Monthly Archives: May 2014

Washington County Bar Roundtables Open to Students

The Washington County Bar Association (WCBA) invites younger attorneys & law students to Member Roundtable Luncheons at the bar association office (119 South College Street, Washington, PA 15301).  The goal of the luncheons are to have a mix of Young Lawyers Division (YLD) members and senior members of the bar together to talk about practice issues.  Luncheons will be held at 12 noon on the following dates:
May 28
July 23
August 27
September 24
October 22
November 26

If you’ve ordered business cards from the CSO, be sure to take them with you!

Visit washcobar.org for more information.

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Filed under Announcements, Networking, Summer

Summer Work Keys for Success

The CSO hopes your summer break is off to a great start.  If you have started a summer associate, law clerk or internship position, these “10 Keys to Summer Success” as written by Mary Crane will be useful to you.  Please let us know where you are working if you haven’t already.

If you are still looking for a summer position, please let us know that, too.  We’ve recently posted a handful of positions from employers still looking to hire for the summer.  Be sure to check DuqLawConnect for more details.

If you have any questions throughout the summer that we may be able to help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Good luck with everything this summer!

 

10 Keys to Summer Success
The 2014 national survey of employers conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) confirms what many of us have long known: employers increasingly seek summer associates, interns and new hires who demonstrate a strong ability to work with others—including peers and senior employees as well as clients and customers—and who can plan, organize and complete their daily work without external supervision. With schools graduating so many talented students, today’s employers rarely view strong technical skills as a differentiator. Rather, possessing technical skills simply “meets expectations.”

If you are an intern, summer associate or new hire, here are ten “Things You Need To Know” to distinguish yourself in the hearts and minds of your employer.

1. Make sure your supervisor always looks good.
This means: no surprises. Keep your supervisor informed of the status of projects, especially delays and significant problems that you encounter. Turn in projects that are client-ready, i.e., free of typos and stains or stray markings. If you become aware of some inner-office or client communication that could affect your supervisor, make your supervisor aware of it.

2. Dress with respect.
The attire you wear to the office creates an impression that extends to your supervisor. Always dress in a manner that reflects well upon both of you. Your attire should also demonstrate respect for any clients with whom you’ll interact.

If you have opted to work for a more conservative organization—say, a white-shoe law firm or a state legislature—you should dress in a more conservative manner, which likely means suits for both men and women. If you have taken a job in a fashion-forward organization, you should dress in a manner that communicates your understanding and appreciation of fashion.

At a very minimum, avoid: dirty, stained, torn or frayed clothing; and any clothing bearing words or images that others might find offensive.

3. Act professionally.
Everything you do in conjunction with work should communicate your respect for internal and external clients.

Before you walk into an office building, remove your ear buds.  Acknowledge other people you know in the building lobby. Whenever you board an elevator, recognize any coworkers you encounter. As you walk to or from your workstation or office, greet others you meet along the way. First thing in the morning, check in with your supervisor. Do another check-in at the end of your workday.

Be punctual to all meetings. This demonstrates your respect for others’ time. Know your supervisor’s expectations regarding smartphone use during meetings. If he or she expects your complete attention, before any meeting begins, turn your smartphone off.

4. Complete projects on time.
Tackle every assignment you receive in a timely manner. Should you experience unexpected delays or interruptions, do not withhold this information from your supervisor until the very last moment. Remember, no surprises. Inform your supervisor as quickly as possible. This allows him or her to adequately manage the expectations of important internal and external clients.

Inevitably, you will require a coworker’s input to complete a project. Should your coworker fail to perform in a timely manner, in most cases you’ll remain responsible. Telling a supervisor, “I emailed Jim in marketing for his input, but he hasn’t gotten back to me,” won’t cut it. Find ways to work with others and to complete projects on time.

5. Interact professionally with clients and customers.
Clients and customers are the life-blood of every organization. Without them, you don’t have a job. Always ensure customers and clients feel treasured like the valued people they are.

Whenever a client or customer is present, give that person 100 percent of your attention. End all personal conversations, phone calls, emailing, texting, and the like. Yes, put away your smartphone and other electronic devices.

To demonstrate your respect, when you first meet a client or customer—especially one who appears to be older than your parent(s)—use the social titles of “Mr.” or “Ms.” Do this whether your first interaction involves a face-to-face meeting or an email. Once the client or customer requests that you use a first name, by all means do.

 6. Work as a team player.
As a student, much of your success has been determined by how well you’ve performed on individual projects. You’ve either scored well on a test or you didn’t. As a summer associate, intern or new hire, you will often be assigned to team projects. As such, your success will be measured by how well the entire group performs.

Understand your role. Have you been tasked with leading the group? Then you are responsible for developing an overall game plan, assigning specific tasks to individual team members, coordinating the effort, and driving the project to completion in a timely manner. Have you been assigned to a supporting role on a team? Then you must complete each specific task that has been assigned to you within the requisite time frame. Additionally, you must be prepared to assist other team members when your help is needed.

7. Good team members communicate & make themselves available.
Share all information relevant to the completion of a project. When in doubt, more sharing beats less. Avoid becoming known as the one team member who failed to share a critical piece of data.

Take advantage of each team member’s unique skill sets. Encourage “big idea” people to brainstorm and encourage “detail” people to create standard operating procedures for the team. Recognize others for their hard work. Say positive things about the team publicly. Give constructive feedback privately.

Be available. Avoid wasting the valuable time of other team members. If the team has been called upon to work in close physical proximity, let others know before you step away. If the team is scattered around the globe, let others know when you will be reachable electronically.

8. Work effectively with support staff.
Right now, virtually every member of the support staff knows more about the day-to-day requirements of your job than you do. You’ll catch up soon enough. For now, it’s important that you understand these staff members can make or break you. Give them lots of reasons to want to help you succeed. Always speak and work with support staff in a polite and respectful manner.

9. Handle differences professionally.
In the course of the summer, a disagreement may arise. You must manage those differences with tact and on your own—without elevating issues to your supervisor. Doing so not only demonstrates that you have good manners, it also demonstrates that you are a professional who can manage all of the exigencies of the day-to-day workplace.

Resolve differences of opinion via this three-step process: 1.) acknowledge the disagreement; 2) seek a shared understanding of the underlying facts and assumptions; and 3) jointly develop a plan for moving forward.

10. Develop an attitude of gratitude!
Every assignment you receive—even a month-long document review in a windowless room—gives you the opportunity to shine. Show appreciation for these opportunities. Express an interest in every project and in the customers or clients for whom you are ultimately working.

Please eliminate the phrase “no problem” from your lexicon. Every time a supervisor thanks you for your efforts, and you reply, “no problem,” you immediately devalue your work. Instead say, “You bet. I really enjoyed this project,” or, “It was my pleasure. If there’s anything else I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to shout.”

Every week this summer, find one person who has made a positive difference in your life at work, and go out of your way to thank that person.

 Copyright © 2014 Mary Crane & Associates.

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Filed under Resources, Summer

Special Opportunity for Evening Division and Part-Time Students

Special Opportunity for Evening Division and Part-Time Students

Online Course, Summer 2014

Advanced Constitutional Law: Current Issues

 June 2-25
Mondays & Wednesdays
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

 Prerequisites:
Constitutional Law I & II

 Limited Enrollment
Scholarships Available
www.duq.edu/law/online

The School of Law is pleased to offer a pilot online course during the 2014 summer session, and a select number of evening division and part-time students are eligible to enroll with full scholarship support.

The two-credit course, Advanced Constitutional Law: Current Issues, will be taught by Wilson R. Huhn, a distinguished professor at Akron Law School and nationally recognized constitutional law expert. The class will explore pending cases in the areas of equal protection, separation of powers, the powers of Congress, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. Constitutional Law I & II are prerequisite courses.

Students will attend “live” via their laptops, from a location of their choosing, on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The course will run for four weeks, June 2-25. In addition to the scheduled online class time, students will watch recorded lectures, take quizzes, and read materials relating to cases pending in the Supreme Court of the United States.

In each class, a student will make a brief online presentation regarding material relating to one of these cases, such as an amicus brief or an aspect of oral argument. A one-page journal entry will be due the first week and second week, and a five-page research paper will be due at the end of the course.

Enrollment is limited to 15. The pilot course is being offered with full-tuition scholarships thanks to the generous support of the Duquesne University Office of the Provost.

Email Associate Dean Richard Gaffney at gaffneyr@duq.edu today to take advantage of this special opportunity.

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Filed under Announcements, Summer

ABA Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference – Pittsburgh – May 16-17 – Free Student Admission

Did you know that the ABA’s YLD 2014 Spring Conference is being held here in Pittsburgh at the Renaissance Hotel?  And that admission is free for law school students?  Our own Allegheny County Bar Association’s YLD has received several prestigious ABA Awards of Achievement, and they are very proud to be hosting this year’s national conference (www.ambar.org/yldspring).  Joe Williams (DL ’09), Incoming Chair of the ACBA YLD, and an associate attorney with Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, said “This will be a rare opportunity to meet the ABA YLD Assembly, as this is the first time in ten years that the conference is being held here in Pittsburgh.”

In addition to several educational programs, the conference includes a welcome reception at Reed Smith LLP, which will be a great opportunity for Duquesne Law students to network with young lawyers from all over the country.

The CSO will be coordinating RSVPs for this event, and Samantha Coyne, Employer Outreach Manager, will be attending the welcome reception.  Samantha has included information on three programs that would be especially interesting to our students, but keep in mind that you are welcome to attend any and all of the sessions.

Please see Arlene Miller in the CSO if you are interested in registering (there is a brief form to be completed that Samantha will forward to the ABA).  She also asks that you indicate at that time which programs you will be attending.  Please note that all students are welcome to attend.  RSVPs are due Monday, May 12, at noon.  If you have already registered for this event, would you please email me at coynes1@duq.edu?

The CSO understands that you are in the midst of exams, so the timing of these events may be challenging, but we would be delighted to have a group of enthusiastic Duquesne Law students accompany Samantha!  When we have received all of the RSVPs, she will follow up with meeting details regarding times and places.  Please let her know if she can provide any additional information (412-396-2593 or coynes1@duq.edu).

 

PROGRAMS OF INTEREST

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Symphony Ballroom B, The Inside Scoop: The Ins and Outs of Working with In-House Counsel

The diverse panel of in-house counselors will provide young lawyers with the inside scoop on working with, and keeping happy, your general counsel – complete with tips, pitfalls, and the keys to finding and keeping business.
Program Chair/Moderator: Marla N. Presley (L ’03), Jackson Lewis P.C., Pittsburgh, PA
Speakers:  Tom Frooman, Cintas, Loveland, OH, Joanne La Rose, FedEx Ground, Pittsburgh, PA

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Symphony Ballroom B, Practicing Sports Law in the 21st Century

A panel of experienced sports law practitioners will explain how they got involved in this area of law, share some of their most interesting sports law experiences, and discuss the variety of legal issues that arise in this specific practice area with an emphasis on current issues and trends.
Program Chair/Moderator: Erin Lucas Hamilton, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Pittsburgh, PA
Speakers:  Brian H. Simmons (L’99), Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC Pittsburgh, PA, Travis Williams (L’96), Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh, PA

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Symphony Ballroom C, Persuasive Use of Exhibits in Trial

Kirsha W. Trychta is a professor at Duquesne Law School. Kirsha will talk about how a young lawyer can be more persuasive in the courtroom and she will weave various trial graphics and courtroom presentation points into her actual presentation. This promises to be an engaging, interesting and informative presentation for all those who attend!
Program Chair/Moderator: Scott W. MacMullan, Scott MacMullan Law LLC, Annapolis, MD
Speaker: Kirsha W. Trychta (L’06), Duquesne University School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA

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Filed under Announcements, Networking

Tips from the Practitioners Series: Professional Etiquette in Civil Litigation

By Scott T. Redman, L’82
Law Office of Scott T. Redman

A crucial part of your effectiveness as a lawyer is your relationship with others in the litigation process. The most effective attorneys share the common trait of respect and cordiality.  A few tips to cultivate that reputation:

  1.  Almost always grant extensions of time.  Case resolution rarely if ever hinges on strict adherence to time deadlines.
  2. Always take the high road.   It will be remembered.
  3. Zealous representation with courtesy and civility is respected.
  4. Respect your office staff and court personnel who are critical to getting things done.

Your goal is to achieve the best possible and cost effective result for your client.  A reputation for courtesy and respect will foster that end and a solid foundation for a long and prosperous legal career.


This series is written by members of the Career/Employment Committee of the Duquesne Law Alumni Association with the intent to provide helpful job search tips and suggestions for students and alumni.

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