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In Brief


Vol. 40 No. 5

eLawyering, federal rules ebook, and how to improve your future career health.
Tip from a young lawyer: Learn about elawyering

Quick: How familiar are you with virtual law practice? Cloud computing? Online practice management? These are all components of elawyering, and at least one young lawyer believes that if your law school isn’t teaching you about them, you should take matters into your own hands.

The use of technology in law practice is nothing new, writes Laura Bergus, a May 2011 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law. But, she adds, technology is now progressing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with all the developments in online communication, storage, and transactions.

“Law students should be first in line to learn how online technologies can effectively deliver legal services,” Bergus writes in a post called “Law Students Should Learn eLawyering” at

Look into whether your school is one of the many to incorporate elawyering into its professional skills instruction. If not, Berkus recommends that you visit, the website for the ABA eLawyering Task Force. Next, connect online with experts Richard Granat and Stephanie Kimbro, both of whom Bergus says are willing to answer questions. Finally, she recommends, actually try some of the elawyering tools that are out there, so you can get familiar with how they work.

Federal rules now available on your favorite reading device

Need a quick, handy reference for federal rules? The law librarians at the University of South Carolina School of Law are excited that there are now ebook versions available of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence.

A post called “Federal Rules eBooks” on the school’s Cocky Law Blawg notes that there are different versions of the books, so they can be read on Nook, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and any other device that supports the epub format.

Best of all, they’re free—but it’s suggested that you donate to the Legal Information Institute, which created the ebooks along with the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction.

You can find and download them at

Want to improve your future career health? Go to the clinic, STAT

Maybe you’ve read some of the discussion recently regarding whether lawyers are ready to practice when they’re fresh out of law school. What’s one way you can sharpen your practice skills before you graduate? Take a clinic.

That’s according to Sarah Zearfoss, senior assistant dean for admissions, financial aid, and career planning at the University of Michigan Law School. In a post called “Clinics: Not Just for Doctors” at her blog A 2 Z, Zearfoss explains that “the laws of many states allow students to act as lawyers—appearing in court, counseling clients—as long as they do so under law school supervision.”

Clinics are generally only for 3Ls, but those in Michigan and Connecticut can start as 2Ls, Zearfoss notes, adding that clinics vary a great deal from one school to the next in terms of how they operate and the kind of experience you can gain. If you want to check out your school’s clinic, Zearfoss recommends that you ask the following questions:

1.       Who’s supervising?
2.       What else are those supervisors doing?
3.       What kind of work will you get to do?

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.

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