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Good Luck, Bar Examiners!

When you read the words 'Board of Bar Examiners,' what comes to your mind? For me, it's a bunch of old, white (mostly bald, some overweight) men wearing grey suits sitting at a long oval table in leather chairs with mean, scary looks. I picture them trying to come up with various ways to torture the scared-to-death recent JD's.

I admit I'm not so scared anymore these days. I've been there, done that. I'm taking the Florida bar next Tuesday. I'll be one of the calmer ones, but it wasn't always like that. I remember the first time I took the bar exam and what an awful day it was- the way I wandered around Chicago trying to find the building (the address was hidden above the door). I found a small UPS store where I cried and asked to use their computer to access mapquest. I made it finally about 5 minutes before I was due. And that was the just the beginning.

In any case, after 2 days, 10 grueling essays, and 200 multiple choice questions (and a 5 hour energy drink), I passed the exam. And here I am once again.

Thankfully, the Florida bar exam is faaaar more redundant than the Illinois bar (based on my observation of the study guides provided by the Board). I admit I am taking a far more nonchalant and calm attitude. I've read so many essays, they're falling out of my ears and I'm starting to ...

Litigation Attorneys for the Win?

One of the attorneys I work with saw all the work I was doing for an upcoming trial and said 'once you're done with this, you'll want to be a transactional lawyer.'

Interestingly enough, a part of me enjoys litigation. Yes, the documents and information can be overwhelming at times, but believe it or not, I think it's worth it. So far at least. It's — I dunno — more fun? I feel like I would get bored with just doing transactional work. I guess only time will tell.
The internet has been around in the mainstream since the early 90's... but cyberlaw- hmm, not so much. Finally, governments are catching on the reality of this beast called the internet. Specifically, cyber attacks, cybercrimes, and cyberbullying have been a huge fear as of late. As our world becomes more wired and interdependent, the smallest wrench in the system can cost billions of dollars as well as the loss of extremely valuable information. The internet also could easily be used as a tool to harm innocent persons.

The fear of cyberattacks specifically prompted the US to consider passing the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act (also known as the 'internet kill switch'). China, to combat dissent, is creating an 'Internet real name system' to reduce anonymity on the internet. I am not advocating suppressing dissent or freedom of speech, but it's interesting to analyze the ways countries are handling the unique situations that the internet presents. For example, it is much easier to ruin someone's reputation on the internet than in print media. On print, it costs a lot more money to re-print an article and once the news is old, it is stored somewhere in a corner on a microfilm. The internet is another story. Information could be easily copied and pasted and Emailed and posted. Defamatory content could spread all over the internet in minutes. And when that news is old, it is easy google-able by employers, friends, and pretty much ...
So here I am trying to get comfy here in my little corner on the internet, but first I had to write my obligatory legal disclaimer before I could feel at ease. I looked at some other disclaimers to get an idea and it made me think of a few issues.

The main issues for me were regarding communication with prospective clients and whether my blog advertising material (whether I intend it as such or not)? My gut instinct was 'quite possibly' but sometimes intuition does not serve well in predicting professional rules of ethics so like any good lawyer, I did my research. And good lawyers know you can't just throw up a disclaimer and call it a day. ? I could only find one ISBA opinion back from 1996 that addressed the issue of websites but with the incredible changes in the internet, blogging, and social media, I was surprised I could not find anything more recent. So ISBA Opinion 96-10 will have to do (click here if you don't have access to ISBA).

There are two main concerns for me. Firstly, whether I am directly soliciting clients and secondly, whether it is advertising material. ISBA Opinion 96-10 states essentially states a website is like a 'yellow pages' and that prospective clients have willingly chosen to look it. As far as advertising, well the usual goes, just tell everyone it's advertising and don't lie.

It definitely opened up my eyes on some seemingly minor things I should be ...
Ok, this isn't quiiite law related, but it's me-related.

Check out this article on America.gov about the Islamic Society of North America's annual convention

Danya Shakfeh, who also attended the convention, said the event provides an opportunity for Muslims to meet. "It is a good platform for Muslims to get to know each other and to network," Shakfeh said.