The Women in the Profession Committee recognized the launch of its first newsletter on Sept. 15 with a celebration held at Reed Smith LLP. Nearly 80 people attended the party and showed their support for the brand-new publication, released in July. Both men and women, including Chancellor Rudolph Garcia and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judges Ann M. Butchart and Marlene F. Lachman came out on a rainy night to support the new publication.
The party was primarily given to honor the first contributors: Temple University Beasley School of Law Dean JoAnne A. Epps; Bar Association Vice Chancellor Kathleen D. Wilkinson; past Chancellors Jane Leslie Dalton and Sayde J. Ladov; Maria A. Feeley, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP; Kathleen Creamer; and Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sandra Mazer Moss.
“It’s wonderful to witness the start of a newsletter with great potential – all the more so when the first issue delivered as promised,” said Thomas A. Bell. “This newsletter is a credit, not only to the Women in the Profession Committee, but also to our whole Philadelphia Bar Association because the articles, particularly in the inaugural issue, were so interesting and useful for everyone across all the Bar.”
One of the reasons the newsletter was published was to further present the unique and current perspectives, advice and opinions, of the women in the profession today and, additionally, to highlight the many accomplishments of the women in the Philadelphia Bar Association. It is a vehicle to not only expose and publicize the women in the profession at the Association, but also as a result, potentially enhance the Association’s offerings. Furthermore, the newsletter presents an opportunity for women to get involved in the Bar Association, which is of particular interest to new members who may not be as comfortable communicating opinions at meetings.
The initial publication, while geared toward women, offered advice about mentoring, civility and life skills for lawyers that can be useful for both men and women in the profession. Vice Chancellor Wilkinson’s article, “Making an Appearance,” discussed how to keep everything in balance, including her duties as a lawyer to her clients and to her law firm, while balancing her family obligations with her responsibilities as Vice Chancellor. Wilkinson thought the reception became an excellent networking opportunity in and of itself, saying, “It was great for all the attorneys attending to be able to network with Chancellor Garcia, and former Chancellors Ladov and Dalton, the judges who attended, and the diverse attorneys who came. Networking provides opportunities for mentoring and business development as well.” Additionally, Dalton gave valuable advice about public speaking, “Be yourself. To be genuine and authentic you have to know yourself, what style works best for you and what does not.”
We are hoping that the publication can promote dialogue among men and women in the profession.
During opening remarks at the event, the importance of mentoring, discussed in Judge Moss’s article, was communicated. Also present were male mentors who have provided valuable insight and perspective about communication, the practice of law, and most importantly, the business side of law.
Additionally, opening remarks underscored the importance of relationships in general in the practice of law, in particular the one of a trusted mentor.
The Committee also thanked its sponsors, A and A Court Reporting, Independent Custom Realty, Lavin and O’Neill, OPA restaurant and Philadelphia Runner, without whom the event would not have been possible.
Maureen M. Farrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is principal in the Law Offices of Maureen F. Farrell.
This article originally appeared in Philadelphia Bar Reporter, October 2011.