My Shingle

Plan A Law Firm Party, Retreat or Seminar With AirBnB

February 2, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

If you’re like me, you’ve probably attended dozens of networking events or continuing legal education (CLE) panels and thought to yourself, I could do better. Whether it’s choosing a more interesting speaker or coming up with new activities or just having a decent spread of food, most of us could probably come up with some […]

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Finding the Courage to Start

January 30, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start. —John Bingham In the dozen years I’ve blogged here, I’ve sung the praises of solo practice – the unexpected surprises, the enormous opportunity, and the satisfaction that flows from doing work that matters  or makes you feel alive or […]

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Ask An Ethics Question: Gift Cards

January 29, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Updated – 1/30/2015 A few days ago, a question appeared on the Solosez Listserve, inquiring whether a promotional strategy – whereby individuals referred to a firm by an existing client would be entered into a drawing for a gift card upon coming in for a free consultation – passed ethical muster. Happily, everyone who responded […]

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Convert Time and Expertise Into Money With Hire.Bid

January 28, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

A few weeks ago, I earned $1000 for a couple of hours offering some insights in my practice area. While certainly not a large enough fee to close up shop for the month, it was a tidy little windfall that helped cover some home repairs that I’d put off for a while. What if there […]

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Hands On Lawyers and One Future for Legal Services

January 23, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

What’s the most effective way for lawyers to protect their clients from a data breach of  Sony-like magnitude? Sure, they can sponsor trainings for clients, develop handbooks and checklists and purchase cyberinsurance. Or lawyers could take the most direct approach and identify and plug the security gaps themselves. Sounds crazy – and outside a lawyer’s […]

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A Place Where Solos Can Work Away

January 21, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

To me, there’s nothing more depressing than the concept of the staycation  – essentially, spending valuable days off from work hanging around the house and area where you live. Sure, I get the concept of local sightseeing (I live in the tourism capitol after all) but that’s what visitors and houseguests are for. To me, […]

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California Bar Offers A Reason to Keep Your Website and Blog Separate

January 16, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Should a law firm blog be incorporated into a website or function as a freestanding entity? That’s a question that’s been asked almost since the beginning of time, with at least two experts – Sam Glover and Kevin O’Keefe endorsing separation for a variety of different reasons. But now, a recent California ethics decision offers […]

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Free and the Contract

January 14, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Once upon a time, law firms used wills as a loss leader. Clients would come to a law firm for a free will and in theory, the firm would have first dibs on the more lucrative probate work when the time came. These days, free contracts are the 21st century version of free wills with […]

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How Can An Incubator That Can’t Support Itself Teach New Solo Lawyers To Do So?

January 9, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Seven participants in Florida International University (FIU)’s LawBridge program which provides incubator space to lawyers willing to do low bono work recently got a rude dose of reality when FIU was bumped from its donated space by a large law firm that presumably could pay rent.  Without free space, the FIU program leaders can’t figure […]

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Unemployment Benefits as a Transition to Hanging a Shingle

January 9, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Back in the dark ages when I started my law firm, I took advantage of unemployment benefits to help pay the bills. I’d been working five years before a layoff lead me to hang my shingle, so I figured that I’d paid enough into the system to deserve some support. Although my unemployment benefits maxed […]

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