Let’s face it, lawyers get a bad rap. There are more attorney jokes than there are about any other profession. They are usually funny, but almost never paint the lawyer in a good light.
As with any industry, there are bad actors in the legal field, but the vast majority of attorneys are hard-working, professional, knowledgeable and put the best interest of their clients first. Many attorneys view it as a privilege to practice law in Nevada and, in order to do so, they must meet a number of requirements, including ongoing legal education and strict adherence to a code of conduct.
The Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by the Supreme Court of Nevada, sets forth numerous requirements, specifically, for how attorneys should conduct themselves in their practice. It spans a number of pages (including some language only an attorney can understand) and covers everything from professional conduct to communications and conflicts of interest.
And the rules aren’t just “suggestions”. The Nevada Bar Association has the authority, and often exercises it, to discipline attorneys that have violated the professional code. As the state’s licensing agency, the Bar Association has the power to revoke an attorney’s ability to practice law in Nevada. As a result, lawyers are highly motivated to follow the rules. However, most attorney’s do even more than just follow rules.
Unless you’re in the legal industry, you may not realize how much lawyers donate of their time and resources. In Nevada, Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, states that each lawyer has a “professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay.” It suggests a lawyer should strive to provide at least 20 hours of pro bono services a year. However, most attorneys donate far more time to help those that need legal assistance but cannot afford it.
In Nevada, there are five legal service providers with the mission to make sure everyone has access to pro bono legal services. Northern Nevada is served by Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans (VARN) and Northern Nevada Legal Aid.
Down south, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Southern Nevada Senior Law Program provide pro bono services. Finally, Nevada Legal Services has statewide offices to assist residents with legal needs.
In addition to donating their time and expertise, lawyers throughout the state consistently step up and support a variety of non-profits and most major firms encourage their team to get involved in the community by serving on boards and donating resources.
In this issue, Top Rank Attorneys is a listing of lawyers that have been voted by their peers as the best in Nevada. I don’t know about you, but when I’m seeking professional counsel, references from people in the industry, those who know the players, is invaluable. The attorneys listed in this issue have earned the respect of their fellow lawyers and have been fully vetted with the Bar Association to ensure they have no sanctions. In addition, the magazine’s production team examined every vote to ensure it was cast by a licensed attorney. I encourage you to use the list as a resource should you need representation.
In conclusion, an attorney walks into a bar with a robot. As they are walking in the bartender yells, “Hey! We don’t serve your kind in here.” The robot looked sad and turned to leave. Before it could leave, the bartender said, “No buddy, you can stay. It’s lawyers we disbar.” Ba-dum-dum-tis.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”