Panelists for the 2013 Law Student Summit at Sony

One of the reasons the Earl B Gilliam Bar Association exists is to help law students understand what it takes to succeed in our profession.  On August 6, 2013, Board Members Shaka Johnson and Randy Reliford held a summit, hosted by Sony, to provide practical information and advice to students.

I sat down with the organizers to find out more detail about the summit.

Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney Jamahl Kersey pictured with event organizers Randy Reliford and Shaka Johnson

What was the purpose of this event?

The purpose of the event was to introduce students to the concept of joining and becoming involved in Earl B. Gilliam and the San Diego legal community as law students, as well as showing them the benefits of that involvement.  We did this by introducing the students to a wide variety of attorneys from different areas of practice who are/were members of EBGBA and could speak directly to this notion from different perspectives.

How did you get the idea for the event?

Sony General Counsel takes a moment to share insights with law students and event co-organizer Shaka Johnson

We had a brainstorming session about ways to provide a benefit to students through the EBGBA organization, while also encouraging students to get involved with EBGBA, and this presentation was born out of that discussion.

Who was the target audience?

We targeted second and third year law students (those that are still in school, but already thinking about their transition into the legal community).

After the panel law students had an opportunity to network with practicing attorneys

What were highlights of the event?

The insightful panel presentation and networking reception were the highlights of the event.  The students also got the chance to meet the General Counsel of Sony, who was kind enough to stop by and give some welcoming words.

Event co-organizer Randy Reliford and Partner at Wilson Turner Kosmo Vickie Turner share a light-hearted moment with a law student

Judge Vallera Johnson (pictured below) also came to say hello to the students.  The feedback from the students and others who attended the event was extremely positive, so we are hopeful that it achieved its purpose.

Judge Vallera Johnson provides advice to attendees

What key advice would you offer for second and third year law students?

The best way to network in your community is to build real relationships, get active and take leadership responsibility in your community.  Particularly, students and recent graduates should seek to get involved in organizations that serve the community.  Sometimes, by putting others ahead of your needs and serving them, people notice how much you care and how good an asset you could be to their organization.  Furthermore, working with people to serve others allows you the opportunity to help someone less fortunate reach their potential.

Any additional thoughts?

Seek out information, join the Earl B Gilliam Bar Association and take advantage of the opportunities that having so many attorneys interested in your success can provide.

UPCOMING EVENT! Join us for this year’s Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner on November 9, 2013, featuring Los Angeles District Attorney Ms. Jackie Lacey. Details and registration here.