Oregon State Bar Bulletin — MAY 2002


The legal consumer group HALT ('dedicated to helping all Americans handle their legal affairs simply, affordably and equitably') has taken on the nation's small claims court system as a multiyear reform project. It has now released a national report card, grading Oregon's small claims courts a C-minus. In the survey, Oregon ties in rank for ninth out of 47 jurisdictions with small claims courts. Half of a state's grade came from the amount and type of relief offered, and half came from the ease of access to the court. A copy of the report card is available at www.halt.org.

Women of Wisdom, a new virtual network of women attorneys and women physicians, will begin offering teleconferences 'dedicated to empowering women attorney and physicans,' hoping to provide CLE credits and psychological strategic planning that can lead to a satisfying career and a well-balanced life.
For information on the 90-minute teleconferences scheduled to begin in May 2002, visit:
www.womenof wisdom.com.

Attorneys are not inclined to become the boss, at least not of their own law firms. In a recent nationwide poll conducted by The Affiliates, 84 percent of lawyers surveyed said that even if they had the funds, they would not start their own practice.
In 1997, a similar poll found that 78 percent would not open their own law office. Lawyers may be hesitant to leave the security of their current positions, the survey concluded.

The ABA has launched a series of online interactive 'immediate-feedback' courses on advanced writing for lawyers. The goal is to bring the classroom to busy lawyers at their convenience.
'Advanced Writing with Gary Kinder' deviates from the standard text-based of 'talking head' format used in most online learning programs. It's a series of one-hour courses that uses exercises culled from legal opinions, briefs, memoranda, letters and contracts to improve writing skills and allow lawyers to take courses at their own convenience and pace.
The first course is Power Editing: Part I, available at www.abanet.org/cle/ecle/ i02awli.html. The cost for each course is $50 for individual lawyers (less for groups).

Apparently the image of the profession still needs some work. According to a nationwide survey commisioned by Columbia Law School on lawyers and the legal profession, almost two-thirds of Americans think lawyers are overpaid, about half think attorneys do more harm than good, and four in 10 think lawyers are dishonest. On the hand, the public holds police officers in high esteem, which is perhaps no surprise in these anti-terrorist times. Politicians fare far worse thatn lawyers or cops. A press release and the survey findings themselves are detailed at: http://www.law.columbia.edu/news/

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The Oregon Supreme Court Library, which became the State of Oregon Law Library by act of the 2001 legislature, has a new look. The venerable library's interior was recently renovated to allow use of new technologies, while preserving the historical ambience of the 1914 Supreme Court Building.
To celebrate these transitions, Oregon lawyers are invited to an open house at the library May 22, 1 to 5 p.m. Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson Jr. will dedicate the newly enhanced library at 3 p.m. Books withdrawn from the library collection will be available for sale.