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Criminal Law, Practice & Policy

Is This Really How You Want To Practice Law?

August 22, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Well, it pays the bills. A solo criminal defense practice that generates over $100,000 in billings. No employees and no need to advertise.  There’s just one small detail: you’ll handle 558 cases in a year and take 4 to trial. Fewer than one percent. It’s not difficult to find a solo practice like the one […]

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CDLs Putting Us Other Solos to Shame

December 29, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

For the second year in a row, Scott Greenfield is running a contest for the best criminal law blog post for 2010. Because I’ve been so busy these days, I only read a handful regularly – though I also visit posts with headlines that catch my eye or that friends highlight on Twitter or FB. […]

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The Practice Was Perfect

October 20, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending, and presenting a session on niche practice at The Practice, organized by my friend and colleague Brian Tannebaum, this year’s president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) . Geared towards criminal defense lawyers running a law firm, the Practice touched on all of the […]

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The Defense for Starting A Criminal Law Practice Out of Law School

August 13, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

I’ll admit that I’ve always had mixed feelings on the question of whether to solo straight out of law school. As I explained in this early post, from my perspective, it made sense for new grads with no work history and with significant student loan debt to take a paying job if only for a […]

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What a Niche Law Practice Is (Pot Law)…And What It Is Not

June 21, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

One of my solo-centric colleagues, Susan Cartier-Liebel of Solo Practice University is running a two-part series on niche practice over at her Build a Solo Practice blog, so I didn’t want to send you into niche-overload.  But I after seeing this article from the National Law Journal on “pot law practices,” I couldn’t resist.  Though […]

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Supreme Court Says Lawyers Must Advise Clients of Consequences of Guilty Plea

March 31, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

What sets us lawyers apart from computers or services like LegalZoom is our ability to counsel clients and help them make decisions.  Counseling clients is the very essence of what we do as lawyers — so much so that failure to advise clients on obvious consequences of a decision to plead guilty — such as […]

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Resources for Solos and Small Firms Practicing Criminal Law

July 3, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Russ Bensing of the Briefcase provides this quick but thorough recap  of the Supreme Court’s thirteen criminal law related decisions of the past term, with links to each of the decision.  Bensing describes that his summary keeps with the original intention of his blog, which was to "create a resource for solo practitioners and small […]

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A Solo At the Supremes

November 5, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Over at The WSJ Law Blog, there’s a nice profile of Richard Diaz, the Florida solo who represents Michael Williams, a defendant who is challenging the constitutionality of a federal child-pornography statute in United States v. Williams. Last week, Diaz argued the case before the Supreme Court. But despite his moment of glory at WSJ […]

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Great Criminal Law Resource, and Why It Helps Solos

April 12, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

At Illinois Trial Lawyer , Evan Schaeffer shares a wonderfully valuable resource, The Center for Criminal Justice Advocacy.  The Center was formed as a free, non-partisan training resource to assist new lawyers in becoming competent criminal practitioners.  And one of the Center’s missions is to provide newly licensed sole practitioners with materials to provide a […]

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Should you go with a judge or a jury?

June 28, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

Over at Legal Blogwatch, I posted here  about a recent analysis by Volokh guest blogger Andy Leipold, who found that criminal defendants stand a better chance of acquittal before a jury.  I thought that the study might help some of my readers who practice criminal law to make more informed decisions about a bench or […]

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