It’s that time again. Time for 2Ls (and a few lucky 1Ls) to join the ranks of the employed in the hopes of landing a permanent gig post-graduation. Of course, the substance of your work matters (a lot), but landing a full-time position from a summer associate gig requires more than just doing legal great work. What else do you need to do? Keep Reading ⇒
Most attorneys have encountered this situation: at a meeting with a client, the client shows up with his or her spouse. The spouse is not a client. Normally, what you tell your clients is privileged against disclosure. And what your clients tell their legally-recognized spouses is generally privileged too. But what happens when the two privileges bump into each other?
There is no attorney-client-spousal privilege.
Who’s afraid of legal writing in plain English? A lot of lawyers. Since I started writing about legal writing, I’ve been amazed at how entrenched so many lawyers seem to be against the notion that legal writing should be as easy to understand as possible to the widest audience possible.
But that notion seems to strike fear into the hearts of many, I suspect because it seems to strike at the traditional lawyering culture that in the post-Great Recession economy seems in danger of disintegrating.
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The right to a trial by jury in a criminal case is perhaps the most revered element of the American criminal justice system. Putting one’s fate in the hands of fellow citizens, rather than in the hands of the government, provides us with an important protection against government overreach or the politicization of criminal prosecutions. But can one really expect justice if the jury isn’t made up of one’s peers?
Another, perhaps even more important problem, is how a jury relies so heavily on eyewitness testimony to determine what in fact happened. Putting an eyewitness on the stand to either support or undercut the prosecution’s argument that the defendant did what the complaint or indictment said he did has long been considered the “gold standard” of evidence. This is the kind of evidence the jury will give more weight than any other. But the sad fact is that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.
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Earlier this week Bitter Lawyer published an article about salutations. Technically, the article was about valedictions, or the closing clause in an e-mail. Many commenters asked what they should be using, since the author argued against most of the common sign-offs. Unfortunately, The Atlantic Wire’s Guide to Advanced Digital Etiquette is useless on this issue. In my opinion, the answer is the same as it is for any legal question: it depends. You could take a formal approach, a satirical approach, or my favorite, the minimalist approach. But don’t use the same valediction all the time. It’s boring. And your standard automatic signature for one day may be totally inappropriate for another day.
Our firm hosted an open house last week. At the party, I had a chance to catch up with old friends, chat with acquaintances, and even meet some new people. The party flew by, and it was fun. I left completely energized by the event. I did not, however, always feel this way about networking events. Only a few years ago, my party plan involved attending legal events while clutching a trusty friend and rarely leaving his or her side. What changed?
That can also lead to attorneys providing legal advice when they simply do not have enough information to render a professional opinion.
Rendering haphazard legal advice creates all sorts of problems—and none of them are of the good variety.