June 1, 2007

PBS' Gwen Ifill to Deliver Higginbotham Lecture at the June 7 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon

width=90,height=130 Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of PBS' "Washington Week" and senior correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," will deliver the Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Association's Thursday, June 7 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon. Read more...

YLD to Host "Philly GenNext" 20/20 Luncheon on Wednesday, June 13

width=90,height=130 On Wednesday, June 13, the YLD will host a 20/20 luncheon and panel discussion titled "Philly GenNext." The goal of the panel is to discuss what Philadelphia needs to do to become the "Next Great City" and how the participating organizations are contributing toward that effort.

The discussion will be moderated by Mark Schweiker, President of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Panelists include: Jon Hermann of Campus Philly, Robert Nix of the Police Advisory Commission, Greg Goldman of Wireless Philadelphia, Peggy Amsterdam of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Gerald Furgione of Philly CarShare.

The program begins at 11:45 a.m. in the 11th Floor Conference Center. Lunch will be sponsored by Magna Legal Services, but you must RSVP to attend the program.

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PBS' Gwen Ifill to Deliver Higginbotham Lecture at the June 7 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon

Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of PBS' "Washington Week" and senior correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," will deliver the Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial Public Interest Lecture at the Association's Thursday, June 7 Quarterly Meeting and Luncheon.

A lifelong champion of individual rights, Judge Higginbotham had a legal career that spanned nearly half a century. Since Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, delivered the first Higginbotham lecture in 1999, notables such as Juan Williams, Charles J. Ogletree, Chaka Fattah, Cornel West and Kweisi Mfume have filled the role. New members of the Association's 50-, 60-, 65- and 70-Year Clubs will also be honored at the event. The Year Clubs recognize attorneys who have been practicing law for 50 years or more.

Ifill is frequently asked to moderate debates in national elections, most recently the Vice Presidential debate during the 2004 election. She spent several years as a Washington Week panelist before taking over the moderator's chair in October 1999.

Registration is available here.

It's Not About Who You Know, It's About How Well You Know Them by Lisa Goldstein

Love thy neighbor as thyself, but choose your neighborhood. -Louise Beal

About two years ago I started coaching a young lawyer in a midsized law firm. The lawyer was doing a tremendous amount of "networking", attending various young professional events in the city. However, the lawyer found that although he knew a lot of people, after three years of "networking", he had not received one single piece of business.

As part of my coaching process, I ask each lawyer I coach to fill out a detailed questionnaire regarding his or her goals, expertise, personnel and professional strengths, weaknesses and passions. This young lawyer's answers stated that he was a general commercial litigator. He had no particular outside interests or hobbies. He had entered the practice of law because he believed that it could be a lucrative field. He described himself as a "nice guy". His ideal client was any client that would pay for his services.

When I first met with the young lawyer to review his questionnaire responses he did not understand why his "networking" efforts were not working. His contact list contained over 1,000 names. He was "out there" at least two nights a week. Everyone knew he was a lawyer at a midsized firm.

I asked the young lawyer to examine his relationships with the 1,000 contacts. How well did he really know each of the contacts? Our discussion revealed that for about 900 of the "contacts", the relationship did not really go beyond the business card exchange. They had exchanged cards, and his personal knowledge about those individuals was limited to the information on the business card.

He considered about 100 of the contacts to be friends or business acquaintances. I asked him when he had last met with any of those 100 contacts to find out what legal concerns were affecting their business lives. He stated that he had never done this. After all, "they knew what he did for a living, and they would call him when they had a legal issue".

I encouraged him to take a closer look at those 100 contacts. Other than the potential to be "paying clients", which contacts would he enjoy working with most? What types of companies did they work for? What types of litigation were most likely to arise at their companies? We developed a new set of criteria based upon his skill sets, and implemented a strategy where he would select the "contacts" that met this criteria. He started with the 100 friends and developed a targeted strategy beyond that. We planned an approach where he would take his time to create mutually beneficial business relationships that would turn his "contacts" into clients while helping him to narrow his area of expertise based upon their business needs.

Today, I am proud to say that the young lawyer has exceeded his two- year goal. He is also a lot happier in his career because he is beginning to solve problems for clients with whom he really enjoys working.

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