Format: Double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, one inch margins on all sides. 8 - 12 pages. The grade will be reduced if the paper is less than 8 pages long; if longer than 12 pages, the grade will only be based on the first 12 pages. Number your pages and begin on page one without a separate cover sheet. Please submit in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or Rich Text Format. Please title your text file: 15F-FieldReport-[Name]. (For example, if Professor Cunningham submitted a paper in Word Perfect, the text file would be named 15F-FieldReport-Cunningham.wpd.) Repeated errors in spelling, punctuation or grammar may affect your grade. You should write with the same care you would put into a memo to a law firm partner or a brief filed with a court.
Due: No later than 5pm on Friday, October 30, 2015. Grade will be reduced by one grade level (e.g. from A to B, B- to C-) if late without demonstrated good cause. Grade may be further reduced depending on extent of late submission.
At the initial meeting with your field placement attorney, you and the attorney will agree on and sign the Fieldwork Agreement . Make sure you print and bring two copies of the Fieldwork Agreement to that meeting; complete and sign both giving one copy to the lawyer and retaining the other to give the instructor. During this first conversation, please also discuss the confidentiality of your report and the attorney’s right to review the report and issues of attorney-client privilege and confidentiality (discussed further below). Usually the initial in-person interview takes place as part of this meeting. After the initial interview, you must complete at least two follow up visits focusing on one or two areas that you would like to learn more about (e.g. observation of an initial client interview or a client development activity -- observing the lawyer in court is usually not that useful).
If at any point any of the terms of the fieldwork agreement are not being met, including the agreed-upon deadlines, it is your responsibility to let Professor Roberts know immediately so that the problem can be promptly addressed and remedied. If you and the fieldwork attorney agree to modify the fieldwork agreement, it is your responsibility to memorialize that change, obtain the attorney's confirmation (typically by email) and send it to both instructors.
Attorney-client privilege and confidentiality:
During your first conversation with your field placement attorney, you will need to discuss protocols for ensuring the preservation of attorney-client privilege and confidentiality. The draft privilege/ confidentiality agreement appears at the end of the Fieldwork Agreement. Because this is an issue of tremendous importance to your attorney and his or her clients, please be prompt and thorough in responding to any attorney requests regarding privilege and confidentiality.
Guidelines for final report:
Your field report should be accurate and interesting to read. In addition to providing a description of the realities of your attorney’s practice, your report should answer the following questions, with reference to specific examples and quotations drawn from your field work. Although your fieldwork is your primary resource for answering these questions, the answers should be the result of your own analysis of that fieldwork, not simply a repetition of the opinions of the fieldwork attorney.
1. In metro Atlanta in 2015 what is it like to practice law in a small firm?
2. What does it take to start and sustain a small firm practice?
3. What knowledge, skills, and professional qualities should a law student aim to acquire to prepare for entry into small firm practice?
4. How can law school better assist law students to acquire such knowledge, skills and professional qualities?
You have freedom to structure your field report as you find most effective. For example, you do not need separately titled sections for each question as long as the paper as a whole adequately addresses all four questions.