Sunday, April 6, 2014

Competence means more than knowing the law

I always make a point of reminding my students that being competent includes understanding the day to day operation of law practice and the management of an office.  A recent case from Nebraska illustrates this.  In this case, State of Nebraska v. Sundvold, the Nebraska Supreme Court suspended an attorney for three years followed by probation for two years on reinstatement in part because he was not equipped to manage his law practice.  The attorney had worked in-house for an insurance company before entering private practice and proved not to be ready for it.  He did not have any experience in the financial aspects of the the practice of law. He had never negotiated a fee, handled client funds, drafted a contract for the provision of legal services, worked with a billing system or utilized a trust account.  For more, go to the Legal Profession blog here.

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