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The sharp downturn in the economy has had a profound impact on the justice system and the legal community. The number of unrepresented litigants in court has increased dramatically. At the same time, substantial numbers of attorneys find themselves unexpectedly unemployed.
In response to these concerns, the court system has established the Volunteer Attorney Program, offering attorneys opportunities to volunteer to serve the courts and the public.
Under the Program, attorneys can volunteer to provide advice and assistance to unrepresented litigants (Pro Bono Volunteer Attorney); or, they can serve in a judge’s chambers, performing legal research, writing and related functions (Chambers’ Volunteer Attorney).
Attorneys can volunteer full-time or part-time, on a schedule that is convenient to them. Participating attorneys select the court in which they want to serve and the type of cases they prefer to handle (subject to availability).
Each week all amicus and merit briefs for upcoming Supreme Court cases are posted online at www.supremecourtpreview.org. Be sure to stay on top of these postings and sign up for the weekly e-blast to receive notice of these updates. The weekly briefs e-blast is sent out every Friday afternoon.
Hat Tip to: LawMatters, the news source for the Law-Related Education (LRE) community. Subscribe for Free here.
The Document Naming System in Our Paperless Office
By Donna Neff and Natalie Sanna
The success of running a paperless office relies heavily on organizing and naming files – learn how from two experts.
The Paperless Office as a Risk Management Enterprise
By Jim Calloway
Sure, going paperless is good for the environment, but it also probably the only fool-proof disaster recovery plan.
Less Paper Does Not Equal Less Training (at first!)
By Adriana Linares
You’re ready to turn your practice into a paperless success, but make sure all employees are properly trained on any new technology so that your transition is a smooth one.
Going Paperless for the Law Office: A Practical Guide
By Michael J. Morse
Not just a guide, but also a thorough how-to for turning your practice paperless.
Some Thoughts on Becoming Paperless
By Ernest Svenson
The road to a paperless office may contain challenges, so it’s important to have a strategy in place before you begin your journey.
With the deadline quickly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service reminded potential homebuyers they must complete their first-time home purchases before Dec. 1 to qualify for the special first-time homebuyer credit. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extended the tax credit, which has provided a tax benefit to more than 1.4 million taxpayers so far. The credit of up to $8,000 is generally available to homebuyers with qualifying income levels who have never owned a home or have not owned one in the past three years.
The IRS has a new YouTube video:
and other resources that explain the credit in detail.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) website includes a variety of great information for disability advocates. A recent discovery are the Chief ALJ Bulletins, known as the Chief Judge bulletins. These bulletins provide information to SSA personnel involved in the hearings process. They may include such things as workload changes, system enhancements, or serve as notification of imminent or recently-approved revisions in the HALLEX (Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law Manual). They may also provide reminder items on a variety of topics. Recent topics have included guidance on fleeing felon cases and use of vocational expert interrogatories.