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Solo & Small Law Firms

Archive for March 2005

Legal Ethics – Answers Wanted

Thanks to David Giacalone for alerting readers to another legal ethics weblog, Ben Cowgill’s Legal Ethics Blog.  Cowgill points out that his legal ethics blog  is third on the Internet, joining David’s f/k/a ethical esq? and The Legal Ethics Forum.  Actually, that’s not quite right.  Because here at MyShingle, we’ve been blogging about legal ethics…

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Law Lessons From Mom

As I’ve always understood, one of the premises underlying the Socratic Method is that much of the knowledge of a subject (like law) lies within us and can be teased out through questioning and dialogue.  So too, many of us already hold within us the basics for  starting or running a law practice as Jim…

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Consumers Can Buy Legal Advice in Supermarkets Across the Pond

Here’s a story, Plan for Supermarket Legal Advice (BBC, 3/20/05) about a proposal that will shake up the legal profession in England and Wales by allowing commercial businesses to own and run law firms.   The intent of the proposal, known as the Tesco law, is to make legal services “a better deal for consumers.”  Under…

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Screening Clients – Rules and Exceptions

This article, In Search of the Perfect Client, Joanne Cronrath Bamberger, Small Firm Business (3/14/05) offers up the standard, perfunctory advice on screening clients.  Red flags include refusal to pay a retainer fee (a sign of future collection difficulties), number of prior attorneys and whether the client seems difficult.  Not much new here. If you…

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Anonymous Associates

I’ve always explained that the reason I went solo was because a big firm wasn’t big enough.  Not big enough for my ego or aspirations, not even big enough to fit two tiny words – my name – on the door.  Apparently, these days, a big firm isn’t big enough (in heart, not size) to…

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Clout Trumps – So Use It to Market

This article, Unusual Ally Came to Jain’s Rescue:  SEC, Seattle Times (3/10/05) – about a former SEC counsel-turned-private lawyer who finagled a deal for a client found guilty of violating insider-trading rules whereby the SEC wound up filing an amicus brief on the client’s behalf – isn’t about solos per se.  Rather, it’s about the…

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When a Solo Goes to Trial

It’s hard enough getting ready for a trial, but as a solo, there’s even more to think about because of staffing constraints, as Kimberly Fanady points out  in this piece, Flying Solo at Trial, Small Firm Business (3/10/05).  Among other tips, Fanady suggests retaining a temp to put files and exhibits in order and calling…

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Security Breach At LEXIS

This article, Personal Data Bared in LexisNexis breach, (3/10/05) reports that intruders managed to steal customer passwords and access personal information from LexisNexis’ Accurint database.  Lexis acquired Seisent, parent company of Accurint, (a darling of solo practitioners given its low cost capability of tracking people and assets), in August 2004 – and at that…

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