On Tuesday, October 29, 2013 Widener Law held its annual Professional Development Day. Originally started in 2007 and called Professionalism Day, the event aims to provide students with real-life advice useful for after graduation. One of the many criticisms about the law school educational structure is that there is not enough practical learning. Widener has tried to create a “CLE-like” format on topics relevant to the legal professional community in an effort to fill that deficit.
As a recent graduate of Widener Law, this was the first time I had been back to campus in a few years. Aside from some asthetic changes, the main difference I noticed was in the students. When I walked into “the pit” I couldn’t tell if they were students or real lawyers.
Students attending were required to choose three panels they wanted to listen to during the almost 5-hour-long program. I was invited by a former (and favorite) professor of mine to speak specifically on the topic of Solo and Small Firm Practice. As the youngest member on the panel of three, I was encouraged to give my perspective from the stand point of a recent graduate. We fielded questions from the moderator on everything from our paths to solo practice, to running a business, to networking, to good practice tips.
I also sat in as a guest on the Social Media in the Profession panel. As this is such an emerging issue I was not surprised to see the room full. It was also fitting to see that one of the presenters would be joining the conversation via Skype. An appropriate nod to the relevance of technology. The presenters discussed how to effectively use technology when both looking for and keeping a job in the legal field. At the end of their presentation, I interjected that while the talk was happening, I was able to email a current client, field a new client inquiry from my website, set up an initial consultation for the next week, text with a colleague about a child support question and live tweet the panel discussion on my firm’s twitter account. A true testiment to the power of technology.
For some photos from the event, click here