The WSCL Law Review named Professor Philip L. Merkel as recipient of its Distinguished Faculty Member Award for the 2017-2018 academic year. It also presented Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen with its Distinguished Alumni Member Award. The presentations were made at the Law Review’s Awards Banquet, held on April 27 at the Doubletree Hotel in Irvine. Many Law Review alumni as well as current members attended the event.
On January 23, Professor Kevin Mohr and Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen joined with Western State alumna and former adjunct professor, Marla Merhab Robinson, to present a legal education program at the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) offices on the Practical and Ethical Issues of Both the Unanticipated and Planned Closures of a Law Practice. The program was completely sold out, reflecting the importance of the topics addressed to a profession confronting the aging and retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. The program has been recorded so that lawyers unable to attend in-person can view and make use of the important guidance provided.
Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen spoke at the “Jump-Start Your Law Practice” conference, a three-day law practice management forum in Indianapolis, Indiana, attended by solo and small firm practitioners from all over the country, on November 18-20. Professor Pedersen’s presentation was entitled “Law Office Employee Hiring, Firing and Management.” He also participated in two panel discussions, entitled “Money, Fees and Pricing (Making Your Money Work for You),” and “Time Management and Proper Delegation.” Most of Professor Pedersen’s content came directly from his Law Practice Management and Technology class taught at Western State.
Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen has been retained by the State Bar of California Office of Professional Competence as its Subject Matter Expert on the topics of basic lawyering skills and law practice management, including the use of technology in the practice of law, as part of the Bar’s development of a continuing legal education e-learning course. The course, which should roll out in February 2018, will consist of ten hours of content on attorney ethics, elimination of bias, competence, pro bono and civility, basic lawyering skills, law practice management and use of technology. The course will be offered to new attorneys who need to comply with the State Bar’s new practice management MCLE requirement.
Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen spoke to the Los Angeles County Bar Association Intellectual Property Section on the topic, “Ethical Issues Presented by the Cyber-Security Threat to the Small Firm or Solo Practitioner,” on October 19. The program discussed the attorney’s duties of competence and confidentiality as they relate to the unique risks that arise by the use of technology in the law office, followed by practical tips to avoid or minimize those risks.
Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen participated in a seminar entitled “Mock Depositions: Don’t Make a Mockery of Yourself,” on September 12. At this Orange County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division program, Professor Pedersen conducted a demonstration deposition and then participated in a panel discussing deposition fundamentals.
Professor Pedersen also was one of four speakers at the Orange County Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Section’s annual program, held September 14, entitled “Building and Growing a Successful Practice.” Professor Pedersen spoke about all aspects of law practice management and technology during the two-hour panel discussion.
On April 22, Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen participated as a panelist at a workshop at UCLA Law School entitled “The Nuts and Bolts of Opening and Maintaining a Law Office.” Professor Pedersen spoke about a variety of subjects including the decision to open a firm, impediments to expect in the process, business development, and maintaining work-life balance when running a law practice.
On March 4, Professor Pedersen presented “Hit the Floor Running: Practical Tips for the New Lawyer” to attorneys and students attending the event held on the Western State campus. Organized by Assistant Dean of Career Resources Pamela Davidson, the program presented 75 “nuggets of wisdom” for the beginning attorney on a wide range of topics including time management techniques, tips on how to improve oral and written communications, and how to survive and thrive in the practice of law.