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ALL-STAR CAST Add another legal hotshot to eLawForum’s leadership team. David Roll, head of Washington, D.C.’s Steptoe & Johnson’s antitrust practice and a former firm chairman, is the latest to join the Washington-based company in its attempt to create a vibrant Internet marketplace for legal services. Samuel Gillespie, the former general counsel of the Mobil Corp., and John Klotsche, former chairman of Baker & McKenzie, are among other high-profile lawyers working on the venture. “We can get in any door. It’s amazing,” says Roll, who will continue working part-time at Steptoe. Roll says he contacted eLawForum founder John Henry II after reading about the company in T he Wall Street Journal. “I thought they were on to something big,” he says. (From Legal Times) MMM BOOSTS PRO BONO Many local law firms are de-emphasizing pro bono participation in a time of heavy workloads and firm consolidation. But Georgia’s Morris, Manning & Martin has initiated a new program that effectively will increase associate pro bono involvement. The program will allow associates to treat part of pro bono time as regular billable work. And the firm will conduct training sessions on ways to volunteer legal services to Atlantans who otherwise cannot afford them. Twenty-five of the firm’s 95 associates have volunteered already. “This is a way to channel our efforts,” says Angelo Spinola, chairman of the firm’s pro bono committee. “With the firm’s help, our collective efforts will be much more powerful than our individual efforts.” The firm will apply a credit of up to 50 pro bono hours toward associates’ annual billable requirement of 1,920 hours. The firm’s program comes when many firms increasingly consider pro bono work a low priority. “Especially in Atlanta, most of the big firms will support associates doing pro bono activities like fundraisers, but it’s very rare for a firm to go out on the line like this, because it can affect profitability,” says Spinola. But hey, sometimes good deeds pay off in their own way. (From Fulton County Daily Report) JOEL IN NYC? Antitrust pasha Joel I. Klein is ducking out of the Clinton administration without knowing where his next office is. Figure it’ll be nice. And figure, despite what associates say is his post-government desire to get paid big-time, it won’t be a global law firm. He’s never been in one, and now he’d face all sorts of conflicts. Besides, he can spare himself that trouble and just put out his shingle, says Washington, D.C., recruiter S. John Byington: “With him and what’s going on in the market, he doesn’t need a big platform.” No, just big money. Friends say that the bachelor-again lawyer is willing to move to New York. Investment bankers with offers can find Klein heading the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division until Oct. 1. (From National Law Journal) LAWYERS LENDING A HELPING HAND Taking pro bono cases or volunteering on a nonprofit’s board of directors as its de facto legal adviser aren’t the only ways lawyers can give back to their communities. Helping feed the poor or making sure children don’t go without toys during the holidays — to name just two of the charitable activities organized by the Connecticut Regional Bar Association’s community services committee — are causes just as worthy and equally, if not more, rewarding. The Regional Bar Association covers Stamford, Norwalk, New Canaan, Wilton and Darien, Conn. Indeed, the committee believes that its lawyer-volunteers needn’t flex their legal skills to benefit others, just their civic-mindedness. And, that, say the attorneys who take part in the committee’s efforts, is one of its major draws. “It’s not grinding your nose in a book … or battling a case in court,” lauded David L. Dufort of Stamford’s Diserio Martin O’Connor & Castiglioni. (From Connecticut Law Tribune)

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