See for Yourself: The New Robert Mueller Action Figure

See for Yourself: The New Robert Mueller Action Figure

By Angela Morris (law.com, Jan. 15, 2019)

In the past, when a Brooklyn-based toy company created action figures of popular politicians—for example, Bernie Sanders or Ruth Bader Ginsburg—it found the real-life person and gave a gift of one of the dolls.

But FCTRY will likely skip the step this week when it releases a new action figure of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Mueller is notoriously hard to reach. I think I would be intimidated,” said the company’s CEO, Jason Feinberg, who noted that the Mueller action figure will feature a “fixed gaze, because he knows you know he knows,” a right hand that’s open, “ready for the smoking gun,” pockets to “hold his strong moral compass,” and “impermeable shoes in case of tweetstorms.”

The Bar Exam of the Future Offers Plenty to Be Excited About

The Bar Exam of the Future Offers Plenty to Be Excited About

by Angela Morris (Texas Lawyer, January/February 2019 issue)

A new era is on the horizon for Texas law graduates taking the bar exam—but many current and prospective law students might not know anything about it.

The Texas Supreme Court has approved a recommendation to replace the Texas bar exam with the Uniform Bar Examination, effective in February 2021. It’s a big deal, because reciprocity will allow graduates to transfer UBE scores to 34 other states. Another perk is the fewer topics and essay questions than the existing Texas bar exam.

“Most law students are so focused on the normal day-to-day of law school that they don’t pay much attention to the bar exam. They just know the bar exam is hard and they’ll have to take it one day,” said Femi Aborisade, president of the student bar association at The University of Texas School of Law in Austin.

Survivor mentality: Law firms are seeking out professionals to hold active shooter drills

Survivor mentality: Law firms are seeking out professionals to hold active shooter drills

By Angela Morris (ABA Journal, December 2018)

Last year, a Houston lawyer went to Las Vegas to attend a country music festival but came home a survivor of a tragic type of mass violence that has become all too common in modern America.

When a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at the Route 91 Harvest festival, killing 58 concertgoers and wounding 546, this attorney survived using the survival mindset she had learned when her law firm hosted an active shooter defense course at the office.

“I’ve had four people come forward and tell me the training I’ve provided saved their lives when an active shooter showed up,” says Stephen Daniel, the Houston Police Department instructor and senior community liaison who trained the survivor at her law firm. Daniel says she and her firm wished to remain anonymous because the shooting was so traumatic.

In a country where mass shootings happen with increasing frequency, it’s becoming more common for law firms to bring active shooter defense instructors on-site to teach their lawyers and staff about how to survive a shooting situation. Daniel says he’s taught attorneys at 30 Houston-area law firms about the “run, hide, fight” method of surviving an active shooter. Daniel was one of the active shooter instructors to present sessions at successive annual conferences of the Association of Legal Administrators, where some law firm administrators first got the idea to bring the active shooter training to their firms.

Tips for How to Make the Best of Rest Time and How to Know You Need It

Tips for How to Make the Best of Rest Time and How to Know You Need It

By Angela Morris (Texas Lawyer magazine, December 2018)

Texas law students yearning for rest and relaxation will get a chance later this month, but winter break isn’t just a time for leisure.

To make the most of the monthlong holiday, law students should fit in R&R, while also setting aside time to reflect on the pros and cons of the finished semester, set goals for the upcoming semester and jump-start job searches for summer jobs.

Texas Lawyer connected with a student bar president, a career services director and an academic success expert at three law schools spread across Texas to get their top tips about balancing the break. Here are their answers to our questions, edited for brevity and clarity.

Tort Reform Turns 10

Tort Reform Turns 10

By Angela Morris (Texas Lawyer, September 2, 2013)

There’s no doubt that 2003’s major medical-malpractice reforms dramatically cut both the numbers of med-mal suits in Texas and doctors’ med-mal insurance rates. But there’s disagreement about its affect on the state’s physician population.

In 2003, when the Texas Legislature debated House Bill 4, supporters and opponents predicted the impact. Supporters said HB 4 would retain and attract physicians and improve patients’ access to care. Opponents said it would prevent certain plaintiffs with legitimate claims from finding lawyers to represent them.

What really happened during 10 years of tort reform?

Purvi Shah Is Perfecting the Art of ‘Movement Lawyering’

Purvi Shah Is Perfecting the Art of ‘Movement Lawyering’

by Angela Morris (law.com, Nov. 29, 2018)

Purvi Shah has a vision that law should serve society as a building block for equality and an architect for justice.

But the deep-rooted societal problems of racism and inequality surfacing in U.S. culture—including police shootings and sexual harassment—have made Shah see that lawyers must do more to realize her vision.

Shah, founder and executive director of Movement Law Lab, 
has embarked on a journey to train and support lawyers and legal organizations dedicated to placing the full force and power of the law behind communities fighting for social justice. The idea, known as “movement lawyering,” is getting a boost from Shah’s nonprofit, which funds and incubates projects by attorneys and legal organizations looking to make a difference.

Make room for chatbots at your firm, LawDroid founder says

Make room for chatbots at your firm, LawDroid founder says

By Angela Morris (ABA Journal)

Chatbots have a place in a law office, says legal chatbot creator Tom Martin, because they can handle busy work that eats up precious time in a lawyer’s day.

Martin is the founder of LawDroid, a company that creates legal chatbot apps that mimic human conversations when talking with potential clients.

For example, a reception bot on a firm’s website can answer questions about the lawyers who work there and the services they provide, and it can schedule clients for consultations, Martin explains. By wiping out such mundane tasks, it frees up time for meaningful human interactions between lawyer and client that no machine can master.

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