My Shingle

August 2012

The Starting a Law Firm Calculator

August 29, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Although I question the value of  business plans , starting a law firm without even a vague idea of anticipated revenue sources or expected expenses is foolhardy.   To help guide the law firm planning (or prediction) process, I’ve developed, with the help of my computer-savvy husband, a basic calculator to list and total your […]

Read more Planning a Practice 7 comments

Why I Don’t Focus on the Hardships of Starting a Law Firm

August 26, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Starting, or more accurately, sustaining a law firm is hard. Scott Greenfield hammers the point sharply but accurately; Sam Glover more mildly but equally accurately. So why don’t I? As a longtime blogger focused on solo and small firm practice, and author of Solo by Choice, I’m the first to admit that I, like other […]

Read more Encouragement 8 comments

Solo Practice Post-Mortem Part III: Would He Have Made It and Was Soloing a Bad Idea?

August 23, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Scott Greenfield responded to Part I and Part II on Post-Mortem of a solo practice. Scott criticizes everything from the author of the post (who left a successful practice to start a firm partly because he didn’t like the work he was doing and partly for a better work life balance) to the value of social […]

Read more Planning a Practice 5 comments

A Departing Solo’s Post-Mortem on the Practice That Didn’t Cross the Finish Line (Part I)

August 21, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Editor’s Note: Sometimes solo practice doesn’t work out.  Recently, a member of one of my listserves shared one of the best and most objective post-mortem analyses of a solo practice that didn’t quite make it to the finish line.  Despite increasing momentum towards the end of the second year, the author (who has a family […]

Read more Business Plans 12 comments

Companion Post to the Solo Practice That Didn’t Finish (Part II): The Marketing Plan That Started to Work

August 21, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Editor’s Note:  In the previous post, the solo lawyer who is transitioning out of his practice mentioned that his online marketing efforts were starting to bear fruit.  In this post, there’s a description of the activities that started the turn-around.  Don’t get the wrong idea – online marketing isn’t a silver bullet since if you […]

Read more Business Plans 1 comment

Are You a Nobody Until You Win Your Case?

August 20, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Noted video-expert and medical malpractice attorney, Gerry Oginski criticizes a Jacoby & Meyers television commercial that concludes with the voiceover: You’re a nobody until you win your case. Gerry comments – and I agree – that the ad isn’t particularly effective marketing since calling potential clients “nobodies” may instill hard feelings at the outset. Though […]

Read more Client Relations 1 comment

The Ethics of Legal Subscription Services

August 13, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Via Jordan Furlong’s  twitter stream, I learned about Legal Care, a UK-based legal subscription service.  The Legal Care package costs 14 pounds/month and includes  free template documents, a will pack, document review service, 25 percent discount on fees if a solicitor is needed and a guaranteed response to emailed inquires within an hour, 24/7. Legal […]

Read more Marketing & Making Money 1 comment

21st Century Retainer Agreement, Second Time Around – Sept. 6

August 10, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

The 21st Century Retainer Agreement is making a comeback September 6.  For $49, you get a 75 minute webinar, slide deck and recording plus an 80 page ebook (including lots of ethics research), along with a 100 page appendix with forms (PDF and word), samples and more.  Here’s what the See the Fee Chapter in […]

Read more Announcements 3 comments

Future Fridays: Doodling the Law

August 10, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Centuries later,  hieroglyphics  are making a come back. Or so it seems, based on the graphic-rich menus that predominate the new trend of casual, make-it-your-own and faux-healthy (take a look at the calorie count for some of the items) eateries like Sweet Green, Boloco Burrito, Naked Pizza  and Cava Mediterranean  where I’ve been indulging several […]

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Understanding the Value of Value Pricing, Courtesy of The New England Lobster Glut

August 9, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Talk about value-pricing makes me crabby.  It’s not that I’m a fan of the billable hour or that I fear that flat fees (one type of alternative pricing) put lawyers at risk of under-recovery.  Rather, it’s just that many of the alternative/value-pricing gurus are so darn opaque about how to implement alternative pricing that the […]

Read more Setting and Collecting Fees 1 comment