When Abbie DuFrayne, an Philadelphia divorce lawyer at Petrelli Previtera Schimmel was elected chair of the Young Lawyers Division of The Philadelphia Bar Association, she knew she was up against hard economic times.
“The last two years or so have been very difficult for young lawyers. The news was full of layoffs, salary cuts, and deferred start dates. Almost every young lawyer I know was affected in some way.”
Ms. DuFrayne met the challenge head-on, expanding the Bar Association’s services for young attorneys and encouraging them to take advantage of its resources to further their careers.
Here are just a few of the Young Lawyers Events that have proved useful to the legal community:
- Advanced lunch series. In order to assist those beyond the basic level of practice, an advanced lunch series will discuss advanced topics such as discovery rules and beginning appellate practice. The series will also include court-approved programs that qualify for CLE credit.
- Bridging the gap. At a YLD symposium, students newly admitted to the bar will give a firsthand account of their first few years of practice, including practical skills, networking and the specifics of starting your own firm.
- Mentoring. It is vital that young lawyers interact as much as possible with seasoned members of the profession. To this end, the YLD will sponsor a mentoring program where attorneys may be matched with a law student for a hands-on learning experience and one-on-one advice in the attorney’s practice.
- Talent showcase. While the YLD has held events featuring the talents of the musicians in its ranks, the arts program will expand to feature young photographers, including a photography contest for the Bar Association.
Ms. DuFrayne is speaking from experience on the helpfulness of Bar Association resources: its programs allowed her a chance to participate in events otherwise unavailable to her, including speaking at naturalization ceremonies, organizing community events and advising new students about the rule of law.
Although the programs offered by the Bar Association are an incredible resource for young lawyers, Ms. DuFrayne will remind graduates that there is much more to the Bar than just lunches and symposia. Networking with your fellow attorneys can pay off in friendships, advice and even employment:
“Through contacts made at YLD networking events, I obtained my current job at a small family law firm as well as a judicial clerkship where I was fortunate to spend two formative years. I also developed a network of colleagues and friends that have proven invaluable to the development of my practice and life.” – Attorney Abbie DuFrayne