Armenian Bar Association Looms Large with So. Cal. Law Students

Armenian Bar Association representatives with their Italian Bar Association colleagues at the Glendale Law School campus


GLENDALE—A trio of Armenian Bar Association Board and active members — Saro Kerkonian, Fred Mesropi and Sara Bedirian — formed the centerpiece of a special presentation at Glendale Law School focusing on the ways and means for law students to maximize their job placement opportunities and to hone their professional skills. The event was held on March 10 at Glendale Law School and was organized in cooperation with the Italian American Lawyers’ Association, the Glendale Bar Association and the Pasadena Bar Association.

The program began in a crowded room of more than 100 participants drawn from the students and faculty of Glendale Law School. With rapt attention, the students eagerly listened to the panel introductions on the concepts and benefits of bar association membership and the important positions such organizations hold in the legal profession and in the life of an engaged practitioner.

The first series of speakers was from the Glendale Bar Association. The group’s Vice President, Michael Zuckerman, delved into the myriad examples of the benefits of bar association membership. He informed the students that their involvement would greatly assist them in landing a job and would allow them to fulfill their MCLE requirements. Edgar Gutierrez of the Glendale Bar Association spoke next and emphasized that the business of law is much about building relationships and the importance of getting involved to develop key contact and work opportunities.

At the core of the evening presentation were the Armenian Bar Association representatives, Fredrick Mesropi and Saro Kerkonian, who, in motivating and inspiring fashion, offered the audience a primer on the fulfilling professional and personal benefits of joining bar associations. Kerkonian, a member of the Board of Governors and the Chair of the Armenian Rights Watch Committee, spoke briefly of the history and mission of the Armenian Bar Association and its founder, Raffi K. Hovannisian. Kerkonian described the great success of two recent events that were held jointly with the Armenian law student organizations of Loyola Law School and Southwestern Law School for purposes of hands-on mentorship and effective resume preparation. He also shared the unique opportunities which bar associations often avail their members, citing his own experience of participating on a legal panel with two California Supreme Court justices.

Frederick Mesropi, Deputy District Attorney with the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s Office, delivered his unique perspective as a public servant and the significance of bar association membership. Without the necessity of business-generating possibilities as a government prosecutor, Mesropi nevertheless made a compelling case for public servants’ continued involvement in professional organizations and their engagement in community education projects. In addition to helping create professional connections, Mesropi commented, his experience in the Armenian Bar Association has led to meaningful relationships and lasting friendships with other members.

Pasadena Bar Association members Heidi Bitterman and Christopher Chaplin spoke on the topic of how bar association membership may be of assistance in mastering the students’ craft in the law. Both stressed the fact that bar association membership would provide exposure to attorneys in different practice areas and would provide resources for exchanges and consultations spanning the gamut of the areas of law. As bar association members, the students were told that they would be in a good position to learn from premier practitioners either speaking at continuing legal education events or networking functions.

Professor Delores Yarnall of Glendale Law School was introduced to the attendees by Dean Darrin Greitzer who expressed appreciation to the students and speakers. Professor Yarnall emphasized what Kerkonian had earlier stated, namely that there is a vast number of different ethnic and specialized bar associations which provide value and meaning to their members. She spoke of her personal favorite, the Cowboy Lawyers’ Association, and how they were celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. She mentioned that members go on exhilarating trail rides with sides of sumptuous catering and wine tastings in a relaxed atmosphere, which helps promote relationships with peers and opponents alike, all the while helping to create and maintain professional civility.

Damian D. Capozzola, President of the Italian American Lawyers’ Association concluded the event by talking about how bar associations can help you land clients.
Capozzola stated that bar association membership would also provide general networking meeting opportunities and allow for people to interact with their peers and have access to partners, general counsel of corporations and key people in law firms, which could lead to client opportunities.

For information on becoming a member of the Armenian Bar Association or for more information on the Armenian Bar Association, please visit www.armenianbar.com.

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