It takes time for a new attorney to gain the experience necessary to be competent on specific areas of law. Once new attorneys gain that experience, often they are the least senior voice on a given topic and public speaking opportunities are afforded to more tenured attorneys with expertise.
A lack of expertise on a subject matter does not however, preclude newer attorneys from participating in public speaking events. Namely, newer or junior attorneys need not be experts to competently moderate a panel discussion or publicly interview an expert on a given subject area, and these opportunities can raise the profile of a newer attorney. These opportunities are of particular significance for minorities who are often underrepresented in the legal profession. Seasoned attorneys who are mentors or sponsors to junior attorneys should seek to “place” their mentees in these moderator or interviewer roles to increase a group’s recognition of the new attorney as these roles often are accompanied by promotional materials or articles summarizing the event and can be featured on the junior associate’s profile.
I have twice had the opportunity to moderate panel discussions; once as a member of the Temple Law Alumni Women’s Leadership Initiative, and a second time at the 2019 Philly SHRM Symposium. Both times, these opportunities were presented to me through my longtime sponsor and friend Sheryl Axelrod, Esquire who is a diversity expert. Continue reading →