Dear YLS Member:
I am pleased to present to you the May issue of Electronically In-Touch. In this issue, you will find:
Again, thank you to the young lawyers who submitted content for this issue. You not only keep our membership informed of hot topics and recent developments in the law in a variety of practice areas, your career and professional development advice and guidance is invaluable and truly an enjoyable read. To our law student members and young lawyer members residing or practicing out-of-state and over seas, we appreciate your membership in the Section and encourage you to stay involved!
For those of you interested in sharing your ideas, advice, tips, and/or content submissions, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for inclusion in the newsletter. Electronically In-Touch is a monthly publication. The deadline for submissions is the 10th of the month.
We hope that you enjoy the May issue and look forward to staying In-Touch...
Justina Cintrón Perino
With the growing popularity of wireless internet networks – so grows the phenomenon of the unauthorized use of another's open network. Westchester County has found a solution – a law requiring local business to secure their wireless networks.
Wake up and Smell the Wi-Fi
The Westchester law was enacted to deal with the growing phenomenon known as "war-driving" or "piggybacking," namely, searching for a close unsecured wireless network, connecting to it, and surfing the web through it.
Surveys have shown that most domestic wireless access points are not secured. That is to say that it is possible to connect to them automatically by double clicking on the "available wireless network" the computer had located. Sometimes, the computer makes the connection without the user being aware that the connection has been made. In some cases, the owners of wireless access points leave their connections unsecured purposely, as an expression of their belief in the sharing of resources and cooperation in the world-wide-web. For the most part, however, the networks are left unsecured because consumers are not aware of the dangers lurking behind leaving the network unsecured; dangers which are mostly intangible, unlike the very tangible dangers in leaving the door of one's apartment unlocked.
Liability for Another's Actions
In most cases, the "piggybackers" use the host network only for surfing the web, checking email, and chatting. While this practice does take away resources (bandwidth) from the wireless network, it does not always detract from the quality of its owner's surfing. However, this may change as the "piggybacker's" use of the network becomes heavier, and may eventually lead to a complete inability to surf the web.
In addition, sometimes the "piggybacking" is a precursor to other, illegal actions including unlawfully accessing files of the network owner, installing viruses and Trojan horses in their systems, downloading copyright-infringing files, storage of files containing pedophilic content, and the distribution of spam. In such cases, the practice may lead the owner of the network to incur expenses, possible lawsuits, and punishments for acts done by another on his or her network.
Over the World – Arrests and Fines
Since there have only been a few cases to date, mostly in lower judicial instances, there is no guiding case law on this issue. Experts believe that sometimes, such use of an unsecured wireless network may be considered an "unauthorized access of a computer," which is prohibited under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and even theft of communications. Other legal causes of action cited include defrauding the internet service provider and a breach of the internet service agreement with it.
The Life of a “0”: Searching for a Job as a
Recent Law School Grad
Searching for a job is always a stressful event. But searching for a legal job in a tough market is even more stressful. The following article outlines some tips for recent law school graduates who are unemployed or 0 to 3rd year lawyers looking to make a lateral move from their present employer.
You’ve gotten through some of the most difficult years of your life. You’ve lived through taking up permanent residence at the law library, sacrificed many a Saturday night for a better understanding of contracts or torts, and braved the bar exam like a champ. You did all of this work figuring that you should easily be bringing in $150,000 to start, getting a Blackberry and a free cell phone, and be given all of the other perks that you were promised upon entering law school. The hardest part is behind you, right? Wrong!
Unfortunately, with the tough market out there and the even tougher competition, those $150,000 jobs aren’t as plentiful as when you started law school, and even the $35,000 jobs are difficult to get.
Route to Employment #1:
Create a Framework:
Route to Employment #2:
If your resume doesn’t reflect that you participated in law journals, work experience, or activities related to these new fields of interest, it may be a harder sell, but not impossible. Here are some tips:
Route to Employment #3:
If you are interested in litigation but not sure what area, pursue any jobs that will teach you basic skills, i.e., drafting motions, taking a deposition, making a discovery demand. Those skills are translatable and indispensable for your career, wherever you eventually end up.
The most important thing to keep in mind if you are following scenario #3 is to create a skill set. Work hard at a smaller firm or company for a year, and then, transition over after you have had more exposure to various areas of the law.
Create a database:
Closing the deal:
Finding a job is a marathon and not a race, so be strategic, be confident, and be open. You may not make your first million in your “0” to “3” years, but if you make wise choices, you’ll be on your way to a solid, lasting career.
Standing Out in the Crowd—a
Now that “The Season” has descended upon law firms across the state, I’d like to address an issue that’s of particular relevance to summer associates, but also of interest to all associates.
Nearly every aspect of your career will be affected by the way your coworkers perceive you. No one will notice or care about your quality work product if you have a reputation as someone who doesn’t take their job seriously. In that sense, perception really is stronger than reality.
So, what can you do to earn yourself a good reputation? First of all, don’t forget that you really are the most expendable person at the firm. Every other attorney at the firm has more experience than you. When an attorney criticizes your work product, even if you think they’re wrong, you cannot get defensive and interrupt what the attorney is saying. It is your job to listen carefully and weigh the attorney’s criticisms. After that, you can give a short, one-sentence explanation of your actions, followed by an “I’m sorry, I’ll make the changes you requested.”
Second, don’t forget that you really are more expendable than the staff at the firm. Good, reliable employees are hard to come by, and long before you ever got there, the firm had already spent a lot of money recruiting and retaining staff. Lawyers with fancy degrees are a dime a dozen, but a legal secretary with working knowledge of the firm’s systems is priceless.
Third, don’t look to the other associates to determine what sorts of behavior are appropriate. I know this seems counter-intuitive, but here’s why. The other attorneys have already built their reputations. They have a good sense of the things that they can get away with, and conversely, the things that are most important for their careers. While it might be very common for associates and partners to show up a bit late to work, a summer associate breaking the start-time rule can come off as disrespectful and acting as though he/she feels like he/she is entitled to having a fancy, high-paying law firm job. Clearly, that’s not the reputation that you want to be cultivating! When in doubt about how to behave, follow the rules to a tee. Show up on time, do all the reading, and proofread your assignments several times.
Finally, don’t forget that the quickest way to influence someone’s opinion of you is to form a relationship with that person. It’s not enough just to be respectful and polite to the other attorneys and to the staff. You need to work hard to engage your coworkers in conversation, to find common interests, and to build a relationship of trust and respect. Not only will you expand the number of people who are willing to support you and to advocate for you, you’ll also have more fun than you would if you were hiding in your office all day behind a closed door. You spend a lot of hours at work—you might as well enjoy them!
The New York State Bar Association has partnered with Loislaw, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, to provide you with the NYSBA/Loislaw LawWatch CaseAlert Service. The NYSBA/Loislaw LawWatch CaseAlert Service is a free member benefit that allows NYSBA members to sign up to receive e-mail alerts of new cases in one of twenty (20) areas of practice. The New York State Bar Association is the first bar association in the country to provide this case alert service, which gives members another tool that can help them stay ahead of the curve. More than 1,200 have already subscribed!
This is how it works: several pre-selected searches, each relevant to a particular area of the law, have been assigned to the practice areas. As a member, you may elect to receive e-mail alerts in one of these areas—whichever you choose. When a new decision that matches the search terms in your selected area is published, an excerpt from the case will be automatically e-mailed to you. In that e-mail, a link will be provided, which allows you free access to the full text of the case.
You can sign up for this service by clicking on: www.nysba.org/casealerts. Since this is an exclusive member benefit, you will need to log in using your user name and password. The next screen will give you the opportunity to opt in to this new service, confirm the e-mail address to which you want the e-alerts sent, and select the practice area of your choice. Shortly thereafter, you will begin receiving case alerts at the e-mail address you designate. If you wish to see samples of the type of case alerts you will be receiving or view other general information about this new service, please visit: www.nysba.org/casealertdemo.
This summer, the YLS plans to launch a searchable YLS membership directory. Access to the Directory will be available to members only, and the Directory will include capability to search by contact information, practice area, and judicial district. Members who do not wish to be listed in the Directory and/or those members wishing to include specific information (i.e., preferred mailing or email addresses, or telephone numbers) in the Directory will be able to opt out and/or update their NYSBA profiles. We will send out a Section Notice prior to the Directory launch to announce when the Directory will be made available. Stay tuned!
The following is a calendar of upcoming YLS meetings. All YLS members are welcomed and encouraged to attend. For more information about these meetings, please contact Megan O’Toole, the NYSBA YLS Staff Liaison via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the dates! We hope to see you!
*Odia Kagan is a partner in the Shavit Bar-On
Gal-On Tzin Nov Yagur Law Offices, in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she
heads the internet and information technology (IT) practice. Ms. Kagan
is also admitted to practice law in the State of New York, in England
and Wales, and in New South Wales, Australia. The aforesaid it the
opinion of the writer only, does not purport to be complete or
comprehensive, and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute
Electronically In-Touch welcomes articles from members of the legal profession on subjects of interest to New York State young lawyers. Views expressed in articles are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to Electronically In-Touch, its editors, the Young Lawyers Section, or the New York State Bar Association unless expressly so stated. Authors are responsible for the correctness of all content, citations, and quotations. Contact the editor, Justina Cintrón Perino, at email@example.com for submission guidelines. Material accepted by the Young Lawyers Section may be published or made available through print, film, electronically, and/or other media. Copyright (c) 2006 by the New York State Bar Association. Electronically In-Touch, the eNewsletter publication of the New York State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207, is issued twelve months each year.