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FROM THE JOB FRONT

FROM THE JOB FRONT is EmplawyerNet's monthly newsletter covering the latest developments in the area of legal employment -- and a few other things. FROM THE JOB FRONT is published as a service of EmplawyerNet, the online interactive legal employment network.

JULY 2000

NEWS FROM THE JOB FRONT

Firm Fines Clients for Stealing Lawyers

Judges' Financial Disclosure Forms Go Online

Technology Influencing Law School Curriculum

California Legislation Defines "Paralegal"

OTHER FEATURES
Job Tips: On-Campus Resources

Legal Trivia

Quote, UnQuote

One More Thing Before You Go


FIRM FINES CLIENTS FOR STEALING LAWYERS

During the recent salary wars, San Francisco-based Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison was one of the law firms that helped push associate compensation to its current levels. Now, Brobeck is blazing the trail in another area that will affect the careers of associates. It is charging clients who poach associates from the firm. Brobeck has taken to asking clients to pay up to 25 percent of the first-year salary of attorneys they hire away from the firm. Actually, it is more than asking. The firm's client retention letter now includes a provision about poaching. So far, several new clients have signed off on the provision but no firms have yet been subjected to the charge.

American Lawyer

JUDGES' FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORMS GO ONLINE

As a result of legal action taken by the online news source APBnews.com, the financial disclosure records of all US Supreme Court justices are now available for review online. APBnews also plans to post disclosure forms of 800 other federal judges. The federal judiciary had initially refused the request for the information but relented after APBnews filed suit. If you are interested in learning more about the finances of members of the Supreme Court, go to www.apbnews.com/cjsystem/judges/. And go there as soon as possible. APBnews recently lost its staff to layoffs and is now being operated by volunteers.

APBnews

TECHNOLOGY INFLUENCING LAW SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Courses in cyberlaw and technology are becoming more and more common in law school course catalogues. In fact, the addition of a course entitled "Technology, Innovation, and Society" represents the first change to the University of Chicago curriculum in 40 years. Most other law schools are also increasing their intellectual property course selections. Among the most interesting is a University of Pittsburgh School of Law course entitled "Neteracy for Lawyers." The course includes evaluating legal websites and spending time in the computer lab learning code. The final assignment calls for each student to build their own web site. Another course, offered at Cornell, teaches law students how to write a business plan for a legal information site.

National Law Journal

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION DEFINES "PARALEGAL"

Controversy has erupted among legal assistants over legislation introduced in California that would reserve the title "paralegal" for individuals with certain educational qualifications and experience. Assembly Bill 1761, backed by the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations, is aimed at independent paralegals in the rapidly expanding legal aid profession. It protects paralegals who work under the supervision of attorneys while cracking down on those who represent clients on their own. The bill also calls for licensing and oversight of legal assistants.

The Recorder

JOB TIPS: ON-CAMPUS RESOURCES

Two kinds of firms interview at law schools. The first is the large number of firms that say they care primarily about grades and class standing. The cutoff may vary and may or may not be precisely defined. With some firms, only the top ten percent need apply. Others establish a cutoff that is much lower. Still others don't have anything too precise in mind; they just want someone with strong academic credentials. Whatever the standard, most students fall short.

If your grades are great, you love the type of firm that cares about transcripts. Otherwise, you plead for firms that will evaluate you as a person, not a number. And so you take heart in the fact that a significant percentage of firms visiting your school do not openly profess an interest in such mundane matters as grades and class rank. But they nevertheless have to make snap judgments on the basis of very short twenty or thirty minute interviews. The judgments are necessarily subjective.

Some students thrive in this environment. They have good interviewing skills, which means they are articulate, personable, and, above all, avoid mistakes. A large number of students, however, are unable to distinguish themselves from the pack of job seekers, and they may go through the interviewing season unable to generate any significant interest on the part of firms. They wonder if there is any room for them in this profession.

If your school's placement system is not working for you, don't view the world through the eyes of your placement office. The firms visiting your school are limited in number and hardly representative of firms generally.

To remedy the placement office blues you will have to take the initiative and contact prospective employers directly. Things will take a little longer, you will have to work a little harder, and you may waste some time. The important thing to remember is that only a very small number of firms actually visit law schools to conduct interviews, and those that do are not necessarily representative of law firms generally.

LEGAL TRIVIA

Match each celebrity with the law school he or she attended:
CelebrityLaw School
Bill ClintonHarvard
Thurgood MarshallYale
Studs TerkelBoalt Hall
Janet RenoMississippi
John GrishamChicago
Melvin BelliHoward

(Answer at the end of the newsletter)

QUOTE

"A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has a better lawyer."

    -- Robert Frost

UNQUOTE

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO...

Brown & Williamson needs your help. No, not to defend the company in tobacco litigation but to assist in writing a jingle aimed at discouraging minors from smoking. To hear what they have come up with so far, dial (800) 578-7453.

  • Trivia Answer:

    Clinton (Yale), Marshall (Howard), Terkel (Chicago), Reno (Harvard), Grisham (Mississippi), Belli (Boalt)


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