Young Lawyers

Benefits and Pitfalls of Communicating With the Media

By The YL Editorial Board |

In the wake of the Amtrak tragedy, lawyers from our community found ways to express themselves in traditional and social media. Some gave expert analysis to media outlets. Some offered heartfelt prayers on Twitter. And, yes, some attorneys solicited clients on their Facebook pages.

Villanova University School of Law

Utilizing Your Alumni Network for Personal Development

By Dana Gittleman and Marrielle Van Rossum |

Networking. It's the first thing we learn in law school. At every opportunity, we shake the hands of managing partners, storied litigators, judges and esteemed general counsel. There is so much to learn from their war stories and commitments to their practices, bar associations and alma maters. As young lawyers, and as law students, we aspire to learn from them, emulate their habits, and hope to achieve similar success one day.

Seven Essential Tips for Effective Legal Brief Writing

By David M. Brown |

So you have your first brief-writing assignment, or maybe you are canvassing the Internet for some insight on legal writing after a court ordered you to show cause why you should not be sanctioned for bad legal writing. In either case, there is hope.

Two Marketing Standbys to Get Your Process Going

By Dena Lefkowitz |

For some people who are finishing up school or are in the early stages of a career, the M-word they fear most is marriage. For many, though, that word is marketing. In some ways, the Mother Goose nursery rhyme "This Little Piggy," commonly told while wiggling the ticklish toes of a toddler, says it all: "This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home."

Pro Bono: Helpful or Hurtful to Do Something for Nothing?

By The YL Editorial Board |

Philadelphia lawyers have a great history of doing pro bono work. Sometimes it is work we take on as individuals, through the wonderful public-interest organizations that serve the citizens of our city or even through our firms. According to Pennsylvania Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1, lawyers should render public-interest legal service by providing professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means or to public service or charitable groups or organizations; similarly, the American Bar Association has issued a call for every attorney in the private practice of law to perform, at a minimum, 50 hours of pro bono legal service annually.

How Can You Stand Out From the Crowded Applicant Field?

By Charles J. Dennen |

You have successfully survived your first year of law school. You've spent countless hours reading case law, researching and writing your first brief, typing and memorizing outlines, and furiously typing as you regurgitate as much information as you can muster on your final exams.

Villanova University School of Law

The Benefits of Staying Engaged With Your Law School

By Geneva Campbell and Lynne Kolodinsky |

As law students, it rarely, if ever, crossed most of our minds that we would one day join the ranks of alumni. At points it was somewhat difficult to believe that law school would ever end, let alone that we would ever be in a position to reflect fondly on the experience and to support our schools. Nevertheless, as successful law students, we inevitably became alumni—and that transformation took place astonishingly quickly.

Michael J. Joyce

Making the Transition From Junior to Midlevel Associate

By Michael J. Joyce |

The average law firm, like most businesses, is composed of a hierarchy of titles and positions: the legal industry's corporate ladder. Some young attorneys begin their trek up the ladder, but never make it near the top. Others start with a spring up the rungs, but lose steam at some point during the ascension. The journey is unique for each individual attorney, and oftentimes the ladder twists and turns along the way all while a practitioner hits the constant potholes in the average career path. One of the most important skills to weather the professional development storm is the ability to adapt to changing roles and surroundings, while preserving a clear roadmap to whatever the ideal, ultimate destination may be.

Pennsylvania's Judiciary Needs an Injection of Youth

By The YL Editorial Board |

On Nov. 24, 2014, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced his plan to appoint attorney Leondra Kruger to the California Supreme Court. Brown described Kruger as a "distinguished lawyer," an obvious reference to her work within the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel and Office of the Solicitor General, and her work as a law clerk for Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.

It's Time to Make the Effort to Build Your Network

By Dena Lefkowitz |

Relationships have always been important to me. My natural inclination is to maintain them. It follows that I am still in touch with people from grade school on, professors I had in college and law school, employers, co-workers and friends I have met along the way. I didn't think of them as my "network" when we were in the school yard or having beers after taking the bar examination. But who can better attest to your character, competence and capabilities than the people who have known you, taught you, worked beside you and employed you?

Deposition Tips for Earning Respect as a Young Attorney

By Brad E. Haas |

As a young associate, taking a deposition can be both an exciting and intimidating process. Aside from trial, this may be the only time you are face-to-face with your adversaries, questioning and investigating their story. The confrontational aspect of depositions creates the potential for uncomfortable situations. This can be further compounded when dealing with difficult deponents and attorneys.

handshake over coffee

Phrases You'll Hear at Your First Job—and Why They Matter

By Alexis C. Handrich |

Congratulations, you made it through law school. Whew! Then you passed the bar exam. Hooray! Now you have your first associate attorney position, and, along with it, a level of anxiety that, before now, you never knew existed—anxiety over completing assignments, over not making mistakes, over impressing the boss and, most importantly, succeeding. First, breathe. Then, open your ears. Once you do, you are certain to hear words that can help.


10 Things New Lawyers Should Know to Survive in the Courtroom

By The YL Editorial Board |

Entering a courtroom or a judge's chambers for the first time can be a very daunting and nerve-wracking experience for any new lawyer. While good facts, a solid litigation strategy and persuasive arguments are the tools that will likely lead to a successful outcome for your case, it doesn't hurt to master those things that are within your control no matter how junior you are. Failure to remember these 10 basic survival tips may not cost you the case, but it could cost you your dignity.