The New Jersey State Bar Association welcomed state Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Patterson and Superior Court Judge Stephen L. Petrillo to the New Jersey Law Center on Nov. 16.
The pair addressed fellows from the NJSBA’s Leadership Academy, sharing wisdom from their decades on the bench and taking questions about their career arcs and memorable cases.
The panel was part of a yearlong series of programs for the 15 fellows to learn leadership skills, improve their communication and understand the legislative process and issues confronting the profession.
Petrillo, a Superior Court judge in Essex County, told the group that being your own advocate and building lasting relationships among peers were vital to his pathway to the bench.
“You can be as smart and hardworking as you can be, but don’t expect that to be enough. You need to put yourself out there,” Judge Petrillo said.
Justice Patterson added that the legal community in New Jersey feels small despite there being roughly 100,000 attorneys in practice. In such a close-knit profession, maintaining a good reputation is key, she said.
“Remember that your relationships, including the ones with your adversaries, are so important. People have the same pressures and goals. Everyone’s in the same boat trying to work together,” she said.