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Mistakes/What NOT To Do

Practice Tips, Courtesy of Rakofsky v. The Internet

June 7, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

(updated, 7 am 6/7/11 to change a few points) As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m one of the 81 defendants who’s been sued by Joseph Rakofsky. The post that won me an admission ticket to the front lines of this lawsuit tracked a theme common to 45 other posts I’ve written: what not […]

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Avoiding S**tlaw Jobs

May 31, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

In Part I of this post, I highlighted the kind of unsavory freelance assignment that even struggling solo and small firm lawyers should pass right by. In this second part, I’ll describe some of the red flags that should tip you off to a scam-job. Is the assignment posted on Craigslist or an online freelance […]

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An Issue-Spotting Exercise in Revenue Stream Opportunities That Solos Should Avoid

May 27, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

In these uncertain economic times, many solo and small firm lawyers must struggle to make ends meet. Thus, they’re always on the look-out for side jobs to supplement their income. And while waiting tables or working as a barista in a coffee house are options, most new solos would prefer law-related freelance or per diem […]

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From tiny ethics mishaps, do major missteps grow?

April 3, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in March, I pondered whether there might be a correlation between cutting little ethics corners on seemingly insignificant matters like advertising and committing major ethics breaches like pilfering from trust accounts or prejudicing a criminal defendant’s rights on the other. I actually hoped that my observation was wrong – after all, if a slip-up […]

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What Cutting Ethical Corners Says About You As A Lawyer

March 15, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Ah, those silly bar ethics rules. Like the ones that prohibit lawyers from dubbing their practice “Smith & Associates” when the firm is comprised of just one person. Recall, that Sonya Sotomayor ran afoul of these rules and it came back to bite her during her confirmation hearings. As it turned out, Sotomayor’s ethics lapse […]

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Billing Methodologies Don’t Act Unethically. Lawyers Do.

October 5, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Look,  I’m no friend of the billable hour.   As others have emphasized far more eloquently, the billable hour measures time, not results and as such, breeds inefficiency.  Worst, for at least two decades, the billable hour fed biglaw’s associate leverage schemes which have since buckled under the weight of bloated fees and left countless young […]

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Huh? Lawyer’s Overbilling Blamed on Law School’s Failure To Teach Practice Management

August 30, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Law schools today get a bad rap, often deservedly so. From outrageous tuition to to ineffectual, elitist law professors to fraudulent post-graduation employment statistics to failure to teach practical skills, law schools have become the scapegoats for everything wrong with the legal profession. Including theft over-billing. Yes, you read that right.  Lawyer coach Rjon Robins […]

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Yet Another Reason Not to Use Canned Content

August 25, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Courtesy of Professor Eric Goldman, here’s yet another reason to avoid canned content or ghostwritten materials in law firm newsletters, and by extension, blogs: it’s a sure-fire way to convert ordinary, First Amendment protected content into regulated advertising. Holtzman v. Turza (N.D. Ill. August 3, 2010) serves as a cautionary tale of what happens to […]

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I’ll Take Turkewitz on Ethics Over Jack Marshall Any Day of the Week

April 5, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

[April 6, 2010 – Update] Jack Marshall offers a response at his blog, here and describes his position in the comments section below.  Jack explains that his post was not intended to linkbait and I take him at his word for that and apologize for the accusation.  However, I don’t apologize for the tenor of […]

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How Good Solos Suffer When the Greedy Sell Out for $125 A Pop

March 25, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in July, I denounced three Cincinnati, Ohio lawyers who shamelessly served as a front for a foreclosure solutions scam. The lawyers never met with clients (who were going to lose their homes!) or did any work on their behalf; they merely signed their name to canned pleadings prepared by a so-called foreclosure solutions company […]

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