AAABA Arizona Asian American Bar Association logoTalented and smart law students in Arizona are being encouraged to apply for an esteemed scholarship named for former Judge Thomas Tang. The sponsor is the Arizona Asian American Bar Association.

The application (link below) is straightforward, and it includes a question that applicants must answer (in no more than two pages):

“What is the importance of diversity in education and employment and how will your education, background, and perspective on diversity be a benefit as a leader in society and in relation to your law practice?”

The deadline is Friday, March 20, 2015, at 11:00 p.m.

ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown

ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown

Anyone who attended this week’s John P. Morris Memorial Lecture at ASU Law School may have a jump-start in conceptualizing their essay. That’s because ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown spoke on “The Importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the Law.” It was the 15th annual Morris Lecture, and she also spoke in celebration of Black History Month. (Thank you to NAPABA President George Chen for the heads-up.)

Here is more background from AAABA:

Do you know a law student who attends a law school in Arizona?

If so, then encourage him or her to apply for The Thomas Tang Law Scholarship, which is funded by AAABA and awarded in honor of the late Judge Thomas Tang. Up to four scholarships may be awarded in an amount of at least $2,000 each.

Awards will be presented at AAABA’s annual installation and scholarship banquet to be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Additional information about the scholarship can be found in the application, which you can download here.

David Bodney, of Ballard Spahr, chairs the upcoming ABA Forum on Communications Law

David Bodney, of Ballard Spahr, chairs the upcoming ABA Forum on Communications Law

One thing that always draws me in to speakers and conferences is their occasional attempt to offer some hands-on learning.

That is one of the pluses I spotted in the upcoming ABA Forum on Communications Law. The 20th annual conference will be held February 5-7, 2015, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Besides that interactivity, I also was pleased to see Arizona’s own David Bodney is the conference chair. Whether you’re a lawyer or a journalist (or both), you know David is a national leader on the topic of media and communications law.

Back to that interactivity.

Among other things, the conference will include a one-day “Media Advocacy Workshop” on February 5. I understand that in the hands-on advocacy training, participants in small groups will focus on media-law problems and will:

  • Argue a motion to quash a subpoena to a blogger in a civil case based on the First Amendment
  • Argue a summary judgment motion involving an invasion of privacy claim based on a leaked sex video and a defamation claim based on comments by an anonymous blog poster
  • Review a television story and related social media promotions based on public records and confidential sources

This is relevant, timely stuff, which would benefit attorneys and maybe even journalists.

Another highlight is the keynote speaker, Mary Beth Tinker, a plaintiff from the landmark students’ rights case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, which involved the freedom of speech.

You can view the conference brochure here.

Early conference registration is December 15; the deadline to register for the Workshop is January 30, 2015.

I plan to attend parts of the conference (and hopefully the workshop too). I’ll let you know how the hands-on learning goes.

ABA Section of Litigation logoLater this week, I’ll attend a conference focused on litigation. Just in case you can’t be there yourself, I thought I’d ask what you’d like me to cover.

The event is the annual conference of the American Bar Association Litigation Section (follow them on Twitter here). We are fortunate that the national event will be held April 9-11 right here in our state, at The Phoenician in Scottsdale. (The State Bar of Arizona CEO, John Phelps, is an Honorary Chair.)

The three days will have a boatload of seminars, 40 of them:

“including 3 plenaries and feature 150 of the nation’s most respected judges, academics and trial lawyers,as they address litigation development and techniques in trial advocacy. In addition to the education portion, the Section Annual Conference provides for an opportunity for meeting and networking with our distinguished guests and fellow participants.”

Wondering what the seminars include? You can breeze through the brochure here.

The ABA makes it even easier. Here is an abbreviated guide.

the phoenician scottsdale

The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz., site of the annual conference of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, April 9-11, 2014.

I’ll be in and out of the conference this week, seeking stories and great new article ideas for Arizona Attorney Magazine. I’m developing my week’s calendar now, and I’d appreciate knowing which seminars sound most interesting to you.

Here are a few I may drop in on:

  • General counsel forum reveals the real deal
  • Janet Napolitano keynote
  • New technologies of evidence coming to court
  • Essential apps and websites for litigators
  • A lynching that forever changed law practice
  • DOMA’s dead: Now what?
  • Hot Internet litigation trends
  • Lean In for lawyers
  • Social media’s implications for litigation
  • Communicating about mistakes with clients
  • Litigating privacy and data breach issues
  • Dealing with difficult judges
  • Business divorces

… and, of course:

  • The Trial of Wyatt Earp

And then after lunch …

Only kidding. I may not have time to attend all of these. But look over the program and tell me what you’d love to hear a synopsis of.

And if you plan to be there yourself, let me know. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. Or reach me on Twitter @azatty. I’ll also be tweeting, and here’s the conference hashtag: #14SAC

Let’s get litigious, shall we?

magazine column dull + cats. What makes a compelling magazine column? Hmmm, let’s see. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two.

What makes a compelling magazine column? Hmmm, let’s see. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two.

I started out thinking today’s post was mainly for the lawyer readers. But now I’m not so sure.

In a few weeks, I’ll be presenting in Chicago at the American Bar Association’s annual Bar Leadership Institute. That’s where incoming leaders (often Presidents) of bar associations gather to get a crash course in numerous elements that go into guiding associations of attorneys.

My charge is to lend insight into what makes A-1 written materials—op-ds, letters to the editor, and the oft-feared President’s Message.

For the uninitiated, the President’s Message is a column-length essay published in a bar association’s magazine, newspaper or newsletter.

That message gives more agida to incoming leaders than virtually any other part of the job. And why shouldn’t it? Bar leaders are adept at many parts of the new job: They know how to run meetings, garner support and reach consensus (OK, “adept” may be a stretch). But how many of them have written a column?

Of course, most people have a good column in them. We have a powerful hankering to share the One Big Idea that has guided us, in life and practice. Without doubt, we can hit that column out of the park.

OK, that takes care of Month 1. Whatcha got for the other 11 months of your year? Gulp.

magazine column visual - Is it too much to expect bar leaders to write less and to think visually? Probably. Because law.

Is it too much to expect bar leaders to write less and to think visually? Probably. Because law.

I’ve read and edited President’s columns since 2000 (and I write my own monthly column; here’s January’s), so I have a pretty strong sense of what makes a good leader essay. But many of you read them; what do you think?

Because one of my messages to the presidents will be to crowdsource great ideas, today I am practicing what I preach. So …

In publications you enjoy (legal or not), what causes you to read a column (rather than a feature article)? What draws you in? What repels your gaze? Put another way:

  • What is the one piece of advice you would give a column writer?
  • What kind of content or approach do you find draws you in and leads you to respond?

If you have a thought that is not captured in my questions, please feel free to share that instead.

I am developing my presentation now. I’d be pleased to share your insight with the BLI attendees. And if I use your idea, I will credit you in my PowerPoint—so there; you, too, will be published!

Arizona Attorney wine label 2

No, Arizona Attorney doesn’t have a vineyard. But we can wish.

Happy Change of Venue Friday! As we get closer to the holidays, I thought you might enjoy this piece that comes from The Onion.

Or, at least, I thought it came from The Onion. But then I realized it was a special deal that came from the American Bar Association (those wags).

Here is the pitch:

“ABA invites you to experience exceptional sommelier-approved wines personalized for you or your firm at a special discounted price. White or red, dry or fruity—select the wine that suits your palate and custom-label it to your liking. Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity! Order by 12/15 for delivery by 12/25.

That alluring and vine-y call points us to a sales page; click here to head over.

A portion of the ABA wine ad.

A portion of the ABA wine ad.

Once I was there, I realized that the offer allows you to create your own semi-custom label for a variety of wines. This, it was intimated, is the quintessential gift that the discerning lawyer and law firm will be handing out this holiday season.

Intrigued, I searched high and low for the best of the boxed wine that we could distribute for Arizona Attorney partners. But I guess boxed vino is not the superb oenophile experience the ABA seeks to impart.

So here at the magazine, we won’t be buying any wine to re-gift. But I couldn’t resist using the site’s cool “create your own label” tool. I led this post with one of my semi-custom artworks. And here is another of my favorites:

Arizona Attorney wine label 1

Here at the magazine, we celebrate early and often, as our custom wine label shows.

I suspect the ABA thought only serious purchasers would fiddle around with their label-maker, so I apologize to them in advance for pointing people to the label page and saying, “Have at it.”

Have a great weekend. And if you decide to get me a gift with a really good nose, I prefer reds.

social media icons

Next February, I’ll be part of a panel communicating all we know for a “Social Media Master Class.” At the moment, I’m feeling vaguely outclassed.

Sure, by February, I plan to have a vast knowledge to impart. But right now, I’d appreciate your insight on what you would expect if you passed by a hotel conference room and spotted the following sign:

“Social Media Advanced Class”

That, essentially, is what we’ll cover in our session.

We will be presenting at the ABA/NABE Midyear Meeting in Dallas, and our audience will be chock full of bar association executives and lawyers.

I didn’t write the copy for the program description, but I am looking for ways to meet its expectations. Here’s what it says:

“If you have not seen the very latest features for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other leading social media platforms, you may be living under a rock. Delve into the newest add-ons and enhancements that will bolster your messaging workflow while optimizing your Association’s exposure. Learn how to navigate unexpected (and sometimes unwelcome) redesigns of leading sites. Plus, get recommendations on the best shortcut tools like HootSuite to ease the pains of posting. Whether you’re a seasoned social media junkie or the new kid on the block, you’ll find something valuable to take away.”

social media "map" by Fred Cavazza

I love this social media “map” by Fred Cavazza.

Hmmm. We’d better bring our A game.

I figure one of the best ways to stretch your audience’s knowledge is to stretch your own. That’s why I’ve reached into a few new worlds this past month, to Quora and even Instagram. And I’ve also been examining the old standards (Facebook and Twitter) for what I think are best practices. But Pinterest hasn’t yet sucked me into its vortex.

Later today, I meet (via conference call) will the other panelists (from Ohio, San Francisco, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia). We’ll be strategizing the best way to communicate valuable content to attendees.

Your insights would be appreciated. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

law-schoolHere’s a great way to start off a week: by trying to make a difference to the legal profession.

The American Bar Association is seeking comment on the best practices law schools should be adopting. This is an opportunity to sound off on the legal training ground.

The initiative is part of the strategy of the ABA’s Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession.

As the ABA describes it:

“The Task Force on the Future of Legal Education was created in summer 2012, and charged with making recommendations to the American Bar Association on how law schools, the ABA, and other groups and organizations can take concrete steps to address issues concerning the economics of legal education and its delivery. The need for the Task Force, and for recommendations as to action, results from rapid and substantial changes in the legal profession, legal services, the national and global economy, and markets affecting legal education.”

“The Task Force is working through two subcommittees, one dealing with the economics of legal education, and the other dealing with the delivery of legal education and its regulation.”

For more information about the specific questions the subcommittees are addressing, read this ABA Journal article by Mark Hansen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,705 other followers