Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

September 2009 Archives

So maybe it can't save all the BigLaw jobs, or address the crazy debt law students are taking on. But the ABA is at least trying to put a little positive spin on the recession with its "Legal Rebels" project.

Subtitled "Remaking the Profession," the project is part website, part social-media experiment, and part participatory recognition program. Run by the ABA Journal, Legal Rebels has begun posting on its website profiles of 50 legal professionals who it says are remaking the industry, helping along the "fundamental changes" being wrought by the current recession.

The first ten or so profiles are already up at the Legal Rebels site. Those profiled so far include a pioneer in using the internet to deliver legal services; the dean of Northwestern's law school; and the founder of a service that aims to place law students into contract clerk positions at firms.

The project also promises a Legal Rebels Tour starting later this month, which will include lots of Twitter and Facebook updates, live webcams, interviews and podcasts, and more content from personal visits to some of the selected Rebels. The ABA is also encouraging nominations for people to fill out its list of 50.

Adding to the participatory fun: a "manifesto" on which all attorneys are invited to place their digital signature, allowing them to declare their own legal-rebel-ness. We're not sure to whom, exactly, you would be declaring this, but perhaps some clever attorney somewhere, with clients who would appreciate the help of a self-declared "rebel," can figure out a useful marketing spin.
The Federal Trade Commission is on a mission to control identity theft. But the American Bar Association says that it is overreaching and bringing new and unwarranted federal regulation down upon lawyers, and it has filed a suit to try to stop the enforcement of new FTC rules.

The FTC has been planning for some time to implement the so-called "Red Flags Rule," which will require covered businesses to put in place certain safeguards against the theft of their customers' identities. The underlying legislation, and therefore the FTC rules, mandate that "creditors" be subject to the rules.