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If you have just hung your shingle out there as a California family lawyer, or are planning on doing so, The Rutter Group's CFLR is offering a three-day seminar that can teach you and your staff the ins and outs of California family practice: Basic Training: Family Law. Experienced practitioners and their support staff can benefit by learning the current best practices and procedures from leading experts in the field and the current Supervising Judge of the Los Angeles County Court Family Law Division. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is FindLaw's sister company.)

The course will walk participants through a divorce, from before it even starts to after it's finished. And like real cases, the course starts from the point of a client's first contact and ends with handling post-judgment matters. CFLR is offering the course in Costa Mesa, California, in October 2017 on the 6th, 7th, and 8th, at the Westin South Coast Plaza (just a short drive from Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, so bring the family).

From memos to moot court, law school students are trained in the art of persuasion. Unfortunately, much of that art goes to seed upon graduation, or is reserved only for the biggest case filings or court appearances. While some attorneys will find the argument in anything, many more lawyers think the only time they need to be persuasive is in front of a judge or jury.

As it turns out, you may need your powers of persuasion in your everyday practice, and there are ways to be more effective in your interactions with clients, opposing counsel, judges, mediators, arbitrators, regulators, and others and therefore be more successful in your legal practice. Here’s how.

Cal. Bar Results Plummet Along With the Rest of America

You may have heard about the plummeting bar passage rates for the July 2014 examination. If not, you're not reading our Greedy Associates blog frequently enough. The gist is this: lowest passage rates in recent memory have led to finger-pointing between schools and the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The debate is over whether the test was scored or designed poorly, or whether the students were simply less able.

It's not surprising then to see that California's bar rate has also plummeted. According to the California Bar Journal, the passage rate was the lowest it has been in nearly 10 years -- a startling 48.6 percent. The drop comes on the heels of multiple consecutive years of a rising passage rate and is the lowest since July 2004, when 48.2 percent passed.

Hey Look: State Bar is About to Make Recent Grads' Lives Worse

It's bad enough trying to pass the bar in this dear state. With a three-day exam, no reciprocity with anyone, and the exorbitant fees, plus the cost of bar review class, joining the California State bar is no picnic. Part and parcel of course is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which to be fair, is pretty much required everywhere, but it's still one more thing to add to the list.

But don't worry, current and future law students: things will get worse. The current word from the State Bar is that a few teaks to "training requirements" for incoming lawyers are on the way, ones that will make things more difficult for law schools, law students, and young cash-strapped lawyers looking to tap into the Golden State's job market.

MCLE Compliance Deadline Is Approaching: Free and Cheap Solutions

Anyone care to help a brotha out with some free or cheap MCLEs?

For us Californians with N-Z monikers, we have less than two weeks to stuff in 25 MCLE credits (less if you were admitted after 2/1/11 or inactive), which basically means we have another week before we'll actually get started on our CLE binging.

If you're like me, you (a) haven't started and (b) are not looking forward to paying hundreds of dollars in dues, plus student loan payments, plus the cost of MCLES.

Let's see what we can do about that, shall we?