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06/06/06

Chadbourne & Parke receives honors


As many as 12 of Chadbourne & Parke's attorneys received top rankings by the Chambers USA 2006 Guide to Leading Lawyers. The firm was also acknowledged as a leader regionally and nationally in energy, insurance, products liability and natural resources law.

The Chambers rankings are based on an exhaustive survey of more than 7000 interviews of attorneys and clients by a team of 40 researchers.

Chadbourne's project practice division earned points for translating its expertise in electricity to the oil and gas sector. The DC office was top-rated for advising multilateral and bilateral agencies, while the New York office received high marks for its handling of complex, emerging markets, such as Russia.

The two-year J.D.
Some law schools have recently introduced a Juris Doctor program lasting 2 years instead of the usual 3. Judging by the number of student enrollments, this accelerated program is in sharp demand.

The University of Dayton School of Law is one of the colleges pioneering this program, which allows students to take up to 18 credits per semester. Syracuse University College of Law and University of Kansas School of Law are also offering similar programs.

A dual degree program is being offered by the George Washington University Law School. This will allow students to earn two graduate-level degrees in a six-year program without having to take the LSAT qualifying exam and also saving a year in tuition expenses in the process.

Hawaiian attorneys earn less than mainland attorneys
Lawyers practicing on the island of Hawaii earn significantly less than their counterparts on the mainland, about 18% less than the national average as per a 2006 -U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Many lawyers blame it on the absence of large Hawaiian corporations, which translates into smaller and fewer law firms required for servicing them.

Despite this, according to a recent survey, most University of Hawaii law students, would rather practice in Hawaii due to the high quality of life there.

New direction for the New York State Bar Association
With the changing of the guard at the New York State Bar Association, its new president, Mark H. Alcott, a senior litigation partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, considers access to justice for the poor a top priority.

At a specially convened meeting of the Association's Executive Committee, Alcott called on all New York State lawyers to join him in addressing the challenges facing the U.S. legal system. He proposed a system by which attorneys volunteering at least 50 hours of free legal service would be honored by a special designation.

Lawyers would focus on meeting the civil legal needs of the 80% of the population whose needs are not currently being met. Matters such as healthcare, immigration, housing and domestic violence need to be addressed by volunteers, according to Alcott. He also wants to eliminate negative influences such as political interference and intimidation of judges.

Chadbourne & Parke LLP

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