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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?"

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?

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.

Heading to Court? 5 Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Are you a new criminal defense attorney? A new prosecutor? If you are, you'll be in court a lot and the hassles can really "try" your patience.

Since we have been there, done that, we put together five tips to make your life a bit easier.

Don't Let These Pesky Pronoun Errors Make You Look Bad

As a new attorney, you want to be known as conscientious, knowledgeable and... not, well, embarrassing. Nothing makes a bad impression quite like messing up elementary-school stuff, like the proper use of pronouns. Yet it's easy to do, especially if you spend a lot of time on the Internet, where pronouns seem to be used incorrectly more often than not. So here's a quick refresher on the classic pronoun mistakes and how to avoid them.

It's v. Its

It's is a contraction of "it is," while its is the possessive form of it. So if its is possessive, where is the apostrophe, you ask? Yes, an apostrophe is often used to indicate possessives, but not with pronouns. You don't apostrophize his, hers, theirs, etc., so don't apostrophize its when you're using it to indicate possession. You use the apostrophe when it's is being used to mean "it is." For more help, click over to the Grammar Monster.

Starting Out in Criminal Defense? Here Are Some Mistakes to Avoid

You'd think that for $100,000 dollars or so, law schools would teach you everything you need to know to hang out your shingle and start out in criminal defense, but it just ain't so. Hopefully you've got good mentors, good practice guides and good malpractice insurance.

In case you have all of the above but could use a few more tips, here are a few criminal law "gotchas" you'll want to avoid.