Young Lawyers

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.

Image of businesswoman writing in notepad at workplace

How to Have a More Successful Career by Knowing Yourself

By Dena Lefkowitz |

As Joseph Campbell said, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."

On the Clock: Time Management Steps for Young Attorneys

By Brian M. Lucot |

There's an old saying that if you have something that needs to get done, give it to a busy person. When I first heard this, my initial reaction was that it was absurd. Why would you give an already busy individual more work to do instead of seeking out someone who is sitting idle? But when I thought about it more, it made complete sense. The task is secondary to the nature of the individual who must complete it. Busy people are used to being busy and budget their time well to maximize efficiency. You are only given 24 hours in a day, and what you do with that time is completely up to you.

The Importance of Choosing and Building a Practice Area

By Christine E. Weller |

In the short time that I have been a lawyer, many people have impressed upon me the importance of carving out a practice niche. First professors, then mentors, and now colleagues have all stressed that finding a unique practice space for yourself within the profession is crucial. Recognizing the importance is one thing, but as a young lawyer working in your first job out of law school, how exactly are you supposed to know what you want to pursue and that there is a need out there for you to fill?

Image of businesspeople working at meeting

Identifying and Improving on the Positives in Your Career

By Dena Lefkowitz |

When we think about what we want to accomplish in the coming year, we generally focus on how we want to change ourselves, what we didn't like about our behavior last year and maybe even what we did wrong. While I am always in favor of a conscious effort to improve, I am going to suggest that it is extremely worthwhile to devote some time to identifying what worked really well last year, where you excelled and what you're doing that you would like to see more of.

Working to Advance Your Career While Raising a Family

By Jennie Philip |

Recent statistics, as reported by The Legal, indicate there has been no movement in the percentage of women lawyers practicing in this state's 100 largest law firms in the last 10 years. Undoubtedly, a confluence of factors contributes to this sobering fact, which is the subject of another article completely. Many articles in this category often focus on the reason why women leave the profession. I'd like to offer a tiny glimpse of why I chose to stay.

Advice to Help Prepare for Defending Your First Deposition

By Laura Link |

You just got the call that you will be thrown into the ring for the first time to defend a client deposition, and you feel great. They trust you, and this is why you went to law school, right? Or maybe you feel nervous. Really nervous. Maybe you realize that you have no idea what you are doing. In fact, you have no idea how you came to be a lawyer at all, given that you were eating Crunch Berries last night.

Christian Petrucci

Commonwealth Ct. Defers to High Court on Abnormal Working Conditions

By Christian Petrucci |

At the end of last year, the Commonwealth Court decided the matter of Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Kochanowicz), No. 760 C.D. 2010, which it received on remand from the state Supreme Court after its prior decision in the case was vacated. The court was directed to reconsider the matter in light of the prior Supreme Court decision in Payes v. WCAB (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Police), 79 A.3d 543 (Pa. 2013), decided just over a year ago. The Supreme Court in Payes had taken the lower appellate tribunals to task for the manner in which they had been dealing with work-related psychological injuries—often substituting their own findings for those of the trial court. The case restored the appropriate power to the fact-finder in "mental-mental" psychiatric work injury claims, or those stemming from nonphysical stimuli.

A Fix for the Dishonor on the Bench in Pennsylvania

By The YL Editorial Board |

It is no secret that jurists across the state have made headlines recently for conduct ranging from immoral and impartial to downright illegal. With the most recent events on the bench in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia Traffic Court system and in Philadelphia Municipal Court, one must wonder how we fix this current state of dishonor. After all, Canon 1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct says, "A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety."