James Creenan, newly elected president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, said he wants to strengthen the association’s Practice for Success program, which gives young lawyers needed job market skills.
“With the economic downturn, there are fewer job opportunities in the traditional private practice, so many young attorneys are setting up their own practices,” he said. “We want to make sure our newer members have the skills necessary to represent clients across several areas: estates and wills, family law, criminal law, civil litigation and real estate.”
Mr. Creenan said he thinks the Allegheny County Bar Association is ahead of the curve in addressing issues that affect younger attorneys and the job market. He said the group has good relationships with Duquesne University School of Law and the University of Pittsburgh Law School that he would seek to make even stronger. “We continue to work on ways we can improve small things, like our one-on-one networking programs for students,” he said.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Mr. Creenan is a founding partner of Murrysville law firm Creenan & Baczkowski and received his law degree from Duquesne in 1996.
He also is co-chair of the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition, which has recommended the creation of an Access to Justice Commission in Pennsylvania. That group has explored at length the viability of providing free legal representation to low-income people in civil cases such as foreclosures or child custody disputes.
Nancy Heilman, the outgoing bar association president, said Mr. Creenan is well-prepared for his new role.
“Jim is one of our best and brightest young attorneys, and has already volunteered hundreds of hours serving in leadership roles in our bar association,” Ms. Heilman said in a prepared statement.
The 144-year-old Allegheny County Bar Association has some 6,300 member attorneys, judges, district justices, legal administrators and paralegals.
First Published June 24, 2014 12:00 AM