Links for November 2010

CLE director Shearon steps down; Curl is acting director
David N. Shearon, the first and only executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization, resigned effective Oct. 31. He held the position since the commission's inception in 1987. He leaves to pursue his work in positive psychology, which over the past five years he has pursued through education and experience. This work has included helping the Army develop resilience trainers, and training lawyers, judges and others in the legal system in the skills of resilience and thriving.

The commission has appointed its current assistant executive director, Andrea Curl, as acting director. Learn more about Shearon's tenure and plans at http://www.tba.org/tbatoday/news/2010/shearon_100810.htm

Court extends comment period, amends CLE rule
The Tennessee Supreme Court yesterday filed two orders. The first order extends until Dec. 31 the comment period for a proposed mentoring program that would provide continuing legal education credit for participants. The second order deletes 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. Both actions were requested by the CLE Commission.


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 says. 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
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/gender_rather_productivity_explains_lower_pay_for_women_partners_study_says/


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 today, meaning nearly 57 million Americans now 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, the Census Bureau said. 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." http://www.lsc.gov/press/pressrelease_detail_2010_T261_R27.php/
       
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb10-144.html


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 and can be used on Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices. Learn more on the firm's website
http://www.lw.com/News.aspx?page=HomePageNewsDetail&publication=3714



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, which was released last week. The organization also released a report on the salaries of private sector lawyers. Learn more about its findings http://www.nalp.org/assoc_pi_sal2010


Lawyer web site ethics
Be careful what you put on your web site, is the upshot of a new ethics opinion issued by an American Bar Association committee. It provides guidance to help lawyers avoid potential pitfalls and protect the public. For lawyers, "web site marketing can give rise" to problems when web site visitors seeking legal advice rely on material posted only as general information and not intended to apply to specific situations, or make unexpected inquiries or unexpectedly provide confidential information. Connect to Formal Ethics Opinion 10-457, the model rules and more
http://www.abanow.org/2010/09/aba-issues-new-ethics-opinion-to-provide-guidance-for-lawyers-marketing-their-services-via-websites/