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Legal Research and Writing

Book Review: The Freelance Lawyering Manual

March 21, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

I wrote the foreword for Kimberly Alderman’s new book, the Freelance Lawyering Manual in the hopes that law firms on one hand, and unemployed attorneys and re-entering parents on the other will take a fresh look at freelance lawyering in the 21st century. Unlike most things in law — and life, freelance lawyering, represents a […]

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The Solo Lawyer Tax

March 6, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Sometimes, it just plain sucks being a solo. (Yes, you actually read that at MyShingle!) Not only must solos suffer the indignity of getting paid less in cases where they outperform their big firm colleagues, but in many instances, solos also pay more for products and services than larger firms. Call it the solo tax. […]

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Unleash Your Inner Scholar: Why Solos Should Write A Law Review Article

December 12, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Seems that ATL Editor David Lat is concealing a dirty little secret underneath his robes.  As you know, by day, David toils as a mild-mannered blogger exposing the secrets of, and dishing out biting commentary on AmLaw 100 firms.  But after hours, he busts out his secret inner scholar and transforms into a veritable Volokh, […]

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Amazing Free Legal Research Tool for Lawyers Who Lease

December 7, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Solo lawyers who draft or review oil, gas or natural resources leases face a tough road. For starters, these types of leases are often much trickier than standard leases for office space or wedding halls – there are distinctions between surface and sub-surface rights, leases for easements and rights of way versus, full fee versus […]

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Proposed ABA Ethics 20/20 Rules Will Require Lawyers to Oversee and Monitor the Accuracy of LEXIS, Westlaw and Other Computerized Legal Research Services

November 17, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

As lawyers, we’re bound to abide by applicable statutes and precedent — yet most lawyers refuse to heed the law of unintended consequences. That’s the error committed by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 with its most recent changes lto ABA Model Rule 5.3, Responsibilities Regarding Non Lawyer Assistance.  In its zeal to frustrate lawyers’ […]

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Get Jargon, Get Rid of Jargon

August 25, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

If you’re an aficionado of legal jargon (and come on, aren’t all of us lawyers, at least when we’ve had too much to drink?), why not indulge yourself with two free e-books of jargon on project finance and corporate finance, courtesy of Latham & Watkins, with an H/T to Three Geeks & A Law Blog. […]

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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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Fastcase Makes FREE CaseLaw on the Spot a Reality!

January 30, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

To live in an era of wish fulfillment is an amazing thing.  That’s exactly how I felt yesterday when I downloaded Fastcase‘s just released and 100 percent FREE legal research app for the iphone.  Yes, I can now search a full database of state and federal cases and statutes right on my phone for no […]

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My Trip Out [to] West: A Preview of WestlawNext

January 28, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Earlier this week, I traveled to Thomson Reuters/West’s headquarters in Eagan, Minnesota to preview, along with a group of other bloggers, a demonstration of the next generation of Westlaw, WestlawNext (go to the end of post for a round up of coverage).  Though originally, I’d intended to comment on the product from the solo/small firm […]

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Free Legal Research by Google & What It Means

November 17, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

What do I think about Google’s recent launch of a free, online legal research tool as part of Google Scholar?  (disclosure: my husband works for Google, but isn’t involved with the legal research project) Funny you should ask, because I’ve been tracking, evaluating and most of all, patiently awaiting the arrival of a functional, robust […]

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