Thursday, December 20, 2007

Touro Law Center Featured
in The Chronicle of Higher Education

Touro Law Center is featured in a great article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on how law schools are changing their curricula to better focus on practical lawyering skills. The article features the first-year Court Observation Program and our own Professor Lynne Kramer.

The article reads, in part:

"Touro's program represents part of a broader soul-searching at law schools, which have been accused of being stuck in a model that is more than a century old. For years practicing lawyers and judges have complained that law-school graduates lack the skills they need to adequately represent clients.

In 1992 the American Bar Association issued a report that urged law schools to identify skills, values, and ethics lawyers should possess and adapt their curricula accordingly.

Since then, many law schools have offered more externships and mock courtroom exercises to give students more hands-on practice.

. . .

As the Touro program shows, sometimes little things make a difference. Ms. Kramer, who spent 25 years as a divorce and family lawyer, can be irreverent with her students but is unfailingly polite with the court employees, including the officers who, as they escort students to the courtrooms, offer running commentaries about what they're about to see."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Scholarships for Law Students

The University of Idaho College of Law has collected information on over 400 scholarships available to law students and has placed the information online. The website also contains a link to helpful tips to complete scholarship applications.

To view this collection of scholarships, go here.

10 Guidelines

The ABA Law Journal is a great source for legal news throughout the country.

A recent article, 10 Guidelines for Newbie Associates, should be read by all law students and new graduates, as the guidelines can apply to legal internships, too. The guidelines are actually a summary of an article in the Texas Lawyer written by David Dummer, Esq., a litigation/regulatory associate with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Dallas, in which Mr. Drummer talks about associate survival tips.

Here are just a few of the tips. Click on the links above to read them all.

Don't be afraid to be a new associate. While being prepared is incredibly important, it is OK not to know everything — no one does. Supervising attorneys know that new associates need training. A first-year associate who is uncertain about an assignment should ask questions and seek clarification. Specific, thoughtful inquiries demonstrate attention to the matter at hand and a recognition of one's limits as a brand-new practitioner.

Managing supervisors' expectations is half the battle. An important aspect of new associates' jobs is understanding the scope of assignments and meeting deadlines. But projects can take on lives of their own. One lawyer may ask for a deposition outline in one case, while another asks for a response to a temporary restraining order in another. Don't rush to complete both projects when the allotted time makes competently doing so impossible. Keep supervising attorneys aware of time-management obstacles and other issues as they come up, so they can adjust staffing, deadlines and expectations. That kind of open dialogue leads them to perceive the new associate as responsible and prepared rather than sloppy and delinquent.

Learn the case. When assigned projects, learn the facts and motives that drive the case. This is an easy way to dramatically increase the quality of the work product. It also makes you an invaluable team member. Although you may not realize it at first, junior associates often have the best command of the facts. For example, you may be the only person who has read all of the key e-mails and reviewed every document in the case. You may also be the person who learns the most about the client's business. Combining this encyclopedic knowledge of the facts with an understanding of the case strategy makes an associate valuable. For this reason, when it is time to attend hearings, prepare witnesses or draft critical motions, your knowledge will make you a natural go-to person (and a likely recipient of increased responsibility).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Diversity & the Legal Profession

Coming Together to Achieve the Dream -
Diversity and the Legal Profession

presented by
The Nassau County Bar Association
Amistad Black Bar Association of Long Island
Columbian Lawyers' Association of Nassau County
Jewish Lawyers' Association of Nassau County

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
at DOMUS, the Nassau County Bar Association
Cocktails: 5-6 p.m.
Buffet Dinner: 6-8 p.m.
Students: $20


New York State Lt. Governor David A Paterson
Honorable Juanita Bing Newton, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, NYS
and several attorneys and law professors active in diversity causes.

RSVP by January 10, 2008.

2008 Rebellious Lawyering Conference

What is Reblaw?

The Rebellious Lawyering Conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community activists / advocates from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change. Last year, over 550 practitioners, law students, and community activists traveled to New Haven to discuss progressive strategies for social change within and without the law.

Click here to read the recent article about Reblaw in the Hartford Courant!
Click here to read the Yale Alumni Magazine article about Reblaw's founding.

When is Reblaw?

The 14th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference will take place on the weekend of February 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, 2008.

Registration for Reblaw is now open! Go here to register.

You can also sign up on the website to receive free housing for the weekend in New Haven on the spare beds, couches and floors of local friendly, rebellious law students.

2008 Patent Law Interview Program

Save the Date:

The 2008 Patent Law Interview Program will take place on Thursday, July 31st and Friday, August 1st. The Patent Law Interview Program is a nationwide interview program that targets second and third year J.D. and L.L.M. students with engineering and/or technical science academic backgrounds. The program is held each year at the Marriott Suites Hotel near Chicago's O'Hare airport.

More information will be available in February, so stay tuned.