestnut Street on Tuesday, June 7 beginning at 4 p.m.

The Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House is a home-away-from-home for families and their seriously ill children who are being treated at area hospitals. What makes the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House special is its caring environment where families find physical and emotional comfort through one another and through volunteers like you.

Volunteers are asked to cook a full meal for the 80-90 residents of the house. Meal preparations begin at 4 p.m., and is to be served at 6 p.m.

We are seeking 15-20 volunteers to share in this valuable experience. It is a fun way to spend your afternoon, and it will certainly be a rewarding opportunity to give back to your community.

Please contact Matthew Laver if you are interested in volunteering or if you require further information.

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.

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.