My Shingle

Mistakes/What NOT To Do

Is Lawyer Advertising Contract To the Tune of $2680 Per Lead Also A Fee Splitting Arrangement?

June 25, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Depending upon where you live, you may have seen William Shatner shilling for law firms like Alabama-based Slocumb Law Firm on television.  Poor production quality notwithstanding, Slocumb’s television advertising comes with a hefty price tag.  According to the Washington Legal Times, Mike Slocumb is suing solo D.C practitioner, Michael Wilson for $197,000 in unpaid fees […]

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Lawyers Aren’t Just Subject to Ethical Advertising Rules, But Platform Terms of Service

June 8, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Sit in on any CLE on social media these days, and you’ll be privy to the laundry list of ethics issues that crop up when lawyers use social media.  But even though lawyers answer to a higher calling, we’re not immune from the rules that govern the masses online.  And increasingly, these days, the applicable […]

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Solos at the Second [Circuit]: The Battle over the Constitutionality of NY Jud. Code Sec. 470 Continues

April 25, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

I’m fast learning that lawyers’ can’t just act as advocates in defending rights or effecting change in the law; sometimes, we’ve got to play the role of litigant. As I’ve posted previously, I’m defending the First Amendment not as an attorney but as a defendant and client. And now, I’m an amicus along with a […]

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Take My Advice: Look Before You Advise

March 27, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

A lawyer’s advice may be his stock in trade, to quote a famous solo, Abraham Lincoln. But today, the reverse is apparently true: “legaladvice” is nothing more than a trade name (and a generic one at best) for aspiring lawyerpreneurs to stock up on.At least, that seems to be the view held by two lawyer-preneurs […]

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Can a Law Firm Be a B-Corporation?

March 5, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

For new lawyers in search of a practice area, social entrepreneurship is all the rage. For those unfamiliar with the term, social entrepreneurship is the business of using business to focus on and solve social problems rather than simply generating shareholder profits. Social entrepreneurship is an evolving body of the law, requiring knowledge of both […]

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Advice on Giving Legal Advice

February 23, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

When does educational marketing cross the line into legal advice? In an era of increased consumer hunger for information online and the rise of crowdsourced advice sites, understanding what types of communications constitute legal advice is a critical matter — and one which Brian Tannebaum addresses at My Law License. Brian’s post has also generated […]

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Third Verse, Same as the First – Outsourcing Marketing = Outsourcing Ethics

February 8, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Eric Turkewitz said it first, years ago, and still, no one’s listening. Most recently, a fairly new South Carolina attorney disobeyed the legal profession’s equivalent of the law of gravity, outsourcing marketing = outsourcing ethics. And just as ignoring the gravity or pretending that it doesn’t exist will send anyone but a fantasy character tumbling, […]

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An Attorney Listing Site to Avoid If You Want To Avoid Ethics Problems

September 22, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Sometimes, a new concept emerges that’s never been done before because no one ever thought of it. That’s called innovation. But other times, there’s reason that the new concept hasn’t been done before: because it’s a downright stupid idea. Unfortunately, many lawyers can’t tell the difference between innovation and idiocy, which is the only explanation […]

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Don’t Moonlight

July 20, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Because of my work with lawyer/author Julie Tower-Pierce on The Part Time Shingle, I’m often asked by aspiring solos about whether they should start a practice while working for a law firm. My answer never varies. Unless you disclose and receive permission from a law firm employer to start your own side practice, DON’T! From […]

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Musings from the Other End of the Pleading

June 21, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

For the past month, ever since I learned that I’d been named as a defendant in Rakofsky v. the Internet, I’ve been getting acclimated to life on the other end of the pleading. In my seventeen years as a solo, I’ve inhabited a comfortable spot on the signature line. I still get a thrill at […]

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