The newest practicing attorney at Weigle & Associates P.C. in Shippensburg is described as “honest, sincere and easy to communicate with.”
Adam Fennen, 26, was recently hired full time at the firm where he served as a law clerk for the past 2 1/2 years.
The Chambersburg native graduated from Chambersburg Area Senior High School in 2011, received his undergraduate degree in history and philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015, and his law degree from the Penn State Dickinson School of Law in 2018. He passed the bar exam in October of 2018.
“I decided I wanted to be an attorney at age 12 or 13,” Fennen said. “I don’t recall why. I think we had a Career Day and an attorney spoke to us. I really liked what they had to say, and I never really deviated from that. I like words, argument and debate, so here I am!”
He said he applied to the University of Pittsburgh, incidentally enough, because his twin brother was going there.
“I’m a big Steelers fan, and it really ended up being the best place for me,” he added. “I was far enough away from home to gain some independence, but close enough to visit when I wanted to.”
Fennen said studying philosophy helped him learn logic, which he feels helped him with studying law. He also belonged to the drama program in both high school and college. “I think that really helped to reinforce the idea of me being an attorney because being in court is somewhat of a performance.”
Fennen said he is the first attorney in his family, and he wouldn’t have made it this far without their continued support.
“They were so encouraging and so happy for me when I got into law school,” he added. “I also live next door to my grandfather and a few minutes from my parents, so I could always vent to them and they were always there for me. I have that nucleus, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Fennen said he really enjoys practicing business law, working with partnerships, helping people run their businesses, and teaching them the best way to stay out of legal trouble. “I also enjoy estate planning, Power of Attorney matters and real estate law,” he said.
“In law school, I realized I have no interest at all in criminal law, which surprised me because it would have put me in court all the time,” he admitted. “I would rather work with people than against them.”
He started at Weigle & Associates as an intern, interviewing longtime attorney Richard L. Webber Jr. for a school project.
Fennen said Attorney Jerry Weigle and Webber are great to work with.
“Every day is a new adventure,” he said. “Jerry has a wealth of experience, and he can tell me about things that I’ve never even thought of because he’s dealt with it before. Working with him is always fun! He likes to make jokes! Rich was my first contact here. He is very focused, very detail-oriented. When I first started, I would do research and Rich would ask me if I looked at it this way or that way. He really helped me with the nuts and bolts of being an attorney. They’re both really great attorneys. It’s a pleasure to be working with them.”
Fennen said he recently began taking on clients of his own.
“It’s nerve-wracking to take on your first case,” he said. “I spent three years in law school and 2 ½ years here helping. On one hand, I feel prepared. On the other hand, I’ve never done it before and you really don’t want to mess up. If you mess up, there is someone on the other side. If I mess up, it hurts somebody else. I want to reward my clients’ trust in me. On the flip side of that, it’s a feeling of accomplishment. I put in a lot of work and a lot of time to get here. It feels really good to take on my own clients. Passing the bar, especially the first time, was the hardest thing I’ve done, and the most rewarding thing I’ve done.”
Fennen feels the most rewarding part of his job is “definitely when we help somebody with a problem and help them with exactly what they need. Most people don’t turn to an attorney unless they absolutely need one. Sometimes there has to be compromises, but when we can help them in every way, that’s definitely the best part.”
The most challenging part of the job is time management.
“There’s always so much to do with balancing our clients’ needs and making sure we’re not having everyone hanging on for so long. Their matter is the most important thing, and we want to make sure we make everyone feel that way.”
Research can take up a large chunk of Fennen’s day, depending on the matter at hand. “Sometimes, it can take 5 to 10 minutes to find what case I need to reference, and other times it can take the majority of my day. A big part of my job is figuring out what the law is. That happens a lot in real estate law, for example, what the state views are on establishing boundaries. We also research a lot of the municipal area of the law, like with zoning issues.”
Weigle said they are very pleased to have Fennen on board.
“He’s a good, young, conscientious attorney,” Weigle added. “He reminds me of myself when I was younger. He has an excellent legal enthusiasm. He’s honest, sincere and easy to communicate with. And, if I didn’t trust him to deliver a good legal product at a fair, reasonable price, he wouldn’t be working here with us. We’re blessed to have him here, and I think we have a bright star in this firm’s future in him.”
In Fennen’s spare time, he enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, Dungeons and Dragons, Steelers football and Milwaukee Bucks basketball. He also plays golf, and has the world’s best cat!
“I want everyone to know that I’m going to do the best for them,” he said. “I want to help them with their problem and I want to listen to them. It’s part of my job, but it’s also why I want to be an attorney.”
About Weigle & Assoc.
William R. Mark started a solo general law practice in Shippensburg in 1939. The practice evolved into a partnership with Jerry A. Weigle, Esquire in 1976, and strives today to continue to offer quality legal services to Shippensburg and the surrounding area.
Weigle said the partnership between himself and Bill Mark lasted until Mark’s passing in January of 1980. Today, Weigle & Associates P.C. is still a general practice law firm specializing in all aspects of family law – estate planning and elder law, will preparation, the settlement of Estates, Powers of Attorney, living wills, trusts, and nursing home planning, as well as all aspects of real estate transactions and real estate settlement services, landlord and tenant matters, business and corporate law, criminal law, civil practice, municipal law and district justice hearings.
Weigle & Associates is located at 126 E. King St., Shippensburg. The phone number is: (717) 532-7388. The fax number is: (717) 532-5289. Evening and home appointments may be made upon request. For more information, visit the website at: www.weigleassociates.com.