The Business of Being a Lawyer

BBL FAQ

1. What is BBL?

BBL is a one-hour Ethics course that addresses the following four topics: (1) current economic trends in the legal profession and how these trends impact law students and new lawyers, (2) personal financial planning basics, recognizing that one’s career choices are enhanced, or restricted, by one’s financial status, (3) Issues of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), skills for building EQ, and how such skills help navigate professional and personal challenges, and (4) “Free Agency”: how to be an effective free agent throughout one’s career.

2. How is BBL graded?

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BBL is graded P,D, F. To obtain a pass in the course one must attend class and complete the following four assignments: (1) using the format provided, prepare a one-page business plan for your career, (2) using the format provided and hypothetical facts, prepare a personal budget, (3) complete Gallup Strength Finders, the results of which are provided only to the student taking this strength assessment, (4) using the format provided, prepare a one page outline as to how you will maintain your marketability throughout your career.

3. What are the assignments in BBL?

There are four assignments in BBL: (1) using the format provided, prepare a one-page business plan for your career, (2) using the format provided and hypothetical facts, prepare a personal budget, (3) complete Gallup StrengthsFinder, an on-line strength assessment (the results of this assessment are provided only to the student taking it), (4) using the format provided, prepare a one page outline as to how you plan to maintain your marketability throughout your career. The assignments may be found on the Fall 2013 Syllabus.

4. What is the course material for BBL and where may they be obtained?

BBL course materials consists of (1) a copy of The Business of Being a Lawyer by Pamela Bucy Pierson, which may be purchased in the Law School bookstore beginning in July 2014, and (2) a copy of StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, which may also be purchased in the Law School bookstore.

5. Are there class speakers in BBL and who are they?

Generally, there will be 2 – 4 speakers during the classroom component of each BBL session. Speakers in the fall, 2013 BBL course included:

Helen Allen – Director of Student Financial Aid at The University of Alabama; Cynthia Almond – Sole practitioner in Tuscaloosa; Noel Amason – General Counsel for Amason & Associates, Inc.; Jim Barger – Partner with Frohsin & Barger, LLC; Bill Bostick – Judge for the 18th Judicial Circuit; Michael Bownes – Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel for The University of Alabama System; Kitty Rogers Brown – Associate with White Arnold & Dowd P.C.; Mike Ermert – Partner with Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton; Chair of the Farrah Law Alumni Society; Prim Escalona – Associate with Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C.; Brandon Falls – District Attorney for the 10th Judicial Circuit; Edward A. Hosp – Shareholder with Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C.; Anthony Joseph – Shareholder with Maynard Cooper & Gale, P.C.; Debbie Long – Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel of Protective Life Corporation; Wilson Moore – President and Broker with Pritchett-Moore, Inc. and Prudential Pritchett-Moore Realty; Arthur Orr – Alabama State Senator; Katie Pope – Associate with Rosen Harwood P.A.; Dena Prince – Of Counsel with Prince Glover & Hayes; Bobby Prince – Partner with Prince Glover & Hayes; Rich Raleigh – Managing Shareholder of Wilmer & Lee P.A.; Philip Reich – Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Director of Special Programs and Deputy General Counsel for The University of Alabama System; R. Cooper Shattuck – General Counsel for The University of Alabama System; Alyce Spruell – Of Counsel with Rosen Harwood P.A.; Chad Tindol – Director of Risk Management for The University of Alabama System; Bill Veitch – Chief Deputy District Attorney, Birmingham Division, Jefferson County; Jill Ganus Veitch – Assistant District Attorney, Bessemer Division, Jefferson County; Mark White – Founding Partner of White Arnold & Dowd P.C.

6. When is BBL offered?

BBL is offered only in the fall of each year.

7. Is BBL mandatory?

BBL is mandatory for all students who enroll at the University of Alabama School of Law in the fall, 2013 or thereafter. It is recommended for students currently enrolled at the University of Alabama School of Law.

8. Who is teaching BBL?

Professor Pamela Bucy Pierson, Bainbridge-Mims Professor of Law, University of Alabama, will teach all portions of BBL except Part II, Personal Financial Planning. Professor Jan L. Brakefield, M.S. CFP, Assistant Professor, Department of Consumer Sciences, College of Human Environmental Sciences of the University of Alabama, will teach Part II.

9. Where may I get more information about BBL?

Pamela Bucy Pierson, Bainbridge-Mims Professor of Law, University of Alabama School of Law, P.O. Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487; ppierson@law.ua.edu.

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