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April 21 Digest

Posted By Administration, Friday, April 21, 2017

Law school transfers grow, taking overachieving 1Ls to higher-ranked schools

Law school transfers are increasingly common, say higher education consultants, and it’s become a seller’s market for first-year students at the top of their class: They can easily move to a higher-ranked school, or stay put and get bigger tuition discounts.

Law schools have a few incentives to keep or attract 1Ls with good grades—people who do well their first year generally pass bar exams on their first attempt, and transfer students traditionally pay full tuition.

Some deans complain that transfers hurt their bar passage rates, but it’s not likely that the council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar would create accreditation rules restricting transfers. Doing that could stand in the way of student opportunities, says Jerome Organ, a professor at Minneapolis’ University of St. Thomas School of Law whose work focuses on transparency in financial aspects of the decision to attend law school. In terms of ABA accreditation standards and transfer regulation, schools must disclose transfers in 509 reports, and there are some rules about accepting credits from other schools.

Law Firm Security Step 2: Strengthen Your Passwords

Your network, PC, email, and many applications have one critical element in common: they are only as secure as the passwords you created for them. Security researchers have consistently found (and data dumps from breaches have documented) that a majority of people re-use the same password for many, if not most, applications. A single insecure website that exposes your password in a data breach could be all an attacker needs to gain access to many accounts critical to your practice and/or your personal life.

How can you protect yourself? Start with a trusted password manager application, such as 1Password or Keychain on Mac OS. A password manager provides a secure way to store and find all your passwords and only requires you to remember a master passphrase to gain access. Basic password managers work with a single computer, encrypting passwords on your hard drive; more sophisticated versions allow you to securely share your passwords between multiple computers and devices, including mobile phones and tablets.

When you first set up your password manager, you will need to choose a strong but memorable passphrase. A passphrase is basically a stronger, more complicated password. Strong passphrases have the following characteristics:

Ask Daliah: It's OK to start as a generalist, then choose a practice

Dear Daliah: How did you choose your practice area? Is it better to start out a generalist or a specialist?
(Culled from online questions)

Dear Questioners: There are two philosophies when it comes to hanging your own shingle: Take anything that walks in the door, or focus on a specific area or areas.

When you first start out, it may be tempting to take the first route. Why turn down potential clients because of self-imposed restrictions? But the problem with being a jack-of-all-trades, as the old adage goes, is that you are master of none.

California Judges Are Told to Stay Away from Pot Businesses

SACRAMENTO—California judges and their spouses should not hold a financial interest in marijuana enterprises, even though medical and recreational cannabis use is legal in California, a state Supreme Court ethics committee said in a formal opinion Wednesday.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the opinion said, and a judge who has a stake in a related business or nonprofit risks violating canons that require compliance with all laws and avoidance of the appearance of impropriety. Financial ties to marijuana, even indirect ones, may also cast doubt on a judge’s ability to act impartially, the committee said.

The ethics opinion “advises that judges have an ongoing responsibility to discover if their investments involve a marijuana business," San Diego County Superior Court Judge Kenneth So, a committee member, said in a statement that accompanied the publication of the advisory.

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