University of Pittsburgh
Pitt Law presents:

Pitt Law Academy: Is It Possible to Be a Superstar Lawyer and Still Have a Personal Life/Family?

For 1Ls (2Ls and 3Ls are welcome, too)
February 5, 2013 - 4:30pm
University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 107
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

On Tuesday, February 5 at 4:30 p.m., in Room 107 (not the Courtroom), the law school will present its seventh Pitt Law Academy program of the year: “Is It Possible to Be a Superstar Lawyer and Still Have a Personal Life/Family?”

The five panelists are a group of well-known, highly respected, and extraordinarily talented lawyers (and one trial-court judge). These five are also, in a word, “special.”  Truly. They really are. Each of them is incredibly insightful, entertaining, and interesting. They should be. To be a really good lawyer, you’ve got to be able to tell a good story.

Our storytelling panelists are:

  • Max Beier, Esq., Beier, Beier & Beier
  • Cami Davis, Thorp Reed & Armstrong
  • John Gismondi, Gismondi & Associates
  • Merle Kramer Mermelstein, Silverblatt Mermelstein
  • Hon. Jill Rangos, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas

So . . . you should remember the mantra by heart by now: "The Pitt Law Academy program is designed to assist you in thinking about life after law school." And, honestly, what more important after-law-school topic can there possibly be than your nonprofessional life? Am I right?

Okay, you’ve probably heard the horror stories: legal practice – especially litigation – means that you will be worked to the bone; you will be virtually enslaved if you work in a law firm; you will never get to see your family; you will have no social life; the work is all-consuming.

Is that true? Is it really true? Should you consider dropping out of law school right now and becoming a plumber? There are always leaks to be caulked (or whatever . . . I don’t know). What have you gotten yourselves into? What should you/can you expect?

You know, if the practice of law is really as scary as it is cracked up to be by some people, why would anyone do it for a living? (Oh . . . wait . . . did I forget to mention that most of these lawyer-panelists are doing pretty well economically?) But you know what? Even if a life in the law wasn’t potentially so lucrative, most lawyers I know would keep doing it anyway. Why? Why? Why?

Glad you asked. That’s some of what Max, Cami, John, Merle and Judge Jill will talk about. Why do they (did they, in Jill’s case) do it? And how can you be a lawyer – a really, really top-notch lawyer – and still have a decent personal life? Or . . . I’ve asked these five to tell you the truth BTW, but, remember, they are lawyers, so you know, who knows? . . . Can you really expect to have it all: an amazing professional life and an amazing personal life, too?

Anyway, our five panelists will talk about this sort of thing. They will offer you some insights about what it means to live a life in the law, and to live your “real” life as well. And I’ve asked them to talk about whether they would do it all again if they were in your shoes today. Was it worth it? They will tell you the truth. They are not shy. You’ll see.

Last but not least, there will also be the sort of elaborate post-panel reception you have all come to expect at PLA events, immediately following this presentation. I was going to serve champagne and caviar on – you know – those little, toast-point things. Hey, everything was all set. And when I mentioned this to the dean he said: “Word.” (That’s how he talks when you aren’t around. I think he meant that champagne and caviar were okay with him.)  And then . . . and then . . . and then we just looked at all those budget cuts dictated by reduced state funding, so . . . you know, then we figured that it was either cut the champagne and the caviar or raise tuition 84.67%. So . . . it’s cookies. And fruit slices. Yummo!

You know what? If tuition is going to go up anyway, the least you should get out of this experience is a cookie, and a piece of cantaloupe. Done. And to seal the deal, we’re throwing in some of that fire-engine red, super-sweet punch, brewed like only Pitt catering can make it. All of this for “free” (excluding consideration of your tuition dollars). You’re welcome.

So don’t be shy! Come to the reception after the presentation and share a chocolate-frosted, marshmallow-macadamia-nut cookie with sprinkles with one of our panelists! Come and meet and talk to some of the people who you may someday face (or argue in front of) in court. Butter them up now. Maybe they will hurt you less when you face off against them in a few years. (Update: no chocolate-frosted, marshmallow-macadamia-nut cookies with sprinkles; if we purchased them for you, we’d have to cut out one of our clinics. We thought about it but, for now, we’re going with the clinics.)

2ls and 3Ls: Don’t miss the networking opportunities here, upperclass people. Pitt Law Academy. It’s where all the cool kids are. Word.


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