October 19, 2010

FRIDAY: YLD Spotlight on Pro Bono Program

The YLD will officially kick off National Pro Bono Week in Philadelphia this Friday, Oct. 22, with "YLD Spotlight on Pro Bono", a free program co-hosted by the Delivery of Legal Services Committee and open to all attorneys interested in learning more about how to get involved in pro bono work and balancing these efforts with professional careers. The full Pro Bono Week celebration in Philadelphia runs Oct. 18-29. READ MORE

YLD Volunteer Day, Nov. 13

Two worthwhile YLD public service initiatives - Mock Trial Camp and Harvest for the Homeless - take center stage on YLD Volunteer Day, Saturday, Nov. 13, and the Division needs your help to make both a success. READ MORE

Senior Lawyers Committee Offering Mentoring to Young Lawyers

Members of the Bar Association's Senior Lawyers Committee are available to provide face-to-face or over-the-phone mentoring on any subject of concern to young attorneys, from ethical issues, obtaining clients, relationships with higher ranking members of respective firms, etc. Interested parties can contact Aneesh Mehta at amehta@volpe-koenig.com who will then notify the Senior Lawyers Committee to follow-up.


Nominations for Business Law Section's 2010 Replansky Award Due Nov. 5

The Business Law Section is seeking nominations from the Philadelphia legal community for the Section's 2010 Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award. Nominations are due Nov. 5 and the award will be presented at the Section's Annual Reception to be held on January 25, 2011. READ MORE

top

FRIDAY: YLD Spotlight on Pro Bono Program

The Delivery of Legal Services Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Public Interest Section invites members of the Philadelphia legal community to participate in a range of pro bono recruitment events, legal clinics for low-income clients and continuing legal education programs from October 18-29 in honor of National Pro Bono Week. The celebration is part of the American Bar Association's coordinated national effort to encourage and support local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services.

The below events in Philadelphia recognize the pro bono contributions of the city's attorneys and provide an opportunity for the recruitment and training of new volunteers to meet the increased demand for pro bono legal services.

October 18-22
Pro Bono Road Shows: Pro bono organizations Good Shepherd Mediation Program, HIAS and Council, Homeless Advocacy Project, Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Philadelphia VIP, SeniorLAW Center, SCRUB: Public Voice for Public Space and the Support Center for Child Advocates will hold 30-minute interactive workshops at local law firms and corporations to highlight their available pro bono opportunities. To schedule a Road Show, contact Jodi Schatz at jschatz@advokid.org.

October 22, 12 p.m.
Young Lawyers Division Spotlight on Pro Bono: The Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association will ceremoniously kick off the National Pro Bono Week celebration with a panel of pro bono volunteers discussing how to get involved in pro bono work and balancing this work with professional careers. Bar Association Vice-Chancellor John Savoth will give opening remarks and presenters include Andy Boczkowski of GlaxoSmithKline, Michele L. Purdue-Dean, a solo practitioner, Rebecca Santoro of Hangley Aronchick Segal and Pudlin, and Matt Olesh of Fox Rothschild LLP. A question-and-answer session with the audience will follow the presentation. The event will take place at Bar Association’s headquarters, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor Conference Center. Register here.

October 25, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Life Planning Clinic: Senior LAW Center and Blank Rome LLP will present a life planning clinic at Center in the Park, 5818 Germantown Ave. The clinic will serve low-income seniors 60-years-old and up with free advance planning counseling and documents. Client pre-registration is required with Karen Buck, kbuck@seniorlawcenter.org.

October 26, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How to Handle a Child Abuse Case CLE Program: The Support Center for Child Advocates will present a training program on handling child abuses cases at the PBI Conference Center on the 10th Floor of the Wanamaker Building, Suite 1010. The program is worth 5 substantive and 1 ethics CLE credits. Register with PBI at 1-800-274-4724 or online here.

October 26, 10 to 11 a.m.
Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) Legal Clinic at Kirkbride/Traveler's Aid, 111 N. 49th St. Pre-registration is required with Cary Moritz, 215-523-9587 or cmoritz@philalegal.org.

October 27, 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m
VIP Pro Bono Opportunities Day: Spotlight on Stabilizing Families: Philadelphia VIP will present a pro bono training program focusing on custody, protection from abuse, and guardianship at the law firm of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, 123 S. Broad St., 28th Floor. The program is worth 2 substantive CLE credits in exchange for handling a VIP case within 6 months of training. Register with Bailey Anderson at 215-523-9567 or jvolunteer@phillyvip.org.

October 28, 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Immigration Relief: How to Handle a Cancellation of Removal Case CLE Program: HIAS and Council and Philadelphia VIP will present a pro bono training program on handling Cancellation of Removal cases at the law firm of Cozen O’Connor, 1900 Market St. The program is worth 2 substantive CLE credits in exchange for handling a removal case within 6 months of training. To register, contact VIP at 215-523-9550.

October 29, 1:45 to 3 p.m.
Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) Legal Clinic at St. John’s Hospice, 1221 Race St. Pre-registration is required with Cary Moritz, 215-523-9587 or cmoritz@philalegal.org.

For a printable listing of the above events, click here. For more details about the American Bar Association’s 2010 National Pro Bono Celebration, visit www.celebrateprobono.org.

Entertainment Corner: The Best Places to Watch the Phillies

Ah, the Fall Classic is fast approaching once again. For the first time in...well, ever, the Philadelphia Phillies are trying to make a third straight World Series appearance. The team's run through the playoffs is sure to be a hot topic of conversation at work for the next several weeks, and the only thing more important than getting out of the office in time for the first pitch is picking a great place to watch the game.

Now, I know there are some diehard fans that refuse to watch the game in public (for fear of getting arrested or embarrassing friends/significant others); fans of other teams that refuse to watch the Phillies under almost any circumstances; and non-sports fans who think Doctober is a widespread spelling error. For the rest of us, getting together with friends or colleagues to watch the Phillies make a deep run in the playoffs is quickly becoming a new October tradition here in Philadelphia. To that end, below you can find my list of can't miss spots to catch a Phillies game (in no particular order).

  • Chickie's & Pete's The icon of Philadelphia sports bars. Two words are all I need to write to explain why I love it...crab fries.

  • McGillin's Olde Ale House Speaking of icons, McGillin's has been serving libations since 1860, offering a little historical charm and a friendly staff mixed with an eclectic crowd. And it's pretty darn cheap too.

  • Resurrection Ale House Billed as a neighborhood bistro, Resurrection is probably familiar to the crowd that frequents www.phillytapfinder.com. Hidden away in the Graduate Hospital area, the staff can wax poetically about their beer selection in almost atomic detail. While there aren't too many TVs, the food is great, and the atmosphere even better.

  • Misconduct Tavern Located at 15th and Locust, Misconduct is a nice neighborhood bar decorated to look like the inside of a boat. They have a plethora of TVs and, more importantly, they have some of the best Mac and Cheese in Philly. Also, if they have it, make sure to order the basil lemonade.

  • Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse The go-to spot if you are getting out of work a little late and need to find a place near your office to watch a game during the week. Located between Rittenhouse and the bustling metropolis around Market Street, it has two floors, lots of TVs and traditional pub fare.

Those are just some spots I like. If you have any more, feel free to let me know. I'm still waiting for my Oakland A's to return to dominance but until then its root, root, root for the home team.

Aneesh Mehta is an associate at Volpe and Koenig, P.C. that has never been tasered running onto the field at Citizens Bank Park. He can be reached at amehta@volpe-koenig.com.

Tip of the Month: Starting a Law Firm, Part 1

Over the past year and a half, it seems like more young lawyers are deciding to open their own firms. Some do it because of the current job market while others are looking for a new challenge. I am dedicating the next two columns to practical advice for young lawyers thinking of opening a law firm.

Opening your own firm is definitely not a decision a young lawyer should make without careful consideration and consultation with family. I think the most important thing in starting a new firm is having your family's support. If your family and/or significant other supports your decision, it will make the process much easier!

Before consulting with family, it is important to think about your overhead requirements and how you will pay those expenses. One of the first things I tell young lawyers is that you do not need a fancy office to start a law firm. To keep overhead low, consider sharing office space with friends or renting an office in a shared executive suite, which allows as-needed access to a conference room. I have a few friends who mainly work from home, but keep an office in a shared executive suite for meeting clients and receiving mail.

If you plan to do a lot of work from home or your practice requires you to be outside of the office, Google Voice is a good, free option for a telephone number. You can set up Google Voice to ring to your cell or home phone so you never miss a call (the Caller ID will show your Google Voice number so you will know the call is business-related).

Unlike Google Voice, malpractice insurance is not free! The cost will vary depending on your practice areas and your number of years in practice. When purchasing malpractice insurance, don't be afraid to shop around. Also, ask about part-time malpractice insurance, which may be an option if you are just starting your firm and don't have many clients yet.

Finally, if you need health insurance, check out www.ehealthinsurance.com. I haven't used this service, which offers many options and price levels, but have heard good things from friends who do.

I'll continue this column next month with more tips for starting your own firm.

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

My First Federal Trial, Nov. 4

The YLD and the Federal Courts Committee will present "My First Federal Trial," a CLE on succeeding during this momentous event, on Nov. 4 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom.

Your first federal jury trial can be a harrowing experience. While there are plenty of trial practice courses available to teach trial skills, "My First Federal Trial" is designed to fill the gaps and allow you to learn directly from the judges what you really want to know, but are afraid to ask.

Topics will include:

  • What to do in those last few hours (things that are not set out in the rules)

  • What to expect at the final pretrial conference

  • The mechanics of a trial - where to stand, where to sit, what to do with exhibits, etc.

  • What to do if you get in trouble

The program will begin at 4 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, 601 Market St. The cost for YLD members is $129. For those admitted to practice after January 1, 2006, the cost is $109. CLICK HERE to register.

YLD Volunteer Day, Nov. 13

Two worthwhile YLD public service initiatives - Mock Trial Camp and Harvest for the Homeless - take center stage on YLD Volunteer Day, Saturday, Nov. 13, and the Division needs your help to make both a success.

Harvest for the Homeless

Donations of men's, women's and children's clothing, as well as non-perishable items, are collected at local law firms. On Nov. 13, the items are picked up, sorted at Ballard Spahr, then delivered to local homeless shelters. Those interested in assisting on Nov. 13, please contact Melanie Taylor at melanie.taylor@phila.gov, Roxane Crowley at rcrowley@clsphila.org and Matt Laver at mlaver@wglaw.com.

Mock Trial Camp

This intensive, all-day camp on Nov. 13 at Temple University's Beasley School of Law prepares students for the annual John S. Bradway Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition. The YLD and Temple University's Legal Education and Participation Program (LEAP) seek attorney volunteers to lead small-group sessions on various aspects of trial advocacy throughout the day. Volunteers can choose from two sessions, 7:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., or commit to the entire day. More than 100 students are expected at this year’s camp, so many volunteers are needed. To sign up or for more details, contact Joshu Harris, Paul Kaufman or Joe Guzzardo.

THURSDAY: Strategically Using Technology in Your Practice

Jack Schaller of Eastern Legal Systems, LLC will discuss strategically using technology in your law firm practice at the Thursday, Oct. 21 meeting of the Law Practice Management Committee.

This presentation will focus on the main 10 reasons why solos and small law firms are reluctant to automate their law practice management systems, offer some reasonable responses to each objection, and provide seven simple "Technology Do's and Don'ts" which are important for a law firm of any size to consider.

Also at this meeting, Committee Co-Chair James E. Elam will discuss using technology to benefit your practice, cut costs and better serve your clients. The program begins at 12 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. Lunch is available for $8. Click here to register.

THURSDAY: Alternative Dispute Resolution Summit

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and the Area Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution will present "2020: Our Vision of ADR in Philly" on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Speakers for the program include Cassandra Georges, principal, Above & Beyond Dispute Resolution; Cheryl Cutrona, executive director, Good Shepherd Mediation Program; and Michael Wolf, 2010 president Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution.

This interactive summit will explore the growth of mediation, arbitration, and other forms of ADR throughout the region.

The program begins at 4 p.m. in the 11th floor Conference Center of Bar Association headquarters, 1101 Market St. There is no cost to attend this program, however, registration is required. Click here to RSVP.

Nominations for Business Law Section's 2010 Replansky Award Due Nov. 5

The Business Law Section is seeking nominations from the Philadelphia legal community for the Section's 2010 Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award. The nominations are due NOv. 5 and the award will be presented at the Section's Annual Reception to be held on January 25, 2011. The award recipient will receive the privilege of designating the recipient of the Section's annual charitable contribution to a public interest organization.

Award criteria are:

  • Superior legal talent in the area of business law.
  • Unique contributions to and significant achievements within the business law community in the Philadelphia area.
  • A reputation for mentoring young attorneys.
  • Significant participation in and contributions to civic and charitable causes in the community.
  • Uniform recognition in the legal community of the candidate's honesty, integrity and professionalism.

Each candidate must be a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Business Law Section.

The Section established the award in recognition of Dennis Replansky's career as a lawyer and his contributions to legal, civic, religious and other charitable causes. Dennis Replansky was a 51-year-old senior partner at the law firm of Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley when he died in March 1994. He was a former chair of the Business Law Section.

The deadline for award nominations and letters of support is noon on Friday, November 5.

Written nominations detailing the nominee's qualifications for the award should be sent to: Dennis H. Replansky Memorial Award, c/o Lee Applebaum, Esquire, Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C., Mellon Bank Center, Suite 600, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia PA 19103; or e-mailed to lapplebaum@finemanlawfirm.com.

More information about the Dennis H. Replansky Award or the nomination process for the award may be obtained by calling Lee Applebaum at 215-893-8702 or on the Business Law Section's website here.

top