This article was originally published in The Barrister, the official monthly publication of the Camden County Bar Association for which DeMichele & DeMichele attorney MATT ROONEY serves as Young Lawyer Trustee.
Matt Rooney Autumn has always been my favorite season. Not simply because cooler temperatures and football represent a very welcome change of place after a long, hot and hazy summer, but falling leaves also signal big, positive changes for the Camden County Bar Association and its extremely active Young Lawyer Committee. This is the time of year when law students dust off their textbooks, judicial clerks start new jobs, bar examination survivors nurse their wounds and hard-working firm associates return from vacation. That means it's also prime recruitment season for our growing organization, and if we can help our community's most vulnerable members in the process, then that's all the better. In fact, that's the primary reason why we do what we do! Our marque early fall event is the annual Lobster Bake, presented by Flaster Greenberg and produced in conjunction with the Camden County Bar Foundation, held at The Tap Room in Westmont on Saturday, September 27th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Young Lawyer Committee prides itself on presenting a diverse array of programming for every type of taste; all the same, this is one event that every member agrees is a “don't miss” occasion. Lobster, live music, horseshoes, cigars, beer… did I mention the lobsters? The best part, however, is that the proceeds benefit the Young Lawyer Larc School Scholarship Fund. For those who don't know, Larc School (www.larcschool.com) is located in nearby residential Bellmawr, New Jersey, operating as a non-profit special education institution serving students, ranging in age from 3 to 21, who grapple with a myriad of moderate to severe disabilities. Larc proudly provides this valuable service at no cost to families, a cost which would otherwise drive many families into a dire financial predicament. Consequently, Larc needs our help to continue its important mission for the South Jersey community. We're thrilled to do so yet again this year. Please contact the Camden County Bar Association office at (856) 482-0620 for more information. Hope to see you there! Don't despair if you can't attend the Lobster Bake (but try to make it – you don't want that jealous feeling to linger all year when everyone else is still taking about it). There will be plenty of other ways to help out going forward as we move into the fall and winter seasons. Never hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected] to make sure you're in the loop.
As I already mentioned, our recruitment activities kick into high gear in August as we host an annual luncheon for incoming and outgoing law clerks at the Camden County Hall of Justice (more information to come), and we will once again participate in Dean's Law Day, an annual event at Rutgers-Camden School of Law for its newly-admitted students. I firmly believe bar association involvement should begin long before bar admission. It's imperative to give soon-to-be lawyers a sense that they're part of a larger law community from the first day of their long journey in the legal profession. It's a support system, networking opportunity and, yes, much-needed fun break from the daily grind! Continuing to study and discuss the substance of the law, in addition to the ongoing developments in our respective practice areas, is also a big part of what we do. Thomas Jefferson famously observed how “[a] lawyer without books would be like a workman without tools.” You could easily substitute “books” with “CLE's” in our modern world, and the Young Lawyer Committee will present a few seminars in the months ahead. Stay tuned. Did I overwhelm you with information? Good! This article isn't a memorization test but, rather, yet another chance for me to remind you of the many ways through which you can get involved over the coming year. There's work to be done. Important work. Let's build on past successes by falling forward together as autumn draws near and, of course, enjoying some serious fun all along the way.