Training

Doing Pro Bono Work As A New Attorney

Doing Pro Bono Work As A New Attorney

As an attorney, doing pro bono work may be exceedingly rewarding. Helping those in dire need of legal services who otherwise might not have solved their problems or reversed their misfortunes without your assistance, may provide you with the most precious memories of your legal practice many years from now. In addition to helping those who are less fortunate, pro bono work allows attorneys, especially younger attorneys, an excellent opportunity to develop new skills. These skills include the hard skills – learning the substantive law - and the soft skills, those interpersonal skills that allow you to work effectively within the...

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Supreme Court Amends Rule Of Professional Conduct Related To Competence

Supreme Court Amends Rule Of Professional Conduct Related To Competence

The California Supreme Court approved the amendment of Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The new version of the Rule went into effect on March 22, 2021. The new version of the Rule contains a new Comment providing that a lawyer’s duty of competence encompasses a duty to keep abreast of the changes in the law and law practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. The Rule reads as follows: Rule 1.1 Competence (a) A lawyer shall not intentionally, recklessly, with gross negligence, or repeatedly fail to perform legal services with competence. (b) For purposes of this...

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Top Five Legal Internships

Top Five Legal Internships

Legal internships provide law students with the opportunity to broaden many facets of their “legal personalities.” Internships help students increase their knowledge of the substantive areas of the law while participating in the environment of a real law practice. Interns also make valuable contacts that may provide useful later in practice. While some internships compensate participants, many do not. Nonetheless, many internship programs allow students to earn school credit. Many of the larger law firms base internship hiring decisions on superior academic performance and skills related to research and writing, thus, law review experience is typically very helpful. Here is a...

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Summer Law Jobs 101

Summer Law Jobs 101

For law students, it is hard enough to get a good summer law job, whether at a private firm or public agency. Once this is achieved, the elation is immediately tempered with a stark fear of failure. You experience the realization that you will soon be making the transition from student to lawyer, albeit in a limited sense. Once you have a summer job at a firm, how can you ensure that the people who hired you will be satisfied with your performance and, more importantly, remember you as a worthy candidate for an associate’s job in the future? *Always exercise...

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Things Every Law Student Should Do Over The Summer

Things Every Law Student Should Do Over The Summer

For law students, “summer vacation” typically means only one thing - work. Law students shift their focus from studying and school to working and employment. This job may be in the form of an internship or clerkship. A summer legal job provides an excellent, if not the best, opportunity for a law student to apply basic lawyering skills and gain real, practical experience. However, work should never consume any law student’s summer. These hot months also provide a chance to recharge for the following school year. The following are some things every law student should do during the summer. Focus Most law students work...

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Maintaining Your Focus as A Law Student: Finding A Routine

Maintaining Your Focus as A Law Student: Finding A Routine

Law school is a grind. Make no mistake. Law school is a marathon rather than a sprint. All cliches aside, law school requires law students to maintain an intense focus for the duration of their academic lives. Whether it is a three-year or four-year program, law school is a protracted undertaking into a vast, complex area of study. Maintaining your focus as a law student is therefore of the utmost importance. One good way to maintain focus is to create a routine and observe it each day. Doing so may be crucial to enjoying any success in law school. Establishing a...

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The Humble Lawyer

The Humble Lawyer

Humility is sometimes defined as freedom from pride or arrogance. Studies show that humble people handle stress more effectively and report higher levels of physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for mere humans to express humility. Typically, this is attributed to our misinterpretation that actively demonstrating humility is a sign of weakness. In truth, humility is a sign of inner strength. Unfortunately, lawyers are often portrayed as anything but humble. The words “egotistical,” “arrogant,” and “pompous” are some of the words often used to characterize attorneys. Many of the descriptive words used to describe lawyers have the prefix “self”...

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Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part Two

Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part Two

Checklists give rise to systems or processes where both represent a “process” a horizontal workflow for legal services. These processes start at some point in a law practice and conclude with some by-product deliverable to court or client. There is simply no legal practice area that would not derive any benefit from any well-established office procedure. Any process for any practice group must be well established and include everyone involved from partners to administrative assistants. Documenting these processes in writing ensures that the learning curve remains manageable and potential errors subjecting the firm to malpractice liability decrease substantially. As an example, personal injury...

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Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part One

Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part One

The practice of law requires a long list of procedural and analytical exercises before any client matter may move forward. While the information collected through these exercises may be overwhelming, the implementation of checklists within a law practice ensures that important information is processed, organized, and utilized effectively and efficiently. Checklists offer the following advantages: Checklists may help an attorney mitigate malpractice risks and comply with any ethical obligations. Checklists reduce the resources necessary to train employees and help orient new employees about the firm’s practices, policies, and goals. Checklists eliminate the potential for errors and avoid missing deadlines and other...

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Important California Laws To Know – Posting Harmful Information On The Internet

Important California Laws To Know – Posting Harmful Information On The Internet

In 2010, the California legislature enacted a law to counteract certain criminal conduct on the internet. Necessitated by the growing use of technology and social media, California lawmakers have established different laws to fight internet crimes, including a statute (known as posting harmful information on the internet, California Penal Code § 653.2) prohibiting indirect harassment on the internet. This offense is typically charged as a misdemeanor. The internet presents opportunities for many people to involve themselves in different internet crimes without their knowledge. The law against indirect electronic harassment is defined under California Penal Code § 653.2 PC, which reads as...

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