Oregon State Bar Bulletin — NOVEMBER 2004


Miller Nash has launched an extensive community service program for its staff members.

Under the firm’s new program, any employee actively involved in a nonprofit organization can have his or her contributions to a single charitable organization matched by the firm for up to $150. In addition to the matching contribution, each full-time employee will receive an annual allotment of 15 paid hours off for volunteering his or her services to any nonprofit organization benefiting the community, as long as the community service is not political in nature, ballot-related or directly benefiting a religious institution.

The new policy is in addition to the $150 annual matching contribution and 120 hours of credit for pro bono legal services available to firm lawyers.

"We believe our program sets a new standard for community giving among local law firms," says Thomas Sand, the firm’s managing partner. "We decided it is time to step up to the plate and truly demonstrate one of our firm’s longstanding core values — a strong commitment to public service in the communities of the Northwest where we live and work."

In 2003, Miller Nash contributed over $142,000 in cash to 90 different agencies and provided more than $725,000 worth of pro bono legal services.

A new book, Brown at 50: The Unfinished Legacy, brings together lawyers who were involved in the Brown litigation, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, legal scholars, historians and social scientists to discuss the meaning of the Court’s 1954 opinion that called for an end to segregated public schools. The 212-page book, published by the ABA Commission on the 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, focuses on the history and legacy of the landmark case, as well as the lawyers and the courts involved. The 15 essays are augmented by period photos and archival materials and speak to the impact of Brown on America’s future, particularly as it relates to quality, segregation and equal opportunity in public education. It is thematically organized into three sections: "The Case," "The First 50 Years" and "The Future."

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, as well as the ABA’s first two African-American presidents, immediate past president Dennis W. Archer and current president Robert J. Grey Jr., contributed essays. Other top legal scholars and civil rights leaders also share their perspectives in timely essays that are, in the words of the co-editors, "an occasion to celebrate our progress, confront our failures, and reassess our strategies." Co-editors are Deborah L. Rhode of Stanford Law School and Charles J. Ogletree Jr. of Harvard Law School.

For more information about the ABA Brown Commission, its programs and related resources, visit www.abanet.org/brown. Cost: $35 , hard cover, $20, soft cover. Order by calling (800) 285-2221.

New research documents for the first time salary information for both entry-level and experienced attorneys in public-sector and public-interest organizations.

According to the 2004 Public Sector and Public Interest Attorney Salary Report, published by NALP, a legal placement service, the median entry-level salary for an attorney at a civil legal services organization is $34,000; an attorney with 11-15 years of experience can expect a salary of about $52,000. The median entry-level salary for public defenders is $39,000; with 11-15 years of experience the median is $65,000.

The salary progression for state and local prosecuting attorneys is similar, starting at about $40,000 and progressing to $68,000-69,000 for those with 11-15 years of experience.

More information can be found at www.nalp.org.

Salaries for attorneys in public interest organizations, such as those dealing with elder law or children’s rights, start at $36,700 and rise to $64,000 with 11-15 years of experience.

Salaries at civil legal services organizations are somewhat higher in the West, with a median starting salary of $37,750 and increasing to $58,000 for attorneys with 11-15 years of experience. Among public interest organizations, salary scales are somewhat higher in the Northeast.

Most in-house lawyers have experienced healthy increases in total cash compensation, according to a new survey by the Altman Weil Law, published in partnership with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).

"The data seem to reflect the general upswing in the nation’s economy over the past year or so and appears to signify a movement away from the strong buyer’s market in which in-house lawyers have found themselves since 2000," notes Altman Weil principal James Wilber.

Salaries for senior positions in law departments, including chief legal officers (CLOs), deputy CLOs and division general counsel, were up between 5.3 percent and 7.8 percent this year. Lawyers in more senior non-management positions also saw increases, with high-level specialist, senior attorney and attorney positions reporting increases from 3.9 percent to 5.2 percent. Staff attorney and recent graduate salaries were down 3.5 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.

The survey reports national median salary for chief legal officers in 2004 at $275,000. The high-level specialist position drew $138,105, while a new law school graduate earned a salary of $60,000.

You can read more highlights from the survey online at in the press releases section at www.altmanweil.com. The full survey report is available for purchase from Altman Weil Publications.

Paralegals co-sponsor soup drive
The Oregon Paralegal Association and IKON Office Solutions have teamed up to collect thousands of cans of soup that will help feed homebound seniors during the holidays. As part of its annual community outreach project with IKON Office Solutions, members of OPA and the legal profession will collect 2,500 cans of soup to include in holiday boxes distributed to homebound seniors who receive Meals-On-Wheels. The holiday boxes also include fresh fruit, water, tea and small holiday goodies.

Loaves & Fishes Centers, which will deliver the holiday boxes in mid-December, increasingly relies upon supporters like the Oregon Paralegal Association and IKON Office Solutions to help meet the demands of a growing senior population.

"We are on the brink of the aging of the baby boomers, and the number of individuals turning 60 is projected to nearly double during the next 10 years," said Joan Smith, Loaves & Fishes’ executive director. "Oregon currently ranks 10th in the nation in senior population and will move to 4th in the nation in 2025. Seniors will be living longer, more will be managing alone without family support, and the desire to remain independent will be strong."

Since 1970, Loaves & Fishes has provided a nutritional and social lifeline for seniors through 20 meal sites in Multnomah and Washington counties and Meals-On-Wheels delivery to homebound seniors. With the help of more than 5,000 volunteers the non-profit agency now serves about 4,000 meals each day – that’s nearly 1 million meals a year.

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Best Lawyers in America:
242 are in Oregon

Two hundred forty-two Oregon lawyers are included in the latest edition of Best Lawyers in America. Most are from Portland, but there are also attorneys listed who hail from Salem, Eugene, Newport, Oregon City, Hillsboro, Bend, Redmond and Lake Oswego.

The publication includes more than 18,000 lawyers in 30 different specialties from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each has been chosen as the best by fellow attorneys in a nationwide survey.

Regrettably, the Bulletin is not able to honor requests to publish all of the individual announcements in Among Ourselves at the back of the magazine. However, we extend our hearty congratulations and encourage readers to check out who’s who: Go to www.BestLawyers.com and select a city, state and any of the practice areas listed.