Around the Legal Industry: 3/25 – 3/29

ScalesNational Lawyer Corps? Proposal Would Provide Legal Jobs While Supplying Immigration Law Assistance

With talk of immigration reform gathering steam among Washington lawmakers, a federal appellate judge is thinking about how the resulting changes actually would be implemented. The judge’s proposed solution is a public-service initiative — a legal justice corps modeled on programs such as the Peace Corps.

Newly minted lawyers would be recruited and trained in immigration law — and dispatched throughout the U.S. to help community service organizations with immigrant populations.  Retired lawyers also would play a role — offering professional development and counsel to help the new lawyers learn the practice of immigration law.

With an estimated $5 million needed for such a program’s first year, funding remains an issue.

Source: New York Times | “Judge Proposes a National Lawyers Corps to Help Immigrants”

Info Tech Policies & Practices for Law Firms: Best Practices for Job Departures 

When a legal professional leaves (either voluntarily or otherwise) a law firm, his-or-her access to the firm’s private information needs to be terminated. Promptly, thoroughly, and securely.

Due to the explosion of digital correspondence, online data, social media and all the rest…the sheer volume of this information grows daily. What’s more, the digital data increasingly is stored on (or accessible from) a variety of computer devices — many of them carrying both the employee’s personal information and the firm’s data.

Sounds complicated?  It certainly can be. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to maximize data protection and minimize I.T. disruption — whether a lawyer from your firm accepts a position with a client or  joins a competitor.

Source: ABA Journal | Law News Now

If Legal Professionals Nurtured Students and Staff Like Their Own Children…

In a straight-shooting article from The AmLaw Daily, author Steven Harper addresses law school deans and law firm partners. He asks them to reconsider their mindsets on certain practices and policies that are disadvantageous to young people embarking on legal careers.

Harper begins with the “really personal” connection that U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) cited as a reason for revising his stance on the Defense of Marriage Act.  (Sen. Portman has a son who recently came out as a gay person.)

The author then speculates on how the field of law might change if a similarly “personal” mindset guided the development of legal professionals. He asks: If deans and senior partners likewise were more “personally connected” to the fates of young legal professionals, how might those human-centered sensibilities transform legal education and foster a more satisfying law firm culture?

Source: AmLaw Daily | “Somebody’s Child”

Successful People: What Behaviors Set Them Apart From All The Rest?

Motivational psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson offers an insightful article listing nine guidelines for success.  Talent, she suggests, is only one aspect of what sets successful people apart from the rest.  Halvorson says, “…successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.”

Among the relevant behaviors outlined in the article: “Focus on getting better, rather than being good.”  The author cites “decades of research” showing that our abilities are infinitely malleable — not permanently “fixed” (as was previously thought).  By focusing on our career goals as a process of ongoing improvement, we can enjoy the journey — as well as the destination.

Source: Harvard Business Review Blog Network

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