When Temple Law students ponder their career options, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York usually come first to mind. That said, Delaware has a rich and talented bar, and is home to some of the best law firms in the nation in corporate, intellectual property, and business bankruptcy practices. In an effort to raise awareness of the opportunities available in the First State, The Business Law Society, with sponsorship and support from Dean Melissa Lennon and Professor Jonathan Lipson, recently hosted a panel of Law School alumni who have made Delaware their professional homes. The panel consisted of lawyers working in legal specialties such as intellectual property, corporate transactions and litigation, and corporate restructuring (bankruptcy).
The panelists discussed why they chose Delaware to launch their careers. Responses centered on Delaware’s small yet highly talented and specialized bar. Attorneys in Delaware know each other and its Chancery and Bankruptcy Courts well, emphasized Tony Clark, a ’79 alumni who heads Skadden’s corporate restructuring and bankruptcy litigation practice in Wilmington. Clark began his career through judicial clerkships in Delaware. In addition to a bar second-to-none in Delaware corporate matters, Clark emphasized the convenience of working in a small city for a large firm. Being on the Acela permits ready access to New York City, home of Skadden’s largest office, and many other large firms, when needed.
The size of the bar enables lawyers to build close connections with judges, attorneys general, and other high-ranking officials in an eco-system fostered by collegiality.
Other panelists including Alan Silverstein, an ’07 Temple Law graduate and Potter Anderson associate, and Sarah Pierce, a Skadden attorney and member of the Temple Law class of ‘04, stressed the invaluable legal expertise the Court of Chancery provides litigators and which can only be obtained in Delaware. Pierce also noted that Philadelphia’s proximity to Delaware enabled her to live in Philadelphia and work in Wilmington.
Although Temple’s proximity to Delaware makes it a potentially attractive destination for graduates, it is important to note that it requires dedication to develop a career there. Jake Crosetto, a ’13 Temple Law graduate and associate at Richards, Layton & Finger, explained that students interested in practicing in Delaware should begin to form connections there early on. Crosetto interned in Delaware’s bankruptcy court, which provided him with a rich and challenging internship and introductions to Delaware attorneys who would later support his career.
For students interested in New York-quality challenges in a small and distinguished bar, Delaware is a great place to consider. The size of the bar enables lawyers to build close connections with judges, attorneys general, and other high-ranking officials in an eco-system fostered by collegiality. Students interested in Delaware opportunities should consider the many externship and practicum opportunities available through Temple Law.
Theeya Musitief is a J.D. Candidate in the Temple Law Day Division Class of 2018. He is currently a summer associate at Drinker, Biddle and Reath.