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New Jersey Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson has served the state for nearly 30 years as a prosecutor, but she clearly remembers the difficulty she had finding a job in New Jersey after she graduated from an out-of-state law school. “I thought being from Trenton was going to be enough. I honestly did. A mentor would have told me that was not enough,” said Thompson, a New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) trustee. Determined to pay her success forward, Thompson seized the opportunity to volunteer with the NJSBA’s Mentor Match program. Although that program has been phased out, it has been replaced with a new program headed by the NJSBA ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Young Lawyers Division (YLD) is looking for volunteers to be mentors in a new program aimed at helping law students as they navigate their way through school. “The law is one of those professions where a lot of knowledge is passed down from person to person. Finding and being a mentor makes you a link in the chain. And it doesn’t matter where you are in your career because there are always people with more experience, and people you can reach back and help pull forward,” said Emily Kelchen, chair of the YLD and NJSBA trustee. Since members of the division are age 36 or younger and have been practicing for 10 years ...
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In a sign of the times, New Jersey’s newest attorneys—the first in the state to take the bar exam remotely because of the pandemic—were sworn in at a virtual ceremony last week. Remarking on the challenges the attorneys face, leaders in the legal profession who addressed the 83 attorneys also delivered messages of support and optimism. In her address to the attorneys, New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) President Kimberly A. Yonta said they will have the support and resources of the NJSBA as they embark on a career in law that will require them “to shoulder some significant responsibilities” and follow a “moral compass…fixed on values that guide you ...
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This article appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of the Young Lawyers Division newsletter, Dictum . Read the full issue here (login required).   By James A. Lewis V NJSBA trustee and co-chair of the Diversity Committee  As you take off the training wheels and are no longer properly described as a “new attorney,” the consideration of what comes next can be both exciting and overwhelming.  As a sprightly first-year associate, there appears to be plenty of guidance abound.  Work hard. Be adaptable. Be mindful of the billable hour. Volunteer and strengthen your relationships with clients, partners and colleagues through producing timely, impeccable work.  ...
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It’s Awards Season! Each year the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association hands out four awards at the NJSBA’s Annual Meeting in Atlantic City: Service to the Community, Service to the Bar, Professional Achievement, and Young Lawyer of the Year. Nominees must be members of the New Jersey State Bar Association and “young lawyers” as of May 31, to be eligible for an award. A “young lawyer” is any lawyer who has been engaged in the practice of law for ten years or less OR who is under the age of 36. Nominees that do not meet these basic criteria will be rejected. If there are no viable candidates for any given award, such award may not be ...
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Editor’s note: This article is adapted from the NJSBA’s PracticeHQ archives. PracticeHQ is a free benefit available to all NJSBA members, and provides articles, comparison charts, videos and more with the sole purpose of helping members manage their law practice more efficiently and effectively. Find out more about PracticeHQ resources by selecting the members tab at njsba.com .   More attorneys than ever are using texting as a primary method of client contact. Although there can be advantages to texting a client, many lawyers don’t fully consider the potential pitfalls. The following are some of the pros and cons of texting. Pros It’s a fast, ...
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The Earth Day Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division is promoting a message of environmental sustainability to its members during the holidays. Some of the committee’s suggestions include: Buy a live Christmas tree. It’s better for the environment than an artificial tree. Use Energy Star® LED holiday lights, which are energy efficient. Recycle old holiday lights at your local Home Depot. Wrap gifts with old magazines, newspapers, maps, posters, children’s artwork and calendars—it’s creative and recycles paper. Shop for locally grown food, which travels fewer miles and creates less carbon emissions.
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The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Young Lawyers Division is launching a monthly lunch-and-learn series geared to attorneys who are new to the practice of law. “The goal is to cover topics at a 10,000-foot level so we have enough information to know when to seek out additional advice,” YLD Chair Emily Kelchen said. The programs will cover topics such as financial planning and insurance, marketing and business development, and common legal issues like estate planning and traffic tickets. The series begins Nov. 16 with a program titled “Time Management, Work/Life Balance and Mental Health During COVID-19.” The program will be held from 12 p.m.- ...
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The NJSBA Young Lawyers Division provides New Jersey's newest lawyers opportunities to enhance their professional development by organizing and promoting activities, including continuing legal education seminars, pro bono and community service activities. Now, they can accomplish something even more meaningful through the YLD's Halloween Vein Drain Virtual Blood Drive. The Red Cross seeks to collect 15,000 blood donations every day to ensure there is enough blood on-hand to help patients in hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Join the YLD Halloween Vein Drain Virtual Blood Drive today and help the Division reach its goal. Taking part is ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) opened its 2020 law school scholarship application process for first- and second-year students enrolled at an accredited law school in New Jersey. In addition, female students from Columbia Law School may apply for Justice Marie L. Garibaldi Scholarships. The deadline for applications is June 26. The scholarships range from $500 to $10,000. Factors that will be considered include financial need, academic achievement and community service/civic involvement. Applications can be downloaded at njsbf.org. Completed applications must be returned and processed through the individual’s law school financial aid office. ...
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At the New Jersey Judiciary’s first virtual swearing-in ceremony on Monday, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and U.S. District Chief Judge Freda Wolfson told the newly admitted attorneys to persevere during these challenging times. The ceremony was livestreamed on the New Jersey courts website because of social distancing measures required during the COVID-19 pandemic. New Jersey State Bar President Kimberly A. Yonta and Edward T. Kole, president of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey, each presented a motion to admit the new attorneys to their respective bars. Wolfson said while the public health, economic and social justice ...
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Making the transition from law student and law clerk to a practicing attorney isn’t always easy. Past NJSBA President Karol Corbin Walker, who is also chair of the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law, shared pearls of wisdom for making a successful pivot Wednesday at the 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting program “ Transitioning from law clerk to associate: Professional tips to make it a success for young lawyers and those who hire them.” Above all, said Walker, be nice. “It’s important to remember the things we learned when we were very young, they still apply at your law firm,” she said. “Be nice. You should be nice to everyone, not just ...
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With July’s bar exam canceled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the New Jersey courts announced in early April that 2020 law school graduates would be “authorized to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney who has been licensed to practice for at least three years.”  As such, the New Jersey State Bar Association is offering members the ability to post temporary practice opportunities for this year’s graduating law school class. Members may simply login to www.njsba.com , and then navigate here to post and manage their opportunities. Read the court’s order on the practice of law for 2020 law school graduates here.
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Courts seek volunteers to assist with character reviews  With the summer bar exam on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent New Jersey Supreme Court order relaxes and supplements the Court Rules to permit 2020 graduates to practice, temporarily.  Read the order here . The attorneys must practice under the supervision of a New Jersey attorney who has been admitted for at least three years. The practice privileges are contingent on certification by the Committee on Character.  The Courts are seeking attorney volunteers to help with the character review process.  Interested attorneys can reach out to the Committee on Character at [email protected] ...
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Young lawyers have a lot to look forward to in 2016-2017 as the Young Lawyers Division announces plans for fun social and networking events, CLE seminars and more to help new attorneys take the right steps on the path to becoming a successful lawyer. Coming events In August, September and October, there are three gatherings where YLD members can have a great time, get together with colleagues, greet new YLD members, and be part of a community service initiative. The Young Lawyers Division trains volunteers to work with the New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC). Led by former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey, NJRC is a non-profit agency with a social ...
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Originally published in the Dictum Vol. 39, No. 1/February 2015 Editor’s Column The Prisoner Re-entry Program by Katherine M. Caola This year, the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) has taken on the enormous challenge of developing the Prisoner Reentry Committee. As you will note, most of this edition of Dictum is dedicated to the Prisoner Reentry Committee and the work it is doing through the Prisoner Reentry Program with Martin’s Place. I have a personal passion for this program and the community it serves. Shortly after graduating college, I accepted a position as a paralegal. In that position, I had access to what some ...
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Access to justice is a real and growing problem in the United States. In the past, it has been difficult to share the text of the law with clients and the public – so-called firewalls have previously prevented selecting cases or statutes and sharing them directly with those who don’t have access to Fastcase, LexisNexis, or Westlaw. Attorneys have had to jump through hoops to accomplish this for a while: typically by printing out the cases and sending them to clients. That’s an imperfect work-around to a problem that needs a solution. It’s imperfect because it takes time (and thus, money) to print or save documents and send them to clients. And what about ...
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