Monday, September 17, 2007

CL-EEEEK

Short post today, as I am just home from day one of a three-day continuing legal education seminar, and have to leave for choir rehearsal in a few moments. But I learned a lot today:

1. I totally thought I knew what Mike Nifong (the disgraced and disbarred prosecutor in the Duke Lacrosse (alleged) rape case) looked like. Then they showed us a photo, and I realized that every single time I pictured the guy, the person who was actually in my head was Alberto Gonzales. As Popeye would say, how embarrasking.

2. It is difficult to die of boredom, but listening to one's 6.5 millionth speech on why civility is important when practicing law comes pretty damn close to being lethal. Ok, I get it. Don't be a prick. Moving on.

3. I'm a dork, and boredom issues aside, I am really enjoying this course. The bar association in my state actually does a great job of putting this stuff together.

4. Here in my adopted home state, it is apparently considered a Bad Thing ever to leave the state. Or to commit the crime of not being born here. Much to my chagrin, I am learning that out-of-state attorneys, even ones from good schools, are just slightly more desirable hires than ex-cons. This I can kind of understand (the legacy of carpetbaggers and all), but I spoke today to a few state natives who are having trouble finding jobs just because they had the gall to attend out-of-state law schools. Considering that I spent the first part of my career in an area that's pretty much entirely made up of transplants, and that therefore one's home state or state of alma mater was irrelevant, I find this attitude mind-boggling. I see much bar-association-joining-and-local-groveling in my future.

5. Damn, it's expensive to call oneself an attorney! Between bar dues, mandatory CLE, voluntary (ha! Voluntary only if you never, ever, want to work in this state) bar association dues and various other fees, it costs well over a thousand dollars a year just to exist as a lawyer here. Even the local legal rag costs over $300 a year to subscribe! I may not be able to afford to maintain my membership in the bar unless I get a job. (the final insult, is that they also charge you over $100 to convert back to active status if you go inactive, and take 15 hours of CLE, which in itself can cost over $1000.) I have no idea why it's so much more expensive to practice in my relatively small state than it was in one of the most attorney-saturated jurisdictions in the country, but it's not making me very happy.

That's all, gotta run.

2 comments:

Jana said...

The civility speeches sound like a "snooze-fest" to me, too. I had no idea it was so expensive to keep a law license current; as a teacher, my school district paid for all of my continuing ed. I guess that's one perk of being a poor teacher.

Katrina said...

Dayum. No wonder y'all charge 2.3 bequillion an hour! ;o)