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'Journal' Wins National Award
Luminary Award of Excellence
The Tennessee Bar Journal, the monthly magazine of the Tennessee Bar Association, was recognized in October with a Luminary Award of Excellence by the National Association of Bar Executives' Communications Section at its annual workshop. The magazine was judged best in its category for regular publications among medium-sized bars with more than 5,000 but less than 15,000 members.
TBA staff members who work on the Journal are Suzanne Craig Robertson, Landry Butler, Barry Kolar, Stacey Shrader and Sharon Ballinger. Serving on the Journal's editorial board are Nashville attorney AndrÃ©e Sophia Blumstein, Knoxville attorney Wade V. Davies, Nashville attorney Paul A. Gontarek, Memphis attorney Suzanne Landers, Kingsport attorney Laura A. Steel, Jackson attorney Jonathan O. Steen, Nashville attorney Mattielyn Williams and Member Emeritus Donald F. Paine of Knoxville.
The Luminary Awards, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, recognize the outstanding work among bar communications professionals nationwide.
Belmont Breaks Ground on Baskin Center for Law School
In October, Belmont University celebrated the official groundbreaking for the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, a 71,000 square foot facility that will serve as the home for the school's new College of Law. The building is slated to open in fall 2012, although the law school will begin classes in fall 2011. When at full capacity, the school will enroll about 360 students.
The Baskins are providing a $7 million leadership gift for the new building, which will contain more than a dozen classrooms, a 21st-century trial courtroom, an appellate courtroom, a two-story law library, and more than 20 faculty offices. It will sit atop a five-level underground parking garage accommodating more than 500 parking spaces. Total cost for the project is estimated at $32 million once the building is completely outfitted.
Learn more about it at tba.org/journal_links.
Court extends comment period, amends CLE rule
The Tennessee Supreme Court has extended until Dec. 31 the comment period for a proposed mentoring program that would provide continuing legal education credit for participants. The court also issued an order deleting Section 8.03 of Rule 21 and replaces it in its entirety. The revised rule now requires attorneys who attend out-of-state CLE programs, or other programs for which the sponsor does not report and pay the per-hour fee, to pay the fee at the time the hours are reported " rather than at the end of the year as had been the case. Access the details at www.tncourts.gov.
For women, pay doesn't follow production, study says
Women partners in law firms are no less productive than their male counterparts when it comes to generating revenue per lawyer, but the women partners are paid less, a new study shows. According to the study, conducted by professors at Temple University Beasley School of Law and the University of Texas, the average gross revenue of firms with the highest percentages of women lawyers was about $20 million higher than firms with the lowest percentage of women lawyers. But the revenue per lawyer at these firms dropped by about $120,000 per lawyer. "We found that the average compensation for lawyers at a firm goes down as the proportion of women at a firm rises, indicating that women in all positions at a firm are paid less than their male counterparts," a study author said in a press release. ABAJournal.com connects you to the study at tba.org/journal_links.
Poverty rate surge means more qualify for civil legal help
The poverty rate surged to 14.3 percent last year, the highest since 1994, the Census Bureau said in September. Now nearly 57 million Americans qualify for civil legal assistance from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). That increase of 3 million people from 2008, the LSC said in a news release, makes it the highest number of people eligible for legal aid in our country in the LSC's 35-year history. Of the 57 million, 19.6 million are children.
John G. Levi, LSC board chair, says the entity will urge Congress to increase federal funding for legal services and "encourage the nation's legal community to increase its volunteer pro bono work at LSC programs " we will work even harder with our partners in the judicial system to better meet the civil legal needs of the poor."
App provides jargon guide
The Los Angeles-based law firm of Latham & Watkins has developed a free smart phone application to help lawyers navigate slang used by financial professionals and government regulators in the banking and capital finance arenas. The U.S. Book of Jargon defines more than 750 Wall Street terms, slang phrases and other legal phrases. The product is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store. Learn more through tba.org/journal_links.
Legal aid lawyers still among lowest paid in profession
According to new statistics from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), civil legal aid lawyers are still the lowest paid members of the entire legal profession, earning less than public defenders and many other public interest lawyers. The statistics come from NALP's 2010 Public Sector and Public Interest Salary Report. The organization also released a report on the salaries of private sector lawyers. Learn more about its findings through tba.org/journal_links.
Lawyer web site ethics
A new ethics opinion issued by an American Bar Association committee provides guidance to help lawyers avoid potential pitfalls and protect the public when using a web site for marketing. Connect to Formal Ethics Opinion 10-457, the model rules and more from tba.org/journal_links.
Lawyers give back in celebration of Pro Bono Month
More than 40 lawyers " including Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder " assisted 117 clients at a Legal Advice Clinic in Memphis Oct. 9. The event was part of Celebrate Pro Bono Month and was put on by Memphis Area Legal Services, along with the Memphis Access to Justice Committee and the Memphis Bar Association YLD.
Legal clinics, public education seminars, "Wills for Heroes" events, pro bono recognitions and free CLEs for lawyers wanting to know how to help, are among the more than 30 events planned across the state in October.
For a complete round-up of Celebrate Pro Bono Month, visit tba.org/celebrateprobono/