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Client Service

Be the Lawyer Who Sits on the Toilet Seat

February 6, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

During the last week of my dad’s life, my sisters, mom and I experienced the best and worst of the medical profession. The lowest point came mid-way through my father’s last week, when my mother and I were accosted in the public lounge outside the intensive care unit (ICU) by one of the doctors who […]

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Don’t Poach on Me

April 7, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Earlier this week, I dropped a few hundred dollars to attend one day of an industry conference.  I didn’t do it for the CLE.  Rather, I  had to guard against other lawyers poaching my client.  Even with my oversight, at least one consultant made an overt, brazen play for my client as I stood by. […]

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More On Technology Taking Us Back to the Future

November 22, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Dr. Brest Rosenblum runs a solo family practice in  Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, that hearkens back to the days before healthcare, like law, became a business.   When Dr. Rosenblum’s patients arrive at the office, he greets them in the waiting room and takes down their intake information himself. After hours, when Dr. Rosenblum isn’t available, his patients […]

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The Virtual Law Office Debate: Virtually Impossible To Succeed or Not?

August 22, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

There’s an interesting debate over at Lee Rosen’s Divorce Discourse blog, in response to his provocatively titled-post, What the Virtual Office Advocates Aren’t Telling You. Lee argues that despite all of the buzz over virtual law offices, they’re unlikely to succeed because “there’s not much demand among clients for a virtual practice.” Lee elaborates: A […]

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Why I Won’t Let My Clients Set My Fees: It’s Not Their Job to Do My Work

August 20, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Over at, one of my very favorite bloggers, Jordan Furlong, offers up a couple of innovative alternative billing ideas, including a recent and somewhat controversial initiative of 300 lawyer, UK-based CMS Cameron McKenna: letting clients decide what to pay. Though many might assume that if left to their own devices, clients would pay their […]

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What If Your Retainer Agreement Could Look Like This?

August 18, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Credit Card Agreement After reading this post at the Public Citizens Law & Policy Blog (H/T Legal Blogwatch) about simplicity guru Alan Siegel’s efforts to cleanse the gobbledygook from consumer agreements, my first thought was that if Siegel succeeds, then Minneapolis, Minnesota solo lawyer and bloggerGraham Martinwill have to find another topic to replace his […]

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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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BonaFide Office Rules – A Rejoinder by Tannebaum

April 5, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Last week, I  criticized a ruling out of New Jersey interpreting the bonafide office rule to prohibit virtual offices.  I argued that the rule (1) would force lawyers to hire staff and rent full time space, thereby raising the cost of legal services and (2) make it difficult for recently unemployed lawyers and female lawyers […]

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NJ’s Bonafide Office Rule Would Have Me Doubled Over With Laughter Except That It Will Double the Cost of Legal Services

March 31, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I wish that I hadn’t chosen April Fools’ Day to post about ACPE 718/CAA 41, the joint opinion by two New Jersey judicial advisory committees ruling that virtual office arrangements, outsourced or shared receptionist services and even working outside of the office for more than a few hours violate New Jersey’s “bonafide office requirement.”  Because […]

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To Win the Hearts and Minds of Consumers, Lawyers Need to Sell, Not Sue

March 4, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

To date, we lawyers haven’t been able to effectively sell the public on the idea that document preparation services like Legal Zoom are a poor substitute for the services of a lawyer.  So, being lawyers, we’ve done the next best thing to selling:  suing.  Last month, a Missouri law firm filed a class action lawsuit against […]

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