Dear Young Lawyer Section Member:
Welcome to the September edition of Electronically In-Touch. This purportedly fall weather is very hot and so is this month’s issue. We have a lot of great events coming up in the next few months, especially the Young Lawyers Section Fall Program. Mark your calendars now.
Christina Bost-Seaton, Esq. has kindly sent us another edition of her series “Standing Out in the Crowd” and she also gives us an update on the Mentoring Committee. Also, some hack writer has sent in a piece on Continuing Legal Education and we were a little light this month.
This is a member-driven publication, so please do not hesitate to send us an article. Submissions should be sent to me at PFortino@twcny.rr.com.
Electronically In Touch is a monthly publication. The deadline for submissions is the 10th of the month.
Philip G. Fortino, Esq.
YLS Fall Program - Filled with CLE CREDIT!
Friday, October 19 - Saturday, October, 20, 2007
It’s already time to start planning for fall. Accordingly, we are pleased to announce the 2007 Fall Program of the Young Lawyers Section. This year the meeting will be held on Friday, October 19 - Saturday, October 20 at the New York State Bar Center Headquarters in Albany, New York. The fall is a great season to visit the capital of New York State. Albany is a city rich with history and culture not to mention an easy location to get to! The program this year is filled with interesting and diverse topics and speakers. For more information and registration form, please visit: www.nysba.org/ylsfall07.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Call in number: 1.866.409.4300
Fifth District Event - Ethics Seminar
A special invitation to this seminar is extended to all attorneys and especially recently admitted attorneys allowing them an opportunity to meet other members of the bar. Please be advised that this program is free to attorneys admitted in New York State less than one year. For Oneida County Bar Association Members the price is $60.00 and for non-members it is $150.00.
Chair: Mark A. Wolber, Esq. Speakers: Scott D. McNamara, Oneida County District Attorney; Hon. Bernadette T. Romano, Oneida County Supreme Court Justice; Richard A. Cohen, Esq., Cohen & Cohen; Paul Drejza, Leatherstocking Abstract and Title Corporation.
If you are interested in attending please contact Diane at the Oneida County Bar Association at (315) 724-4901.
Albany County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Committee
Come join us for a networking reception & meet some distinguished
members of the Bench and Bar!!
Make your check payable to: Albany County Bar Association and Remit to: The Stedman House, 1 Lodge Street, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12207. For additional information, please contact 445-7691
Geoffrey Canada Lecture on “The Courts and
Standing Out in the Crowd—a monthly column
Ms. Bost-Seaton starting her fourth year as an associate in the complex litigation and labor & employment practice groups at Troutman Sanders LLP in Manhattan, where she is constantly trying to “play rainmaker”. She is the co-author of Say Ciao to Chow Mein: Conquering Career Burnout, which is available on www.cordellparvin.com and at bookstores.
I’m happy to return from my unexpected absence from Electronically In Touch this summer. I spent the last few months wholly devoted to working on a major arbitration. Even I get too busy to follow my own advice sometimes!
As the corridors fill with bright young faces, eager to please and excited to learn, you may find that you have been chosen to be a mentor for the new first years. Conversely, you may be that very eager beaver, wondering what exactly you’re supposed to do with your newly assigned mentor. While lunches together are on the menu (bah dum dum), mentoring relationships involve a lot more than breaking bread.
In his new book Prepare to Win, nationally recognized attorney career coach Cordell Parvin includes a list of things mentees should expect from a mentor.
• Determine what motivates their mentee;
Your job as a mentor, then, is much like the job of a sports coach. You need to get to know your mentee, identify his strengths and weaknesses and his likes and dislikes. You need to advise your mentee how to improve her work product, how to operate within the politics of the workplace, and how to set and achieve her career goals. A great mentor isn’t merely reactive—he won’t just answer the questions posed by his mentee. A great mentor is proactive; he will help his mentee understand the playing field better so that she can see the kinds of questions she should be asking.
In Prepare to Win, Parvin also sets forth what he sees as the common traits of excellent mentees.
Excellent Mentees Are:
Thus, if you’re not willing to be coached, you won’t be a good mentee. You must abandon your defensive reactions to constructive criticism and be willing to at least consider your mentor’s advice. You must be willing to actively seek out your mentor and solicit your mentor’s guidance. Don’t be a faceless number in the crowd. If your mentor doesn’t know who you are, he can’t effectively coach you.
If all else fails, remember all the inspiring sports movies you’ve seen. Or at least remember Hoosiers. A good mentor coaches her mentee to be the best he can be. But when it’s game time, it’s the mentee’s responsibility to win the game.
During my tenure as the New Lawyers Section Chairperson, I noticed a dearth of new ideas for CLE programs. As young lawyers, there are topics that we would love to have discussed at one of these seminars, however the presenters never quite hit the mark.
After waiting for a program on motion practice, I consulted with the Onondaga County Bar Association’s CLE coordinator and she helped me set up a program on motion practice. I decided to break from the traditional two-hour format and shift to two one hour segments on consecutive Wednesdays and ran the program from 12:00-1:00. The first part was on drafting the motion and we had two of the Supreme Court Justices’ Law Clerks speak at the program. In the next session, we had their respective Judges speak on oral argument. The program was a huge success and many attorneys commented that it was a necessary topic nobody had presented this way before.
I knew a little about motion practice prior to setting up this program and this gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the best attorneys and Judges on this topic. It also allowed me to network with the judiciary, their clerks and the lawyers in attendance.
These programs are only as limited as your imagination and sometimes they go far beyond your expectations. For example, during the design of the Litigation at Lunch program I developed for the Onondaga County Bar Association, we decided to have a segment on Jury Selection and wanted to have it in the jury room. We asked the Commissioner of Jurors if we could hold it in the room and he not only agreed but he offered us 12 jurors so that we could have two young lawyers conduct a mock voir dire. That session of the program was very well attended and everyone in the room was amazed at the feedback those 12 jurors gave to the attorneys.
All it takes is a little imagination, a small amount of time and you can set up a unique program. Get to know your CLE coordinator and have them explain to you the procedure for setting up a program. Think about what topics you want to have the speakers discuss and then decide who would be the best presenter for that program.
The NYSBA CLE Committee is looking for the next great idea. If you
have a proposal for a topic or entire program, please submit them to
Katherine Suchocki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year our primary project was laying the groundwork for the Mentor-on-the Go program, a series of ten-minute pod casts for members of the Young Lawyers' Section. We are scheduling tapings for our first four segments, which will be on (1) the Freedom of Information Act; (2) Landlord/Tenant Law; (3) a to-be-determined federal litigation topic; and (4) How to Institute and Uncontested Divorce. These segments will then be available on the Section's webpage for you to download. If anyone has any good ideas for topics or speakers, please let us know (particularly if they are in the Albany area or will be at the Fall Meeting).
This year we'd like to put some greater efforts into (a) updating our Mentoring Directory (which is not the most user-friendly system); (b) working towards developing a more traditional mentoring program; and (c) producing a program for the Annual Meeting.
If you are interested in any of these areas, please email email@example.com.