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Links from January 2009
The Tennessee Supreme Court today released orders requesting comment on three proposals, two of which were requested by the TBA. The first proposal deals with multijurisdictional practice (MJP), addressing temporary and casual activities that might be considered the practice of law. It also deals with limited practice privileges for in-house counsel. The second proposal would reduce the number of pro bono hours required to qualify for one hour of CLE credit. The CLE Commission joined the TBA in recommending this change. The third proposal, requested by the Board of Law Examiners, the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and the Board of Professional Responsibility, would allow lawyers demonstrating rehabilitation from chemical dependency to be conditionally reinstated to the practice of law. The TBA supports that proposal.
Learn more and download the orders at http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2008/comment_121008.html
Final loan forgiveness rules released
The U.S. Department of Education has released final regulations for loan repayment assistance provisions enacted last year. The new law will help civil legal aid lawyers by completely forgiving their debt on certain student loans after 10 years of service, and lowering monthly loan payments for all holders of federally guaranteed student loans.
Read more about the program from Equal Justice Works
Legal Aid Society collects stories on first 40 years
When the Legal Aid Society was organized in Nashville in 1968, there were three attorneys and two staff members. Since then, the organization has grown to become the largest nonprofit law firm in the state, providing services to 48 counties through its eight offices. To capture some of the stories about these past 40 years, the Legal Aid Society has set up a blog where former attorneys and staff can post items about their experiences. "We feel it is important to collect these stories and preserve them," said LAS Executive Director Gary Housepian. "The Legal Aid Society has had an incredible impact on the lives of thousands of individuals and families over the last 40 years."
MALS event raises money and awareness
Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) held its first annual fund-raiser at Bardog Tavern last Thursday. According to officials the event was a smashing success -- putting them "well on the way to achieving the goal of $300,000" -- raising not only money for this cause, but also awareness of MALS and the outreach programs it supports. Because of the overwhelming turnout and show of support by the members of the Memphis Bar Association, MALS' Fundraising Committee has committed to make this an annual event and a regular part of Pro Bono Month. If you would like to join in the cause and make a contribution, you may do so at the MALS web site
YLD releases 2009 high school mock trial case
The TBA Young Lawyers Division has released the 2009 case for the state's high school mock trial competition. The criminal case involves an armed robbery of a health food store with a number of clues pointing to an inside job by a store employee. In addition to releasing the case, the Mock Trial Committee issued revised competition rules, a list of district coordinators and details about a new sportsmanship award.
Get the 2009 case material
Court seeks comment on TBA pro bono petition
The Tennessee Supreme Court today issued an order asking for comment on a TBA recommendation that the rules on pro bono volunteer legal services be enhanced. Specifically, the petition asks for a waiving of conflict checks for limited representation, loosening restrictions on corporate counsel involvement, setting an aspirational standard for lawyers to complete 50 hours of pro bono per year, and a reporting requirement. The recommendation is part of a year-long TBA campaign called 4 ALL, a multi-faceted push to enhance access to justice for Tennesseans who cannot afford legal representation. Read the details in this press release. https://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2008/4all_rules_112008.html
Read the Court's order and the TBA's petition
MBA web site to help public
The Memphis Bar Association has launched a new web site to provide public information on how find legal help and resources. The site includes an online MBA attorney directory by practice area and a "Frequently Asked Legal Questions and Answers" section.
Check it out at http://www.memphisbar.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=74