Students Receive Valuable Advice at Fifth Annual Professional Development Day
Web Editor - Published: October 30, 2011
Students on both Widener Law campuses attended Professional Development Day on Wednesday, October 26th to receive valuable insight about professional conduct within the legal profession.

On the Harrisburg campus, students were allowed to select three sessions to attend from a menu of presentations focusing on a diverse range of subjects including Understanding Bar Admissions, Making the Most of Your Time in Law School, Practicing Environmental Law, Practicing Criminal Law as a Government Attorney, Avoiding Legal Malpractice, Debt Management, Civility in the Courtroom, and Managing Traditional and Social Media.

Harrisburg Career Development Director Karen Durkin also moderated Navigating a Business Dinner, a special session for 30 students that focused on teaching the basic ground rules for professional social engagements with potential employers, clients, colleagues, or superiors. Students at the dinner heard from Lynne Brielle, a professional consultant who specializes in business etiquette and communications. The event included cocktails, a formal dinner, a discussion of table etiquette, and a consideration of appropriate topics for conversation.

On the Delaware campus, 2nd and 3rd-year students in the regular division attended Professionalism Day events from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 1st year regular division students attended between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., and extended division students between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.

“I do not think that lawyers as a whole are doing anything in particular wrong, but I do believe that it is important for law schools to create an atmosphere of professionalism,” said Dean Linda L. Ammons during her introduction to the day’s events.

She briefly discussed negative stereotypes of lawyers, emphasizing that those negative views of lawyers make professionalism all the more important. “We at Widener are committed to educating the finest legal professionals,” she concluded.

The day’s program for 2nd and 3rd-year students focused on Success on the Bar Exam and also featured alumni panels about Transitioning from Law Student to Law Professional. The final part of the program treated the students to breakout sessions on specific types of legal careers ranging from Alternative Careers in Law to Criminal Law Practice, Public Interest, Judicial Clerkships, Small Firm/Solo Practice, and Large/Medium Firm Practice.

The programs for 1st-year students in both the regular and extended division emphasized Building a Professional Identity and Success on the Bar Exam while three breakout sessions focused on Building Lawyering Skills such as Persuasive Advocacy, Negotiations, or Interviewing/Counseling Clients and Witnesses.