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Task force explores need for practical skills training

law school photoConcerned that law school students aren't learning the nuts and bolts of lawyering, the State Bar has assembled a group to study whether practical skills training should become a condition of practicing law in California. The new Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform will examine what training might be required.

Social media mirrors real life, proposed ethics opinion says

Lawyers should follow the same ethical rules whether advertising themselves in a phone book or on Facebook. That’s the gist of a proposed ethics opinion by the State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) which states that an attorney’s postings on Facebook or other social media are bound by the same rules as those governing more traditional forms of advertising.

Jayne KimKim formally steps into top prosecutor’s job

As interim leader of the State Bar’s prosecution unit, Jayne Kim helped to wipe out a persistent backlog of attorney misconduct cases in a matter of months. In late May, she officially became the agency's newest chief trial counsel.

Bar Foundation awards dozens of scholarships

More than 30 aspiring public interest lawyers are getting some help pursuing their dreams thanks to law firms and the California Bar Foundation. In May, California Bar Foundation and sponsor law firms gave Public Interest Scholarships totaling more than $100,000 to 21 top law students to help them pay for tuition and other expenses.

42.2 percent pass the February bar exam

Just over 42 percent of the would-be lawyers who took the February bar exam passed, the Committee of Bar Examiners announced last month. If the 1,849 successful test-takers satisfy other requirements for admission, they will join the bar, pushing the number of California lawyers past the 238,000 mark.

Online access to ethics opinions would guard against ‘dog law’

Diane KarpmanLawyers rely on precedent to conform their conduct to accepted norms. California State Bar Court opinions contain a treasure trove of information about the pitfalls that have befallen other lawyers. Ethics Byte columnist Diane Karpman writes in favor of greater online access.

Happenings June 2012

The San Mateo County Bar Association’s unique program for providing lawyers for low-income criminal defendants has won a national award from the American Bar Association.