Allegheny County Bar Association's Young Lawyers to help high school students avoid E-Trouble

Pittsburgh PennsylvaniaSeptember 9, 2009.  The officers of the Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that the association’s Young Lawyers Division will soon be introducing Staying Out of E-Trouble, a new component of its Stepping Out Program for area high school students. E-Trouble will discuss the ways students can avoid getting into trouble while using various modes of communications technology, such as text messages, e-mail, social network sites, and YouTube. E-Trouble will also discuss the laws that apply to this technology and the possible punishment for violating those laws.

According to Kimberly Brown, president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, “Our young lawyers have for years conducted the popular Stepping Out Program for area high schools, and Staying Out of E-Trouble is a timely and important addition to that program. Students today have access to the latest communication technology which can be a significant benefit to their overall education and careers aspirations. However, that same technology has the potential for misuse in the forms of cyber-bullying, and inappropriate texts and postings. The Staying out of E- Trouble program is designed to educate our students on how to avoid potential misuse of technology that could negatively impact their lives and future career goals."

Attorney Marla Presley, chair of the Young Lawyers Division, is appreciative of the support the program is already receiving and is proud that the bar association asked the YLD to carry these important messages to the schools. “Our lawyers understand the importance of the Stepping Out Program. It wasn’t that long ago we young lawyers were high school students, so we understand the pressures students face and how important it is to have as much information as possible.

“Thankfully, other groups have been dealing with the issue of cyber-bullying, but that is just one of many technology related issues affecting our teenagers,” said Presley. “You also hear about students being charged with sexual harassment or being denied jobs and college admission due to text messages or the posting of inappropriate photos.”

The Stepping Out Program deals with timely subjects such as DUI, credit card debt, renting your first apartment, and purchasing a car, but Attorney Jill Albrecht, coordinator for the program, says she expects the Staying Out of E-Trouble segment to attract a lot of interest.

“We ask the teachers and administrators at each school where we have a scheduled presentation if there is a particular issue they would like us to spend more time on. Sometimes there has been an incident at a school that falls under one of the subjects in our program, and we can address the subject in more detail. We expect that there will be great interest in E-Trouble, and we are lining up the volunteers to answer the many requests for presentations.”

For more information about Staying Out of E-Trouble or the Stepping Out Program, contact the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division at 412-402-6613 or visit the association’s For the Public website at

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators and paralegals.



Kimberly A. Brown
President, Allegheny County
Bar Association


Marla Presley, Esq.
Young Lawyers Division

Jill Albrecht, Esq.
Young Lawyers Division


Tom Loftus
Allegheny County Bar Association