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Big Law/Small Law

Biglaw to Yourlaw: A Recipe for Success

January 4, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Peter Chaffetz and David Lindsey, founders and partners at newly formed boutique Chaffetz Lindsey could have simply hopped into another big firm life boat after their former firm, Clifford Chance hit stormy weather last year.  Instead, they took another course: they launched a boutique that is thriving even as the economy struggles to recover.  This […]

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Why Big Firms Don’t Blog Well: Not Too Much Risk, But Too Little Passion

December 3, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Chalk one up for the solos and small firms.  For what it’s worth, we dominate the ranks of the Third Annual ABA Blawg 100.  By contrast, only two large firm blogs made the cut, Mark Herrmann observes at Drug and Device Law, one of the chosen. Mark contends the lack of an engaging voice accounts […]

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The Page Between Biglaw and Solo Practice, Between Life and Death

November 12, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Even though I reside in Bethesda, Maryland and practice appellate law in Washington D.C. just like appellate lawyer Mark Levy,  the former Kilpatrick Stockton attorney who took his life after his firm downsized, our paths never crossed.   As a biglaw attorney and a small fry in a highly stratified town like Washington D.C., lawyers like […]

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Where’s the Value Add in Big Firms?

August 11, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Even if for the sake of argument, you accept the proposition that biglaw is better than small law, the question is: how much better.  Is an $850/hr partner at a mega firm really $500/hr better than his or her solo or small firm counterpart?  Naturally, we solo and small firm lawyers would say no, but […]

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Biglaw Free and the Solo

July 26, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Update: For more interesting perspectives on Free, check out Ken Adams at Adams Drafting, Doug Cornelius at Compliance Building, Jordan Furlong at Law 21 and Jay Parkhill of Start Up Tool Box. A few weeks back, I read Chris Anderson’s book, Free which is also available free in a variety of formats, including a sponsored […]

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Handling Biglaw Practice Areas on a Budget

July 14, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

With many biglaw attorneys now considering solo practice, I wanted to list a couple of ideas and resources to procure biglaw practice tools on a budget.  For most consumer practice areas, such as family law, bankruptcy, trusts and estates, new solos can find a cornucopia of low cost practice tools, such as pro bono training […]

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How David Beats Goliath Is the Story of How Solos Thrive

May 8, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

How is that solo and small firm lawyers are thriving at a time when biglaw is crumbling?  Why does the the spirit of optimism still prevail among most solos even as our large firm colleagues experience hopelessness and panic? Over the past few months, I’ve pondered these questions, but I’ve never seen the answers articulated […]

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The Lock-Step Monster

March 20, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost Why is it that biglaw is always engaged in a constant game of follow the leader?  A few years back, sites like Above the Law gleefully documented the steady upward march of […]

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Is Biglaw Planning on Changing the Rules of The Game?

January 27, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Boo-hoo for biglaw.  Unable to cope with the economic downturn, biglaw may now try to change the rules of the game. Over at Ideoblog, Professor Larry Ribstein faults ethics rules such as the prohibition on non-compete agreements and non-lawyer investment in law firms and conflicts of interest requirements.  For example, Ribstein says that because firms […]

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Solos Do Everything Biglaw Does, Only Backwards and in High Heels

January 11, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Many large firms assume, wrongly, that solo and small firm lawyers don’t handle complex issues.  Truth is, many of us do.  But unlike biglaw which has the luxury of researching and strategizing about these issues in a vacuum, we solo and small firm clients do all that, plus tend to our clients’ needs. Consider the […]

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