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Biglaw Practice and Issues

Tribute to Joe Flom: Skadden’s Solo Role Model

February 24, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

As solos, mega-firm Skadden is perhaps one of the last places we’d ever think to look for a role model. But being solo doesn’t just mean working for oneself.  Solo is a state of mind; a combination of vision, hustle and sheer doggedness that together, convert adversity into a best friend. That’s the story of […]

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DLAPiper’s $200k Cover Charge Part II: Ethics Issues

February 8, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

This morning, I posted about DLAPiper’s $200k minimum annual billing cover charge for clients. But after a couple of conversations, I’ve gotten to wondering how DLAPiper can enforce this minimum charge without running afoul of ethics requirements. For example, what happens if DLAPiper estimates that defending Company X in a major lawsuit will cost $250,000, […]

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Solos Can Provide Cover to DLA Piper Clients Who Can’t Pay Its $200k Cover

February 8, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

So, last week’s big blogosphere news was that the DLAPiper, the world’s largest law firm has announced a mandatory minimum $200,000 annual cover charge for clients. New clients unwilling to commit to spending $200,000 annually on fees won’t be served, while existing clients who don’t meet the minimum billings requirement may be asked to leave. […]

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How the Work-Life Balance Advocates Do A Disservice To Women Lawyers

November 19, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

[Updated as of 10 am] For years, Deborah Epstein Henry, author of the just-released book, Law and Reorder , Cynthia Calvert of the Project for Attorney Retention and others have been pushing large law firms to offer part-time and other flexible employment arrangements to retain women. And if the results of the fifth annual report […]

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Biglaw to Yourlaw: A Trend, But Nothing New

August 25, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Earlier this month, both Slate and Crains New York carried articles describing the recent trend of biglaw attorneys starting their own practices. Summarizing these articles, an Above the Law post called the biglaw to yourlaw move a “new trend.” Not. Well, not if you’re a regular reader of this blog, anyway. I’ve been documenting the […]

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Why Biglaw Billing Is Like Brown M&M’s

July 1, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

In the context of $201 million in legal fees,  a superfluous $1600 charge — for a fancy dinner and reading a newspaper article — is chump change, something that wouldn’t have registered a blip on the client’s radar screen but for this New York Post article.  Yet while the monetary value of the $1600 charge […]

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Can Outsourcing Innovation Make Biglaw Firms Heros?

May 12, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I’ve been enthralled by the concept of large firms outsourcing innovation to small fry ever since I first posted about the topic in 2008.  As I describe (very rapidly!) in myIgniteLaw presentation, outsourcing innovation is a win-win for both sides of the bar:  the big firm gets the benefit of a new practice area at a […]

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Newbie Lawyers Sidelined in NALP-Biglaw Smackdown

February 18, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I’ve never been a fan of NALP, the National Association of Legal Professionals.  So far as I’ve been able to tell, the organization focuses almost exclusively on supporting law school career offices in helping students get jobs at biglaw and promoting diversity within biglaw’s ranks.  Even NALP’s public interest initiatives are aimed not at helping […]

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Boutique Practice: Leaving the Land of Loss Leaders

February 4, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

The twenty-first century version of loss leaders, big-law style, is nothing more than old fashioned price cutting wars, observes Toby Brown at Three Geeks and a Law Blog.  A loss leader refers to a pricing strategy whereby a product is advertised below cost to lure customers in the hopes of selling them more profitable, big […]

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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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