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The connection between young lawyers and television news anchors may seem tenuous, but the desire for interesting, high-profile speakers at the YLD’s annual luncheon has led to the appearance of several local broadcasters at that event in recent years, said 2004 Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Chairwoman Kim R. Jessum. On Monday, when this year’s YLD luncheon takes place at the Westin, Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane of CBS 3 will offer their insight on celebrity trials. “Usually, we do get news people,” said Jessum, an associate in Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ intellectual property department. Past speakers have included Monica Malpass of ABC 6 and Renee Chenault-Fattah of NBC 10 (who is a former lawyer). Jessum will also get a chance to speak, outlining her plans for the upcoming year. Much of the YLD’s usual list of activities will remain unchanged, Jessum said. That includes the YLD’s monthly happy hours at local bars; a mentoring program; officiating public speaking contests for local middle school students and mock trials for area high school teams; and “Legal Line,” a free legal advice telephone service staffed by members of the YLD on the third Wednesday of each month. This year, Jessum said, will mark the addition of one new event and one new program. This April, the YLD will throw a black-tie-optional spring gala at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Jessum said. The theme will be “Carnival,” and proceeds will go to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, the bar association’s charitable arm. Additionally, building on an idea from South Carolina’s bar association, the YLD will begin its “Wills for Heroes” program in the coming months, Jessum said. The pro bono program will offer basic will and estate planning to local firefighters, policemen and emergency medical technicians, with YLD members handling the paperwork. As in past years, Jessum acknowledged, a top item on her agenda will be trying to overcome the somewhat listless stance many fellow young lawyers take when it comes to the bar association. “The theme for this year is ‘get connected,’” Jessum said. “We’re trying to get young lawyers connected to one another, to the bar association and to the profession.” One step Jessum will take, she said, will be tapping YLD members who are not on its executive committee for positions on its regular committees. That way, new YLD members will be able to get involved quickly. Jessum has been at Morgan Lewis for just over four years; prior to that, she spent a year-and-a-half at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis. A 1997 graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Jessum is also active in the American Bar Association’s YLD, chairing its intellectual property and Internet law committee. She is married and lives in Bucks County. Tickets for this Monday’s luncheon are $35 and are available through the bar association. Three awards will be presented: the Vision Award, for financial support of the YLD, will go to Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads; bar foundation President Edward Chacker will receive the Craig M. Perry Service Award for his pro bono and charitable fund-raising commitments; and Citizens Bank Senior Vice President Christopher Ritchie will be given the F. Sean Peretta Service Award for his bank’s financial contributions to the YLD. Other YLD financial supporters, Jessum said, include JuriStaff Legal Staffing, USI Colburn Insurance Services and numerous local law firms.

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