On a cold Tuesday afternoon, just three years after I graduated from law school, I heard code red called in the ER. The code was for me. I was 30 seconds from death: veins collapsed, no blood pressure, 30 pounds under weight, metabolic acidosis prevailed, 32 ounces of blood lost daily, and no ability to sit upright or walk. I was 28 years old and knew nothing about how my reactions cause outcomes. Not knowing almost killed me. Years of stress and anger had taken their toll…..
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Practicing law for the first time comes with its fair share of stressors and unknowns. One of the first things you’ll need to determine is how much you can expect to charge for your services. Will you be able to set an hourly rate that’s reasonable for an attorney in your area, and provides enough income to meet your needs? (Includes sample forms)
Working from home can be an amazing experience if it is planned correctly; an unmitigated disaster if it’s not. More importantly, if handled incorrectly there can be a lot of friction in your home. Why? Because, while your spouse and kids go off to work and school to then come home to their ‘sanctuary’, you are carefully and thoughtfully converting your sanctuary into a work space for a finite number of hours each day. This is a major psychological challenge. How do you do it successfully?
The ease of the internet has allowed us to instantly satisfy any curiosity. What happens when a judge is curious to learn more about facts beyond what the parties have presented? Consider the following scenario.
I had lunch recently with a young lawyer who has been out of work for a while. She had worked for a BigLaw firm for a couple of years before getting caught up in a layoff. Several months later, she was still searching for a law firm that wanted to hire her. She was, quite […]
What goes in your professional email? What if your email server occasionally marks something as “read” which in fact has not been read? How do you respond to that? Should you include your email signature every single time or only the first time you respond? What belongs and does not belong in an email signature? What about typos? When does an email become too long and you’d be better off just writing a proper letter? What about graphics in email signatures? Or funny quotations?
And what about that long list of disclaimers many of us lawyers append to every single email signature?
You’ve just been through some very intense contract negotiations for a new client and now that things are wrapping up, this client thought the time was right to let you know that once your work is complete, you are to turn over everything in your file. In short, you’ve just been informed you are not to retain anything relating to this matter. As a risk guy, I now have serious concerns. If you comply, how in the world could you defend yourself in a subsequent malpractice claim? Remember, the client will have complete control of the file. Admittedly, this kind of situation doesn’t happen often; but it does happen. So, let’s talk about your options if you ever find yourself in a similar pickle.
To this day, one of the most common challenges for solo and small firm lawyers is getting paid. Your payment structure notwithstanding, a smooth billing process is predicated on honest and open communication — particularly during your consultation. Paired with a dependable, secure tech solution, the latest billing best practices will help you achieve a significant drop in friction, avoid awkward client interactions, and ultimately collect on more unpaid invoices.
I heard a story on NPR this morning about a 1993 Harvard Business Review Article entitled “The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk.” I remembered the article. It made some waves, back in the day. In the article, author Kathleen Reardon asks several influential business people whether a female executive should send a memo regarding sexism in the workplace to the company’s CEO. The memo details the struggles of women to be heard and treated equally by their male peers. Then it asks several prominent professionals whether she should give the memo to the CEO or let it sit in her desk drawer. Find out …..
Some of us grew up in the 70s, captivated by the heroic adventures of The Six Million Dollar Man, when a million dollars was an amazingly large amount of money – unattainable for most. Now we scoff at a million, knowing it’s not enough for retirement and successful attorneys don’t pull in a million dollars over their lifetime; they pull in a million dollars in one year. Even solo and small firm practitioners are generating a million dollars of revenue.
If you’re thinking, “BS! Only big firms make over a million dollars,” you’re mistaken. It’s completely doable. It’s a lot easier these days and you don’t create a million by yourself. It takes knowing your numbers, a team, a guide, the proper mindset, and the million dollar law firm formula.