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Client Relations

The Retainer Letter As a Walk Down Memory Lane

October 22, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I may not be a contract aficionado like Ken Adams, but I love a good retainer agreement.  Though  clean, crisp language and brevity makes me swoon as much as any other lawyer, my affinity for retainer agreements reaches far deeper than the surface:  quite simply, I’m a sucker for the stories behind the the whereas […]

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Why Should Your Clients Care That Their Lawyers Don’t Work Weekends?

October 9, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

There’s a small law firm in South Carolina with a Client Expectations policy that’s made a big splash online.  The policy, which bluntly states, “We do not work weekends and do not provide emergency numbers for weekends….We make mistakes…” attracted notice from the ABA Journal and generated discussion at several blogs, including Jim Calloway’s Practice […]

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The Shout-Out Lawyer

July 13, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

This tape is remarkable not so much for the content (the abuses of freemium – which is somewhat interesting) but rather, for displaying something that we rarely see:  a client giving a lawyer a shout-out. If you don’t believe me, skip ahead to 1:38 of the tape, where Ben Chestnut, MailChimp’s co-founder, describes how moving […]

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Lindsay Lohan: Dream or Nightmare Client for Newbie Solo?

July 9, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

So here’s a practice management issue that law school doesn’t teach: You’re a newbie solo who passed the bar nine months ago and opened a law firm right afterwards.  Suddenly, the phone rings:  it’s a Hollywood superstar on the line, she’s  looking for a criminal defense lawyer to represent her and she’s picked you!  Trouble […]

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Free Wireless At Starbucks and What It Means for Solos

June 16, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Yesterday, Starbucks Coffee announced that free, unlimited wireless internet access will be available in all company-owned stores in the United States effective July 1.  The Starbucks announcement launched 189,00 news stories – not because free wireless marks the start of a trend but rather because Starbucks came late to the party.  As  Starbucks belatedly realized, […]

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Thank You, Justice Scalia for Remembering Who Pays (the Client!) for the Vanity Footnote

March 14, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

If you’re a solo or small firm lawyer who litigates against biglaw, you’re probably familiar with the vanity footnote — that smug, yet entirely superfluous annotation to legislative history, obscure law review article, treatise or string citation included in many large firm briefs.  Though intended to corroborate a case cited in the text or flaunt […]

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I Can Unbundle The Case, But I Can’t Unbundle My Heart

February 22, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I want to wholeheartedly embrace the concept of unbundled legal services, I really do.  After all, what’s not to like?  The demand for affordable legal services is greater than ever.  With courthouses overrun by pro se litigants, even judges are pressing for unbundled legal services.  Technology is empowering a generation of educated, sophisticated consumers who […]

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A Look Ahead to 2010: Your Client as Your New Partner

January 4, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Many of my blogging colleagues have been trendspotting for 2010 these past two weeks (see the list of posts at the end).  I’m fashionably late, so instead of chiming in with a list, I’ll focus on one trend which is already getting some discussion: 2010 as the year of the client. In the coming decade, […]

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Client Surveys: Sure They Help Lawyers, But Aren’t They a Pain in the Neck for Clients?

January 3, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Client surveys and customer feedback are all the rage these days and law firms are jumping on board. In fact, Matt Homann of LexThink released a great client survey template that’s available at Lawyerist. Like the experts, I’ve always believed, albeit somewhat reflexively, that client surveys improve the client experience.  And I still do.  But […]

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Should Lawyers Suggest Social Media to Clients As An Alternative to A Pricey Lawsuit?

October 22, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Whenever I get a call from a client who has a matter too small to justify my rates or referral to another attorney service, I’ll try to suggest alternatives.  In fact, like many lawyers, I keep a list of contact information and websites for legal aid and pro bono groups, law school clinics, small claims […]

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