Los Angeles attorney Jim Ham spoke to St. Francis School of Law students in the latest installment in the program’s Career Insights. Mr. Ham practices with the law firm Pansky Markle Ham LLP in Los Angeles, and specializes in representing attorneys. The firm provides representation in State Bar disciplinary matters and legal malpractice claims.
The St. Francis J.D. program is dedicated to advancing specific core values including integrity. Mr. Ham discussed the importance of honesty and candor and the practice of law with students. He also provided insights into the moral character investigations by the State Bar.
Like several other speakers in the St. Francis School of Law Career Insights series, Mr. Ham also emphasized the importance of specialization in today’s legal practice, and told students about career areas he sees as good options for specialization, including elder law and landlord/tenant law.
In terms of becoming a successful lawyer, Mr. Ham encouraged students to get involved with their state and local bar associations and to participate in continuing legal education after graduation in order to develop a specialty area of practice. He indicated that his own journey into the specialization of advising lawyers was influenced greatly by his involvement with the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee, where both Mr. Ham and St. Francis School of Law Dean Carole J. Buckner are current members.
Mr. Ham also discussed the current California State Bar’s Rules Revision Commission project. He has served as a member of the RRC, which is revising California’s Rules of Professional Conduct. He explained the purpose for these revisions and highlighted several key rules where California is updating its ethical guidance to the State’s attorneys, and bringing it into closer alignment with the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
St. Francis School of Law opens its Career Insights sessions to all students. The sessions are recorded and put into a library for all students and alumni. St. Francis also provides lifetime career support to all graduates of the Juris Doctor Program. The St. Francis Career Services support staff also works with Upper Level St. Francis students enrolled in the Juris Doctor program to help arrange internships in their areas of interest.