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Reader Question: Should I Take Consumer Cases Short Term Even Though I Want to Do Business Law Long Term?

January 29, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

I try to respond personally to the many emails that I receive from readers, but every so often, the email raises a question that has broader interest to other readers, so I post it here.  Here’s an email that I recently received, with my response – but I welcome you to chime in: Q:  I […]

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The Contract Lawyer Conundrum

January 15, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

[Some edits as of 1/16/09] Over at her blog, Legal Research and Writing Pro, my friend Lisa Solomon summarizes the recent spurt of posts round the blogosphere on the grim life of contract attorneys, who endure low wages, intolerable working conditions and frequently, degrading treatment from other lawyers.  Lisa suggests that these lawyers consider starting […]

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Solo, Leverage Thyself (and Diversify Too); Biglaw, Take Heed!

December 1, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

For the past few decades, biglaw had a good thing going:  a seemingly sustainable pyramid scheme.  Large firms hired top talent and fed their appetites and egos with top salaries and assurances that these new associates constituted the cream of the legal caste system.   Then, the firms turned around and billed the heck out of […]

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How Tollbridge Businesses Can Provide An Annual Revenue Stream for Solo and Small Firms

November 3, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Yes, I still read the local newspaper (in my case, the Washingtonpost) in hard copy every so often, and today I came across this article on the value of annuity contracts — or as Warren Buffett calls them toll bridge businesses — to small service providers like heating or air conditioning contractors. So what’s a […]

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If You Just Started a Law Firm, Hire A Summer Associate

May 15, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

OK, so I realize that my headline sounds crazy.   After all, you just started a law firm four or six or eight months ago.  You’re barely covering your expenses, you still have no idea what you’re doing, you’ve chosen – by design or necessity – to work from home so you don’t have an office […]

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The Perils of the Volume Practice – and Ways to Avoid Them

April 20, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Scott Greenfield’s post at Simple Justice about solo immigration lawyer, Frank Liu’s disciplinary problems highlights the perils of the volume practice.  Referencing this New York Times article, Greenfield describes how Liu’s carelessly written form briefs (where he sometimes neglected to change the sections describing the facts) ultimately landed him in hot water with the Second […]

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Starting Non-Conventional Solo Practices and a Free Marketing Call

April 15, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Some lawyers start their own practice, but rather than specialize in traditional legal work, opt for or incorporate alternatives like contract lawyering, mediation or lobbying.  If you’re interested in how to build a practice in those areas, consider these resources: Lisa Solomon, a nationally recognized contract attorney who practices as  Question of Law offers some […]

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What’s A Solo?

March 7, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

After learning that he’s one of the 83 percent majority of lawyers in New York who practice as solos, Eric Turkewitz asks just what does that mean anyway? Specifically, Eric wonders whether the term “solo” as used in these kinds of surveys means just one lawyer, one lawyer with support staff or one lawyer with […]

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Boo to the Billable Hour: A Book Review

February 18, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

I finished lawyer John Derrick’s engaging and well written book, Boo to the Billable Hour several weeks ago (and in one sitting), but I’m just getting around to posting my review now.  As I’ll describe in more detail below, Boo to the Billable Hour offers a great primer for lawyers who haven’t even thought about […]

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The $25 NYC-DC Bus: Another Real Life Marketing Lesson

February 3, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

This coming Tuesday, I’ll drop my daughters off at school, return to my house, pick up my trial bag (which doubles as a suitcase and computer case for short trips) and walk 15 minutes to the $25 bus that runs from Bethesda, Maryland, where I live to Penn Station in New York.   I’m headed up […]

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