Message from New YLD Chair

I truly believe the Young Lawyers Division provides young lawyers with the opportunity to substantially advance their careers by providing them with a network, practical experience and education. I am grateful for the years I have spent as a member of the YLD and I am so honored to be your chair for 2015...READ MORE

Business Law Section Annual Reception Jan. 13 at Estia

The Business Law Section Annual Reception will be Tuesday, Jan. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Estia, 1405 Locust St...READ MORE

Cheryl Ingram Awards Reception Jan. 20

The LGBT Rights, Civil Rights and Immigration Law Committees will host the Cheryl Ingram Awards Reception on Tuesday, Jan. 20, where D. Bruce Hanes, Register of Wills, Montgomery County, will be honored...READ MORE

Coaches Needed for Mock Trial Competition

The John S. Bradway Mock Trial competition is still looking for coaches for a few high schools. Held each spring, the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition pits teams of high school students playing the roles of lawyers and witnesses against one another in simulated trials. Dozens of Philadelphia public and parochial high school teams enter each year. If you're willing to help out or if you have any questions about helping, please email Jennifer Santiago at jennifer@myjaslaw.com.

Effective Nonprofits, Ethical Issues for Board Members

Through a discussion of basic structural issues, a review of corporate governance laws and best practices - and with insight from legal scholars and successful nonprofit directors - look at what makes a successful nonprofit work to serve its mission effectively at a Friday, Jan. 30 CLE program...READ MORE




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Message from New YLD Chair

By Maria E. Bermudez
I truly believe the Young Lawyers Division provides young lawyers with the opportunity to substantially advance their careers by providing them with a network, practical experience and education. I am grateful for the years I have spent as a member of the YLD and I am so honored to be your chair for 2015.

My journey with the YLD started five years ago, when former Chancellor Kathleen Wilkinson of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP approached me with an invitation to serve as a Young Lawyers Division liaison. At the time, I thought I was doing her and both organizations a favor by being their messenger. I knew very little about the Philadelphia Bar Association, and nothing about the YLD. I was lucky to have Jennifer Coatsworth of Margolis Edelstein as my co-liaison to guide me along the way. Thanks Jen!

After my first year of involvement, I could see very clearly all the benefits of being an active Bar member. I could also see that Kathleen was the one doing me the favor by getting me involved. I decided to make it official and run for a three-year term elected position on the Executive Committee. As a member of the Executive Committee, I immediately gravitated toward the community outreach projects, such as Law Week and Harvest for the Homeless. Beyond the personal satisfaction volunteering provides, I found that being of service along side of my colleagues created a bond and friendship that I am confident will be maintained throughout our careers.

I have found one of the most impressive aspects of the YLD to be the support it provides to its members in pursuing what is important to them. I have seen members be fully supported when proposing new resolutions, CLE ideas, 20/20 topics, networking opportunities or new programs. This is an attitude that was shared by our outgoing chair, Ed Beitz, and the chairs before him. I too believe that while I am leading the YLD this year, my job is to be of service to the membership, Executive Committee and Cabinet. Therefore, I welcome new ideas to move us forward as a group and as individuals.

A few years ago, with the support of the YLD, I created a new community outreach project to benefit children and teachers in impoverished areas of the city - the YLD School Supply Drive. At the time, we didn’t need another project. Anyone involved with the YLD knows our schedule is packed. However, this was something important to me. Aneesh Mehta, the chair at the time, enthusiastically agreed to put the School Supply Drive under the YLD umbrella. That year we had two corporate donations and thousands of dollars in other donated school and office supplies that filled an entire conference room at my firm. This is the spirit of the YLD - both service and supporting other young lawyers.

In addition to the obvious benefits of camaraderie, education and helping people in need, being a part of the YLD has had numerous practical advantages. We create and maintain a budget, raise funds and we coordinate with others to pull off more than 50 programs a year. I think the skills developed as part of the YLD Executive Committee have made me a better attorney and manager. They also translate into other areas of interest such as political and nonprofit board involvement.

Over the next year, I plan to work with the YLD Cabinet and Executive Committee to encourage further YLD involvement to the membership at large. I want all of our members to know that they too can use the YLD and Bar Association as a resource for personal and professional development. In order to help get this message across, and encourage further involvement, the YLD Cabinet for 2015 plans to create a task force designed to strengthen our relationship with other Bar sections, affinity bar associations and other attorney organizations in the city.

Once again, I thank the YLD and the Bar Association for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to what I know will be an amazing year. However, I am only able to fully commit to this service because of the support of my firm, Martin Law. I am grateful to my family at Martin Law for encouraging my Bar involvement, especially with the YLD.

Maria E. Bermudez (mbermudez@paworkinjury.com), an associate Martin LLC, is chair of the Young Lawyers Division.

Barristers' MLK Breakfast Jan. 19 at Convention Center

The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, Inc., in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recognizes leading attorneys, organizations and judges in the Philadelphia legal community for their significant contributions to the legal profession and the community at large through their tireless work, dedication and public service.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast attracts nearly 600 judges, lawyers, elected officials and law students from the Philadelphia community. The breakfast and honors will be Monday, Jan. 19 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom, 1101 Arch St. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

At the breakfast, The Barristers' will present the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Service to the Community. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper will receive the Woman of Distinction Award. Wesley R. Payne IV, treasurer of the Philadelphia Bar Association, will be presented with the Hon. William F. Hall Award, and Michael Lee will receive the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.

Join the Barristers' and the 2015 honorees in their celebration of Dr. King's commitment to social justice, education and civil rights. To sponsor the Breakfast, purchase individual tickets, or for more information, visit phillybarristers.com.

Business Law Section Annual Reception Jan. 13

The Business Law Section Annual Reception will be Tuesday, Jan. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Estia, 1405 Locust St.

Mitchell L. Bach, a member of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, will be honored as the 2015 Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award recipient. Replansky, a former Business Law Section Chair, passed away in 1994 at the age of 51 and was among the Bar's most esteemed and beloved members. In 1997, the Section established the Award in recognition of his career as a lawyer and his contributions to legal, civic, religious and other charitable causes. The award honors recipients who exemplify the abilities and qualities that honor Replansky's memory, and whose lives are exemplars to other lawyers.

The Albert S. Dandridge III Business Law Section Diversity Award will be presented to Lee Applebaum of Fineman Krekstein & Harris, PC. The Dandridge Diversity Award is to publicly acknowledge, recognize and honor an individual or entity that has demonstrated a strong commitment, and has made a substantial contribution, to diversity; and promotes full and equal participation and inclusion in the legal profession.

Kate Tepper of Duane Morris LLP and chair of the Small Business Committee, will be presented with the Committee Chair of the Year award. The Securities Regulation Committee will be presented with the Committee of the Year Award.

Admission is $50 for Section members, $60 for non-Section members, $70 for non Association members and $25 for law student members. Please note there will be a $10 increase for walk-ins at the door. Tickets will not be distributed for this event. The deadline to register is Thursday, Jan. 8. Click here to register.

The Business Law Section Annual Reception is sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Fesnak, Ballard Spahr LLP, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, and Duane Morris LLP.

Cheryl Ingram Awards Reception Jan. 20

The LGBT Rights, Civil Rights and Immigration Law Committees will host the Cheryl Ingram Awards Reception on Tuesday, Jan. 20, where D. Bruce Hanes, Register of Wills, Montgomery County, will be honored.

The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Field House, 1150 Filbert St. Admission is $20 for law student members of the Philadelphia Bar Association, $30 for members of the LGBT Rights, Civil Rights or Immigration Law Committees and $40 for non-members. Admission includes one drink ticket and hors d'oeuvres. Click here to register by Jan. 14. Full refunds require 24 hours notice. Tickets will not be distributed for this event

Applicants Sought for FJD Judicial Fellowship Program

Philadelphia judges are seeking to host law school graduates as judicial fellows to provide the graduates with substantive legal experience while benefitting the court system with additional legal talent, as part of the First Judicial District's Judicial Fellowship Program. Now in its fourth year, the Judicial Fellowship Program was created in 2011 to address the difficult hiring climate for lawyers that many recent law graduates were facing.

The Judicial Fellowship Program aims to provide high-caliber law graduates with substantive experience in the law, and to support the Court in carrying out key functions. Fellows volunteer their time, have the same responsibilities as regular paid judicial law clerks, and gain the benefit of training by judges in the Philadelphia courts. Judicial fellows' service helps our high-volume court system maintain its superior quality of service to the Philadelphia community. Judges help judicial fellows by mentoring and providing legal experience that will enhance their competitiveness for paid employment as new lawyers.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa M. Rau developed the program with help from Professor Chapin Cimino of Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law as well as faculty and administrators from career services offices at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Temple University Beasley School of Law. The Judicial Fellowship Program quickly expanded and now welcomes graduates from law schools from across the country. The Philadelphia Bar Association has been a constant supporter of the Judicial Fellowship Program.

The application process is streamlined and selective. Prospective judicial fellows apply directly via email to judges with whom they are interested in working. Judges select judicial fellows from those applicants who apply to them directly. The list of judges with available positions for judicial fellows is provided on the Judicial Fellowship Program's website. Each judge and fellow team designs a flexible schedule (minimum of 20 hours per week) that ensures reliable service to the judge but permits the fellow to seek a paid position elsewhere. Judicial fellows do not commit to any length of service enabling them to leave the fellowship with two weeks' notice to their judge upon obtaining paid employment.

As of September 2014, more than 61 judges have volunteered to host judicial fellows and the court has hosted 175 judicial fellows from 36 different law schools. The vast majority of judicial fellows who have left their fellowship departed for paid jobs using their legal skills.

For additional information and fellowship application forms, please visit www.courts.phila.gov/jfp

Latest Trends in Mortgage Litigation Jan. 22

Learn the latest trends in mortgage litigation and learn from an outstanding faculty of top lawyers from the plaintiff and defense sides, in-house counsel, and federal, state and bankruptcy judges on Thursday, Jan. 22.

The program will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th Floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Click here to register. A total of 6 CLE credits are available, 1 of which may be applied toward ethics.

Effective Nonprofits, Ethical Issues for Board Members

Through a discussion of basic structural issues, a review of corporate governance laws and best practices - and with insight from legal scholars and successful nonprofit directors - look at what makes a successful nonprofit work to serve its mission effectively at a Friday, Jan. 30 CLE program.

Consider the importance of electing a strong board of directors, identifying a visionary executive director and having appropriate legal guidance as the organization outlines its mission, its policies and its structure. Earn an ethics credit and enjoy the first in PBI's three-part nonprofit series.

The program will be held from 12 to 4:15 p.m. at The CLE Conference Center on the 10th Floor of the Wanamaker Building, Market and Juniper streets. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. Click here to register.

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