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Author: Mary Dunnewold

Mary Dunnewold Mary Dunnewold D ( is a lawyer and writer in Northfield, Minn.

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Your financial future begins now

December 01, 2015

The financial moves you make starting right now in school could affect your lifetime. Here’s how to make the smartest choices now and after you graduate. You may have a limited income as a student, but you still need financial planning skills. In fact, smart money management during law school and

Mastering the New Rules

September 01, 2014

Andrew Tanick, a labor and employment lawyer in Minneapolis, uses alternative dispute resolution (ADR) skills in essentially every case he handles. This wasn’t always so. When Tanick, a partner at Ford & Harrison, began practicing law in the late 1980s, he’d never heard of ADR. It was a relatively new concept,

Internet Legal Service Providers: Practicing Law Without a License?

April 01, 2014

In your professional responsibility class, you will probably or did learn about unauthorized practice of law statutes. And you will probably get some guidance about what legal tasks you can and cannot perform without supervision before you pass the bar exam and officially enter practice. For instance, under most state

Mandatory Pro Bono: Is It Right for Law Students?

February 01, 2014

Recently, New York became the first state to mandate completion of pro bono work as a condition for bar admission. Under the new rule, New York bar applicants must perform 50 hours of pro bono work before they can be admitted to practice. Applicants can perform their pro bono service

Ethics Webinar - Character and Fitness

The Other Bar Hurdle: the Character and Fitness Requirement

December 01, 2013

Many non-lawyers don’t know that the bar admission process requires new lawyers to pass a character and fitness test before they can practice law and to adhere to high professional standards once admitted. In theory, the character and fitness requirement protects the public from individuals whose past conduct

Making the Case for You: Professional Interviewing Skills

October 01, 2013

Fall is traditionally on-campus interviewing season in law schools. But these days, most law students don’t get jobs through on-campus interviews. And many students may not even participate in the process. Solid, professional interviewing skills are essential to your job search whether the interview is on or off campus, or

Good Process = Good Ethics

March 03, 2013

In fact, a significant portion of ethical complaints against lawyers arise in three contexts related to law practice organization: client communication, handling of money, and conflicts of interest. Lawyers who do not have good systems in place to stay on top of their obligations

An Ethical Duty to Use the Internet?

January 01, 2013

But as a practicing lawyer, you may have an ethical responsibility to use the Internet and social media as tools to actually help you in your practice. Obviously, a great deal of attorney advertising, business generation, and client communication occurs over the Internet, and these uses raise their own ethical

Lawyer Assistance Programs: Help Is on the Way

December 01, 2012

But lawyering also has its dark side. Lawyers report higher rates of dependency issues, depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses than nonlawyers. The consequences of these sorts of problems are significant for the legal profession: harm to clients, harm to lawyers themselves (who have spent enormous amounts of time and

Should Lawyers Contribute to Judicial Campaigns?

October 01, 2012

Whether electing judges is a good idea at all is a topic being hotly debated in legal circles right now. Election campaigns require money, and there is some doubt that even the best-intentioned judges can resist the basic human impulse to respond to a “favor” (like a campaign

Work Habits That Can Become a Barrier to Professional Success

March 01, 2012

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to professional behavior. We agree to take on projects we aren’t interested in and don’t want to complete. We schedule more work in one day than we can possibly accomplish. We agree to do a favor

Annoying the Judge: Recent Examples of What Not to Do in Federal Court

January 01, 2012

Most judges are reasonable people, trying to do their jobs and solve the problems that come up in their courtrooms. But sometimes judges get pushed to the limit by attorney behavior that reflects a lack of attention to professionalism. Some interesting orders and opinions result. For instance, in a recent, much

Handling Law School Stress Well

December 01, 2011

For the past several years, students at Hamline Law School have been invited to participate in a “Six-Word Story” contest on the topic of the first six weeks of law school. Six-word stories are intended to capture the essence of an experience in just that many words.

Plagiarism: Proceed with Caution

September 01, 2011

Plagiarism is in the news. Last spring, a law school graduate admitted to plagiarizing the graduation speech he delivered at his school’s graduation ceremony. He’s now waiting to see how the incident will affect his bar admission. In 2008, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the

Law student using social networking.

Social Networking: Friend or Foe?

January 01, 2011

The ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center reports that 56 percent of lawyers currently maintain a presence on at least one social networking site. As a law student, up until now, you may have used LinkedIn for your professional profile and Facebook or other sites mainly as a way

Use and Abuse of Metadata

December 01, 2010

Imagine that you are a lawyer conversing with a client in your office. It’s a nice day, so you leave your window open. Another lawyer who works in the same building, and happens to represent a party currently negotiating a contract with your client, is standing outside your window having

Letter of Recommendation

Professionalism 101: Obtaining a letter of recommendation

October 01, 2010

Chances are, sometime during your law school career, you’ll need letters of recommendation to accompany a job application. When a potential employer requests recommendation letters, don’t be shy about asking professors and current or past employers. Most expect to support students in their job searches by providing them. But when requesting