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Future Fridays

Lawyer Can’t Work on The Cheap Even If He Wants To

February 13, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

You’ve got to applaud Austin, Texas based lawyer, Lee DiFilippo. Whereas many attorneys with experience in corporate transactions, not to mention a CPA degree in their back pocket might focus on representing Fortune 500 companies or sexy business start-ups, DiFilippo set out to assist moderate income folks in the state of Texas obtain access to […]

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Hands On Lawyers and One Future for Legal Services

January 23, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

What’s the most effective way for lawyers to protect their clients from a data breach of  Sony-like magnitude? Sure, they can sponsor trainings for clients, develop handbooks and checklists and purchase cyberinsurance. Or lawyers could take the most direct approach and identify and plug the security gaps themselves. Sounds crazy – and outside a lawyer’s […]

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How Can An Incubator That Can’t Support Itself Teach New Solo Lawyers To Do So?

January 9, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Seven participants in Florida International University (FIU)’s LawBridge program which provides incubator space to lawyers willing to do low bono work recently got a rude dose of reality when FIU was bumped from its donated space by a large law firm that presumably could pay rent.  Without free space, the FIU program leaders can’t figure […]

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Flexible Legal Arrangements Can Work – At Least Some of the Time…

November 14, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

It’s all about the clients. And what’s great to hear is that many of today’s clients don’t just tolerate but increasingly, are coming to accept lawyers for whom work-life balance matters. At least that’s been the experience of Frances Wood and Jennifer Gold, the two women who founded Wood Gold, an Ontario-based, family friendly law […]

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Future Fridays: Hey, ABA – Why Do Solos and Smalls Bear the Burden of Access to Justice?

November 7, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Four years on the heels of its Ethics 20/20 Initiative, the ABA is once again trying to make itself relevant. This time around, the ABA has established a Commission on the Future of Legal Services , with a goal of inspiring innovation and leveraging technology to expand access to justice.  And guess who’s expected to […]

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Future Fridays: Hitch Your Niche To Another Law Firm

September 12, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

The niche practice as the future of law is also yesterday’s news. Meaning that the benefits of niche practice have been well documented forever, nowhere more extensively than at Chuck Newton’s Third Wave Blog, which is jam packed with dozens of niche practice ideas. But I don’t like re-blogging old territory. So here’s a little […]

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Should Lawyers Look to Online Dispute Resolution To Resolve Disputes With Clients?

September 5, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Online dispute resolution is rapidly gaining traction. Modria, a leading online dispute resolution (ODR) platform, boasts that its service is used to settle more than 60 million cases annually. Yet even though ABA task forces have studied, and appear to endorse ODR, I’ve not found much mention of the potential uses of ODR to resolve […]

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If We Change Rules to Allow Non-Lawyers to Own Law Firms, How About Changing Them to Let Lawyers Compete?

August 22, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Last week, Jordan Furlong lavished praise on the Canada Bar Association’s new report, Futures: Transforming the Delivery of Legal Services in Canada. As you might expect, the Report reads like a legal futurist’s wish list, supporting initiatives like non-lawyer ownership of law firms and fee-splitting between lawyers and non-lawyers. Still, truth be told, Jordan’s kudos […]

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Lessons from MOOCs About the Future of Law

August 8, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

In theory, MOOCs — massive online open courses — sound too good to be true.  Classes are available on any topic – from learning a new language or computer coding or even how to start a law firm. Even better, most MOOCs are free (or inexpensive) and open to anyone with an Internet connection. Yet […]

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Future Friday: Solo Leverage, Part II

August 1, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

A long time ago in Internet years, I wrote that solos and smalls must come up with ways to diversify their services. That doesn’t mean having cheap rates for certain clients and full fees for others, but rather developing different revenue streams to ensure that cash is coming through the door. Back in 2008, the […]

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