What the Bar Association Can Do for You!Attorney Admissions & Law School Committee
BAR ASSOCIATIONS How do they work?
Why Belong? • With more than 17,000 members, there are probably at least 17,000 answers to that question. In our experience, there are at least three reasons to be a CBA member. • The benefits of membership serve individual attorneys and law firms on a daily basis. • Participation creates opportunities to network, make friends, and to engage in mentorship programs. • Involvement with the CBA provides an opportunity to give back to the profession, the judicial system, and the community.
How the CBA Operates Dues $ Members Sections & Committees Board of Governors Bar Staff Executive Counsel President Benefits
Member Participation: Committees & Sections • Committees – • Numerous Committees with various opportunities to fit your interests. Examples include Professionalism, AALS, and Access to Justice. Sections – • Substantive Law Sections that charge dues to their members. Examples are the Real Estate, Wills & Trust, Business and Construction Law Sections • Ad Hoc Committees & Task Forces – • Appointed as needed, disbanded upon completion of task. • Local Bar Associations & Specialty Bars – • Examples include Denver Bar Association, Boulder Bar Association, Sam Cary Bar, and Women’s Bar.
Benefits of Membership:What do you get for your Money? • Dues: For law students, membership is free. Thereafter, dues start at approximately $150 a year for the first three years of practice. • Free Local Bar Association Membership and Membership in the CBA Sections and Committees • Automatic Membership in the CBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) • The CBA YLD organizes and participates in legal education programs, pro bono activities, community service projects, and social and networking events. • Free Legal Research with Casemaker 2.0 - Online Legal Research Library is your source for Colorado case law, statutes, rules, The Colorado Lawyer, and more! • Lending Library • The CBA circulates all ABA Law Practice Management Section books. Stop by our office to borrow one or two. • Special Rates for CLE in Colorado Programs and Publications • Discounts with: • Financial Services • Insurance Programs
Bar Review Scholarship Opportunity • The AALS Committee administers a Bar-Bri Colorado Bar Examination Preparation Course Needs-Based Scholarship for Diverse Individuals One scholarship available for February Exam • Four scholarships available for July Exam • Provides full course tuition • Application available on-line, with the law school, and hard copy
Networking Opportunities • Attend CBA, Local Bar Association, Section, or Committee meetings that interest you. You will be welcomed with open arms! • Attend a Bar Sponsored Function: • Open invitation to attend an Open House Reception where representatives from various local bars and specialty associations and committees will be present to provide information about their groups on Friday, March 20, 2009 at the CBA Offices. Reception is free (and discount Nuggets tickets are available for after the reception as well). • R.S.V.P. to Michael A. Paul at email@example.com if you plan to attend the reception (free) and/or want to reserve your Nuggets tickets. • Open invitation to the 2009 CBA DBA Annual Awards Party that is Tuesday, June 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Colorado History Museum. There is no cost to attend! • R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-860-1115 x727 and note that you are law student. • Open invitation to the Community Action Network of the Denver Bar Association’s Battle of the Bands: • Participating as a band, purchase discounted admission tickets for $15, or volunteer with the Committee and get in free! • Sept. 23, 2009 at La Rhumba (9th and Acoma, Denver).
Mentorship Opportunities • Numerous Sections, Committees, and Local Bars offer mentorship opportunities. • Substantive areas of law • General law practice and professionalism • List of mentorship opportunities is available on the CBA website, with your law school, and in hard copy
Practice Tips for Summer Associates and Interns General Best Practices: • Be on time and maintain a regular schedule. Be sure your assistant knows where you are and how to contact you during work hours and evenings. • Listen • Dress professionally and for the occasion. • Be honest. Be ethical. • Respond to e-mails and voicemails as soon as possible, even if to say that you received the message and will be responding as soon as possible. • Be sure your e-mail and voicemail indicate when you are on vacation or otherwise out of the office for the day. • Maintain an organized office so that client files and documents can be found in your absence (make sure your assistant knows where you keep your client working files). • Never critique, criticize, or gossip about anyone, particularly in the presence of staff, clients, or opposing counsel. • Treat administrative staff (and everyone else) with respect. • Avoid discussing politics, religion, and other sensitive topics with staff, clients and others. • Introduce yourself to people you don’t already know.
Panel War Stories • Q&A with Students
Best Practices - Specific Assignments Overall Considerations: • Think before you speak! • Take ownership of every assignment just as if the assignment was given to you directly by your own best client. • Spell check, proofread, and double-check your work product. • Treat every assignment as an opportunity to learn, to develop the breadth of your legal knowledge, and to build a good reputation with the assigning attorney and the firm in general. • Put yourself in the client’s position and assume it’s your money being spent or asset being sold, both in terms of your billing practices and in terms of the nature of the terms and conditions applicable to the transaction. Attitude: • Consider the importance of, and effort invested in, the assigning attorney’s relationship with the client. • Display enthusiasm, a sense of urgency, and a willingness to participate and learn. • Anticipate the next stage of the overall project and volunteer to assist with those assignments.
Best Practices - Specific Assignments Cont. Work Product and Billing • Treat all work product given to the assigning attorney or client as the final project. Do you stake your job on your work product? • Ask for sample forms. • Take thorough notes during meetings. • Consider what law might apply to your assignment, including statutes applicable to corporate transactions, and review the law . • Enter your time daily and be concise, yet informative, in your billing entries. Be sure to include all of the time you spent on an assignment even if you believe there was inefficiency that, perhaps, should not be billed. Be sure to note and mention to the assigning attorney any concerns regarding perceived inefficiencies in your billing before the billing cycle is completed. Don’t over bill!!! • Be prepared when you attend a meeting and anticipate what may be useful in the meeting, including any client files. • Redline changes made to documents that you drafted by the assigning attorney and discuss any changes that you do not understand with the assigning attorney. • Do your filing timely and in an organized manner. • Develop a document forms bank.
Best Practices - Specific Assignments Cont. Communication: • Meet with the assigning attorney in person, particularly when receiving the assignment, delivering the assignment, giving notice of any difficulty or potential delay in completing of the assignment. Make sure you understand what is expected of you and when! • Provide the assigning attorney with regular updates on the status of each assignment. • Always get permission from the assigning attorney before communicating with the relevant parties and before sending documents or other correspondence. • Never discuss confidential information with persons other than those directly involved in the project. • Calendar important dates and include the assigning attorney and paralegal, if applicable, then follow-up with regard to due dates. • Always copy the assigning attorney on correspondence, including e-mails.
Panel War Stories • Q&A with Students
Best Practices: Career & Practice Development • Promote yourself inside the firm: • Volunteer to take assignments that will diversify your legal knowledge and display your competence and desire to learn • Ask to attend client meetings, closings, and other client events “off the clock” • Participate in firm activities and events. Introduce yourself to others in the firm and begin developing relationships beyond your practice area • Develop an expertise in a particular area of law: • Write about it, • Give in-house CLE presentations, and • Express an interest with attorneys in the firm that practice in the area or need the expertise • Promote yourself outside the firm: • Joining a Bar Association and other legal and non-legal organizations • Write articles, • Participate in speaking engagements, and • Volunteer with reputable charitable or quasi-governmental organizations • Maintain contact with classmates and other contacts, including making regular lunch dates, sending holiday cards, and taking note of their professional and personal accomplishments.
Contact Information Helpful Phone Numbers: • CBA: (303) 860-1115 or (800) 332-6736 • Legal Aid Foundation: (303) 863-9544 • DBA: (303) 860-1115 • CBA-CLE: (303) 860-0608 or (888) 860-2531 • Metro Volunteer Lawyers: (303) 866-9378 Websites: • CBA – www.cobar.org • AALS webpage is located on the CBA site under the Committee listing • DBA – www.denbar.org