Archives May 2023

Is the Talent War Over?

Since March 2020, the data privacy team at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith has worked remotely, handling client breaches from a variety of locations and only going into the office on an as-needed basis. This is because of the diffuse nature of cybersecurity legal services, says practice group chair Sean Hoar, which relies on the group operating around the clock from a variety of locations.

When Hoar’s 44-member group relocated to Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete at the beginning of this year, the team’s virtual work preference was a “unique” arrangement that leaders at labor and employment-focused Constangy were happy to agree to.

“We’re treating this group as both a virtual office and a practice group,” says Neil Wasser, chairman of the executive committee at Constangy. “It’s going to be fully integrated group that works together daily as a virtual office. We think it is reflective of how we’re going to see law firms work in the future.”

The Lewis Brisbois to Constangy move, one of the largest lateral group moves in the first month of 2023, indicates that, under the right circumstances, firm leaders are still willing to allow the kind of workplace flexibility that firms had no choice but to accept over the past several years. If the COVID-19 pandemic showed that remote work was a viable stop-gap solution, the frenzied pace of deal work that prompted 2021′s hiring boom kept it going by tilting labor market dynamics in candidates’ favor.

Neil Wasser, chairman of the executive committee at Constangy;. Courtesy photo

However, as receding demand for legal services and correspondingly legal talent sends the seesaw tilting in the opposite direction, the willingness of law firm leaders to accommodate the workplace preferences of candidates is now an open question. Industry observers and firm leaders say the visible manifestations 

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Rule 1.2 Scope of Representation And Allocation of Authority Between Client And Lawyer

Client-Lawyer Relationship

Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer

[1] Paragraph (a) confers upon the client the ultimate authority to determine the purposes to be served by legal representation, within the limits imposed by law and the lawyer’s professional obligations. The decisions specified in paragraph (a), such as whether to settle a civil matter, must also be made by the client. See Rule 1.4(a)(1) for the lawyer’s duty to communicate with the client about such decisions. With respect to the means by which the client’s objectives are to be pursued, the lawyer shall consult with the client as required by Rule 1.4(a)(2) and may take such action as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.

[2] On occasion, however, a lawyer and a client may disagree about the means to be used to accomplish the client’s objectives. Clients normally defer to the special knowledge and skill of their lawyer with respect to the means to be used to accomplish their objectives, particularly with respect to technical, legal and tactical matters. Conversely, lawyers usually defer to the client regarding such questions as the expense to be incurred and concern for third persons who might be adversely affected. Because of the varied nature of the matters about which a lawyer and client might disagree and because the actions in question may implicate the interests of a tribunal or other persons, this Rule does not prescribe how such disagreements are to be resolved. Other law, however, may be applicable and should be consulted by the lawyer. The lawyer should also consult with the client and seek a mutually acceptable resolution of the disagreement. If such efforts are unavailing and the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement with the client, the lawyer may withdraw from the representation. See Rule

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Professional Independence of a Lawyer

Law Firms And Associations

(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:

(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer’s firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer’s death, to the lawyer’s estate or to one or more specified persons;

(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;

(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and

(4) a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.

(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.

(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer’s professional judgment in rendering such legal services.

(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:

(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;

(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other

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Rule 3.7 Lawyer As Witness

Advocate

[1] Combining the roles of advocate and witness can prejudice the tribunal and the opposing party and can also involve a conflict of interest between the lawyer and client.

Advocate-Witness Rule

[2] The tribunal has proper objection when the trier of fact may be confused or misled by a lawyer serving as both advocate and witness. The opposing party has proper objection where the combination of roles may prejudice that party’s rights in the litigation. A witness is required to testify on the basis of personal knowledge, while an advocate is expected to explain and comment on evidence given by others. It may not be clear whether a statement by an advocate-witness should be taken as proof or as an analysis of the proof.

[3] To protect the tribunal, paragraph (a) prohibits a lawyer from simultaneously serving as advocate and necessary witness except in those circumstances specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3). Paragraph (a)(1) recognizes that if the testimony will be uncontested, the ambiguities in the dual role are purely theoretical. Paragraph (a)(2) recognizes that where the testimony concerns the extent and value of legal services rendered in the action in which the testimony is offered, permitting the lawyers to testify avoids the need for a second trial with new counsel to resolve that issue. Moreover, in such a situation the judge has firsthand knowledge of the matter in issue; hence, there is less dependence on the adversary process to test the credibility of the testimony.

[4] Apart from these two exceptions, paragraph (a)(3) recognizes that a balancing is required between the interests of the client and those of the tribunal and the opposing party. Whether the tribunal is likely to be misled or the opposing party is likely to suffer prejudice

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How to become a lawyer

If you’ve got your sights set on becoming a lawyer there’s a number of ways you can achieve your goal. Learn more about the different qualifications, skills and experience you’ll need to become a solicitor, barrister, chartered legal executive or paralegal

What’s the difference between a solicitor and a barrister?

Lawyer is a general term referring to anyone who is qualified to give legal advice as a licensed legal practitioner. This includes solicitors and barristers.

Solicitors provide legal support, advice and services to clients, who can be individuals, private companies, public sector organisations or other groups. Working in private practice, in-house for commercial organisations, in local or central government or in the court service, they may specialise in certain areas of law such as property, family or finance.

In England and Wales, barristers represent individuals or organisations in court, carry out research into points of law and advise clients on their case. Many are self-employed in chambers, while others work in government departments or agencies including the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Government Legal Service (GLS). Advocates play a similar role in Scotland.

Besides solicitors and barristers, other legal jobs that are often collectively referred to as ‘lawyers’ can include:

  • Chartered legal executives are qualified lawyers who specialise in particular fields of law such as civil and criminal litigation, corporate law or public law. Only those who complete the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives’ (CILEx) training programme can use this title.
  • Paralegals carry out legal work without being qualified as a solicitor or barrister. They support lawyers by, for instance, preparing briefing notes and interviewing clients and witnesses.

Try to arrange work shadowing and work experience placements, and attend insight days, to help you decide which path suits you. Find out more about law careers and the different areas of

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Lawyer asks to prosecute Xinjiang governor in the UK | UK news

A lawyer representing a Kazakh man who has alleged severe human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese state has requested permission from the UK attorney general to prosecute a Xinjiang governor expected to arrive in Britain on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Office shocked cross-party opponents of the Chinese treatment of Uyghur people and other Turkic groups who called it “incomprehensible” that the Xinjiang governor, Erkin Tuniyaz – who has been sanctioned by the US – is planning to visit the UK next week.

Tuniyaz, whom MPs allege has played “a central role in the persecution of Uyghurs”, also plans to make trips to other European countries to meet “stakeholders” to “discuss the situation in Xinjiang”, according to an email from the Foreign Office.

The prosecution request over Tuniyaz’s role in alleged human rights violations perpetrated against Uyghur people and other Turkic groups in China over the crime of torture was made by the barrister Michael Polak on behalf of Erbakit Otarbay, a Kazakh camp survivor now living in the UK. Polak sent the request to the attorney general late on Wednesday night and hopes to receive a response later on Thursday.

“Because the client is in the United Kingdom and an alleged victim of torture, he’s entitled to bring a case against Mr Tuniyaz,” said Polak. “Of course, Mr Tuniyaz is entitled to a fair trial … and he can reject or fight the allegations.”

In 2021, Ortabay submitted a statement to the Uyghur Tribunal, an independent and unofficial tribunal that found Uyghur people living in Xinjiang province had been subjected to crimes against humanity directed by the Chinese state.

In May 2017, Ortabay said his passport was confiscated by Chinese authorities on his way back to visit his father in China. He emigrated to Kazakhstan with his family

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AI Lawyer “Ross” Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm

Law firm Baker & Hostetler has announced that they are employing IBM’s AI Ross to handle their bankruptcy practice, which at the moment consists of nearly 50 lawyers. According to CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda, other firms have also signed licenses with Ross, and they will also be making announcements shortly.

Ross, “the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney” built on IBM’s cognitive computer Watson, was designed to read and understand language, postulate hypotheses when asked questions, research, and then generate responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions. Ross also learns from experience, gaining speed and knowledge the more you interact with it.

“You ask your questions in plain English, as you would a colleague, and ROSS then reads through the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed quickly,” the website says. “In addition, ROSS monitors the law around the clock to notify you of new court decisions that can affect your case.”

Ross also minimizes the time it takes by narrowing down results from a thousand to only the most highly relevant answers, and presents the answers in a more casual, understandable language. It also keeps up-to-date with developments in the legal system, specifically those that may affect your cases.

Click to View Full Infographic

Baker & Hostetler chief information officer Bob Craig explains the rationale behind this latest hire: “At BakerHostetler, we believe that emerging technologies like cognitive computing and other forms of machine learning can help enhance the services we deliver to our clients.”

“BakerHostetler has been using ROSS since the first days of its deployment, and we are proud to partner with a true leader in the industry as we continue to develop additional

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The In-House Lawyer

Established in 1992, The In-House Lawyer is the magazine of choice of the in-house counsel of the UK and EMEA. Relied upon and trusted by heads of legal departments, company secretaries and managing directors of FTSE 250 companies for providing authoritative and independent editorial content, The In-House Lawyer boasts the largest and most comprehensive published resources of professional knowledge and expertise.

  • A wholly subjective (but nonetheless definitive) guide to law firms from a $300m client on how to make a successful pitch*

    In 2020, Teva Pharmaceuticals conducted a law firm selection process unprecedented in scale and sophistication within the profession (see ‘On notice: Teva’s entire $330m legal spend could go to one law firm’, The Legal 500, Summer 2019).

  • Terra Potter, Hexcel Corporation

    Terra Potter (whose middle name is Cotta – IHL has seen the proof) proudly proclaims on LinkedIn that she originally hails from a cornfield outside Chicago and, while many lawyers claim to have had an unconventional path into a legal career, hers has been more so than most. Growing up in Rochelle, Illinois, she started …

  • Jelena Madir, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

    Jelena Madir’s career to date has been defined by two crises. The 2008 financial crash saw her out of a job and forced to look beyond private practice for gainful employment. Fast forward just over a decade, and the Covid-19 pandemic has spawned the work which she credits as the highlight of her career, and …

  • Sharon Blackman, Citi

    While she is loath to admit it, Sharon Blackman, managing director and general counsel in Citi’s global legal affairs and compliance division, ‘hated’ her law degree. Clearly this has not held her back though, as her GC of the Year gong

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    Lawyer – Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews and Advice

    A lawyer advises and represents individuals or organizations in legal matters. Depending on their specialty and what type of law they practice, a lawyer may represent a client in civil or criminal court, or help a client write a will.

    “There’s a reason why lawyers are usually called counsel; that’s essentially what our job is, to counsel,” says Juan Santamaria, a Houston-based staff attorney at the nonprofit Lone Star Legal Aid, who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. “We don’t just go to court to fight and argue. Our entire job is to complete a task for our client and to give our best counsel to that client to complete that task.”

    Lawyers may work for nonprofit organizations or for federal, state or local governments, but the majority work in private or corporate legal offices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Some lawyers work as district attorneys, prosecuting criminal cases within a jurisdiction, while others work as public defenders, representing individuals who are accused of crimes and can’t afford to hire an attorney. Some lawyers work as legal advisers to universities, municipalities or corporations. Environmental lawyers may work with waste disposal companies to make sure they comply with relevant laws related to the environment, family lawyers may advise clients during child custody or adoption proceedings, and securities lawyers may advise companies that are interested in listing in the stock exchange through an initial public offering.The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 9.6% employment growth for lawyers between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 80,200 jobs should open up.

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    How to Become a Lawyer: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Entering the legal profession is no small task, so the choice to become a lawyer should not be made lightly, experts say. Getting a license to practice law in the U.S. generally requires years of strenuous effort, and it may involve acquiring a significant amount of student loan debt in order to cover the cost of law school.

    A legal career often leads to a six-figure salary. The median annual compensation among lawyers in the U.S. as of May 2019 was $122,960, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Here are the steps involved in becoming a lawyer.

    Step 1: Learn About Legal Jobs and Careers

    Someone contemplating a career as a lawyer should conduct research on the legal field to gauge whether he or she would enjoy life as a lawyer, attorneys suggest.

    One valuable resource is the “Discover Law” portal on the Law School Admission Council website, which includes a lot of information about what it is like to be a lawyer and the contributions someone with a law degree can make to society.

    It’s prudent and valuable to conduct informational interviews with practicing attorneys and to secure a law-related job or internship, according to legal industry insiders.

    Step 2: Cultivate Communication and Reasoning Skills and Develop a Strong Work Ethic

    Once a person has determined that the legal profession is a good fit, he or she should start seeking out academic and extracurricular experiences that will prepare him or her to be a great lawyer.

    Aspiring lawyers should take classes that involve extensive reading and writing so that they can become better readers and writers, since those skills are critical to most legal jobs, according to law school professors.

    Courses in social science are also helpful, since those classes cultivate societal awareness and teach people skills.

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