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Making-A-Difference at S. Weir Mitchell School

Mitchell Group Photo

Philadelphia elementary school students and teachers can expect to come back to refreshed classrooms in September, thanks to the team at Zarwin Baum. On June 27, nearly two dozen Zarwin Baum attorneys and associates spent the day priming, painting and brightening up the classrooms and hallways, with hues of red, yellow, green and blue, at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School in Southwest Philadelphia.

This beautification effort is a part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to serving the community through charitable and philanthropic activities. In 2014, Zarwin Baum adopted Mitchell Elementary after hearing about the lack of resources in some of Philadelphia’s public schools, and seeing a need that it could help fulfill. Since that time, the firm has provided ongoing support through quarterly fundraising and the donation of refurbished computers, printers, tables, bookcases, and a host of school supplies and upgraded technology, ensuring young people have the tools they need to succeed.

As a ‘Thank You’ for the firm’s hard work, students and school administrators gave the Zarwin Baum team a framed, hand-painted piece of artwork, depicting the Philadelphia skyline, and with messages of gratitude and appreciation.

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Risk Management: Your Business on Social Media

At this point, it’s clear: You don’t have to work in the tech industry to feel the impact of an evolving digital landscape. Social media is one aspect that affects virtually all types of businesses. At first, companies’ use of social media was primarily focused on marketing. It quickly grew to encompass much more, including customer service and client relations. Some of the smartest business owners make social media strategy a priority, because most agree that the benefits outweigh the risks. It is important, however, to understand the conflicts that may arise from social media use:

  • Ensure ownership of company social media accounts; organizations have found themselves in unfavorable positions when an employee or third party agency owns the rights to their online presence.
  • A company doesn’t have to actively use social media to be at risk. The online activities of employees have implications, and if someone posts something controversial, there could be legal consequences for the business.
  • If an employee is overly promotional on social media and doesn’t disclose their connection to the organization, the FTC may choose to investigate.
  • To thwart hackers, ensure all social media accounts are highly secure. Use unique, complex passwords for each account and keep track of which employees have access.

While social mediums typically present more opportunities than liabilities, it is always wise to identify the issues that may come about. Additionally, providing employees with an outline of social media policy is a great way for a company to protect itself.

Read more about social media risk management on

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Pennsylvania’s Budget: A Fast Approaching Deadline

The 2016-2017 fiscal year begins on July 1. To meet that deadline, Pennsylvania must approve a budget within the next week and a half. The coming days will show whether or not Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature can come to an agreement on the many outstanding issues that have historically divided them. Below is a run-down on a few of the major topics that persist:

Spending: The House has the first opportunity to make decisions and pass an appropriations bill, but negotiators are reporting no agreements. Back in February, Wolf proposed a spending increase of 10%, raising the total to $33.3 billion. That number included a large increase for school instruction and operation. As of now, only $200 million has been approved.

Taxes: Wolf proposed a $2.7 billion tax package, with talks of raising the per-pack cigarette tax from $1.60 to $2.60. Thus far, Republicans have shown no support for Wolf’s proposals regarding higher taxes on income and a new tax on Marcellus Shale natural-gas production.

Schools: Wolf has been attempting to close a massive funding gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts. Public school advocates claim that the current plan, putting $150 million each year into a new school funding formula, would take more than 20 years to fix the disproportions. Changing that number to $400 million, they say, would solve the inequities in only six to eight years.

For additional topics and details of the 2016-2017 budget, read the full story on

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