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    Wisconsin Lawyer
    May 01, 2015

    Briefly

    Got a nugget to share? Send your ideas for interesting facts, trends, tips, or other bits and bytes to wislawmag@wisbar.org, or comment below.


    Tech Tip

    Coming Soon: A .law Domain Extension for Your Website

    website namesLaw firm websites often use the “.com” generic top-level Internet domain extension, which represents the commercial nature of these websites (for example, www.mysite.com).

    Now one company has the exclusive right to operate the “.law” domain registry, which will become available to lawyers and law firms in the coming months.

    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – a nonprofit that controls the Internet’s naming system – granted an exclusive license to operate the “.law” domain to Minds + Machines, which owns and operates new generic top-level domains.

    “The new domain offers lawyers an alternative to the overpopulated and unregulated ‘.com’ domain,” according to a press release from Minds + Machines.

    A verification process will require applicants to verify they are lawyers to receive the “.law” domain, which will become generally available by August 2015, according to Robert Ambrogi’s Law Sites blog.

    coinsGood Ideas

    Low Bono Law Firm?

    Not to be confused with “pro bono,” a new “low bono” law firm created by Georgetown University Law School and partner law firms will provide legal services to individuals who can’t afford private attorneys but make enough to disqualify them from free, pro bono legal services.

    Georgetown Law is teaming up with DLA Piper and Arent Fox to form the nonprofit DC Affordable Law Firm, according to the ABA Journal. Six Georgetown Law graduates will work there on a 15-month fellowship and may pursue a Georgetown LLM degree at no cost in exchange.

    Arent Fox and DLA Piper attorneys will serve as mentors, and Arent Fox will provide free office space. The DC Affordable Law Firm will target clients with incomes between $25,000 and $50,000 per year.

    Elvis impersonatorOut There

    The Lawyer Who Wasn’t

    A Pennsylvania woman practiced law for 10 years, made partner at her law firm, and served as president of the local bar association. Problem: she isn’t a lawyer, according to a criminal complaint that says she forged a law license and bar exam results, and lied about attending Duquesne Law School to obtain a law firm job, where she handled estate planning matters.

    She’s charged with the unauthorized practice of law, forgery, and felony records tampering.

    Source: The Progress, theprogressnews.com

    Quotable

    We’ve kicked the can down the road far too long.”

    can on the road– American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard, speaking about the “persistent justice gap in America” at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Leadership Summit and Young Lawyers Division Leadership Conference in March.

    “We can all be proud of the many valuable access-to-justice initiatives across the country – including the heroic work of our legal services lawyers, valiant pro bono, and generous fundraising efforts – and we need to continue them,” Hubbard said. “But even so, we have barely moved the needle on expanding access to justice for all our citizens.”

    Read the “As I See It” column in this issue for more of William Hubbard’s remarks.

    From the Archives

    Lavinia’s Curtain Call

    Betty Diamond’s play “Lavinia” – a story about Lavinia Goodell, the first woman admitted to practice law in Wisconsin – made its curtain call last month with a final performance in Wausau.

    Lavinia playThe play sold out three shows in Madison and also was performed in Janesville and Wausau. It was commissioned by the Director of State Courts Office and Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who appeared for several post-performance talk-backs. Actress Deborah Hearst played Lavinia.

    Funding was provided by a Wisconsin Humanities Council grant to the Wisconsin Law Foundation in partnership with the State Bar of Wisconsin.

    On the Radar

    Is Washington State Blazing a Trail to Nonlawyer Ownership in Law Firms?

    A year ago, the Wisconsin Lawyer reported that Washington state would be the first to allow nonlawyers to provide limited legal assistance to clients as independent Limited Licensed Legal Technicians (LLLTs). Now the Evergreen state has gone a step farther.

    Under recent changes to the state’s attorney ethics rules, LLLTs can become shareholders in law firms.

    TrailThe comment to the rule says: “This Rule authorizes lawyers to enter into some fee-sharing arrangements and for-profit business relationships with LLLTs. It is designed as an exception to the general prohibition … that lawyers may not share fees or enter into business relationships with individuals other than lawyers.”

    Could the rule blaze a trail for other nonlawyer owners in law firms?

    “If a glorified paralegal can be an owner of a law firm,” Seattle attorney Sands McKinley told Bloomberg BNA, “what kind of argument could you make whereby a CPA tax expert from Deloitte & Touche could not?”




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