University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Academy: If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now

Publish Date/Time: 
September 7, 2011

Pitt Law Academy: Program For 1Ls (& Interested Others)

Tuesday, September 13, at 4:30, in the Courtroom, the Law School will host the very first of ten Pitt Law Academy programs for this Academic Year.  The first program is “‘If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now’: Thoughts From Prominent Lawyers on What They Should Have Done and Not Done When They Were in Law School To Prepare For Their Legal Careers.”

The five panelists who will be speaking are a terrific, amazing, interesting group of super-successful lawyers, each of whom lives and works in this region:

  • Paul Boas, one of the most accomplished (and colorful) criminal defense attorneys in the Northeast;
  • Carl Cooper, currently operates his own diversity consulting firm, he was formerly a law professor at Pitt Law School, General Counsel for the Pittsburgh Housing Authority, and subsequently Chief Diversity Officer at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis, Pittsburgh (see;
  • John Gismondi, Gismondi & Associates, a Pennsylvania “super lawyer” in the area of plaintiffs’ personal injury litigation, a former Chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and an adjunct professor in Trial Advocacy at the Law School;
  • Martha Munsch, Reed Smith (she was the first female partner in Pittsburgh), a Pennsylvania “super lawyer,” she has received numerous accolades including being named one of Pennsylvania's “Top 50 Women Lawyers,” she was formerly the first full-time female law professor at Pitt Law School;
  • Wendelynne Newton, Chair, Pittsburgh Litigation Group & Antitrust and Trade Regulation Practice Group, Buchanan Ingersoll, she has won numerous awards, including being named regularly to “Best Lawyers in America,” and has served as an adjunct professor in Antitrust at the Law School.

As you will discover, not only is this an extraordinarily successful group of lawyers, but each one of them is truly interesting, thoughtful, inspiring, and entertaining as well.  You should truly enjoy hearing about how each of these lawyers “made it,” and their advice to you about how you can “make it,” too.

We know.  We do know.  We recognize that you’re only just now finishing two weeks of law school.  You’re not ready to start your careers yet.  We get it.  But, . . . you know what?  It’s never too early to start thinking about where all of this might lead.  It’s not just book learning, it’s a life that you’re after.  Hey, we look forward to inviting a couple of you 1Ls to speak on this panel just a few short years from now!  Why not?  You can have an incredible career, too.  Start thinking about how you can get there from here.

Remember, as well, a reception follows this (hour-long) event in the Student Lounge.  Don’t just passively listen to these speakers.  Come and meet them, too!  They don’t bite.  (Except for Paul Boas.  Watch out for him.)

2ls and 3Ls: You are more than welcome to come and listen, too!  And to eat a cookie or two at the Reception as well.  Oh, except for the chocolate chip ones.  Those are for the 1Ls.  They’re newer.

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Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC