Say the word “flextime” and most people think of reduced hours for working mothers. But a small, yet growing number of male lawyers are using lighter job schedules to strike the right work-life balance.
More law firms in recent years have incorporated flextime policies—especially reduced-hour schedules—to help with attorney retention. And women, more than men, have used the policies to balance their jobs with raising kids.
But more widespread adoption by male attorneys of the benefit is expected to lift all boats—helping women lawyers juggle demands and attracting millennial attorneys less interested in working a constant grind.
PDF: Move Over Moms, Male Lawyers Are Using Flextime Too _ Law.com
Although it might go against a lawyer’s natural propensities toward risk aversion, some practitioners have started accepting payments in digital currencies amid the bitcoin boom.
“I’ve known for a long time that my opportunity to expand in certain areas has been affected by not taking it,” said Carol Van Cleef, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who for 10 years has represented cryptocurrency clients with regulatory compliance.
As far back as 2013, a handful of big law firms that represented the earliest cryptocurrency entrepreneurs started accepting bitcoin payments. Today, big and small firms alike, as well as solo practitioners, have followed their lead and have accepted cryptocurrency’s risks in order to meet clients’ needs and get paid.
Part of the horror of what happened to Suzanne Wooten is the realization that if the justice system failed so miserably for her, it could happen to anyone.
Wooten lived a nightmare: Winning an election by a landslide to unseat an incumbent judge, only to be allegedly targeted by political rivals, wrongfully convicted of nine felonies, cast down from her district court bench and stripped of her license to practice law.
Finally after six years living the bad dream, Wooten this year found complete redemption in May when a court acquitted her of all charges, declared her actually innocent, and she got back her law license in June.
Some things, Wooten will never get back. She used to believe if she paid her taxes, followed the speed limit, refused to drink and drive, or followed election campaign laws, she would be safe and wouldn’t get in legal trouble.
“The biggest horror is taking away from me and my family the sense of security we have,” Wooten said. “When something like this happens to you, my sense of being safe even just walking down the street—it’s gone, it’s destroyed.”
Wrongful conviction stories always loom large in the public consciousness because of the deep-seated need to believe that the justice system will get it right—convict the guilty, exonerate the innocent. When things go terribly wrong, people struggle to find some reason, so that they won’t have to believe that a wrongful conviction could happen to them, too.
How did the system fail Suzanne Wooten?
PDF: How the Justice System Severely Failed One of its Own _ Texas Lawyer
Once upon a time there was a hero who took down the corrupt French Maid, who had manipulated and stolen from the Dread Pirate Roberts on The Silk Road.
It sounds like the plot line of a swashbuckler movie, but actually, it’s part of the tale of Kathryn Haun’s rise as a federal prosecutor who helped lay the groundwork for the government to capture cryptocurrency criminals.
Right now, the value of just one bitcoin is hovering around $5,000, leading to rampant media coverage, pushing digital currency lexicon into the mainstream. But wide adoption depends much on the safety and security of the new technology, which is often compared to the Wild West.
Haun, first as a federal prosecutor and now as a bespoke legal consultant for emerging technology companies, has contributed much to beefing up security in the industry. In the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, she was the first digital currency coordinator. She handled cases that taught prosecutors to work through challenges in convicting cryptocurrency criminals, and sent loud-and-clear messages to digital currency companies to increase financial safeguards.
PDF: Call Her the Constable of Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin. Ethereum. Blockchain. It sounds like a foreign language, clouded in mystery.
But with billions of dollars flowing through cryptocurrency systems, and governments and major companies looking to blockchain technology to reform a wide variety of critical record-keeping systems, law students and lawyers need to get up to speed.
Even with great change brewing, only a smattering of law professors have published research in the area, and even fewer have launched formal classes for law students.
Angela Walch is one of the first law professors who have latched on to the importance of digital currencies and blockchain technology. Starting research in 2012, Walch, who is a professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, has made a mark in the cryptocurrency community with research that suggested—despite the decentralized promise of blockchain technology—that actual identifiable people govern the systems, and furthermore, they should owe users a fiduciary duty. Walch’s law school course she started in 2013 was pioneering in teaching students about bitcoin and the blockchain.
This story published on law.com on August 7, 2017.
PDF: Don t Know What Blockchain Is You Should This Law Prof Can Help _ Texas Lawyer
Texas law graduates would no longer face the Texas bar exam, and instead take a test with fewer essay questions that could qualify them for a law license in 29 states, if the Texas Supreme Court accepts a recommendation from one of its task forces.
In a report this week, the Task Force on the Texas Bar Examination, which the high court created in June 2016, said that Texas should ditch the Texas bar exam in favor of the uniform bar exam, which still includes the multistate bar exam, but supplements those tests with a new online test focusing on Texas law.
Daniel Henry was studying to become an engineer, but something wasn’t right.
Studying for his undergraduate engineering courses at the University of Houston was boring—a real chore—and he couldn’t see himself in the field for the rest of his life. Then an African-American studies course made him realize his true passion was fighting for justice and helping the black community.
That question lead him to enroll in an innovative, intense diversity program at the University of Houston Law Center, unprecedented among Texas law schools and rare among nationwide law schools, which has won national accolades from diversity advocates.
“I just went to learn about the legal field, and I came out knowing [and] fighting for justice as an attorney was my purpose,” Henry said.
PDF: prelaw pipeline program
One of the African-American women on a golf course, whose co-owner said they were playing too slowly and called the police, is a Pennsylvania lawyer and president of the local NAACP chapter.
Sandra Thompson and her friends were golfing on April 21 at Grandview Golf Club in Dover Township, where they are members, when the co-owner of the golf course alerted police about their pace of play and asked them to leave. The women denied they were golfing too slowly, and they stayed put.
Like the recent incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks where an employee called police about two black men who did not immediately place an order while waiting on a friend, the golfers’ fiasco has spread quickly among national media like The Associated Press, Newsweek and ESPN, and was even featured on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in a segment about people calling police on others “for being black in public.”
PDF:Golf course called police on lawyer
A group of 150 women attorneys is set to descend upon the Oklahoma State Capitol on April 9 to help negotiate a deal between lawmakers and teachers over school-funding woes.
Teacher walkouts across the state since April 2 have ground schools to a halt, prompting Tulsa lawyer Becki Murphy to organize the group, made up mostly of women lawyers with children. The effort has received support from men attorneys as well, she said.
“It puts heat on this legislature to get something done,” said Murphy, whose practice focuses on family law.
PDF: 150 Women Lawyers Plan Brigade to Oklahoma Capitol Over Teacher Pay _ Law.com
Lawyer Barry Fox of New York could be in danger of losing his penthouse apartment after an appellate court ruled he isn’t entitled to rent-stabilization protections.
Fox, senior counsel with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, who lived in the Upper East Side building since 1975, never knew his former landlord was getting tax benefits for his apartment being rent-stabilized. He was paying market rent—$25,000 per month—and it wasn’t until 2014, when his building changed hands and a new landlord said it wasn’t going to renew his lease, that he learned he might have protections against eviction.
PDF: Penthouse in Peril for Cleary Gottlieb Lawyer _ New York Law Journal
Two recent law graduates in Houston have joined a national trend by launching a new nonprofit law firm to serve low- and middle-income clients.
Access Justice Houston, founded by 2017 University of Houston Law Center graduates MacKenzie Dunham and Doug Evans, has become the fourth Texas-based nonprofit firm—along with DiFilippo Holistic Law Center in Austin, Legal Access Texas in Dallas, and Greater Waco Legal Services in Waco—that are targeting modest-means clients in an effort to close the justice gap. The other Texas-based nonprofit firms were launched by veteran lawyers; Dunham and Evans are the first recent law graduates to take the plunge.
PDF: New Nonprofit Firm the First Founded by Baby Lawyers _ Texas Lawyer
Lawyers begin voting today to decide whether Lisa Blue or Randy Sorrels will become the next president-elect of the State Bar of Texas.
Lawyers have 30 days to cast their ballots, and the winner of election will serve as president-elect for one year, starting this summer, and then become state bar president in June 2019.
PDF: Voting Begins for Next President-Elect of the State Bar of Texas _ Texas Lawyer