BONO GRANT FOR OREGON LAW CENTER
The Oregon Law Center is a recipient of one of six mini-grants aimed at
rural legal services groups as part of an initiative to improve delivery
of pro bono legal services to impoverished rural Americans. The award
is sponsored by the ABA Center for Pro Bono.
Center will use the grant money to hold community summits to enhance existing
pro bono programs, strategize about new pro bono delivery models and build
a cooperative network of community and legal services providers within
the rural areas. The summits will include sole practitioners, law firms,
judges, judicial representatives, bar representatives and other community
providers such as shelters and domestic violence programs.
UNCLAIMED IRS REFUNDS
The IRS list of unclaimed rebate and traditional income tax refund checks
is available at www.tax.org; the list includes the taxpayer's name, city
and zip code. More than 390,000 taxpayers have not received their checks,
which were returned as 'undeliverable' because taxpayers had
moved, married or changed their names. The average refund that could not
be delivered is $927.
think they are missing a check, they can call IRS roll-free assistance
to find out how to proceed: (800) 829-1040.
DURING ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS
The NALP Foundation for Law Career Research and Education has published
Managing Law Firm Recruitment & Retention in a Downturn, to
provide an objective resource that explores options available to law firms
as they manage personnel. The 70-page white paper posits that during a
market downturn, it is critically important to approach decisions from
the perspective that human resources are assets. Among the topics included:
communication during an economic crisis can preempt rumor mills and
alleviate angst, contributing to better morale and firm loyalty.
the headcount in law firms is rarely achieved easily, but there are
practices that can make the process less brutal, e.g., reliance on natural
attrition, hiring freezes and voluntary time-off programs.
a workforce reduction or layoff is contemplated, establishing an oversight
committee comprised of trustworthy individuals who can engender confidence
in management's leadership and decisions may offer significant benefits.
- A firm
that reduces its workforce will need to overcome negative reviews it
may receive from three distinct audiences that are key in recruiting:
students, lateral associates and search consultants. (As the economy
revives they will affect the firm's ability to access a high-quality
talent pool as needed.)
represents a shift in the direction and culture of an organization.
Strong leadership is needed to safeguard the sense of comfort and level
of trust and confidence employees have in their future with the firm.
information or to order a copy of the full report, visit www.nalp.org
online, or call (202) 835-1001. The price is $125 for the general public,
$85 for NALP members.
There are many opportunities available to lawyers for participating in
public legal education, according to a new guide put out by the ABA Division
for Public Education.
guide, 'Educating the Public About the Law: Guide for Individual
Lawyers,' encourages attorneys to take a proactive role to improve
public understanding of the justice system and to sustain the public's
confidence in the system. It contains practical advice on communicating
with public audiences, highlights programs that depend on the contributions
of volunteer lawyers and more. Printed versions are available for $2.50
by calling (800) 285-2221 and asking for product code #235-0204, or download
one for free at www.abanet.org/publiced/volunteer.
ECONOMIC SURVEY FOR
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon has announced a new framework
for assessing attorney fee petitions. The court's announcement can be
found at http://ord.uscourts.gov/
attorney_fee_statement.pdf. Note that the court will be using the
OSB Economic Survey (1998) as its initial benchmark of reasonable hourly
rates - and that the reasonableness of fee petitions will be scrutinized
even if there is no challenge to the hours or the rates by opposing counsel.
the survey are available for $6 from the OSB Order Desk, (503) 620-0222,
ext. 413. OSB members can also view a copy of the survey on the memberlinks
portion of the bar's website at www.osbar.org.