The entire Professionalism Day program reminded me that professionalism is not just about marketability or personal “brand.” It’s about showing clients that you are trustworthy and that your job is, first and foremost, a job of service. It’s about showing colleagues that you value their unique backgrounds and perspectives. It’s about showing the communities you’re a part of that they are important and deserve your attention. The program even highlighted that professionalism involves putting family first. Balancing family, community, work, and self-care is what professionalism is all about. When professionalism is construed to mean “a set of skills expected at work” it is reduced to something intended for economic gain. True professionalism is the lifelong practice of sincerity, temperance, hard work, and generosity. It’s a work of art, not merely a set of mechanical skills.
Many talks take place during your 1L year, ranging from firm lunches to student panels. I found the Nuts & Bolts talks incredibly helpful in a different way. Nuts & Bolts Criminal Practice probably gave me a better idea of what the day-to-day life is like working as a public defender or prosecutor than any other conversation I’ve had. Hearing practicing attorneys’ perspectives and analyzing a real fact pattern was one of the most practical lessons I have received about the practice of criminal law.
The Trial Practice Skills Bootcamp was an invaluable opportunity to learn about opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing statements from practicing attorneys. It gave me the chance to test my oral advocacy skills and receive important feedback on ways to improve. This program made me more confident in my ability to be a persuasive advocate. I appreciate the exposure to trial fundamentals that will help me to be a better lawyer for future clients.
Completing the Penn Law Certificate in Technology was one of the most beneficial things I did in my first year at Penn Law. I have been asked about the certificate in every single interview, and I have been able to use it to prove that I have proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat. Gaining the technology certificate was a very simple and informative process. The instructor was incredibly kind and thorough, and he always made sure that everyone was progressing in the session for whichever program we were learning about. I very highly recommend that any interested students try and obtain this certificate. Not only will you actually learn highly valuable information about programs like Excel and Adobe Acrobat, but you’ll be able to have certifiable proof that you can bring in to the interview process.
I really enjoyed the Speed Networking Event, and I definitely saw a lot of improvement in both my responses to questions and my questions for the attorneys as I moved from one to the next. I thought the reception afterwards was a nice way to meet additional people.
Self-care and wellness is something I prioritized in my life. The “Wellness and Balance” talk was a nice reminder that we have to intentionally continue to do the things that sustain our whole selves despite the stress of class now and our careers in the future.
The Penn Law Public Speaking Society has helped me overcome any trepidation regarding public speaking as well as develop the necessary framework to be an effective speaker. These lessons have proven to be extremely helpful in class, and more importantly, have a great professional benefit. During interviews, employers almost always ask me about the Penn Law Public Speaking Society. Effective oral communication is one of the most important skills an attorney needs. Through my involvement in the Public Speaking Society, I have the unique opportunity to showcase the skills I have developed.
The Penn Law Public Speaking Society provides a fun environment where people of all ability levels can build confidence and hone their public speaking skills, which in turn can make them better advocates for their clients and ideas.
Penn Law’s Professionalism Cohort program enabled me to take control of my career planning at as early a stage as possible. Through the tools, resources, and guidance provided by this program, I felt confident and informed as I began my employment search for both my 1L and 2L summers.
The Center on Professionalism’s Certificate in Technology provided me with a plethora of information and practical skills that will be invaluable to me in the fields of law and business. From learning how to organize data and publish graphs in Microsoft Excel, to practicing how to navigate the intricacies of Adobe Acrobat, this program covers the full spectrum of functional skills necessary to complete the projects and reports that will be assigned during internships and upon graduation. I highly recommend this course to law students looking to get a jumpstart on their computer skills and sharpen their core technical competencies.