Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2004

Briefs

Firms plan to expand staff next year
Law firms and corporate legal departments expect to hire more attorneys in the next 12 months, a new survey shows. Sixty-two percent of lawyers polled said they will be adding staff in the coming year. This is an increase over last year when 52 percent of attorneys said they planned increased hiring activity.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a staffing service specializing in attorneys, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 attorneys among the nationís 1,000 largest law firms and corporations in the U.S. and Canada.

Attorneys were asked, "Do you expect the number of attorneys employed with your firm or corporate legal department to increase, stay the same or decrease in the next 12 months?" Their responses:

Increase: 62 percent.
Stay the same: 35 percent.
Decrease: 2 percent.
Donít know: 1 percent.

"Law firms are gearing up for future growth, particularly within high-demand specialties," said Sheron Hindley-Smith, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Certain practice areas such as intellectual property and healthcare law continue to generate significant project and case work within law offices."

Read more about the survey and related topics at www.roberthalflegal.com.

PLF Board Positions
The Professional Liability Fund is looking for two lawyer members to serve five-year terms on the PLF board of directors, beginning January 2005. Directors attend approximately six two-day board meetings per year, as well as various committee meetings, and are also required to spend a considerable amount of time reading board materials between meetings and participating in telephone conference calls. PLF policies prohibit directors and their firms from prosecuting or defending claims against lawyers. Interested persons should send a brief résumé by July 12, 2004, to Ira R. Zarov, Professional Liability Fund, P.O. Box 1600, Lake Oswego, OR 97035-0600.

Crime Victim Legal Clinics Funded
Federal funding has enabled The National Crime Victim Law Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School to create five new crime victimsí rights clinics around the country. Institute executive director Doug Beloof announced the creation of the five new clinics in Sacramento, Upper Marlboro, Md., St. Louis, Mo., Albuquerque, N.M., and Columbia, S.C., and the continued funding of a clinic in Tempe, Ariz.

"These clinics are designed to ensure that victims of crime have independent, pro bono, legal representation throughout the criminal justice process," Beloof said. Currently, 33 states have state constitutional amendments, and all states have statutes guaranteeing victims of crime specific rights during the criminal justice process. According to Beloof, these rights are not actively enforced, which can lead to secondary victimization for these crime victims during criminal proceedings.

Funding for the project has been made possible through a grant of nearly $775,000, provided by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Established in 2000, the National Crime Victim Law Institute is the only national organization working to assert victims' rights in criminal courts. The institute is a nonprofit research and educational organization that assists attorneys who provide direct legal services, files amicus briefs to advocate for victims, conducts research and provides information on issues concerning victims' legal rights. More information about the institute is available online at www.ncvli.org.


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Keep Lawyer to Lawyer Program in Mind

The OSBís Lawyer to Lawyer program connects Oregon attorneys working in an unfamiliar practice area with experienced attorneys willing to offer informal advice at no charge. The experienced attorneys, called resource lawyers, offer advice through brief telephone consultation. Resource lawyers are listed according to areas of expertise and geographic location.

Any Oregon attorney may call Lawyer to Lawyer and receive the names and telephone numbers of three resource lawyers. Callersí names are not taken, so confidentiality is assured. To ensure that resource lawyers are not overloaded with calls, the attorney listings in each location are rotated after every referral.

To call the Lawyer to Lawyer service, dial (503) 620-0222 ext. 408, or toll-free in Oregon: (800) 452-8260 ext. 408. Download an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file of the Lawyer to Lawyer form