The Trust Account Handbook: A new resource for Wyoming lawyers
Mark W. Gifford Wyoming State Bar Office of Bar Counsel Cheyenne, Wyoming
In recent years, the Wyoming State Bar has made a focused effort to provide its members with a variety of resources to make their practices more successful and their lives more manageable. Last year, the Bar offered 58 hours of free CLE (including 19.5 hours of ethics), with offerings running the gamut from Getting to Know Your Regulatory Community to Digital Marketing for Law Firms. Through Casemaker, our members have access to online legal research at no cost. Bench books containing helpful information about the individual preferences of federal court, state district court and state circuit court judges are available on the Bar's website. The Bar's practice sections,1 specialty groups that focus on a unique area of law or business, allow for more in-depth examination of issues, regulations and trends, and provide invaluable opportunities to interact with peers and colleagues.
Through the Lawyer Referral Service and the Modest Means Program, Bar members have access to dozens of potential clients who contact the Bar office every week in search of legal counsel. At a time when anxiety, stress and depression are passing substance abuse as the greatest challenges facing lawyers everywhere, the recently-implemented Wyoming Lawyer Assistance Program (WyLAP) provides lawyers with a place to turn for safe, confidential assistance on both fronts.2
An important piece of the Bar's mission is to assist attorneys in the professional practice of law. In keeping with that core function —and to support Wyoming lawyers whose trust account overdrafts will henceforth be reported to the Office of Bar Counsel automatically as the result of a recent change to Rule 1.153 —the Trust Account Handbook, now available as a free download on the Bar's website,4 provides practical, easy-to-follow guidance on how to stay out of ethical hot water when opening, maintaining and administering lawyer trust accounts.
The Trust Account Handbook walks lawyers...