Blogs

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By Jake Koch, researcher and writer at Affinity Consulting Group. Social media is an integral part of our modern world. There are many uses for social media both for professional and personal purposes, but ordinary social interaction continues to be the primary reason most people spend time on these platforms. In 2019, 71% of Americans used Facebook [1] . Further, 79% of college graduates used one or more social media platforms. It is estimated that the number of social media users will exceed 3 billion by 2021 [2] . It is apparent that, for better or worse, social media is here to stay, and this means it is immensely important to educate yourself about ...
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As the ballots were counted in last week’s primary election, they included votes cast by probationers and parolees for the first time in New Jersey history. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) supported the legislation that expanded the voting pool last year, urging the bill’s passage because of the disproportionate impact of the prohibition on people of color. The campaign to expand voting rights was championed by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) and its 1844 No More Campaign. “Today was a historic day for democracy in New Jersey,” said Henal Patel of NJISJ. “Today, 83,000 people have the right to vote and we continue to work toward ...
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NJLAP On Lawyer Happiness

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The following is written by Noreen Braman,  Communications & Technology Manager for the New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program, and was published as part of NJLAP's Lawyer Well-Being Newsletter. To have the newsletter come directly to your in-box, request to subscribe by emailing  [email protected] .  Definition of  happiness : 1a : a state of well-being and contentment : joy A  CNBC article  published on August 16, 2019 named three top things to be avoided in order to be happy. They are: Don’t retire early Don’t own a home Don’t be a lawyer The article cites a  Johns Hopkins  study from 1990, as well as the  2016 ABA lawyer well-being ...
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By Jennifer Ramovs Learn why Microsoft 365 might be the right choice for you and your firm. The applications included in Microsoft Office - Word, Outlook, Excel, even PowerPoint - are must-haves for a law firm. Historically, people bought these programs when they bought a computer and often bundled the purchase of the software with the purchase of the computer. More recently, firms have been uncovering the option to instead subscribe to "Microsoft 365." Microsoft 365 refers to a suite of subscription plans that include access to Office applications that are enabled over the internet (i.e., cloud services). Microsoft 365 plans for business also include additional ...
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Senate passes bill to remove immigration status for professional/occupational licenses The Senate advanced a bill that would remove proof of lawful presence in the United States as a requirement to obtain a professional or occupational license. S-2455 (Pou)/A-4225 (Mukherji) permits immigrants who are otherwise qualified to obtain professional and occupied licenses to obtain them. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) supports this legislation as a key to advancing New Jersey’s workforce, providing support to fill labor shortages and providing expertise. “In the midst of the pandemic our state extended emergency licenses to qualified men and women that ...
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On June 9 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took another step on its path to streamline local government review of wireless technology siting by adopting its 5G Upgrade Order i which further refines and clarifies its previous rulings related to Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (TRA) ii . Section 6409(a) was enacted to expedite State and local government review of requests to modify existing wireless communications facilities. Section 6409(a) provides that "a State or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base ...
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When the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) issued a call for attorneys to volunteer for NJ Free Legal Answers, Michael Sawka, a solo practitioner in Pemberton, stepped up to the plate. For the systems engineer who also practices law, volunteering to help provide free legal advice at NJ.FreeLegalAnswers.org was an easy choice. Sawka has been providing pro bono or low-cost legal work for years for landlord/tenant matters, post-divorce enforcement and small civil matters in the Browns Mills area in Burlington County. Through NJ Free Legal Answers, state residents can ask about civil legal challenges and some family law matters they are facing and receive ...
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By Jennifer Ramovs Do you use web meetings to meet with clients? Read on to see why it might be a good time to start. It is pretty likely that you have attended a "webinar" recently, either to remotely attend a CLE seminar or to obtain training of some sort. While webinars have introduced most of us to the idea of attending a seminar from the comfort of our own office (or couch, for that matter!), it's a good idea to think about using the same technology for meetings with clients, co-workers, and colleagues. A web meeting is simply a live meeting held over the internet. As a meeting organizer, you must first select an online meeting provider. There are a ...
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In response to concerns expressed by practitioners, the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) reached out to state officials about municipal court issues. In a trio of letters, the organization asked for uniformity in plea-by-mail processes, information on expansion of a municipal court portal, a central repository for municipal prosecutor information and priority for ignition interlock services. The NJSBA wrote to the New Jersey chief justice, governor and state attorney general with its concerns. “The plea-by-mail process is confusing, inconsistently applied, does not effectively permit the disposal of many municipal court matters, and does not meet ...
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For the first time in over 20 years, the June issue of New Jersey Lawyer  is dedicated to technology and its impact on society – an issue that likely has never been more important than it is today. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders coming to an end, the world has shifted, and the legal profession has been forced to adjust to continue to serve the critical needs of the public and its clients. The edition tackles everything from how the courts balanced public safety and access to justice during the public health crisis, to an explanation of blockchain and what it means to the practice of law, to how the state’s legislative ...
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The New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) announced it will award the 2020 Medal of Honor to Susan A. Feeney and Judge John E. Keefe Sr. The NJSBF’s most prestigious award is given annually to lawyers, law-related professionals and lay people who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of New Jersey’s justice system or legal profession. The award recognizes professional excellence as demonstrated by accomplishments in the law or service to the profession and the community during the recipients’ careers. “Susan Feeney and Judge John Keefe are most deserving of the Medal of Honor. They have demonstrated a dedication and commitment to the ...
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The newest leaders of the New Jersey State Bar Association's (NJSBA) sections and committees got a crash course in how the organization works and what they need to know to have a successful term. The group heard from NJSBA President Kimberly A. Yonta about her goals for the year ahead, learned about Association policies, found out the value of incorporating diversity and inclusion into their section or committee's efforts, and got advice about adapting to the new normals of the current public health pandemic. The sections, committees and Young Lawyers Division are the lifeblood of the Association, Yonta said. "I am grateful to each of you for stepping ...
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Nearly 20 years ago, as a gay immigration attorney and a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), Daniel L. Weiss wondered why New Jersey did not have the kind of professional associations for gay and lesbian attorneys that he saw in metropolitan areas in the Northeast. Weiss, now a sitting superior court judge in Monmouth County, said although he didn’t know of many attorneys like him at the Association, he believed the time was right to form a group for professional networking, camaraderie and advocacy. In 2003, with the help of Laraine E. Schwartz, a lesbian immigration attorney, they approached Karol Corbin Walker, the first African American ...
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Senate passes ban on nondisclosure agreements for state officers The Senate voted unanimously to bar nondisclosure agreements as part of settlements for sexual assault and harassment claims against state officers and employees and members of the Legislature. S-593 (Beach)/A-268 (Armato) also prohibits the use of campaign contributions to pay a settlement of a claim against a candidate or an employee of a candidate. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) expressed concerns about the bill, some of which were addressed in the reprint, and continues to monitor its progress in the Legislature. The bill was revised to permit the use of public funds to ...
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Bios for all the presenters on the webcast "You've Got a Friend in me: Effective Allyship" and a list of resources can be found here . In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police and nationwide protests, a panel of legal professionals gathered June 12 for a frank discussion about ways individuals and communities can be effective allies in the fight against racism. Dara Govan, an assistant U.S. Attorney and former president of the Garden State Bar Association, moderated the panel, which included Lloyd Freeman, partner and chief diversity officer at Archer, and former president of the Garden State Bar Association; NaSheena ...
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On Friday, June 12, the NJSBA   Diversity Committee, in partnership with the Garden State Bar Association; the New Jersey State Bar Foundation; the NJSBA LGBT Rights Section, the Minorities in the Profession Section and the Young Lawyers Division, hosted the webcast "You've Got a Friend in me: Effective Allyship." Bios for all the presenters and a list of resources may be found here .
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Foundation advocates confronting racism with education The New Jersey State Bar Foundation issued the following statement last week after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis and nationwide protests erupted. An integral part of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s mission is to foster increased awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the legal system. We cannot do that without acknowledging that systemic racism is a deep-seated flaw of our system, and a barrier to its ultimate goal of equal justice. The killing of George Floyd and other bias-motivated violence in this country has, once again, brought this barrier into sharp focus. The ...
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As the nation grapples with the pandemic and its economic fallout, many legal professionals are seeking healthy ways to deal with stress. One helpful coping mechanism is meditation, which has been shown to provide numerous physical and mental benefits. The New Jersey Lawyers Assistance Program (NJLAP) will offer a four-part virtual series on meditation, called “Changing Your Mind About Stress,” on Wednesdays, from June 17-July 8. The live, interactive webinar will be taught by Susan Wilk, a former attorney, with more than 20 years in practice, who is now a certified meditation and stress management instructor. The program will focus on ways participants can ...
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Last week, Governor Phil Murphy lifted the shelter-in-place order, effective June 9, which restricted travel and shut down businesses throughout the state. He also loosened the restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, increasing the allowable numbers for such events. But many questions still remain as to what impact his most recent Executive Orders 152 and 153 will have on New Jersey’s Road Back Plan, which provides for a “methodical and strategic reopening of businesses and activities.” Among other things, the orders increase the allowable number of individuals at indoor gatherings to 50 and outdoor gatherings to 100. They also allow for the reopening ...
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The vast majority of the legal community has been working remotely since mid-March, but with the number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations decreasing, New Jersey is starting to reopen. The New Jersey State Bar Association has reviewed best practices and guidance across the ­business, legal, real estate and public health sectors to develop a collection of potential actions to consider as New Jersey’s attorneys and law firms find their footing in this multi-phased journey. The new guide is meant to provide suggestions about actions, policies and procedures law firms might consider in reopening. Visit njsba.com to review the guide
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