Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2005

Briefs

Women, minorities under-represented
Attorneys of color account for 4.32 percent of the partners in the nationís major law firms, and women account for 17.06 percent of the partners in these firms, according to new research from NALP, a national legal placement organization.

Relative to the attorney population as a whole (and to law school enrollment), these two groups continue to be under-represented among partnership ranks at these firms, NALP says. Womenís presence among law school graduates has ranged from 40 percent to almost half since the late 1980s. The percentage of minority graduates has similarly doubled, from 10 to 20 percent during the same time period.

Nationally, women and attorneys of color are better represented in associate and summer associate ranks: Women hold 43.36 percent of associate or staff/senior attorney positions, and attorneys of color hold 15.06 percent of these positions. Each group lags in its representation by about five percentage points compared to the population of recent law school graduates.

The 2004-2005 NALP Directory of Legal Employers, which provides individual firm listings on which the aggregate analyses are based, is available (and searchable) online at www.nalpdirectory.com. Sixteen Portland law offices were included in the research, which shows the breakdown among partners, associates and summer associates for women and minority lawyers.

Matrimonial lawyers support same-sex marriage
At its annual meeting in Chicago in November, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers overwhelmingly approved resolutions supporting the legalization of marriage between same-sex couples and urging Congress and state legislatures to pass laws enabling same-sex marriage.

The votes came just days after 11 states passed constitutional amendments barring such unions.

Starting salaries going up
According to Robert Half Legalís annual survey of salaries in the legal profession, average starting salaries for attorneys, paralegals and others in the U.S. are expected to increase 3.4 percent in 2005. The fastest-growing practice areas include intellectual property, health care and litigation.

The guide may be helpful for law firms and corporate legal departments in determining appropriate employee compensation levels. Copies of the guide are free. If interested, call (800) 870-8367, or visit www.roberthalflegal.com.

Part-time schedules remain under-utilized options
The NALP Directory of Legal Employers shows that while most large firms make part-time schedules available to their experienced attorneys, very few attorneys have taken advantage of the option over the past 10 years.

Nearly all 1,300 individual law offices in the directory allowed part-time schedules as an affirmative policy or on a case-by-case basis (96.7 percent). The number of attorneys reported to be working part-time was 3.9 percent. Associates took greater advantage of part-time schedules than did partners (5.1 percent of associates; 2.6 percent of partners). The data reveals differences by size of firm, city and state. Portland ranked third highest at 6.4 percent.

See the searchable directory online at www.nalpdirectory.com.


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New Principles
for Jury Service

New Principles for Jury Service
New principles for juries and jury trials will be presented to the ABAís House of Delegates for consideration in February. If adopted, they advisory principles will be disseminated to jurisdictions throughout the country. They are the result of six months of intensive work by the ABA American Jury Projectís efforts to "move jury service into the 21st century."

The principles address the need to protect jurorsí privacy throughout the course of a trial and afterward. They clarify that jurors have a right to be questioned about only relevant subjects, to know how their information will be used, and to answer sensitive questions privately. If adopted, parties and their agents would not be able to conduct surveillance or jurors or prospective jurors without express court permission, and cameras allowed into the courtroom could not record or transmit images of jurorsí faces. The principles cover other areas, such as improving juror pay and urging that employers be barred by law from firing, laying off or denying advancement opportunities to employees who must take time off for jury service Ė or from requiring employees to use vacation time while serving.

For more details, see www.abavideonews.org/ ABA301/index.htm.