On Wednesday, October 27th, Widener Law held its fourth annual Professionalism Day on both the Delaware and Harrisburg campuses. A variety of panels and discussions led by faculty, staff, and practitioners offered students a valuable opportunity to learn about life as a legal professional.
On the Harrisburg campus, students were allowed to select three sessions to attend from a menu of twenty focusing on a diverse range of subjects including Understanding the Bar Admissions, Making the Most of Your Time in Law School, Becoming a Successful Member of the Legal Profession, Financial Planning, Professional Communications, Civility in the Courtroom, and Avoiding Legal Malpractice.
Many alumni returned to provide students with knowledge gleaned from their own experiences. At the Career Preparation in a Difficult Market session, Jennifer Zimmerman, Esq. ’02 of Armstrong World Industries advised second year day students and third year evening division students to go through the fall recruitment process. She indicated that firms often hire the summer associates they recruit through the process after they graduate. Wayne S. Martin, Esq. ’08 of Reager & Adler suggested that students reach out to their previous employers and professors for recommendations.
At a session on the planning for success on the bar exam, Vice Dean Robyn Meadows
told Harrisburg students to identify their weaknesses and take classes to improve their knowledge of the law in those areas. She also informed them that students who have taken the Fundamentals of the Law class have statistically done better on the bar exam than those students who do not.
On the Delaware campus, 2nd-year and 3rd-year students in the regular division attended Professionalism Day events from 9:00 in the morning until noon. 2nd-year students heard a presentation from Professor Alice Eakin
about achieving success on the bar exam. Following Professor Eakin’s remarks, they were treated to a panel discussion called Transitioning from Law Student to Law Professional. The panel consisted of Professor Lawrence Connell
and Associate Professor and Director of the Veterans Law Clinic Justin Holbrook
, as well as four third year students participating in clinical programs; Robert Hunt, Eric Siegel, Ryann Buckman, and Greg Norton. The discussion focused on how clinical programs and externships could help prepare students for the practice of law.
“A clinical experience is going to set you apart from your classmates,” said Professor Connell. Professor Holbrook emphasized the value of “Exposure to applying the law to real world facts.”
Following Transitioning from Law Student to Law Professional, the 2nd and 3rd-year regular division students attended smaller sessions on Success in Finding and Keeping Employment. These smaller sessions were broken down into Large/Medium Firm Practice, Small Firm/Solo Practice, Criminal Practice – Prosecution/Defense, Public Interest/Government Service, Alternative Careers in Law, and Judicial Clerkship.
1st year regular division students on the Delaware campus attended afternoon events with an emphasis on achieving success in law school, and extended division students enjoyed their own program in the evening.