Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JUNE 2006

Bar News

Public member sought for OSB board
The Oregon State Bar is seeking a public, non-lawyer, member for the 2007 Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors public member is appointed to a four-year term. Currently four public members serve on the 16-member Board of Governors: Dr. John Enbom, retired physician; Jon Hill, ESD superintendent; Bette Worcester, retired commission deputy director; and Robert Vieira, a vice provost of academic affairs. Public members have the same voting rights and duties as the 12 lawyer members. They may not, however, serve as officers of the bar.

The board is charged with the executive functions of the state bar. It has the authority to adopt new bylaws containing provisions for the regulation and management of the affairs of the state bar. Board members are assigned as contact to three to six OSB groups such as committees, sections and boards.

The Board of Governors has five regular meetings a year, on a Friday and the following Saturday morning. Nearly half of the meetings are held in the Portland area, and the remaining are held at locations around the state. Committee meetings are held three to four weeks prior to board meetings. Special board meetings and other committee meetings are scheduled as needed. The time commitment for a board member can be considerable. It is estimated that board members spend 25 hours per month in board meetings and special events. Reimbursement is provided for travel expenses for the Board of Governors Public Member position.

Those appointed to public positions on the Board of Governors must meet criteria set forth by Oregon statute: They shall be Oregon residents and shall not be active or inactive members of the Oregon State Bar. No person charged with official duties under the executive and legislative departments of state government, including but not limited to elected officers of state government, may serve on the board of governors. Any person in the executive or legislative department of state government who is otherwise qualified may serve.

Application forms are due June 23 and can be obtained from the bar office. To download an application as well as a description of other public member positions that are open, go to http://www.osbar.org/ _docs/forms/PublicMemberApp.pdf, or contact Jane Gillespie at jgillespie@ osbar.org, or call (503) 620-0222, ext. 308, or (800) 452-8260, ext. 308.

Juvenile law handbook revised
The Juvenile Law Task Force has revised the handbook Principles and Standards for Counsel in Criminal, Delinquency, Dependency and Civil Commitment Cases to remove obsolete references and incorporate current best practices.

The task force hopes that it will serve as a valuable tool to all lawyers, both new and experienced, as a reminder of the components of competent, diligent and quality legal representation.

The new standards are available at no cost at the OSB website here.

Call goes out for county fair volunteers
The Oregon New Lawyers Division needs your help at two upcoming events.

First, the division is sponsoring an exhibit booth at the 2006 Washington County Fair. Be among the 32 volunteers to represent your legal community in a positive way by helping provide this important public service. All vintages of lawyers are welcome.

The booth will display a variety of legal information pamphlets and give-away items. It will be located in the Main Exhibit Hall (#39), out of the glaring sun or pouring rain.

The fair is open from Thursday, July 27 through Sunday, July 30. Hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The division is also sponsoring an exhibit booth at the 2006 Lane County Fair. Some 48 volunteers are needed at that event.

The Lane County Fair runs from Tuesday, Aug. 15 through Sunday, Aug. 20. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. through 11 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

At both fairs, volunteers are needed to staff the booth for three-hour shifts. Admission and parking are free for volunteers.

To volunteer time for either of these events, contact Peggy Miller at (503) 431-6384 or (800) 452-8260, ext. 384; e-mail: pmiller@osbar.org.

Electronic filing in federal court in Oregon becomes mandatory Sept. 1
Local Rules of Civil Practice for the U.S. District Court of Oregon have been amended and become effective June 1. LR 100.1(b) requires that all attorneys electronically file pleadings, documents and other papers in any pending civil or criminal case as of Sept. 1, 2006.

The court is offering training sessions on electronic document filing for both civil and criminal cases to attorneys and staff. Sessions include an overview of the project, demonstration and hands-on experience with events and their functions, a review of online reports and queries as well as instruction on maintaining user accounts. As a prerequisite to attending any class, participants must complete the online tutorial available on the court’s website at ecf.ord.uscourts.gov and study the online user manual. Participants should also be familiar with their firm’s web browser and Adobe Acrobat Reader/Writer software.

Level 1 sessions: This is an introductory class designed to assist brand new users. System logins and passwords, viewing documents and case information via e-mail and over the Internet, and practical uses of the application will be covered. Students will also learn how to create a PDF file from a text file and will post a motion to a test case.

Level 2 sessions: The second session builds upon a user’s knowledge of the CM/ECF system and explores event selection, best practice tips and trouble shooting.

Classes are scheduled in Portland at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at noon.

Level 1 sessions will be held June 14 and June 27. Level 2 sessions are June 13, June 15, June 28.

A second round of classes will be scheduled throughout the district during August, September and October. Additional information can be obtained on the court’s website at www.ord.uscourts.gov or by contacting Laura_Brennan@ord.uscourts.gov or Camile_Hickman@ord.uscourts.gov. Application has been made to the Oregon State Bar for MCLE credit for these session.

return to top
return to Table of Contents

Survey says...

In April 2006, the Oregon State Bar conducted the first of five annual surveys that will collect information about the attitudes and experiences of Oregon lawyers during their first five years of practice. Among other results, this year’s survey found the following:

Many new lawyers in Oregon have significant levels of student debt.

  • 42.3 percent of survey participants reported remaining debt from undergraduate work. Among these respondents, remaining undergraduate debt averaged about $17,000.
  • 84.9 percent of survey participants reported debt from law school. Among these respondents, law school debt averaged over $80,000.

Starting salaries for new lawyers are not always high.

  • Among survey respondents who are currently practicing law, a majority (63.8 percent) reported starting salaries below $50,000.
  • 16.3 percent cited starting salaries in the $30,000-$39,000 range.
  • 15.6 percent cited starting salaries of less than $30,000.

Among the challenges for new lawyers:

  • According to survey participants, the most challenging aspect of being a new lawyer is understanding legal procedures. This element was rated 2.62 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "very difficult" and 5 being "very easy."
  • Billable hours requirements were rated as the next most difficult aspect of practicing law, at 2.64 on the 5-point scale.
  • Participants indicated that the least difficult aspects of being a new lawyer are maintaining civility and professionalism (4.19) and receiving challenging work (3.89).

New lawyers appear to be rather satisfied with their work and their career choice.