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Practice Tips

Should Lawyers Be Seen in Jeans?

September 13, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

This week’s  fashion column just went up and it’s already generating some controversy.  A couple of readers have asked whether a column on jeans reflects my view that denim is suitable attire for female (and presumably male) lawyers.  To be honest, it never occurred to me that a post on jeans might be viewed as […]

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Should You File Your Own Pleadings?

April 25, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

I have really enjoying this blog, Solo in Minneapolis, even if it is anonymous. In some ways, it reminds me of Peter Olson’s similarly titled, Solo in Chicago in that both authors are conscientious, work-a-day solos (I mean this in the most complimentary way) who generously share solid practical advice about their journey to building […]

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Vary While You Work

September 7, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

No need to feel guilty about spending the afternoon working at the coffee shop, or taking a quick breather from an appellate argument prep with reading or writing a couple of blog posts. According to a bunch of new studies summarized in this New York Times article (H/T Volokh), turns out that study techniques like […]

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Don’t Lose Your Reputation When Leaving A Law Firm

May 14, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

(Note: Originally published online at Complete Lawyer, July 2008) Most law students and lawyers know quite a bit about finding a job—how to write a compelling cover letter and an attention-grabbing resume, how to navigate tricky interview questions and how to make contacts who can help with the job search. With all the time we […]

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Solos Know Strategies Associates Need To Learn

May 14, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

(Note:  originally published at Complete Lawyer, November 2008 ) If you’ve just read this article’s title, you’re probably racking your brain trying to figure out what the heck a lowly solo practitioner like me can teach you about succeeding as a law firm associate. You probably think that solos simply churn out form documents for […]

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Supreme Court Says Lawyers Must Advise Clients of Consequences of Guilty Plea

March 31, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

What sets us lawyers apart from computers or services like LegalZoom is our ability to counsel clients and help them make decisions.  Counseling clients is the very essence of what we do as lawyers — so much so that failure to advise clients on obvious consequences of a decision to plead guilty — such as […]

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Real Life Lessons for Lawyers from the Fashion Industry

August 16, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Last week, I took a quick hop up to New York with my daughters to visit Banana Republic‘s design studios.  The trip came courtesy of my lucky 12 year old, Elana who won both the tour and $400 in spending money in a contest at Miss O and Friends.  Though I was happy for my […]

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Looking for a New Practice Area…Just Pick Up the Newspaper

December 18, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

May you live in interesting times… — Chinese Proverb No doubt, today we live in interesting times, where 250 lawyer firms vanish overnight, where the legal trade press goes from an obsession with PPP (partners per profits) to LPL layoffs per law firm, and where top lawyers are pounding the pavement for work.  But what’s […]

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How to Get Transactional Training

April 13, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Much of the advice on learning new practice skills relates primarily to litigation oriented practices.  As I’ve discussed in Solo by Choice, a new solo or lawyer interested in trial work can spend a few days court-watching, accompany a more experienced lawyer to depositions or pick up a pro bono case which might entail representing […]

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That’s My Client…I Knew Him When…

June 17, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

It’s not often that practice areas like family law, primarily the province of solo and small law firms merit attention from a legal commentator of Dahlia Lithwick‘s stature.  But Lithwick tackles issues like the problems with an adversarial family court system and how well you really know your clients in her op-ed piece in the […]

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