My Shingle

April 2005

They Could Have Stayed At Biglaw…But Didn’t

April 19, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

To those of you toiling at large firms, wondering whether you could make it on your own, this post’s for you.  Here’s two examples of attorneys with large firm backgrounds and large firm specialties (securities law and complex litigation) who took the solo plunge. This article from the Kansas City Star (4/19/05) profiles Jane Stafford, […]

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What About Marketing Alternative Rates?

April 19, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

For some time, I’m sure, some law firms large and small, have offered alternatives to the billable hour and probably more have started to do so or at least consider it since Matt Homann started blogging.  But what’s different about the alternative billing approach just announced by  McGuire Woods (reported in Hourly Legal Fees Under […]

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This One Ought to Be A No Brainer

April 19, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Gee, what should  this advice seeker and recent grad (at NY Lawyer) do here?  Work for $19 an hour doing document review at a large firm in hopes of getting some experience?  Or continue to look for a more challenging permanent position?  Uh, what about the most obvious option:  working for yourself.   Even if you […]

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What Do You Call Yourself?

April 12, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

The Greatest American Lawyer ponders a fascinating question:  what should we call practitioners who are not in a partnership based law firm, if not solo practitioners?. GAL writes: As many of you already know, I have taken issue with the term “solo” for practitioners who do not practice in a partnership setting. Solo has the negative […]

Read more Entity Choice 36 comments

My JD Bliss Profile

April 11, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

This week, JD Bliss is a profile about MyShingle and me.  Though I wouldn’t necessarily refer to myself, as JD Bliss does, as a "success story" (more a work-in-progress story), I certainly don’t mind the exposure.  For those readers who haven’t checked out JD Bliss, take a look – it’s an interesting site and the […]

Read more MyShingle Solo 6 comments

Asking for Help

April 8, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

My Small Firm Business column for the month, Ask A Simple Question as been posted over at  In it, I discuss both the benefits of asking for help as well as places to look that you might not have thought about.  I’d have to credit Professor Steven Lubet and his recent article, Artificial Intelligence […]

Read more Law Practice Management 4 comments

Why Marketing Articles Like This One Drive Me Crazy!

April 8, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

I have a peeve about a great many articles on marketing for law firms.  Some of the articles are apparently written by so-called experts who have clearly never practiced at a law firm.  Others reiterate the same advice – network, seek referrals, join a bar association – without any analysis of whether these methods actually […]

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Would You Apologize to Save Your Career?

April 8, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Here’s a bit of sad piece from AP (4/8/05)  on Lawyer Refuses to Apologize to Judge, Goes  to Jail.  Though details of the incident are sketchy, the article brought this question to my mind:  would you apologize when you don’t believe you were wrong to save your legal career? According to the article, an Ohio […]

Read more Ethics Issues 6 comments

Lex Think, Lex Do

April 5, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

This past Sunday, I attended Lex Think, organized by fellow bloggers Matt Homann, Dennis Kennedy and Sherry Fowler.  I’d heard the conference described as a conference about nothing but in the end, it turned out to be about everything, from attorney-client relations, billable hour versus alternative billing and keeping the passion in one’s practice.  Events […]

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Make Bar Complaints Public – At Least to Other Lawyers

April 5, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

As many of my fellow bloggers and readers know, I’m no fan of bar disciplinary programs.  Among other things, I believe that the bars disproportionally target solos and pursue sanctions for trivial infractions while sometimes failing to seriously investigate real dangers. That’s why many may be surprised to learn that after seeing ABA’s 2003 statistics […]

Read more Big Law/Small Law 10 comments