f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 6, 2003

Hitting Six Digits is Cool

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:59 pm

Yes, the numbers are meaningless and misleading, but I have to admit it was very cool to check the Weblogs at Harvard Law Top Sites page last night and find my All Time page hits to have pushed over the 100,000 mark.   Small potatoes (and mini-pixels) compared to the Big Names in weblogging, but not bad for an unknown, prematurely-retired lawyer who started doing this six months ago and basically complains (at great length) about the legal profession.  Cool.  Neat.  Meaningless.  And a long way before I get another digit.


P.S.  Speaking of web page hits, A Web Undone 2 pointed yesterday to a very interesting article by Clay Shirkey on Power Laws, Weblogs and Inequality


p.p.s. (Sept. 10, 2005):  For several months now, I’ve been using two (free) services that count “unique visitors.”  It appears that actual visitors are about 50% of my “page loads,” and tend to be 6 to 10 percent of “hits” measured by my webserver. 


b&g thanks


To SoCalLawBlog, Walter at Overlawyered.com, and Bill Day of A Web Undone 2 for welcoming us back to the weblog world.  .

Disclosure of Law Schools: What Would Scheherazade Say?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:01 pm

The Utah Bar Commission wants to know if it should start telling the public which law school a lawyer attended.   According to the most recent edition of the Utah Bar eBulletin (Nov. 2003, vol. 2) (emphasis added),


“Information obtained by the Bar indicating the law school from which a lawyer has graduated has by policy been considered non-public and accordingly has not been disclosed to the public.” 


The Commission is seeking your opinion regarding whether or not the name of the law school from which a lawyer has graduated should remain confidential as a matter of privacy or may be disclosed to the public to assist in lawyer selection and because such information is already almost universally available in a variety of published voluntary listings.

Please send your comments by January 31, 2004 to Bar Executive Director John Baldwin at barsurvey@utahbar.org.


Frankly, I had no idea this was even an issue in any state, nor how it is treated elsewhere.  Using an ethicalEsq? posting concerning disclosure of attorney discipline records (the archives are still available at this site, with access by topic from the right margin menu), I clicked on the Washington State Bar Status Directory and the Illinois Bar’s Lawyer Search and found that neither state lists the school attended as part of the publically available record online. 

 

Why shouldn’t this information be publically available?  Clearly, consumers might find the law school attended to be relevant when starting a search for a lawyer — especially when they have very little additional information upon which to begin a selection process that can be quite time-consuming.  Lawyers often want to know this information about other attorneys, and they know how to find it quickly from many sources, but the average consumer does not.  Is the bar worried about unfair advantages or disadvantages stemming from the general reputation of particular schools? 

 

Is this the snobbery problem that we bounced around back in September, starting with Scheherazade‘s Why Are Lawyers Such Snobs, Ernie‘s Does It Matter Which Law School You Went To? and Prof. Bainbridge‘s question Is the legal profession a den of credential snobs?  We piped in here.
 

Utah has only two ABA accredited law schools, so I quickly checked out their USNews ranking to see if there is some great disparity in prestige that might have caused certain bar members to wish to cover up their academic background.  However, Brigham Young is ranked 31st and University of Utah 40th, so that does not seem to be a problem (at least in this era). 

 

I think an interested consumer should be able to easily find out what law school a lawyer attended.  Calling such information “confidential” seems absurd, and I don’t think we can or should generalize about how any particular consumer might use or abuse such information.  (E.g., some folks would want to avoid Ivy League lawyers, and others might feel far more comfortable with someone educated at a local school.)  I know she’s cavorting at a bankruptcy law conference in Palm Springs right now, but I’d like to know what Scherazade would say about this.  And, you, too.  [Note: Scheherazade did respond, and I to her.  You can follow the discussion thread here.]


  • Afterthought (12-11-03):  Re-reading our October 3 posting Consumers Deserve Better Lawyer Referral Services this morning, I noticed that then-ABA president-elect Robert A. Hirshon called for giving consumers information on lawyers’ educational background, in order to make lawyer referral systems more user-friendly.   (see ABA’s 2000 National Lawyer Referral Workshop.)   Also, the Florida Bar’s Statement of Client’s Rights for Contingency Fees affirms “(3) Before hiring a lawyer, you, the client, have the right to know about the lawyer’s education, training, and experience.

Disclosure of Law Schools: What Would Scheherazade Say?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:01 pm

The Utah Bar Commission wants to know if it should start telling the public which law school a lawyer attended.   According to the most recent edition of the Utah Bar eBulletin (Nov. 2003, vol. 2) (emphasis added),


“Information obtained by the Bar indicating the law school from which a lawyer has graduated has by policy been considered non-public and accordingly has not been disclosed to the public.” 


The Commission is seeking your opinion regarding whether or not the name of the law school from which a lawyer has graduated should remain confidential as a matter of privacy or may be disclosed to the public to assist in lawyer selection and because such information is already almost universally available in a variety of published voluntary listings.

Please send your comments by January 31, 2004 to Bar Executive Director John Baldwin at barsurvey@utahbar.org.


Frankly, I had no idea this was even an issue in any state, nor how it is treated elsewhere.  Using an ethicalEsq? posting concerning disclosure of attorney discipline records (the archives are still available at this site, with access by topic from the right margin menu), I clicked on the Washington State Bar Status Directory and the Illinois Bar’s Lawyer Search and found that neither state lists the school attended as part of the publically available record online. 

 

Why shouldn’t this information be publically available?  Clearly, consumers might find the law school attended to be relevant when starting a search for a lawyer — especially when they have very little additional information upon which to begin a selection process that can be quite time-consuming.  Lawyers often want to know this information about other attorneys, and they know how to find it quickly from many sources, but the average consumer does not.  Is the bar worried about unfair advantages or disadvantages stemming from the general reputation of particular schools? 

 

Is this the snobbery problem that we bounced around back in September, starting with Scheherazade‘s Why Are Lawyers Such Snobs, Ernie‘s Does It Matter Which Law School You Went To? and Prof. Bainbridge‘s question Is the legal profession a den of credential snobs?  We piped in here.
 

Utah has only two ABA accredited law schools, so I quickly checked out their USNews ranking to see if there is some great disparity in prestige that might have caused certain bar members to wish to cover up their academic background.  However, Brigham Young is ranked 31st and University of Utah 40th, so that does not seem to be a problem (at least in this era). 

 

I think an interested consumer should be able to easily find out what law school a lawyer attended.  Calling such information “confidential” seems absurd, and I don’t think we can or should generalize about how any particular consumer might use or abuse such information.  (E.g., some folks would want to avoid Ivy League lawyers, and others might feel far more comfortable with someone educated at a local school.)  I know she’s cavorting at a bankruptcy law conference in Palm Springs right now, but I’d like to know what Scherazade would say about this.  And, you, too.  [Note: Scheherazade did respond, and I to her.  You can follow the discussion thread here.]


  • Afterthought (12-11-03):  Re-reading our October 3 posting Consumers Deserve Better Lawyer Referral Services this morning, I noticed that then-ABA president-elect Robert A. Hirshon called for giving consumers information on lawyers’ educational background, in order to make lawyer referral systems more user-friendly.   (see ABA’s 2000 National Lawyer Referral Workshop.)   Also, the Florida Bar’s Statement of Client’s Rights for Contingency Fees affirms “(3) Before hiring a lawyer, you, the client, have the right to know about the lawyer’s education, training, and experience.

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