Expanded Activities Surrounded Professionalism Day
James Lewis and Web Editor - Published: November 3, 2010
This year, Professionalism Day was surrounded with a series of events meant to enforce the main ideas presented during this young, but important, tradition at Widener Law. The goal was to surround Professionalism Day with a series of events and turn it into a Professionalism Week.

Jim Lewis, Vice Justice of Phi Alpha Delta, took charge of the event that would kick-start the week by inviting Dan McDowell – an experienced wealth management attorney and mediator from Pittsburgh – to come speak on the topic of managing finances as a young professional. Lewis first heard this presentation at the 58th Biennial Convention for Phi Alpha Delta and thought that it would be the perfect way to start the series of events.

After coordinating with other student groups that happened to be holding events that week – including the Student Bar Association at Widener, the faculty in charge of Professionalism Day, and various members of the administration – the event was approved and Mr. McDowell flew into Delaware in order to give his presentation dubbed, “Financial GPS”.

Mr. McDowell spoke in the Barristers’ Club at Widener to a crowd of 30+ students and administration from Widener. He focused on turning your financial situation, even with the enormous student loan, credit card, and auto loan debt, into one where you're the one making the decisions – not life's events, banks, and creditors. He took a number of engaging questions at the conclusion of his presentation and everyone present was impressed with the information that he had to offer.

The Food & Drug Law Association, formed this year by Sara Alsaleh, took charge of the ethics event on Tuesday, October 27th. She invited Widener Law Professor Roseann Termini, a member of the PA Board of Ethics Committee, to speak about the importance of ethics in the legal profession. She asked audience members to really delve into their own moral and ethical codes of conduct, and inquired how they compare to those of the profession. An excellent discussion followed about how the professional code of conduct merely sets the lowest bar of ethics, and it is up to individual lawyers to use their own code to do better.

On Professionalism Day itself, held on Wednesday, October 27th, students attended panel discussions focused on the Bar, Public Interest Jobs, Large/Medium Firm Associates, Judicial clerkship, Ethics discussion, and much more. Dean Linda L. Ammons spoke at all the sessions about the importance of developing a professional reputation now, regardless of where students are in their law school journey.

Finally, the Public Interest Law Alliance took control of the community service event on Thursday. PILA sponsored a Donation Pledge and Toy Drive to help make this holiday season a great one for underprivileged foster children in Delaware. Nicole Phillips, PILA President, took charge and asked her members to help by seeking out $25 pledges, unused/unwrapped toys, and gently-used children's books throughout the day on Thursday, October 28th.

All in all, the first Professionalism Week at Widener University School of Law was a huge success and would not have been possible without the efforts and support of the administration of the school, the aid of the Student Bar Association, the students who attended the events, the services of Dan McDowell, and, of course, the hard work of all the members of the student organizations who dedicated their time to take a great event and make it even better.