07/04/06

Ohio's new paralegal certification program
A new paralegal certification program has been developed by The Ohio State Bar Association. The qualification would help paralegals gain recognition, while it will enable lawyers to identify potential legal assistants. Valid for four years, the certification will require the candidates to pass an examination, meet with certain educational requirements, and show adequate experience.

Though a number of state and national organizations conduct such programs, this one is state-specific.
The first examination will be held in March, while candidates will be able to obtain applications by January.

Foley & Lardner expands pro bono initiative
Foley & Lardner LLP has named Edmund T. Baxa Jr. as Chair of the Pro Bono Legal Service Committee. Baxa will work to spread out the firm's pro bono activities including issues impacting lawyers working in intellectual property and corporate law. He will initiate programs to draw attorneys to pro bono work, and will also help expand the related orientation and training programs. Managing partner of the firm's Orlando office, Baxa is also member of the firm's management committee; the construction and the white collar defense; and corporate compliance practices.

The move is part of Foley & Lardner's commitment to provide pro bono services to nonprofit organizations, legal aid societies, civil rights organizations, and individuals. The law firm had clocked 30,800 pro bono hours in 2005.

Is outsourcing the new success mantra for law firms?
Following the mortgage industries successful stint at outsourcing, legal services seem all set to follow suit. Rising prices of real estate and client costs are forcing law firms to think eastward. While Seattle-based Perkins Coie LLP has recently formed a task force to study the offshore alternative, Lane Powell PC has sent an executive at a conference held at New Delhi to collect information on the subject. Law firms throughout the U.S. are working at this attractive option, and India seems to be the top preference.

According to a 2004 study by Forrester Research, a Cambridge-based market research firm, approximately 40,000 legal jobs may be outsourced by the year 2010.

Shackelford Melton strengthens employment practice
David M. Curtis has been named partner for the employment and complex litigation group of Dallas-based law firm Shackelford, Melton & McKinley, LLP. He has served as city attorney for Lawton, and district attorney for the Third Judicial District in Oklahoma, and specializes in employment litigation matters. Having significant experience in practicing before federal and state courts, Curtis is a member of the American Law Institute.

Shackelford, Melton & McKinley is a commercial law firm with clients including real estate developers, automobile dealers, and corporations throughout the nation.

Kavinoky adds paralegal to handle DUI cases
Steve Hariton has been hired as litigation paralegal for The Kavinoky Law Firm. He will be assisting clients accused of 'Driving Under Influence', effectively steer through the Department of Motor Vehicles procedure to retain their driving rights. Hariton gained significant experience working at the Los Angeles City Attorneys' office, and two private law firms on matters including criminal defense litigation, and civil litigation.

The Kavinoky Law Firm is a California-based criminal defense firm, and advises clients on cases involving DUI, DWI and drunk driving.





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