Sean Mason’s legal practice is all about love.Most lawyers wouldn’t associate estate planning or divorce mediation with tenderness and devotion, but Mason says “helping clients express love for the people who matter most in their lives” is the principle that guides his Santa Barbara, Calif., practice at the Mason Law Group.Mason is a practitioner of the burgeoning integrative law movement, which views law as a healing profession. He believes that lawyers who adopt the integrative law philosophy enjoy an additional benefit: improved work-life balance.“There’s a great quote about when someone has passion for the work they do: You can’t tell the difference between whether they’re at work or at play,” says Mason, 51, who meditates daily and went to law school in hopes of becoming a mediator. “That’s what it’s like for me. The passion I have for my work is the fulfillment of who I consider myself to be.”Unlike … [Read more...] about Is the integrative law movement the next ‘huge wave’ for the legal profession?
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patchwork may be the best way to describe the layers of laws that governed the relationships of same-sex couples before June 26, 2015, the day the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to marriage for gay couples in Obergefell v. Hodges (PDF).Robert Stanley, a partner at the family law firm of Jaffe and Clemens in Beverly Hills, California, has personally navigated that patchwork. When he moved to California about 10 years ago from Georgia, he went from a state with no legal status for same-sex couples to one with domestic partnership status. Shortly after the California Supreme Court’s ruling that recognized same-sex marriage went into effect—in mid-June 2008—Stanley and his partner got married.Then the state’s voters approved Proposition 8, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. That left Stanley’s marriage legal but prevented additional same-sex couples from marrying. Challenges to Prop 8 sprouted, and same-sex marriages again … [Read more...] about After Obergefell: How the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage has affected other areas of law
Kodak once enjoyed a virtual monopoly, controlling 90 percent of the film market and 85 percent of the camera market. However, as the lesson goes, the old-school company declared bankruptcy in 2012, and it sold most of its intellectual property to the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and new-age others who had been more proactive in embracing digital photography. The 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market (PDF) hypothesizes that, like Kodak, lawyers are reluctant to stray too far from the business model that has served them so well in the past.Not that law firms are looking at extinction. “Firms at the highest end of the market will always be sought out for critical bet-the-company work,” the study stresses. “But the range of activities that only [original emphasis] traditional law firms can undertake will continue to narrow as alternative service providers become more expansive in their capacities and as software development increases the automation … [Read more...] about Some law firms look outside law practice to avoid their ‘Kodak moment’
AFAs: WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?We all know there are dramatic changes occurring in the legal profession. Some changes are the result of economic pressures; others are urged upon lawyers and law firms by the clients they serve. These days, being a lawyer is less about the practice of law and, out of necessity, more about the business of law.At the heart of these changes is a question plaguing managing partners, practice group chairs, CMOs and marketing staff, and every service provider in the law firm – “How do we define and market our value?”Many believe the answer lies in the philosophy and application of alternative fee arrangements (“AFAs”), a topic of much discussion, criticism, and confusion as more corporate counsel seek to hasten the elimination of the billable hour. A comprehensive overview of the most common AFA models is included in the Appendix.AFAs can be a bitter pill for many firms to swallow. Prospectively, firms will have to alter the ways … [Read more...] about Marketing Law Firm Value: Alternative Fee Arrangements
Senior Advocate and HRLN founder, Mr. Colin Gonsalves, has been awarded the 2017 Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’.As per an official press release, Mr. Gonsalves has been endowed with the honor “for his tireless and innovative use of public interest litigation over three decades to secure fundamental human rights for India’s most marginalized and vulnerable citizens.”Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award honours efforts that prize founder, Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull, felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes. Named after the Buddhist concept of Right Livelihood, the prize has been given in the past to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, human rights activists Bianca Jagger from Nicaragua, and Swedish children’s book author Astrid Lindgren.The announcement was made at the International Press Centre at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs by Ole von … [Read more...] about Senior Advocate And HRLN Founder Colin Gonsalves Awarded The ‘Alternate Nobel Prize’