Meredith Avakian-Hardaway reciting a Maya Angelou poem recently to note a call of action for the Philadelphia Bar Association.

"I may not remember what you said to me. I may not remember what you did to me, but I will always remember how you made me feel," said Avakian-Hardaway, director of communication for the country's oldest bar association.

"I believe spending time with someone does that," Avakian-Hardaway said in her own words.

The Philadelphia Bar Association's newly elected chancellor, Albert Dandridge III encouraged fellow bar members to continue cutting checks to charities and performing pro-bono work but asked them to give more of their personal time in the service of others.

He became the bar association's 88th chancellor during a reception held earlier this month at the Hyatt at The Bellevue in Center City. He is a partner in the law firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis.

The luncheon guests representing education and youth services included Superintendent William Hite Jr.; Rick Ramsey, City Year Greater Philadelphia; and Marcus Allen, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Other organizations represented at the annual meeting were PHILADELPHIA READS, Free Library of Philadelphia, People's Emergency Center.

The city's biggest law firms and sharpest legal minds committed to spend more of their personal time in 2015 aiding others at an annual luncheon. Dandridge asked lawyers to advocate for war veterans who often receive inadequate health care and face homelessness and speak out on behalf of women and persons of color. Both minority groups are under-represented in the legal profession.

Dandridge invoked the names of Cecil B. Moore, a councilman-turned-civil rights attorney, and Bernie Segal, highly regarded for starting his own law firm after running into job discrimination, to inspire the audience to action, saying both men "would speak out about women and persons of color having limited opportunities to succeed."

Contact staff writer Wilford Shamlin III at (215) 893-5742 or

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