Members of the NJSBF Speakers’ Bureau reflect on their motivations, and experiences volunteering.
Nearly 30 years ago, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation established a Speakers’ Bureau where attorneys volunteer as guest speakers in classrooms, at school events and for senior citizen and other community groups. Today, the bureau has over 200 attorneys who share their legal expertise on a variety of topics including careers in law, the court system, criminal law and hate crimes, elder law, immigration law and more.
In 2022, over 35 speaking events took place reaching over 120 elementary school students, 740 high school students, 375 senior citizens, 350 community group members and more than 600 members of the general public.
What motivated you to join the Speakers Bureau?
James Durgana joined the Speakers Bureau in 2021. An experienced workers’ compensation and personal injuries litigator with more than fourteen years of experience, he is now owner of Durgana Law in West Caldwell. “It felt like something was missing in my career as a lawyer. I have experienced a lot in my career with trial successes and making partner. I have realized that being a successful lawyer isn’t just about the accolades, but about the responsibility to help grow the profession.”
What do you hope attendees learn about the law?
Eugenia Lynch joined the Speakers Bureau in 2022. A trial lawyer with over thirty years of experience, she is owner of the Law Offices of Eugenia Lynch in Toms River and is currently a NJSBA Trustee in Ocean County: “That they know the law is accessible to everyone and that it is far more reaching than we know.”
What do you wish others knew about the Speakers Bureau?
Joseph Paravecchia, who joined the Speakers Bureau in 2021, is the First Assistant Prosecutor at the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and past chair of the NJSBA Criminal Law Section: “I wish more people knew about the surprising demand for volunteer speakers. There are plenty of speaking opportunities available to the Bench and the Bar. In my short time as a volunteer, I have been asked to present to different groups on topics including constitutional law, criminal law and careers in law. I absolutely recommend other attorneys join the Speakers’ Bureau. New Jersey has many wonderful lawyers and jurists who can share their legal knowledge and experience.”
To join the Speakers Bureau, click here.
To request a speaker for an upcoming event, click here.
Originally published December 19, 2022
Bar Report of the New Jersey State Bar Association