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Whose Client Is It Anyway?

September 9, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Rob Jordan’s recent Above the Law column, The (Alleged) Uber-fication of Legal Services  comprehensively compares the latest crop of  lawyer match-making services and platforms designed to connect consumers and small business clients to lawyers. One of the characteristics that Jordan examines in distinguishing between services like Upcounsel, Priori, Law Kick or Law Dingo is “data […]

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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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Food for Thought for Spotting Law Practice Trends for 2014

December 6, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Tis the season for trend spotting! As the year winds down, predictions of hot practice areas and the future of law will cram the legal trade press and blogs.  In fact, Bob Denney has already released his always excellent annual “What’s Hot and What’s Not” over at Attorney at Work; if you only have time […]

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Legal Ethics and Outsourcing: Just Because It’s Outsourced, Doesn’t Mean You Can Bill for It

October 29, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

At some time or another, law firms of all sizes have outsourced legal support services such as legal research and writing, e-discovery or document review.  There’s no question that law firms can bill clients for legal support services and even charge a markup, at least under ABA Ethics Opinion 08-451 and the majority of jurisdictions. […]

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The Pop-Up Law Firm

October 23, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

So what if lawyers could match an occasional need for office space with existing and under-utilized capacity? For example, maybe a group of solos want to set up a monthly legal clinic for start-ups but can’t figure out where to host it? Or maybe you want to host a group of solos for a hands-on […]

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Open Letter to Law Schools: What Law Students Need to Learn to Be Hired By Tomorrow’s Largest Legal Employer – Solos & Smalls

October 17, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Dear Law Schools, I’m guessing most of you don’t read my blog (not sufficiently academic or arcane) so permit me to introduce myself.  I am a real, live practicing lawyer with a firm in Washington D.C. Though perhaps atypical for a solo or small, I focus on several growing fields (emerging renewable energy technologies and […]

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Hey Baby, Our Platform or Yours?

October 10, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

  On the singles scene, a pick-up line like “my place or yours” isn’t likely to attract many takers.  But on the shingle scene (as in hanging-a-shingle), several different companies are betting that the proposition “our platform [not] yours” will resonate with solos and smalls.  In the past few months,  two relatively new companies – […]

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Will Legal Ethics Rules Hobble Lawyers From Educating Clients on the Meaning of Data-driven Legal Marketing?

October 2, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Call it the fantasy lawyering league. Just as sports aficionados rely on past seasons’ statistics to put together a fantasy football team, soon, consumers now have ready access to lawyers’ track records at their fingertips courtesy of big data — and can draft a dream team lawyer based on objective facts rather than subjective referrals […]

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Solos Who Start From Home Aren’t Home Alone

September 30, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Over my years of blogging, I’ve devoted extensive coverage to the home v. office debate. I’ve acknowledged that for some practices, regions or personalities a home office won’t do and I’ve also suggested that many solos and smalls likely rent office space, at least some of the time, if it were more affordable. At the […]

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The Real Non-Lawyer “Ownership” Question: Who Should Own the Cloud-Based Law Tech Vendors?

September 26, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Will non-lawyer ownership of law firms become a reality in the United States? That’s the question raised by  Riverview Law’s  Andy Dawes’ presentation on alternative legal business models and non-lawyer owned firms at the  Clio User conference and summarized at length by Sam Glover at Lawyerist. Although the non-lawyer ownership question has enormous implications for […]

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