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Establishing a Foundation

“Work hard from day one and begin establishing relationships with classmates, teachers, and those practicing law. Those relationships will be so important in the future,” says Courtney Calabrese Barbacane ’08 on the importance of networking while attending law school."


As an associate attorney with Layser & Freiwald, P.C., Courtney represents individuals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have suffered serious injuries, concentrating on cases involving claims of medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as pharmacy and medication errors. “My involvement in Widener Law Delaware’s Health Law Program, and my constant desire to practice health law, has led me to where I am today,” she declares.

“I love science and learning about medical and nursing care,” she observes of her current job before adding that she enjoys the ability to make a positive contribution to the lives of her clients.

Widener Law Delaware offered Courtney just the opportunity she was looking for after a job in the health insurance industry exposed her to the complexities of Health Law. The school’s Health Law Institute offered just the legal curriculum Courtney was seeking, and she earned her Health Law Certificate upon graduation. During her time at the law school, she was also as an active member of the Health Law Society, including serving as president during the 2006-2007 school year.

“The opportunity to be involved in the Health Law Program shaped my career path. The thing that I was most proud of was being President of the Health Law Society. In that capacity, I was able to bring more attention to Widener Law Delaware’s Health Law program and shed light on all that the program has to offer,” Courtney says of those experiences.

For those contemplating a legal career, she urges building a strong foundation while in law school. “Constantly work to improve how you will practice law, whether it is by taking a trial course or a course in conducting legal research,” she says, adding, “Work to obtain an internship or a law clerk position while you are still in law school so that the opportunity for a full-time position at a particular firm is available to you upon graduation.”

“Law school is difficult and it requires dedication and sacrifice,” Courtney warns before adding, “However, it is the best education that you will ever receive because it carries over into various areas of life and will help you in more ways than you could ever imagine.”