ABA offers help to lawyers

April 8, 2009
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Lawyers, are you down on your luck, looking for somewhere to turn in this tough economy? Look no further than the American Bar Association, which has launched a new online resource for attorneys struggling to cope with the recession.

Its new Economic Recovery Resources Web Portal  has job search information, personal development and career transition info, law practice management tips, and even ideas on how to handle stress.

The overall concept of the resources is great for several reasons. First, it shows the ABA isn’t turning a blind eye to what’s happening out there in the legal community and knows it needs to help its members. Second, whether you haven’t found your first legal job or you’ve been practicing for 30 years, the site offers information for everyone. Third, it’s not just for those who’ve been laid off but also offers help to those worried about losing their current job or wanting to know how to keep their practice growing.

But there was something a little alarming in the press release touting this new resource. The release said each section offers an array of resources including, “Practical advice from ABA publications, such as ABA Journal articles on what to do if you’ve been laid off and how to make over your résumé if your years of experience make you appear old, on paper…”

If I was an older attorney reading that, it would make me nervous that because I’ve got years of work experience, I’m worse off than my younger counterparts fresh out of law school or with just a couple years of experience. I’ve read how some older workers can have a more difficult time finding a job than younger people because they are older and may command higher salaries, but doesn’t it seem a little ageist to say that you need to “young up” your résumé to get a job?
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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