The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the Franklin County Bar Association (FCBA) is comprised of all lawyers who have been admitted to the practice of law for 5 years or less or who are 38 years old or younger. Lawyers who join the FCBA and meet the criteria automatically become members of the YLD without paying any additional dues. The YLD provides young lawyers with a means of gaining broader participation in bar committees, in bar activities and a way to socialize with colleagues of similar age.
Nicole Sipe is the YLD Chair for 2017. She is the managing attorney at MidPenn Legal Services in Chamberburg, PA. She has been practicing in Franklin County since 2014.
Brandon Copeland is the YLD Vice Chair for 2017. He is an attorney at MidPenn Legal Services in Chamberburg, PA. He has been practicing in Franklin County since 2013.
Victoria Beard in the Secretary for 2017. Ms. Beard is currently an attorney with MidPenn Legal Services under a grant from the Victims of Crime Act to provide legal services to those 60 and over who have been a victim of a crime. Ms. Beard is happy to be back in the area where she calls home. She is a graduate of Greencastle-Antrim School District and graduated from Shippensburg University. After graduation, Ms. Beard worked for the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging. In 2006, she began employment with the Commonwealth of PA as an inspector of personal care homes, ensuring compliance with state regulations by homes which take care of a vulnerable population. In 2010, Ms Beard became an Administrative Law Judge with the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals under the Department of Human Services conducting hearings on cases involving public benefits. During this time, she worked full time and attended Widener University Commonwealth earning her JD in December 2015 and subsequently passed the PA bar. In December 2016, she was inducted into the Franklin County Bar Association by J. Meyers. Ms. Beard continued as an ALJ until becoming an Attorney with MidPenn Legal Services where she continues to provide services to a vulnerable population.
The YLD is actively involved in the Franklin County community through various projects. The YLD participates annually in the Heart Walk, the Race Against Poverty and in Juror Appreciation Day. One of the most enjoyable events sponsored by the YLD each year is Law Day, which involves a mock trial with YLD members acting as prosecutors, defense counsel, defendant(s) and witnesses and middle school students acting as jurors.
The YLD also provides various ways for members to socialize with one another. The YLD meets the first Friday of every month at 12pm in the Cosentino Conference Room of the Law Library. Meetings usually last an hour and lunch is provided. The YLD also sponsors Happy Hours throughout the year and coordinates other activities such as attending a Hershey Bears Hockey game or joining a PBA Zone 3 caravan.
Our next event will be scheduled in the fall. Please check back for more information.
The Young Lawyers Division of the Franklin County Bar Association celebrated Law Day with a Mock Trial for county youth on Friday, May 5th.
Over 110 eighth-grade students from Franklin County schools attended the event, hosted Friday, May 5th in Courtroom 1 of the Franklin County Courthouse. Students from Chambersburg Area Middle Schools (North and South), Waynesboro Area Middle School, Greencastle Antrim Middle School, and James Buchanan Middle School were in attendance. Members of the Young Lawyers Division served as the prosecution, defense, and witnesses, with students serving as the jury during the mock trial. The Honorable Todd Sponseller presided.
The theme for Law Day 2017 was “The 14th Amendment: Civil Rights in America”. Students had the opportunity to participate in a poster contest about this year’s theme. The posters were judged on the following criteria: Accurate Representation of the Theme, Creativity, and Visual Appeal. This year’s winners are 3rd place Ainslee Ackerman (CAMS North), 2nd place Genevieve Kuhns (CAMS North), and 1st place Kace Dorty (JBMS).
“The members of our Young Lawyers Division truly enjoy hosting the annual Law Day event. It gives us an opportunity to share our knowledge and our passion for the law. This year, the students learned about the different clauses of the 14th Amendment and how the 14th Amendment helped shape our country. The students also got to watch a mock trial that more closely resembles actual court proceedings than what they have generally been exposed to, such as on television. I have had the honor of being the Law Day Chair of the Young Lawyers Division for three years. Each year, I am pleased with how interested and engaged the students are during our presentation,” stated Nicole Sipe, Chair of the Young Lawyers Division and Law Day Chair.
“Franklin County looks forward to hosting this event annually and it is always encouraging to see the active participation of area students. It is a unique opportunity for students to witness and engage in the legal system and our Young Lawyers do a great job of conveying both the duty and privilege of civic involvement.” said FCBA President, Mary Beth Shank.
Law Day was originally the idea of Charles S. Rhyne, who was the legal counsel for President Dwight Eisenhower, as well as the president of the American Bar Association from 1957-1958. In 1958, President Eisenhower declared May 1st as ‘Law Day’ to remember the struggles of workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions.
In its present day, Law Day is designed to educate people of all ages about the Legal System and to celebrate the American heritage of liberty, justice, and equality. Pennsylvania takes a slightly different approach by focusing on civic education for children. Some county Bar Associations utilize classroom visits and law-related lesson plans to educate children about their legal rights and responsibilities. In Franklin County, the Young Lawyers Division puts on the Mock Trial yearly.