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Bench-Bar Early-Bird Rate Extended to Sept. 21

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University, will be the moderator of the opening session of the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference at Harrah's Atlantic City on Oct. 14-15. Click here to save $80 on your registration fee. This offer has been extended to Wednesday, Sept. 21. READ MORE

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National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession Nov. 8

Chief Legal Officers and Law Firm Managing Partners from across the nation will assemble for the Philadelphia Bar Association's National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at The Union League of Philadelphia. READ MORE


Legalizing Marijuana CLE Sept. 21, Part of PBI's Public Policy Series

In the past few years, the movement to legalize the use of marijuana in the United States has gained momentum and, in fact, medical marijuana legislation has passed in several states, including neighboring New Jersey and Delaware...READ MORE

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Bench-Bar Early-Bird Rate Extended to Sept. 21

Professor Charles J. Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University, will be the moderator of the opening session of the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference at Harrah's Atlantic City on Oct. 14-15.

Ogletree will be the moderator of the opening plenary "I'm Not Saying That to Any Judge! The Lasting Implications of Luzerne County." Panelists for that program, which will explore the implications for the bench and bar of the Luzerne County "kids for cash" scandal, will be announced at a later date.
Enjoy early-bird savings when you register for the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference Oct. 14-15 at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City. Click here to save $80 on your registration fee. This offer has been extended to Wednesday, Sept. 21.

The Bench-Bar & Annual Conference provides attendees with the opportunity to earn CLE credit while networking with colleagues and members of the bench.

Registration for members is $349 if booked by Sept. 16. For non-members, registration is $399. Members of the Young Lawyers Division and public interest and government attorneys can attend for $199. For those wishing to attend only the Grand Reception at The Pool at Harrah's on Friday, Oct. 14, tickets are $150 for all members and $175 for non-members. Tickets will be an additional $25 if purchased at the door.

For those wishing to attend Friday's session only, tickets are $299 for members, $149 for the Young Lawyers Division and government or public interest attorneys and $349 for non-members. Members and guests wishing to attend without receiving CLE credit will pay $200. For non-members, the cost is $225. Admission includes all sponsored meals and events. Those wishing to attend programs on Saturday, Oct. 15 will only pay $229, while YLD members and government and public interest attorneys can attend for $79 and $279 for non-members.

Click here to register.

Sponsors for the 2011 Bench-Bar & Annual Conference include The Legal Intelligencer, Iron Mountain and JAMS.

YLD Needs Volunteers for LegalLine Oct. 19, Nov. 16

The Young Lawyers Division is looking for sponsors and volunteers for our monthly LegalLine program for Oct. 19 and Nov. 16. Legal Line is one of the many community service programs the YLD hosts. It takes place on the third Wednesday of every month at the Bar Association headquarters at 11th and Market streets from 5 to 8 p.m. Area residents call in for the volunteers' advice on just about any area of the law, including personal injury, domestic relations, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant and employment issues. If the caller needs further assistance after speaking with a volunteer, they are directed to the Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service.

This year, the YLD has been fortunate to have a number of sponsors for Legal Line, such as the Family Law, Criminal Justice, Real Property and State Civil Litigation Sections of the Bar Association; The Barristers' Association and APABA-PA; and the law firms Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney and Ciardi Ciardi & Astin. Sponsors merely need to provide between 2 and 5 volunteer attorneys to man the phones. The Bar Association will provide food and drink for the evening. If your firm or organization is interested in sponsoring, or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Melanie Taylor, chair-elect of the YLD at Melanie.Taylor@phila.gov.

National Symposium on Diversity in Legal Profession Nov. 8

Chief legal officers, law firm managing partners, and diversity thought-leaders from across the nation will assemble for the Philadelphia Bar Association's National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at The Union League of Philadelphia.

The half-day symposium will begin with a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Robert J. Grey Jr., (left) executive director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Grey is a past president of the American Bar Association.

During the opening plenary, a panel of local and non-local chief legal officers and law firm managing partners will discuss the importance of collaboration to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession; benchmarks to measure success; and best practices for the recruitment, retention and advancement of women and diverse attorneys.

Four concurrent breakout sessions will focus on the following topics: the roles white men can play to advance diversity and inclusion in corporate legal departments and law firms; generational diversity and its impact in the workplace; successful pipeline initiatives and mentoring programs; and an employment law update. The symposium runs from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. and a VIP networking reception begins at 5:30 p.m. The VIP networking reception will provide a forum for discussion with remarks from a prominent speaker.

Speakers for the National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession include Thomas E. Cabaniss, managing partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond, Va.; Mark Hershey, senior vice president, general counsel & secretary, Armstrong World Industries, Inc., Lancaster, Pa.; H. Eric Hilton, senior vice president, secretary and general counsel, H. J. Russell & Company and Concessions International, LLC, Atlanta, GA ; Alan J. Hoffman, co-chair and managing partner, Blank Rome LLP, Philadelphia, PA; John L. Latham, partner, Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta, GA; Sophia Lee, chief counsel-litigation, Sunoco, Inc., Philadelphia, PA; James G. Leipold, executive director, NALP: The Association for Legal Career Professionals, Washington, D.C.; Curtis L. Mack, partner, McGuireWoods LLP, Atlanta, GA; Robert A. Nicholas, partner and global director of legal personnel, Reed Smith LLP, New York, NY; Karl A. Racine, managing partner, Venable LLP, Washington, D.C.; Robin Sangston, vice president, legal affairs, Cox Communications, Inc., Atlanta, GA; Mark S. Stewart, chair, Ballard Spahr LLP, Philadelphia, PA; Michael K. Tucker, executive vice president and general counsel, Avis Budget Group, Inc., Parsippany, N.J.; Joel C. Trotter, senior counsel, GlaxoSmithKline, Philadelphia, PA; LeRoy J. Watkins, Jr., partner, Jackson Lewis LLP, Morristown, N.J.; Charles Phillip Wells, partner, Williams Mullen, Raleigh and Charlotte, NC; Sherry D. Williams, senior vice president, chief ethics and compliance officer, Halliburton, Houston, TX; and Sandra S. Yamate, chief executive officer, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Chicago, IL.

For additional information on the National Symposium on Diversity in the Legal Profession, contact Naomi K. McLaurin at 215-238-6340 or nmclaurin@philabar.org.

The Young Lawyers Division welcomes submissions from all members of the Bar Association for "Summer in the City," a photography contest in which the winner and runner-up will receive a $200 and $100 gift certificate, respectively, to Ruth's Chris Steak House as well as have their images featured in The Philadelphia Lawyer, the Association's quarterly magazine.

Entrants are asked to submit an image that captures the atmosphere of a city during the Summer/early Fall months. The picture can be taken here in Philadelphia or in any other city.

One submission per entrant can be emailed to Matthew Laver at mlaver@wglaw.com in JPG format. A professional panel of judges will select the winner. The deadline for entries is Sept. 30.

Become Observer on Public Interest Board

The Young Lawyers Division is joining with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation to offer an opportunity for young lawyers to develop leadership skills by "observing" a board of a public interest organization that is a grantee of the Foundation and participating in an informal capacity for a year. This program will help young lawyers develop leadership skills while providing the chance to serve the community. The program is designed to provide the young lawyers selected to participate with the opportunity to learn about board membership without incurring the costs of officially joining a board.

In order to assist with facilitating the development of the young lawyer and to provide the best opportunity possible, each young lawyer will be matched with a mentor who is already an established member of the board of directors of the organization he or she will be observing. The program participants will attend regularly scheduled board meetings, participate in smaller committees where applicable and attend programs hosted by the Foundation and YLD on topics including fundraising, strategic planning and recruitment of others to participate with the organization.

The program is idea for young lawyers interested in developing a career outside of your place of employment. This is a pilot program with a limited number of spots available for the first year. For application materials or additional information, contact Gene Sirni of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation at gsirni@philabar.org or 215-238-6334. The application deadline is Sept. 30.

Legalizing Marijuana CLE Sept. 21, Part of PBI's Public Policy Series

In the past few years, the movement to legalize the use of marijuana in the United States has gained momentum and, in fact, medical marijuana legislation has passed in several states, including neighboring New Jersey and Delaware.

Recent surveys show that more than 40 percent of the population believes the drug should be legalized for medical reasons, though there is a strong group opposed to legalizing pot for any purpose. There also remains the inherent conflict in the law, since federal law still considers marijuana an illegal substance, despite states recognizing it as a viable treatment for many medical conditions.

However, recent federal legislation proposed by Barney Frank and Ron Paul seeks to decriminalize marijuana and allow states to legalize, regulate, tax and control marijuana without federal interference. The debate over legalizing marijuana for medical use brings up many issues and the debate goes well beyond medicine. What would this do for cash-strapped states looking to raise additional tax revenue? Would this end the costly drug wars that most states are now fighting? Would we see a reduction in criminal enterprise related to drug-trafficking and sales? It is estimated that legalizing marijuana and other drugs could save the government approximately $41.3 billion annually on expenditures related to the enforcement of prohibition.

Join our panel on Wednesday, Sept. 21 for another exciting PBI Public Policy debate on this controversial topic and learn whether medical marijuana is likely to become a reality in Pennsylvania. Click here for more information or to register.

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