For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 45

From a Global Pandemic
to a Bright Future:
the NexGen Committee 2020 Recap
The Next Generation
Committee

F

rom the first round of court shutdowns in midMarch, to the first Preliminary Hearings by
video, the 2020 global pandemic compelled
changes in the legal profession. Handshakes
evolved to elbow bumps, masked facial expressions
prompted greater use of verbal cues, and
committee gatherings in a hotel conference rooms
condensed to the grid layout of a Zoom call.
The forced transitions from COVID-19, with all of
its challenge, discomfort, and unknown, provoked
more growth from PACDL's Next Generation
Committee ( " NexGen " Committee) than ever
anticipated. Formerly known as the " New
Lawyers Committee " , the NexGen Committee
spring boarded into 2020 from a successful
group admission to the Supreme Court of the
United States in December 2019 and an article
in the first publication of 2020's For The Defense
memorializing
the
experience.
Committee
Chairperson Caroline G. Donato and Committee
Member Ashley E. Shapiro co-authored the
article recounting this memorable event where
members of all ages appeared before the Court
and were sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Unquestionably, 2020 was off to a good start.

Everything changed in March with mandatory
shutdowns and quarantine. Faced with court
shutdowns and uncertainty, the NexGen Committee
openly and proactively discussed mental health
concerns. From there, the first PACDL Mental
Health Series was born. NexGen coordinated and
moderated a 2-Part Zoom Webinar Series with
forensic and clinical psychologist Dr. Thomas F.
Haworth wherein PACDL members were invited
to learn about and navigate the psychology of
the moment ( " Haworth Series " ). This event was
free of charge of all attendees.
The success of the Haworth Series demonstrated
that the NexGen Committee had the commitment
to make a greater difference in PACDL and the
criminal defense profession. When the news and
the listserv was abuzz about how and when the
Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners ( " PA BLE " )
would offer the 2020 Pennsylvania Bar Exam, the
NexGen Committee jumped into action. As its
members were all too familiar with the challenge
and angst surrounding the modern bar exam and
starting a legal career, the Committee discussed
with PACDL leadership the need to lend a voice
to this issue. Adopting the NexGen Committee's
recommendations, PACDL issued a formal letter
Vol. 5, Issue 4 l For The Defense

45



For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4

Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 1
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - Contents
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 4
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 5
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For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 45
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For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 4 - 52
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