January 15, 2008

Volunteer for 2008 Mock Trial Competition

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The YLD is currently in need of volunteers as both coaches and judges for the 2008 John S. Bradway Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition, which is run by Temple University Beasley School of Law and the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

The rounds of competition will take place from January 28, 2008 through March 1, 2008. If you have volunteered in the past, we thank you and hope that you will do so this year. If you have not yet volunteered for the Mock Trial Competition, we encourage you to do so and are confident the experience will be rewarding. As a coach, you would meet and communicate with the students to prepare for the competition. As a judge, you can choose to fill as many time slots as your schedule will allow and you do not need trial experience to participate.

All you need is a willingness to give some time and be wowed by the high school students. Click here to sign up as coach or judge.

Please contact Roberta West immediately if you have interest in coaching - we want all of the kids who are looking forward to the competition to be able to participate.

YLD Seeks Nominations for Craig M. Perry Service Award

The Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association is accepting nominations for the Craig M. Perry Service Award. This 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 are encouraged and should include the individual’s name, address and a brief statement describing his or her qualifications. The deadline for nominations is Friday, January 25, 2008. All nominations should be submitted to Tracey McCloskey at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or tmccloskey@philabar.org.

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"I Am Legend" So Close but Yet... by Bill Larson

3 Buckets of Popcorn out of 4

I'm a sucker for good action/sci-fi trailers. Bridges blown up. Zombies. New York reduced to an empty wasteland. I am so there. However, "I Am Legend" is more "Castaway" than action/thriller. Not a bad thing, just very, very different.

Robert Neville (Will Smith, good but not "Pursuit of Happyness" good) is a brilliant scientist who could not contain the terrible virus that was unstoppable, incurable, and man-made. Somehow immune, Neville for three years has faithfully sent out daily radio messages, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But he's not alone. Mutant victims -- The Infected -- lurk in the shadows...waiting. Neville is driven by one remaining mission: to find a way to reverse the effects of the virus using his own immune blood even though his time is quickly running out.

There are plot holes in "I Am Legend," enough that you wonder why they didn't add another five minutes of the "why" and "how" of things. Where the film really misses the mark is the "vampires" themselves. They could have been fleshed-out (pun intended) better. These ghouls were screaming (Ha) for a humanity subtext - that even when reduced to animalistic situations, we all have a need for others. That "vampires" are a family (with members is missed when gone). That Smith's Neville needs human connections. And it would have been so simple had the filmmakers bothered to connect their own dots a bit more.

Is it a total waste of time, certainly not. It's a good character study on man's inhumanity to itself with a fresh coat of paint. It is just way different that what the trailer would lead you to believe. So as long as you don't go in expecting wall-to-wall action you won't leave feeling - wait for it - drained.

Will Smith ... Robert Neville

Alice Braga ... Anna

Charlie Tahan ... Ethan

Salli Richardson... Zoe

Willow Smith ... Marley

Darrell Foster ... Mike - Military Escort

April Grace ... TV Personality

Dash Mihok ... Alpha Male

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence

Runtime: 101 min

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