March 9, 2007

YLD Presents 2nd Annual Comedy Night at Academy of Natural Sciences May 12

width=90,height=130 Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12, 2007. Read more...

Oscar-Winner Richard Dreyfuss to Speak at March 26 Quarterly

width=90,height=130 Oscar-winning actor and social activist Richard Dreyfuss will be the keynote speaker at the Association's Monday, March 26 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue. Immediate-Past Chancellor Alan M. Feldman will be honored at the event. Read more...

Join the Young Patrons of Philadelphia at their debut event March 17

The Young Patrons of Philadelphia is a new non-profit group comprised of young professionals in their 20s and 30s who support and celebrate the arts in Philadelphia. The Young Patrons of Philadelphia is an independent group that is working to support a broad range of arts endeavors. The debut event is The Pennsylvania Ballet's final performance of the world premiere of The Carmina Burana Bacchanal. The ballet was choreographed by a member of the company.

The show begins at 8 p.m. followed by networking with young professionals and the dancers at TPDS Club, 114 S. 12th Street.

Visit www.paballet.org to purchase tickets. Advance registration is required. For more information, contact Barbara at bvogdes@paballet.org or 215-551-7000 ext. 1209.

Chancellor's Forum for Mayoral Candidates April 10

The Philadelphia Bar Association will host a Chancellor's Forum for mayoral candidates on Tuesday, April 10 beginning at 11:45 a.m. at The CLE Conference Center in the Wanamaker Building.

The program is co-sponsored by the Criminal Justice Section and Young Lawyers Division, the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia, the South Asian Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley, the Hispanic Bar Association and the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division.

The event will begin with a luncheon at 11:45 a.m. on the 10th floor of the Wanamaker Building, Juniper Street entrance (between 13th and Broad Streets, opposite City Hall).

There is no charge to attend this program, but you must RSVP to attend since space is limited. Click here to RSVP for this program.

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YLD Presents 2nd Annual Comedy Night at Academy of Natural Sciences May 12

Ty Barnett, stand-up comedian and finalist on NBC's hit "Last Comic Standing," will fill the Academy of Natural Sciences with laughter when he headlines the Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 2nd Annual Comedy Night at the Academy on Saturday, May 12, 2007. In addition to a night filled with entertainment, attendees will join together to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation -the charitable arm of the Bar Association, supporting legal agencies assisting the indigent, elderly and disabled, as well as abused women and children. The event, which runs from 7-11:30 p.m., features comedy, dancing, an open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction.

Comedian and Philadelphia-native Chris Coccia will open for Ty Barnett and serve as emcee for the night.

The YLD Comedy Night is part of an annual mission to raise money for the Philadelphia Bar Foundation by promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. That mission is accomplished by providing grants and technical assistance in support of quality legal services, addressing unmet legal needs and providing education on matters in the public interest.

Tickets are $65 per person and the show is open to the public. All tickets are general admission. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Oscar-Winner Richard Dreyfuss to Speak at March 26 Quarterly

Oscar-winning actor and social activist Richard Dreyfuss will be the keynote speaker at the Association's March 26 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue.

Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for best actor in 1977 for his performance in "The Goodbye Girl." He was nominated for Best Actor in 1996 for his role in "Mr. Holland's Opus." He has appeared in dozens of films, including Stephen Spielberg classics "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Three of his films were recently included in the American Film Institute's list of the greatest 100 films.

"I am delighted that Richard Dreyfuss will be our speaker at the March Quarterly," said Chancellor Jane L. Dalton. "Although probably best known as a talented actor, Mr. Dreyfuss has been a longtime political activist. He is on the board of the National Constitution Center here in Philadelphia and has been studying the teaching of civics at Oxford University in England," she said.

"Mr. Dreyfuss speaks passionately and eloquently about the importance of an enlightened populace that understands the need for reason, logic, clarity, dissent, civility and debate. He urges that we educate our children to understand the important and unique ideals of the American republic, including the principals of freedom of thought, freedom of association and the personal responsibility of all citizens for their government," Dalton said.

Immediate-Past Chancellor Alan M. Feldman will be honored at the event. Feldman will be presented with a snuff box, an exact replica of the one presented to Andrew Hamilton for his defense of John Peter Zenger in 1735. The gold box is presented annually to the immediate-past Chancellor and is inscribed with the message, "Acquired not by money, but by character."

Tickets are $50 for Bar Association members and can be purchased online.

Stop Pitching by Lisa Goldstein

When a man comes to me for advice, I find out what kind of advice he wants, and I give it to him. - Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818-1885).

The Pitch

A great deal has been written about how lawyers can achieve business success by pitching to clients. The pitching theory conjures images that relate to the old maxim: "If you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it will stick." In fact, if you ask a general counsel to recall a pitch from potential outside counsel, he or she will usually describe the experience as mind-numbing.

Imagine that you are on the other side of a pitch. The lawyers walk in toting PowerPoint and projectors with many slides, all describing how great "The Firm" is. The lawyers throw the first pitch.-. "We all have Ivy League educations." The second pitch is thrown.- " "The Firm" is full service, we can handle any legal need, from a simple will to a complex international antitrust transaction." The third pitch is interrupted with a question.- How can "The Firm" assist us with our matter? The strike out- A lawyer replies, "I will get to that in slide 108."

The Business Development Meeting

Here is my advice: Don't pitch. Instead, think of a business development meeting as a fact-finding mission where your purpose is to understand, identify and begin to solve your potential client's problems. Your value is established by your ability to provide solutions to their legal situation and their business needs.

Prepare:

Before you walk into the meeting, start by finding out the basics. Visit the prospect's Web site. Search for news articles. If the prospective client is a public company, read their 10Ks and 10Qs. Research dockets to identify the types of litigation the company is involved in, and who currently represents them. This basic research will enable you to begin to recognize the types of challenges that your potential client faces.

Next, write down ten great questions based on your research that will help you spot the prospective client's legal and business challenges. Try to anticipate the answers to those questions and develop case studies regarding how you and your law firm have already helped similarly situated clients.

Listen:

After you ask a question, listen to the answer carefully. (This is important. Lawyers often have problems listening and spend too much time talking.) Your overall conversation should consist of you talking 20 percent of the time. Your potential client should be talking the other 80 percent.

Next Steps:

When you finish the meeting, it should reach a logical conclusion. Both you and your potential client should agree on the step that will move the relationship forward. The next step could be to meet again with other members of their team, or it could be that your firm is not a fit for their company. Don't feel like you need to force the relationship if it does not make sense for both of you.

Good luck at your next business development meeting. If you change your approach from pitching to conducting a mutually productive meeting, you are certain to increase your batting average.

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