Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JULY 2003


Women at in-house corporate law departments are increasing in numbers and are having an impact on corporate legal culture, according to a new survey.

In a new survey of Fortune 500 general counsel, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association finds that in 2002 women comprised 13 percent of the positions, an increase from 9 percent in 2000. And from 1999 to 2002, persons of color holding such positions almost tripled, from 11 companies to 30. 'Although much progress has been made,' says MCCA executive director Veta Richardson, 'there are even more minorities and women in the pipeline, preparing themselves to attain the position of general counsel.'

Other findings include:
Risk taking is a key personal strategy for attorneys seeking to further their leadership potential.

Taking credit for one’s own work is key, seen as a way of creating visibility.

Women attorneys are increasingly creating their own definition of success, one that includes a meaningful role at home and at work.

For more information, contact the association at (202) 944-3840.

Reliance on technology to attract, retain and serve clients remains the leading trend in law office management, according to a new white paper released by The Affiliates, a staffing service for legal professionals.

The report’s key findings emphasize the impact of technology on the legal profession, from increased use of web-based tools for attorney-client interaction to consumer-oriented legal self-help. The research also highlights new management trends, including a move by corporations to consolidate the number of law firms they retain and the implementation of business development strategies such as cross-selling and relationship marketing to gain market share.

Some findings include:
66 percent of attorneys predict their firms or departments will increase technology spending in the next five years.

69 percent of law firms report that they use print advertising to attract clients.

57 percent of firms say they use public relations campaigns, relying on branding, mergers, lateral acquisitions and other techniques to grow their business.

The white paper is part of The Affiliates’ Future Law Office project, which can be found online at www .futurelaw.com.

Do you know what your past boss will say when a potential employer calls for a job reference? One new service for job-seekers reports that 50 percent of its clients have lost job offers due to a former boss giving a poor, mediocre and even bad reference to a potential employer.

The service, offered by the reference-checking firm Allison & Taylor in Michigan, offers to contact your references, inquiring about your performance and verify your employment previous employment. In about 10 days, you will be able to log in to the client area and have a complete dossier on your job references, including how long it took to get a response, tone of voice and verbatim quotes from your former boss. Fee range from $69 for a basic check to $99 for an executive level reference check.

Read more about it online at www.myreferences.com.

Portland State’s School of Business Administration (SBA) has collaborated with Lewis & Clark Law School to create a new 'Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Entrepreneurship' (ICLE) that will enhance the business acumen of law students and the legal acumen of MBA students.

The partnership teaches future lawyers and business people how to leverage each other’s strengths to assist developing businesses. It begins this fall.

Read more online at http://www.sba.pdx.edu/ glance/school/lawprog. html.

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Encontrando a abogados, en español

The Spanish Language Legal Network has published its 2003 directory, a listing of Oregon’s Spanish-speaking attorneys.

The attorneys, who provided their own self-assessment of their Spanish-speaking skills (on a scale of 1 to 10), are listed three ways, alphabetically, by specialty and geographically. It is free upon request to all non-profit organizations serving the Hispanic community. To others it is available for $10. Contact the Spanish Language Legal Network at Oscar Garcia, 230 N.E. Second Ave., Suite D, Hillsboro, Ore. 97124; phone: (503) 693-1095; or by e-mail: oscargar@msn.com.