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LAW NOTES

Newbies Still Need Ethics TrainingTop Court Extends Course RequirementMaryland’s requirement that newly minted attorneys attend a one-day course on professionalism was extended for another 10 years by the Court of Appeals — just in time for this week’s course at the Baltimore Convention Center, where nearly 900 successful bar-exam takers will learn how to navigate potential ethical pitfalls they may encounter as they embark in the practice of law.“We’re very pleased the Court of Appeals extended the course for another 10 years,” said Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Kathleen O’Farrall Friedman, chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s professionalism committee. “It’s a stamp of approval and recognition that the course is well-received in the legal community.”Friedman said the all-day course offered on Dec. 8 and 9 is needed for two reasons. “It came out of a study that showed many lawyers felt a personal dissatisfaction with the practice of law,” the judge said. “But the course also fulfills a public trust. By exploring issues like dealing civilly with other lawyers and how to deal with ethical issues with clients, it can help new lawyers avoid greater problems.”


Find That Coveted Clerkship OnlineFederal Web Site Lists OpeningsQualifications notwithstanding, it used to take luck and good timing to land a law clerk position with a federal judge; identifying every opening was nearly impossible. But that’s all changed with a new online database launched this fall.The Federal Law Clerk Information System allows prospective law clerks to locate openings via the Internet on the Federal Judiciary’s Web site. Just point your browser to ww.uscourts.gov and click on the FLCIS. Potential applicants can search for vacancies by location, by court or by individual judge.“Federal judicial law clerk positions are highly coveted,” said administrative office director Leonidas Ralph Mecham in a news release. “This new Web site should meet the needs of both judges and law students since it creates a level playing field by giving all interested parties equal access to the same information.” Days after the new database premiered, more than 300 positions had been entered by federal judges at both the district court and appeals court levels. Law schools have been notified of the new site, and all federal judges have received detailed instructions on entering their law clerk vacancy information, including the court’s address, how applications should be submitted and when interviews are scheduled.Judges also can list special requirements, including encouraging applicants with experiences beyond academia, accuracy and attention to detail, a sense of humor or — as one particularly honest judge puts it — “a willingness to laugh at my jokes.”


ABA Opens Nominations For 2001 Pro Bono Publico AwardsKnow an attorney who has shown dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor via a pro bono program? Then consider nominating him or her for the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Awards, established in 1984 to recognize extraordinary and noteworthy contributions to extend legal representation to those who can’t afford it.Nominees may be individual lawyers, law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments or other legal institutions. The awards will be presented at the ABA’s annual meeting in Chicago in August.Other criteria include contributions of significant work toward developing new approaches to the delivery of volunteer legal services; participation in an activity that resulted in satisfying previously unmet needs to underserved people; successful pro bono litigation that affected services to the poor; and initiating new legislation that made a significant contribution to legal services for poor people.Nominations must be received no later than March 1, 2001. For more information, contact Dorothy Jackson, ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards at (312) 988-5766 or by email: jacksond@staff.abanet.org.