by Stephanie R. Hanna, Staff Attorney to Judge Kim J. Brown
- Minority Clerkship Program orientation in February.
The Minorities in the Law (MITL) Committee has successfully wrapped up its second year of summer clerk placements in the Minority Clerkship Program (MCP) under its new structure. Beginning last year, the MCP went from a matching process conducted by the MITL Committee, to a new partner-structured matching process placing the control in the hands of the MCP’s main partners: students and employers.
At the start of the process, students were allowed to pick up to six of the 25 available public and private sector employers. Upon reviewing the applications, employers were able to select six students to interview and rank. The MITL Committee co-chairs facilitated the offer and acceptance process based upon the employers’ rankings.
This year, 52 students from Capital University Law School and The Ohio State Moritz College of Law applied for placement in the MCP and 27 (52%) of the student applicants received placements, indicating the level of competition among students for these choice positions. 78% of employers were matched with their first or second choice.
The Governor’s proposed budget (HB 59) includes a new 5% state service tax on a host of professional services deemed non-essential - including legal services. The Columbus Bar is reviewing the proposal and the possible effects it may have on consumers of legal services, as well as our members. We’d like to know what our members think – tell us your position on the proposed 5% tax on legal services.
by Bradley W. Miller, Miller Law LLC
I think that lawyers, either by our nature or because of our training, tend to develop tunnel vision when it comes to handling issues for our clients. Before we even get into law school we take the LSAT, a large portion of which is focused on logical reasoning. In law school we are taught to break down issues and make logical arguments, to “think like a lawyer.” Throughout our schooling there is little room for creativity, and this gets carried on into our practice.
For issues that are relatively straightforward or similar to ones we have encountered in the past, we hear the problem and immediately start envisioning the solution and steps to get us there. In the context of helping our clients though, sometimes the “best” or “obvious” solution to us may not be the best for the client or even address their true goals and desires – some of which they may not even realize. If the solution seems too easy, it probably is.
Today, I visited the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in preparation for the 2013 Law Firm Challenge virtual food drive. While I’m embarrassed to say today was the first time I have been to their “new” facility since its opening in 2009, I was absolutely blown away by the magnitude of what they do.
With the help of nearly 100 staff members and 15,000 volunteers, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank serves over 500 agencies, spanning 20 counties throughout the state of Ohio. The net result – over 100,000 meals are served everyday, thanks to the generous support of local donors, volunteers, staff and leadership of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
The LEED certified facility in Grove City is over 200,000 square feet of warehouse space, complete with meeting and training facilities, a kitchen, an on-site pantry, and even a garden. During my tour, I met one of the “chefs”, who works with pantry staff around the state to help them learn new recipes to make use of the products available at the foodbank at any given time. (I could totally see us doing a CBA event at this facility!)
by Bradley W. Miller, Miller Law LLC
Children are wonderful to watch at play because of their natural curiosity about the world around them. They constantly ask questions and are never satisfied with “just because.” It’s ok if the sky is green and the trees are blue; the world is a bright and vivid place to them, full of opportunity.
By the time we become adults – and I think this is particularly true with lawyers – we tend to stop asking questions and accept things “because that is just how it is.” We develop a personal framework that we view the world through, and it makes us feel comfortable, so we force everything to fit within it. The world becomes black , white, and shades of gray.
Who is happier?
by Jocelyn Armstrong, J. Armstrong Law, LLC, and Program Administrator, Columbus Bar inc Professional Development Center
Smartphones and tablets continue to impact the way lawyers do business. We have the ability to instantly access email and phone message from clients. Accepting payment on the go is now an emerging trend. There are three mobile credit card readers on the market that work with Apple (iPad/iPhone) and Android devices – Square, Intuit GoPayment, and SwitchPay.
For a nominal percentage per swipe (approximately 2.7%), attorneys can collect fees earned or consultation fees anywhere they meet clients. Two compelling benefits of mobile card readers are no monthly service fees and no monthly minimum requirements for transactions. This is important for solo and small law firms with low volume in credit payments. It eliminates the need for additional office equipment and dedicated phone lines.
The Fall 2012 edition of Columbus Bar Lawyers Quarterly is scheduled to arrive in your mailbox on Friday, October 5. In the meantime, here’s one article from the magazine to whet your appetite:
Lawyers with Artistic License (Second in a Series)
by Heather G. Sowald
I continue my search for attorneys who have developed their artistic talents as a balance to their daily work. Here are three more amazing attorneys:
Jules Garel was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and raised on a dairy/hog farm in Franklin, Massachusetts. His family farm had over 400 milk cows and 2,000 hogs. He worked on the farm until he graduated from law school. His father and uncle married two sisters, and until he was sixteen the two families with 9 children lived in one farmhouse.
Much to his surprise and delight, this farm boy was accepted at Harvard, and later received his law degree from Boston University. Jules has been a business lawyer in Columbus for over 55 years, practicing with a few law firms, and now listed as “of counsel” with Bailey Cavalieri.
Jules says that he and his wife are museum junkies, and he serves on the board of the Columbus Museum of Art. They are also avid collectors of American folk art. About three years ago, he looked at some of the paintings in their collection and thought, “Heck, I can do that!” So he went to an art supply store and bought acrylic paints, canvases and an easel. Back home, he sat down and began to paint remembrances of his early days on the family farm. He is completely self-taught.
Click here to continue this article (PDF)…
by Bradley W. Miller, Burton Law LLC
This is a follow-up to my previous post on eBooks in the legal practice.
The American Lawyer recently investigated eBook use in Am Law 200 firms in its eleventh annual survey of law firm library directors. A summary of the results of the survey were presented in this article.
Despite the benefits of eBooks, apparently traditional bound books are not going away without a fight. According to the survey, only 24% of the firm libraries surveyed are buying eBooks for lawyers. The culprit? Licensing and pay models based on how the vendors want to sell rather than how attorneys and firms want to use eBooks. Besides the complexity
of volume licensing agreements, eBooks are typically an additional cost for those firms already subscribing to print or online versions. These two factors are causing many firms to take a wait-and-see approach to adding eBooks to their libraries.
Do you agree with the results of the survey, and do you think they apply to small and medium-sized firms? Does your firm use eBooks? What difficulties have you found in trying to implement them into your practice?
I have not succumbed to the iPad frenzy, electing instead to embrace the Droid tablet and smartphone. There’s a lot of information out there about iPad apps for lawyers, but here’s an article from the ABA’s Law Practice Management section that talks more specifically about Droid apps for lawyers. There are some good suggestions here, all of which I intend to try. I thought I would pass it along for anyone else who might find these of interest.