Pro Bono Needs in Mississippi

By Will Bardwell, Esq.

Regardless of what one thinks of the Mississippi Supreme Court’s efforts to encourage (or, depending on whom you ask, force) pro bono service, one can’t fault their motives. But the follow-through probably could use some work.
The Court made more than a couple of waves in August when it proposed a change to Rule 6.1 of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct and openly considered becoming the only state in America to require its attorneys to perform pro bono service. The amendment would have mandated just 20 hours per year – a paltry sum, to be sure, but nonetheless 20 hours more than is required by any other jurisdiction.
As far as one can tell from squinting toward the outside at a process that takes place mostly behind closed doors, the idea went over like a ton of bricks. In the weeks of heated debate that took place over lunch tables, laptops, and cold beverages, I found exactly one attorney who thought that the Court should enact the proposal.
And I agreed with him. Although I know I find myself in the minority on the issue and suspect that the proposal is doomed, I am convinced that serious efforts are needed to address what is, by any measure, a woefully unaddressed need.

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Good News Journal

New Office
The Gilliam Firm is excited about its recent move to Olde Towne Clinton.  We are now located at 102 West Leake Street, in the historic A.E. Wood House, which was built in 1872 (pictured below).  All are welcome to come see our new office!

MAJ Member Russell Jones (Southaven) welcomed his third granddaughter on December 6. Avie Elizabeth was by Russell’s other granddaughters Tanner Magee Jones (age 2) and Caroline Love Calhoun (age 20 months).
MAJ Vice President Vicki Slater welcomed her new grandson, James Harvey Slater (pictured below), on Christmas Day. James was 8 lbs, 13 oz., and 21 inches long!

Mike's Holiday Technology Shopping Guide

Editor’s Note: Below, Mike Lenoir takes a look at the hot tech items for this holiday season. If you still have any money left, or you’ve got a gift card to spend, here is his take on what to buy, and what not to buy.
Android Tablets
These will be fun to play with, but don't look at them as 'business appliances' yet.

Great if your main use is browsing the internet. These are tiny laptops with everything EXCEPT DVD player. Intel ATOM processor is fine, 1GB RAM is minimum to look for. $200-$290.
There are some great buys on HP and Toshiba right now. Look for 4GB RAM minimum. I generally prefer Intel processors over AMD with one exception: NO INTEL CELERON PROCESSORS! Any version of Windows 7 is good - even the home versions. However, if you plan to plug the laptop into your business network, plan on spending $80 to upgrade from “Home Version” to “Professional Version.”
Wireless Routers
Cisco (a high-end company) has purchased Linksys (a low-end company) and now produces a line of wireless routers for home and small-office use. The high-end models ($130) can work on two ranges of frequencies and have a high-speed port, which can be advantageous if you plug all of your devices into the router and use it as a “hub.” If you are on a budget you could get the low-end model for around $50. There is a sister-product-line called “Valet,” but I have not used these as they seem to be targeted toward home users.
External Hard Drives
Yes, this is still on the”recommended” list. Extend the life of your computer/laptop/netbook by offloading all of your photos and music to an external drive.
My DO-NOT-BUY list:
All-in-one print/scan/fax
They don't do any of these functions well. Not worth the money.
Tiny mouse for your netbook or laptop.
Suck it up and learn to use the touchpad. You'll be glad you did.
Photo Printer
These small printers print photo-quality photos. They are good for small runs or occasional use, but the cartridges and paper can be very expensive. I recommend getting a memory stick (a.k.a. thumb drive ) and learning how to take your digital photos down to Walgreens and ordering your prints through the in-store kiosks.
Mike Lenoir is a tech consultant with MAJ Connection Line Sponsor Matrix Solutions. He has been working with Mississippi law firms since 1992. Check out his blog and podcasts at

December 2010
Volume IV,
Issue No. 43

Upcoming Events

Legislative Session Begins
January 4, 2010
Opening Night Legislative Party
January 4, 2010
F. Jones Corner, Jackson
MAJ Lobby Day
January 20, 2010
Bad-Faith Seminar
January 21, 2010
Eagle Ridge, Raymond, MS
Keep checking for more information and to register online
Lunch & Learn
February 1, 2010
Gulf Coast
New Lawyers Division Meeting
February 25, 2010
1:00 p.m.
MAJ Headquarters
MAJ Annual Convention
Annual Banquet Keynote Speaker: James Carville
June 2-4, 2010
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

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