When William Fedullo was young, he remembers wanting to be a center fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. Eventually, he realized that he might need a back-up plan.
Besides baseball, Fedullo had enjoyed movies and television shows having to do with lawyers and felt that as a lawyer, he could change a lot of things that would not otherwise be changed. Fedullo now practices in the areas of medical malpractice, products liability, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), insurance bad faith, construction accidents, vehicle accidents and other areas of personal injury.
This past January, Fedullo, who is a member of Global Philadelphia’s Board of Directors, became the 87th Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Next week, Fedullo and the Bar Association will take part in the World City Bar Leaders Conference, an international conference welcoming leaders of metropolitan bar associations around the world.
What inspired you to become a lawyer?
I remember “To Kill A Mockingbird” and a few other movies like that, which were pretty inspiring. I think that played a role in me wanting to do it. I remember in fifth grade we had a debate team and I won. My teacher told me that I would be a good lawyer one day. I wasn’t quite sure what she meant at the time but eventually I thought about it seriously, so that was inspiration a little bit.
How difficult is it to enter a career in the law?
When I came out there seemed to be a lot more jobs. I came out of Widener Law School in ‘76 and it seemed to me at that time that if you really wanted to get a job you could. I think that since the 2008 recession it has been different. Young lawyers coming out of law school now find it much more difficult to find an area of practice, or for that matter just to find a job.
I think it’s rebounding a bit. There are more jobs incrementally it seems, but it’s still the number one concern when you’re a lawyer coming out of law school, to get a job that you’re satisfied in doing but it’s not impossible. I think if you’re dedicated and stay with it you’ll find a job. It’s just a matter of really dedicating yourself to that. It is more difficult today than when I came out of law school.
What stands out as a significant moment in your career?
In the year that my son was born, 1993, we had I think the largest reported verdict for a FELA hearing loss case at $300,000. It was kind of a neat day because when I went home, I think my son was about two or three months old, and I got a nice verdict on a tough case. The jury came back with a substantial verdict at that time and I came home early. I was able to take my son out of his crib and just hold him for a few hours to contemplate what a sweet day that was. That day was pretty memorable, more for holding my son than for the verdict.