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Celebrate Pro Bono Week With the ABA

The week of October 25-31 has been designated National Celebration of Pro Bono week by the ABA; and this years' marks the seventh such celebration. Throughout the past few days, the ABA has been taking the time to recognize pro bono achievements by lawyers but has decided to push especially hard today.

Law School: No Longer for Lawyers Only

Increasingly, there is talk that law school is not just for those who only want to practice law. It can also be for those who already have established careers and are looking for a shot in the arm. A number of law schools today offer one year programs for those individuals who seek a thorough introduction to the law without having to give up the expense and time of a full three-year degree.

Applicants tend to be from industries which are heavily regulated, where it is thought that a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the law will give them an edge over their peers. But there are detractors too, who bemoan that some schools "rush[] into the business" in order to balance their books.

Argumentation is part of any lawyer's DNA. It's essential to the profession and it's often something lawyers deeply enjoy. But good argumentation means avoiding -- or at least recognizing -- the hundreds of logical fallacies that can work their way into an exchange.

Of course, one man's sophistry is another's effective argument. But errors in logic can undermine the force of an otherwise strong position. Whether you want to avoid relying on fallacies, or simply want to call other attorneys out on their BS, here are seven logical fallacies attorneys use much too often:

Legal ethics and musical theater, a match made in heaven? Well, not exactly, but at least one troupe of lawyers is looking to make legal ethics CLE programs a little less monotonous and a lot more entertaining by taking a note from Broadway.

A group of Texas lawyers calling themselves the Ethics Follies has been putting on musical legal ethics performances for years. Their most recently production was a riff off Monty Python's Spamalot, entitled, appropriately, Scamalot.

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.