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New Ideas

A Legal Tech Tool That Is Actually Very Cool – But Does It Break Ethics Rules?

September 2, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

To date, much of what’s been characterized as legal disruption hasn’t impressed me as much more than a souped-up, techno-powered version of what’s been tried before and failed. Still, I’m no curmudgeon and every so often, I find myself excited about the possibility of tiny law applications like Shake Legal – an app to create […]

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Pros and Cons of LobbyConning for Solos and Smalls

August 20, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Many folks often complain about the cost of legal conferences – but trust me, the $300-$500 price range is pocket change compared to many events in my industry that start at one thousand dollars. If that’s true for conferences that you may want to attend, why not try lobby conning instead? The New York Times […]

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Start a NonProfit Law Firm

August 19, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

A few months back at my beat at Above the Law, I posed this question: Why Do Low Bono Work When You Can Start Your Own Non-Profit?.  After all, if new lawyers are going to be offering discount rates, they might as well run the show and gain the advantage of being the boss, plus […]

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Want to Lower the Cost of Legal Services? Let’s Ditch Trust Accounts.

May 27, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Last month over at Attorney at Work, practice management consultant Peggy Gruenke shared her Mini-Checklist for Trust Account Management. Gruenke’s list is an exhaustive compilation of the do’s and don’ts and best practices for trust account management and therein lies the problem. Because in a digital age when most firms accept electronic payments and credit […]

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Dewey Really Want to Say That Crowdfunding Is Unethical Fee Splitting? The Biglaw/SmallLaw Double Standard

March 24, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in May 2013, Findlaw blogger William Peacock posted about Upstart, a  crowd funding site where “backers” provide money to new graduates, who pledge to repay the funds through a percentage of future income for a term of five or ten years. Upstart and similar crowd funding platforms might potentially offer an innovative solution to […]

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Is Starting a New Kind of Law Firm As Easy As Riding A Bike?

February 26, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

There’s a new law firm on the block here in Washington D.C., reports the Washington Post — easily recognized by its sunny yellow bike. The cycle analogy is a bit of a play on words, since here, the BIKE stands as an acronym for the Tandem’s tagline, “Be yourself, Innovate, Kindness and Engagement.” Not surprisingly, […]

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Uber Lessons for Law Practice

January 31, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

A few night ago, I left the office late after completing a day-long telephonic hearing in a different time zone. Because of the late hour and the freezing weather, I decided to treat myself to a cab ride home instead of waiting for the metro at my stop and then again, at the connection. At […]

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New Service for Solos and Smalls: Docket Hero

January 13, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Perhaps the best — and worst — aspect of a solo or small firm law practice is that no matter how much you plan, you’re always in for surprises. In some months, you may go from no clients on the horizon on the first of the month to an overflow docket a month later. Or […]

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Another Reason for Lawyers To Create Checklists: Potential Revenue Stream

November 20, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Michigansystemrevised from Carolyn Elefant   In the four years since the release of Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto, the topic of lawyer checklists has been making the rounds on the blogs and speaker circuits.  Which is good because checklists are a valuable tool that can help lawyers keep their practice running smoothly, stay out of trouble […]

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The Lawyer Network That Was a Lawyer Notwork: Lessons from An Unsuccessful Venture

November 19, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Four and a half years ago – when Axiom Legal was just gaining traction and Virtual Law Partners and Rimon Legal and Fisher Broyles were the only dispersed legal business models on the block, a group of eight solo colleagues and I who practiced in four different cities came together to form a collaborative of […]

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