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Solo & Small Law Firms

Archive for December 2005

A Solo Extravaganza

The January 2005 DC Bar’s Washington Lawyer Magazine has this article Going Solo by Joan Rigdon.  I’m profiled in it, briefly (though not much but a passing mention of MyShingle), as are many of my DC solo colleagues.  The article reflects a great cross section of solo practice, with old timers like Joel Bennett (editor…

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The Blackberry: A Short Leash or Liberation?

It’s interesting how mobile technologies, like the cell phone or Blackberry, pager or laptop can serve as a leash or as liberation, depending on context.  This article, Blackberry:  High tech Ball and Chain for Lawyers, Boston Globe (12/22/05) reveals that law firm Burns & Levinson uses Blackberries to keep lawyers on a tight leash, always…

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A Great Pro Se Idea

This article from the Sacramento Bee (12/26/05) reports on a new service by Legal Zoom:  online preparation of a small claims case.  According to the article, for $99.00, the company will draft up a small claims complaint based on an online questionnaire and for $60 more, will serve the defendant as well. So why would…

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Declining Representation Without Peril

I’ve posted quite a bit on the importance of retainer letters, here and here, but not as much on a declination letter which informs prospective clients that you’ve declined to take their case.  This post from Day on Torts discusses the perils of misinforming clients about the applicable statute of limitations in a declination letter. …

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Second Career for Disbarred Lawyer

Here’s an interesting profile, Ex-lawyer on the case with biting court report, Kentucky Courier-Journal (Dec. 26, 2005) about Shannon Ragland, a disbarred attorney who publishes a popular newsletter/monthly verdict reporter covering Kentucky courts.  What sets Ragland’s report apart from others is that he does it himself, adding insights, analysis, wit and sometime biting criticisms of…

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If Williston Could Wobble Back, Maybe There’s Hope for All of Us

Someone on the Solosez listserve posted a link to this article from the Harvard  magazine on Samuel Williston, 20th century legal scholar, Harvard law professor and author of an authoratative contracts treatise.   But though Williston worked late into his life, he suffered a nervous breakdown in his mid thirties that almost derailed his career.  The…

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A Forty Year Small Firm Career

This article, Lincoln Lawyer Balances Business, Passion (12/25/05 – Lincoln Journal Star) profiles Lincoln, Nebraska lawyer Herb Friedman’s forty years of small firm practice, which included arguing a case before the United States Supreme Court and pioneering television advertising in his state.  Now 70, Friedman has no plans to retire and reflects on his career…

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The Never-a-Dull-Moment Legal Practice

This article, The Spice of Solo Life, (Recorder, 12/27/05) profiles San Francisco solo Michael Blacksburg’s law practice, which has run the gamut from drafting animal trusts to preparing contracts for a triad relationship between two women and a man.  Actually, the bulk of Blacksburg’s practice is trusts and estates and landlord tenant law, but he…

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