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With the People’s Law School program leading the way, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division won awards in every category for which it submitted an entry at the ABA’s annual meeting in New York City last month. The YLD program won first-place honors in the public division of the ABA’s annual awards of achievement. The YLD also won second-place honors in the comprehensive division for overall programming among bar associations nationally and a special recognition for its cookbook, “Cooking A Meal With Legal Appeal.” Proceeds from the cookbook benefit the Michael K. Smith Fellowship of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, which provides annual internships for law students at law-related public interest agencies in Philadelphia. The People’s Law School is a community outreach project that provides adult legal education to Philadelphia-area residents. Michon L. Crawford of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads and James Bucci of Liebenberg & White chaired this winning program, co-sponsored by Community College of Philadelphia, which provided a venue for instruction to take place. The program provides basic, non-technical knowledge of areas of the law most likely to affect a person’s life and is presented in clear, easy-to-understand terms. “The main thrust of the program is to attempt to de-mystify the law for non-attorneys,” Crawford said. “Our goal is to provide a service to make area residents more aware of their legal rights.” Prominent private attorneys, government counsel, law school professors and public-interest lawyers speak on topics related to their areas of practice. “This is an opportunity for people to familiarize themselves with areas of the law that directly affect them,” Bucci said. “It is a great achievement for everyone who donated their time and service to be educators in this program.” The annual Awards of Achievement Program provides ABA/YLD affiliates the opportunity to submit their best projects for evaluation by a jury of their peers. The program is designed to encourage project development by recognizing the time, effort and skills expended by young lawyer organizations in implementing public service and bar service projects in their communities. Additional recognition is given to projects that assist in the professional development of minority attorneys or increase their involvement in the bar and to affiliate newsletter programs. “Our YLD has done much to enhance the reputation of Philadelphia lawyers,” Crawford said. “It is one of the many wonderful aspects of practicing law here.” Awards are given to the most outstanding of the submitted projects. The program provides a means of identifying and recognizing the outstanding and innovative programming being implemented by YLD affiliates throughout the country. “It was an honor to be recognized,” Bucci said, “but the real recognition comes from the people who leave our program grateful to us for teaching them valuable knowledge that directly impacts their daily life.”

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