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Get ready, New York lawyers. The Empire State is updating its social media guidelines. The new set of guidelines, prepared by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, seeks to update its policy given the increasing importance of social media in lawyers' practice, advertising, and free time.

The new guidelines are almost twice as long as the New York State Bar's previous social media policy. The biggest change? Lawyers can no longer stick their head in the sand -- understanding social media is a now a must for all New York attorneys.

Defense Lawyers: How to Deal With Defeat

You've tried your hardest, but in spite of your best efforts, your client still got convicted. What is there to do? What did you do wrong? What could you have done better?

Cheer up, that's what. Losing is a part of being a lawyer; no one wins all the time. Take solace in your defeat, though. It's a learning experience, and hey, it might not even be a defeat for long.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week: Who Owns Your Frequent Flyer Miles?

For our second installment of "Ethical Dilemma of the Week," we address a situation that many BigLaw associates may have wondered about.

You're flying somewhere on a client matter. The client is ultimately paying the bill, but the firm bought the airline tickets (or you bought them with your "rewards" credit card), and you entered your frequent flyer number so you can rack up those awesome miles and get an upgrade to Business Plus/First Class Minus, where there are a few more precious centimeters of leg room.

But the client's paying. Are those the client's miles, or yours?

Ethical Dilemma of the Week: Dating a Former Client

Welcome to the first in what we hope to be a continuing series called "Ethical Dilemma of the Week," in which we try to make sense out of strange P.R. quandaries that lawyers may or may not find themselves in.

For our inaugural Ethical Dilemma of the Week, we ask, "How long do you have to wait before you can date a former client?"

What Does It Really Take to Get Disbarred?

In the annals of what state bars can do to a lawyer, being disbarred ranks number one on the list. Lawyer TV shows frequently trot out disbarment as a punishment for things like lying to the court or breaking client confidentiality, leading civilians to think that it happens a lot.

Disbarment, though, is pretty rare, and reserved for only the most heinous offenses. Low-level offenders usually just get suspended, and if they did something particularly nasty, the state bar makes them re-take the bar exam.

So what does it really take to get disbarred?

How to Network at CLEs

Most lawyers don't live for CLEs, to put things mildly. However, there's a lot to be gained from CLEs, beyond whatever educational value they may have. While some CLEs can be solo activities, done in the dark at home, or from your phone on the go, many still bring together practitioners for some old-fashioned face to face learning.

And any gathering of lawyers is a chance to network. Get the most out of your education by using CLEs as a chance to make new connections with your fellow lawyers. Here's how.

NOLA Judges' Pricey CLE Trips on Court's Dime: Greedy or All Good?

Few would argue that Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements are important for judges and attorneys alike. And even if they're not, if those of us who are members of the bar (but not on the bench) have to do them, well, everyone should suffer the misery.

Except, not all CLEs are miserable. Conferences can be fun. Really, really fun if the descriptions of these extravagant CLE trips that New Orleans judges frequent are any indication: a Panama City (Panama, not Florida) resort, trips to the Big Apple, a Montana resort, and more.

Of course, they need their CLEs. So are they taking this little employee perk a little too far?

Is Your Legal Writing Terrible? 3 Points to Ponder

Last week in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Steven Pinker -- a professor at Harvard and author of several books about psychology and language -- explained why he thinks academics write so terribly. Poor academic writing comes down to a couple things, including: failure to explain, a desire to hedge, and an overuse of idioms.

Which led us to wonder: Just how bad is your legal writing? Here are three points to think about:

3 Ways to Get Practice Experience Straight Out of School

Practice-ready, for the most part, is a myth. Yeah, you may do some clinical work, but it's a whole different game when you don't have a professor double-checking all of your work, and when you have to handle everything, from intake to trial to appeal, all on your own.

So how do you go solo out of school without crashing, burning, and ending up as the defendant in a malpractice suit? Here are a three ideas for getting practical experience, listed from best to worst:

Starting Out in Criminal Defense? 3 More Mistakes to Avoid

The last "Starting Out in Criminal Defense" post focused on protecting yourself by avoiding mistakes. This one focuses on protecting your client. By avoiding mistakes.

Don't ruin your client's weekend by getting him arrested on the wrong day

Let's say your client needs to make contact with the authorities (maybe he needs to check on a warrant) and there's a chance he could be taken into custody. Don't let him do this on a Friday.