'Legal Rebels' event features leading innovators in the legal profession
Three entrepreneurial attorneys who are using their degrees in creative, innovative ways will share their wisdom and experiences with students at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University during a special program on April 14.
"ABA Legal Rebels: Reinventing the Profession" will be from 12:15-2 p.m., in room 105 and in the Steptoe & Johnson Rotunda of Armstrong Hall. The program, including lunch and one-on-one discussions, is free and open to current law students, all 2008 and 2009 alumni of the College of Law, members of the ABA's Young Lawyers Division and attorneys in the Phoenix metropolitan area. RSVP by April 12 to http://community.law.asu.edu/event/LegalRebels.
The attorneys are among 50 "Legal Rebels" from around the country who have been selected and profiled by the American Bar Association's monthly magazine, the ABA Journal. The Journal launched the Legal Rebels program in August to illustrate myriad new directions the legal profession is taking at all levels of practice, education and service to clients.
"These individuals are remaking the practice of law in their corners of the profession," said Ed Adams, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal. "They're answering a question all of our readers have: what will the profession look like once the Great Recession has ended?"
The law school's Legal Rebels event is the first time any of these "rebels with a cause" have been brought to a university to speak with students, according to Ilona DeRemer, assistant dean of the College of Law's Career Strategy and Professional Development Mentoring Center.
"Now more than ever is the time for law graduates and attorneys to be thinking about the full dimension of their degrees, and how they might use those degrees," said DeRemer, who approached the ABA after reading about the Legal Rebels. "The profession is changing because of the economy, and we want to prepare students to respond to those changes, to be in that mindset and to take full advantage of the potential their degrees afford them."
The three Legal Rebels will talk about their career reinventions, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. They are:
"Laurel Edgeworth, "The Matchmaker," who founded the Law Clerk Connection, LLC, in Cameron Park, Calif., where she matches law graduates with clerk positions online. Read more about her here.
"Sam Glover, founder and editor-in-chief of Lawyerist, an online lawyering survival guide. Glover, who believes lawyers must evolve or face extinction, also manages a consumer rights legal practice in Minneapolis. Click here to read his story.
"Jeffrey Hughes, "The Legal Grinder," who owns Legal Grind Coffee and Counsel in Santa Monica, Calif., and serves up jurisprudence advice with java. To read about him, click here.
Stephanie Loquvam, a second-year student at the College of Law who recently was elected Vice Chair of the ABA Law Student Division for the 2010-2011 term, worked with DeRemer to raise her idea up the ABA flagpole. Loquvam said the Legal Rebels program dovetails with one of the Division's primary goals - finding relevant and tangible ways to quickly deliver career resources to law students.
"These Legal Rebels bring to the table a different approach to the non-traditional practice of law," she said. "So many times, as law students, we hear 'you can do so many things with a law degree, and it doesn't have to be law.' These attorneys are offering new ways to practice law, and they're at the cutting edge of what the legal profession is going to look like."
Loquvam encouraged all students to attend the program and get to know the Legal Rebels.
"As we prepare to embark on our careers, it's reassuring and inspiring to hear from people who are revolutionizing the profession. It's a tremendous opportunity to gain invaluable insight and to be able to talk with them one-on-one," she said. "This is a chance for students to evaluate what direction they want to go and to learn what they might do to see it come to fruition."
The reader response to the ABA Journal's Legal Rebel series has been overwhelming, said Adams, noting it was the magazine's most-read package of stories in 2009. Readers nominated more than 250 people for consideration and posted more than 2,000 Twitter messages about the project, he said.
"There is broad consensus among the lawyers we speak to that the legal profession that emerges from the Great Recession won't be the same one that entered it," Adams said. "The profession is changing, in dozens of ways. These Legal Rebels are the ones reshaping the profession. They're building the future."
Janie Magruder, Jane.Magruder@asu.edu
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law