Oregon State Bar Bulletin — APRIL 2007

Do I Have a New Bar Number?
You may have noticed an extra digit in your bar number on some recent bar communications, including the 2007 Membership Directory. In reality this extra digit has existed all along as a “check digit” to prevent data entry errors. You can continue using your five-digit number but will increasingly see the six-digit number on bar communications.

The reason for the shift is an accelerating rate of growth in bar membership. In 2006, a total of 892 applicants sat for the bar exam. Reciprocal admissions have also increased in recent years. If these trends continue, we will soon run out of unique bar numbers to assign in the traditional five-digit format.

New members will receive bar cards displaying all six digits of their bar numbers. Current members will receive new bar cards displaying all six digits during the summer of 2007. Your five-digit number will remain valid as an identifier for all bar business, including access to website services such as Casemaker and BarBooks. It also remains your access number for non-OSB services such as OJIN and the PLF website.

‘Class Act’ set for April 27
Soprano Diane Syrcle and mezzo-soprano Alexis Hamilton will be “Dueling Divas” during the fundraising event, “A Class Act,” Friday, April 27, at the Old Church, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave., in Portland.

The “divas” plan an evening of duets and solos from opera, Broadway and art song. Doors open at 7 for the 8 p.m. curtain. A reception afterward will showcase pastries from several Portland sweeteries. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and are available at Balloons on Broadway, 617 S.W. Washington St., Portland. For more information, call (503) 286-1752.

The 13th annual event is a benefit for the Bill & Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund of Equity Foundation. Shepherd scholars are third- and fourth-year law students dedicated to donating part of their legal expertise to fighting bigotry and discrimination.

The Search for Innovation Continues
The 2007 InnovAction Awards, sponsored by the College of Law Practice Management, is searching worldwide for lawyers, law firms and others who have invented and successfully applied totally new business practices to the delivery of legal services.

“We intend to seek out and recognize creativity and genuinely new ways of thinking in law practices wherever they may be,” says college president Merrilyn Astin Tarlton.

All entries must be received by June 1, 2007 with a $325 entry fee. For early-bird entries received by May 1, 2007, the entry fee will be reduced to $250. Further information about the award criteria, eligibility restrictions and nomination forms are available at www.innovactionaward.com.

Law Firm Leverage Varied With Firm Size, Location in 2006
Major law firms employ one associate for every partner nationally, and the overall ratio of lawyers to partners is just over 2.0, according to the 2006-2007 NALP Directory of Legal Employers.

Whether measured as the ratio of all lawyers to partners, as the ratio of associates to partners, or as the ratio of other lawyers (of counsel, senior and staff attorneys) to partners, law firms vary widely in their mix of lawyers.

City averages for leverage vary from city to city: lawyer/partner ratios ranged from a low of about 1.6 in Grand Rapids and Milwaukee, to a high of 3.16 in New York City. A number of cities, including Portland, are in the middle, with leverage in the 1.68 to 1.75 range.

The directory is available online at www.nalpdirectory.com.

Upcoming Special Events
• April 20: OSB 50-Year Member Luncheon
Location: Columbia Edgewater
Country Club in Portland

• April 24: Classroom Law Project
Legal Citizen of the Year
Location: Governor Hotel

• May 31: Presentation of the
Wallace P. Carson Jr. Award
for Judicial Excellence
Location: Governor Hotel

20 Years Ago in the OSB Bulletin
• OSB members participated in the bar’s first referendum vote, which considered draft rules for the implementation of MCLE. The membership had adopted a resolution to implement MCLE in the previous year.

• The number of new admittees to the Oregon State Bar was reported to be falling, gradually, and law schools nationally were seeing a drastic reduction in applicants for admission.

• An innovative new product called the CD-ROM was extolled as a data-storage solution for law offices.

• The Oregon Law Foundation awarded $375,000 in grants to law-related charitable programs, the largest amount since its inception in 1981.

• In a column, Board of Governors member Thomas J. Moore suggested creating a House of Delegates as a possible option for improving bar governance. At the time, barwide policy issues were decided at the annual “town hall” meeting.

• The OSB joined other legal organizations in the national celebration of the Constitutional Bicentennial. The bar provided education and public information through radio advertisements, speakers, publications, a Bicentennial-themed Law Day and the Oregon Bicentennial Mock Trial Competition.

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