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Is Philadelphia a Stifling Place for Young Attorneys?

August 14, 2007

            This past weekend I went out with a group of college friends downtown.  It was the first time in a long time that I ventured into the city to take in some of the city’s nightlife seeing as though I am entrenched in the burbs during the school year.  However, it was during this time that I realized that for my demographic, Philadelphia has very little to offer.  As I went from lounge to lounge, I noticed that there were very few people in my age group or professionals.  That is surprising being that Philadelphia has 88 colleges and universities in the area.  However, only 20% of adults in the city have college degrees.  To make matters worse, only 55% of Philadelphia Public School students graduate from High School; thus, there is not much of a chance for the number of college grads to increase in the near future.  As a 3rd year student, I find myself considering what destination is the best for me after graduation.  Being a Philadelphian, naturally I’ve considered just taking the PA and NJ bars and working in the city.  However, with the increasing murder rate and poor social atmosphere, I’m now considering different avenues.  As the 6th largest city in the country, Philadelphia should have a lot more to tout than its poverty and murder rates.  Yet, the city is far behind the likes of NY, DC, Chicago, and the big three in CA, which are San Diego, LA, and San Fran. 

            I know that my frustration is shared by many because I see these topics being discussed in the news and in the paper everyday.  Nevertheless, I feel like this topic hits attorneys even harder because we serve as the District Attorneys and Public Defenders in these high profile murder, corruption, and drug cases, so why would we see the city through rose colored glasses?  We see the worse of the worse coming through our doors on a daily basis, so if anything we might have a higher propensity to think that the city has only began to see the worst of its troubles.  Regardless of the aforementioned stats and opinions, I’m still of the mind that Philadelphia has a great future ahead of itself, but its current state does make you do a double take before putting down the deposit on that new house in the area…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2007 1:55 pm

    I think if you grew up here and went to school here it isn’t a bad idea to live in another city for a few years. I moved away for school in New York, than spent five years in Chicago and two in San Francisco. I moved back to Philadelphia three years ago because, of those three cities, I think Philadelphia is the most livable. Housing is affordable, I can walk to just about anything I need (office, grocery store, movie theater, park, kids’ school, etc.), and it’s culturally vibrant, from the music and theater scenes to the restaurant and outdoor recreation scenes.
    Sure, the incessant tribalism of city politics can be maddening, the schools need help, the litter problem drives me nuts and the murder epidemic is sickening, but all cities have issues.
    It can be worthwhile, though, to live in another city. (And then to come back, of course.)

  2. girlexposed permalink
    August 19, 2007 3:56 pm

    I have to agree with Brandon in this one: Philadelphia is an extremely difficult place to navigate for a young professional. There just aren’t very many people of our ilk here. The 20% of the population he quoted earlier is only for college graduates, not for people with professional or graduate degrees. As a non-native who’s spent a lot of time living and working overseas, I sometimes firnd it difficult to relate to Philadelphians, who seem to pride themselves on being local and blue-collar. The long-term prospects for being in Philadelphia for a young professional aren too great, either.

    But, ass bschaeffer points out, Philadelphia has a lot to offer regarding cost of living (if you ignore the wage tax) and proximity of necessities. I’ve also found that while Philadelphians can be a little abrasive at first blush, they can also be very friendly and welcoming once you get to know them. Yes, crime is high, jobs are scarce and the schools are terrible. But the city seems like it can accomplish great things. There are still plenty of social and economic opportunities for professionals in Philadelphia. And, because Philadelphia is so local, there are plenty of opportunities for civic engagement and neighborhood involvement. I think everyone has to make their own decisions about what’s important in the end. Perhaps Brandon, if you see so many problems with Philadelphia, you should try to become active to make it a better place?

  3. Larry Blong permalink
    January 27, 2009 7:28 am

    Dear Sir,

    I was in an automobile accident case and was represented by your attorney, Mr. Matt Moroney. I was immediately impressed by Mr. Moroney’s demeanor and his air of confidence about the case from the onset. Through the depositions, arbitration and trial I became even more impressed by Matt’s consummate knowledge of the case, down to even the smallest details. Even though Las Vegas oddsmakers would have made us the underdogs in this case, Matt turned those odds around with his far superior lawyering, often outwitting, and with his tireless work ethic, outworking his opponent. Matt used reason and logic to explain to the jury the truth behind the smoke and mirrors of the plaintiffs and how they had failed to meet their burden of proof. Looking back I can see how Matt’s emotionless Spock-like personna throughout the trial benefitted our case and his client as well. Not getting too emotionally high or low is probably the best behavior for any barrister. Judge Lynn awarded most of the motions to the plaintiffs and I personally felt going into final summations that we were probably behind. However, Matt knocked one out of the park, explaining in simple detail every aspect of the case, while holding the attention of everyone in the courtroom. I even caught the court reporter at times looking at Matt with a bit of awe. I think I, along with the judge and plaintiffs, were somewhat surprised when the verdict in the defense’s favor was announced. Driving home I came to realize just why the jury had voted for us. Matt simply had outworked, outsmarted and outhustled Mr. Aris in every aspect of the law. When I first met Matt Moroney I was reminded of another young lawyer that I admired back in the sixties. That lawyer was Bobby Kennedy, who went on to become Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Moroney has those same leadership qualities and I feel that the sky is the limit for this young man in the field of law or politics. I wish him the very best in his career, and feel very fortunate that I have met not only an outstanding lawyer, but someone I am proud to call friend. Thank you,


    Larry Blong
    Morton PA

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