Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth

Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth Pasadena Law Firm Supports Power of Public Speaking Among Local Youth

STAFF REPORTS

11:20 am | May 27, 2015


In a techno-age when most people let their fingers do the talking, the role of speech is debatable – but its importance isn’t. The power of public speaking, that power that convinces people your conviction is the truth, is as essential today as ever.

Who hasn’t seen that brilliant made-for-television closing argument save the innocent defendant from certain conviction?

The power of public speaking to influence the courts, the media – the world at large – is obvious, even if it seems a lost art most people overlook.

But not Pasadena attorney Don Schweitzer, the Pasadena Bar Association’s Family Law Section chair, former PBA president, and the founder and managing partner of the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer.

When Schweitzer and attorney Steven Yee were challenged five years ago by the Pasadena Bar Association to come up with an exciting theme for the organization’s annual Law Day, the pair pitched a public speaking competition.

The goal of the Pasadena Bar Association’s Speech competition is to give local students a platform to showcase their speech and debate qualities in front of some of the top lawyers and dignitaries from our community. The idea of the Speech Scholarship has always been to motivate excelling students to keep pushing forward with their education and career goals. Each year the candidates are more polished and poised and really display a higher level of confidence in delivering their argument for or against some very controversial topics, such as immigration.

The Speech Scholarship Competition event has since evolved into a significant scholarship opportunity sought after by many talented San Gabriel Valley high school students competing for the first-place prize of a $5,000 scholarship. The second place winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship. The top 30 finalists will also have the opportunity to interview with local participating law firms for internships.

At this year’s 5th annual preliminary rounds held on May 9th at La Salle High School, Don Schweitzer and his firm partner Casey Marticorena and associate Nitasha Khanna volunteered along with 40 other PBA members and event volunteers to judge approximately 80 high school students.

“This is an amazing event coordinated by the Pasadena Bar Association and I think it’s important for the local bar and community to continue participating,” said Marticorena. “Every year the students improve more and more making for an exhilarating competition!”

In fact, returning champion Kelsea Jeon, a junior from Arcadia High School has secured her spot as one of the two finalists, along with newcomer Alex Ye, a senior at Gabrielino High School. The two will compete head-to-head before a crowd of 150 lawyers and dignitaries, including honorary guest Congressman Adam Schiff at the final competition during the PBA’s Law Day Luncheon on May 28, 2015 in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium’s Gold Room. Jeon and Yee will be given seven minutes each to present their speeches for the chance to win the $5,000 scholarship.

“Kelsea is a returning champion from the 2014 Speech Scholarship contest, so it’s no surprise that she landed in the final two,” said Schweitzer. “Kelsea’s speech was flawless as she tackled the topic of immigration in America. And just as polished and impressive was Alex Ye’s speech on the use of drones, in which he demonstrated mastery of the subject. The level of competition increases with each year’s competition, and I congratulate all who participated and made it to the finals.”

While it’s true that we will find of most of today’s youth texting on their phones and communicating through 30-second visual videos and their own version of shorthand writing, Schweitzer is committed to making sure the much needed skill of public speaking does not become obsolete. “These kids are our future leaders and most people will agree that the number one characteristic that makes a great leader is communication—the ability to deliver a clear, powerful, convincing or charismatic speech,” said Schweitzer. “It doesn’t matter if the speech is delivered to 1 or 1,000 people, the take away here is these kids need to exercise the ability to speak to people with confidence and conviction, and each year I’m proud local youth participate in PBA Speech Scholarship willingly and with enthusiasm.”

Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer, 201 S. Lake Ave., #800, Pasadena, (888) 408-3277 or visit www.pasadenalawoffice.com.