MONTGOMERY BAR and AREA LAW FIRMS
ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY THROUGH SUMMER INTERN PROGRAM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
On Thursday, July 23, 2009, the Montgomery Bar Association’s Diversity Committee held a closing reception for its Summer 1L Internship Program at the Montgomery Bar Building in Norristown. The reception honored the five first-year law students and the six law firms in Montgomery County who participated in the program, which lasted approximately eight weeks.
The reception was well-attended not only by the students and attorneys but by Bench, Bar and County leadership as well, including appearances by President Judge Richard J. Hodgson and County Commissioner James R. Matthews. Diversity Committee Co-Chair Daniel J. Clifford, Esq. initiated the reception by introducing Co-Chair Cheryl Lynne Austin, Esq. and Vice-Chair Denise Vicario, Esq. and by thanking the Co-Chairs of the Summer 1L Subcommittee, Ellen Fischer, Esq. and Michael Rogers, Esq. for their invaluable support and efforts during the course of the program.
Clifford recognized the participating students, attorneys, and law firms in Montgomery County, who included: Tia Dinh from Rutgers Law School, who interned at Flamm, Boroff, and Bacine PC in Blue Bell under the direction of managing partner Walter Flamm and attorney Christie Flamm; Janelle Baptiste from Rutgers Law School, who interned at Fox Rothschild, LLP in Blue Bell under the direction of managing partner Marc Davis and attorney Mary Lou Watson; Ben Wharton from Temple Law School, who interned at both Kaplin Stewart in Blue Bell under the direction of managing partner Maury Reiter and attorney Mohammad Ghiasuddin, and High Swartz, LLP in Norristown under the direction of managing partner Paul Bartle and attorney Mary Cushing Doherty; Rachel Morales from Villanova Law School, who interned at Nelson Levine in Blue Bell under the direction of managing partner Michael Nelson and attorney Paulyne Gardner Smith; and Ayinde Sawyer from Fordham Law School, who interned at Wisler Pearlstine, LLP in Blue Bell under the direction of managing partner Jim Garrity and attorney Ken Roos.
“Thank you, all of you, both law firms and students, for being the true ‘trailblazers’ for us this summer,” Clifford said. “We hope you all found the experience rewarding.”
The students were selected with the help of Lois Kimbol from the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, which has hosted a similar summer program for several years. The establishment of the Summer 1L Program in Montgomery County has piqued the interest of other neighboring counties such as Bucks and Berks, who hope to use the Montgomery Bar Association’s program as a model and launch their own programs in the future.
The purpose of the Summer 1L Program is to employ first-year law students of diverse backgrounds with paid summer internships at Montgomery County law firms in order to “grow diversity” in the local legal community. During the course of the program, the students were able to form professional relationships with practicing attorneys in the Bar Association through weekly programming including breakfasts, lunches, and speaking engagements. The Diversity Committee hopes that the students will eventually return to Montgomery County to practice law in the future. Said Clifford to the students, “We hope that you will spread the good word about the Montgomery County legal community to your fellow students.”
About the Montgomery Bar Association...
Established in 1885 to professionalize the county’s practice of law, the Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) is one of our nation’s oldest and most respected bar associations, representing over 2,100 legal professionals in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Now, as then, the MBA exists to uphold legal and ethical standards in our legal community. As the third largest Bar in Pennsylvania, the MBA has a longstanding tradition of service to its membership and the community. For members, the MBA offers an important arena for networking, professional development and education. For the community, the MBA serves as a legal resource offering education, legal assistance and funds and resources for individuals and agencies in need. The Association is actively engaged in public service through community outreach, free educational events offered throughout the year, programs like the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project, the Mock Trial Competitions for high-school students, and more. For more information on the Montgomery Bar Association, visit www.montgomerybar.org.