California Lawyer


May 2013

Ethics Lesson
The California legal community should take notice of the serious and important cautionary notes about ethical breaches contained in February's stimulating "Rage Among the Ruins." Though the article contains the tales of only a small number of lawyers who have taken advantage of vulnerable and distressed homeowners in the aftermath of the housing and mortgage meltdown, it is an excellent, thoughtful, and enlightening read.

Author Eric Berkowitz mentions that the California Department of Real Estate, where I serve, has worked with the State Bar and other public service partners in an effort to protect unsuspecting homeowners. Our relationship with the bar began in 2008 and was born out of necessity, since we were then deeply involved in looking at, investigating, and trying to combat the massive and unremitting loan-modification fraud engulfing California: Many of the schemes involved lawyers (or people claiming to be lawyers or to have some law connection).

To be sure, California lawyers provide necessary and important professional assistance to struggling homeowners. But when they put their interests first and victimize the vulnerable, the greater legal community must condemn such actions. Lawyers who engage in such detrimental behavior bring discredit to the profession.
Wayne S. Bell
California Department of Real Estate

Don't Worry, Be a Lawyer
Jessica Iglesias's "How I Got Hired" article [In Pro Per, February] hit home. As a newly minted attorney, I am one of many recent law graduates who faced a tough legal market coming out of law school in 2012. I found Jessica's piece documenting her struggles to find longtime work inspirational, a source of hope, and a reminder of something I always try to repeat to myself: It will all be OK.

Our first job out of law school may not always be ideal, nor the one we imagined ourselves having, and this article reiterated the importance of using "stepping stones" to get to our dream career. Many of the new connections we make during the early years of our careers may ultimately lead us to job opportunities. Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your experience.
Tanya Falleiro
San Francisco

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