Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


Lawyer Lessons From The Bard or 'Guess Who Just Turned 450'

Since it is Shakespeare's birthday, we wanted to talk about lessons from the Bard. He was, at least in one play, a great supporter of lawyers. The famous quote "first, let's kill all the lawyers" actually praises lawyers. It comes from Henry VI and is spoken by a bad guy, Dick the Butcher, who says that the first step in creating tyranny is to kill all the lawyers.

See? Lawyers are good guys and the Bard liked us. At least some of the time. He even had a few words specifically for lawyers. In The Taming of the Shrew, one character says, "And do as adversaries do in law/Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends." In other words, be collegial and leave the fighting where it belongs.

So much of what we write about at FindLaw has to do with giving advice to attorneys -- but what about your clients?

We recently heard about a judge who lost his cool and yelled at a woman convicted of violently killing her boyfriend and stated "I hope you die in prison!" Apparently, it's not the first time he's said that to someone either, according to The Huffington Post. So what led him to make this outburst? The woman's disrespectful conduct: she interrupted the victim's aunt, snickered and rolled her eyes.

The judge was not amused.

Should Your Client Take Acting Lessons?

Oscar Pistorius, now on trial for murdering his girlfriend, has become famous for his outward signs of grief and anguish, including weeping and throwing up. Are the tears genuine? Is the vomit mere crocodile vomit? Who can tell? But he is putting on such a show that he's just been accused of taking acting lessons.

Huh, Acting Lessons? Good idea?

Should your client take acting lessons? Let's answer that question with a question, a question likely to be asked by opposing counsel. That question is, "Is it true that in preparation for your testimony here today, you took acting lessons?!?!"

Internet Lawyer Marketing? Let's Do It Effectively.

The Internet is now the most popular way for people to find a lawyer.

According to a new survey from FindLaw, this is a big change from just a few years ago. In 2005, only 7% of people would have used the Internet, while 65% would have asked a friend or relative. Nowadays, only 29% would ask a friend or relative, while 38% would use the Internet. Ten percent would consult a local bar association, and just 4% would consult the Yellow Pages. (However, 15% already have a relationship with a lawyer and wouldn't need to research one. The survey has a margin of error of 3%.)

Looking at those numbers, I'm almost starting to think that this new-fangled Internet fad is here to stay. So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Are you using the Internet to market your firm effectively? Here are three ways to create or polish your net presence.

As an employer, you have more than just the responsibility of running your firm -- you manage everyone that works there. This is a big week for interacting with employees; Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day, and Thursday is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

As the fearless leader of your law firm, you need to have a plan in place for hosting your employees' daughters and sons. Here are a few quick tips.

Next Wednesday, April 23, 2014, is Administrative Professionals Day -- mark your calendars. Yes, you're busy running your firm, managing a case load and rainmaking -- but you need to make time for this day. You've been warned.

No, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, it's the thought that counts (a little), but you probably do need to open up that wallet. Here are a few tips to figure out who to gift, and what to gift.

As the owner of a small firm you know that what you do is so much more than lawyering -- you're running a business. If you've dabbled in marketing, then you've probably figured out that it's actually much harder than it looks. Figuring out what outlets to use, and what your message will be is hard enough. But what about measuring the success of your marketing campaigns? That's a whole science unto itself.

If you want to know if your marketing dollars are actually working for you, and you want to learn ways to increase your return on investment, then consider listening in on FindLaw's upcoming webcast on Wednesday, April 30th, entitled "Five Tips to Bolster Your Firm's Growth & Profitability."

Not convinced you need to listen in? Here are five reasons why you should.

It was pretty stupid, getting behind the wheel after drinking. It's bad enough when a layperson does it, but you're a lawyer -- you know the penalties and you have more at stake.

Fair enough. We came to help Caesar, not to lecture him. Here are a few things you'll need to think about now:

Starting Out in Criminal Defense? Here Are Some Mistakes to Avoid

You'd think that for $100,000 dollars or so, law schools would teach you everything you need to know to hang out your shingle and start out in criminal defense, but it just ain't so. Hopefully you've got good mentors, good practice guides and good malpractice insurance.

In case you have all of the above but could use a few more tips, here are a few criminal law "gotchas" you'll want to avoid.

Sorry, we've always wanted to use one of those titles. But seriously, you really won't.

Jennifer Gaubert is a lawyer, a radio host, and a self-described "public figure." She also reportedly tried to sleep with a cab driver while very, very drunk. None of this is remarkable, or something we'd ordinarily care about, but then the courts got involved.

The cab driver, Hervey Farell, accused her of assault, as she allegedly grabbed his genitals. She has since been convicted, thanks to his videotaping of the encounter.

A year later, she filed alleged false accusations of him trying to extort money for the video. This led to his arrest, negative press coverage, and a temporary loss of work. He's now suing both her and the New Orleans Police Department, while she faces felony charges for the false accusations.