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Tag Archives: ABA

Group pushes ABA to mandate diversity (access required)

Diversity People

The American Bar Association should include diversity as part of the group’s model rules for attorneys, according to a recent request from the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. The IILP – a nonprofit with a goal of increasing diversity among lawyers – sent a letter to the ABA seeking to have the national legal organization update the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to promote diversity based on race, sex, sexual orientation, disability and religion.

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If laws go online-only, costly problems are sure to follow (access required)

The American Bar Association in February will be asked to endorse a proposed uniform law aiming at new standards for state government websites that host legal materials. The Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) is proposed by the Uniform Laws Commission to address a trend, still in its infancy, of shuttering public printers and posting laws only online. But shifting an entire system of laws to online-only postings puts our legal system at risk.

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ABA mulls stricter standards for law school job info (access required)

As American Bar Association leaders consider more exacting standards for law schools for reporting post-graduate salary and employment information, a new round of class action suits is ratcheting up the pressure on schools and the ABA to address allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. An ABA committee has recommended that an ABA council on legal education and bar admissions adjust its standards, according to law.com, an American Lawyer Media website. Law.com reports that the committee’s proposal includes requiring individual schools to report salary numbers for the 25th, 50th and 75th percentile for graduates in jobs requiring a law degree, J.D.-preferred jobs, other professions, and nonprofessional jobs. Schools would need to report salary information in 15 job categories.

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ABA study focuses new attention on legislation to allow nonlawyer firm ownership in NC (access required)

The American Bar Association is poised to endorse nonlawyer ownership of law firms, which could jump-start stalled legislation in North Carolina that calls for allowing alternative practice structures. The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 announced in early December that it was mulling tweaks to its model rules of professional conduct in response to U.S. firms increasingly doing business in countries that allow blended law firms. The District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction in the nation that permits nonlawyer ownership.

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Value billing arrangements depend on lawyers and clients agreeing ‘We’re in this together’ (access required)

The much-maligned billable hour is back under scrutiny. As attorneys continue to bounce back from the blows dealt by the recession, a client-driven fee structure known as value billing is beginning to gain traction across the country. It was a "standing room only" topic of discussion among lawyers at the American Bar Association's meeting earlier this month in Atlanta, according to ABA President Stephen Zack (pictured). "When I started practicing law 40 years ago, you sent out a bill for services rendered, and then all of a sudden we got into the Holy Grail of the hourly bill, which was never intended to be the perfect solution to all issues," Zack told Lawyers Weekly.

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