Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


Workplace Perks That Lawyers Actually Want

What do you really want?

It's a question that sometimes comes up in the crisis stage of a relationship. One partner feels inadequate or frustrated, and the other is stifled about communicating his feelings.

Maybe I'm getting too personal here, but the point is that sometimes lawyers don't seem to know what they want professionally either. Because the attorney-employer relationship shouldn't be a guessing game, here are some perks attorneys actually want:

You spend your days dealing with divorces, or insurance claims, or digging through millions of pages of discovery. Then, when it comes time to head to an industry mixer, you're expected to make small talk with strangers about -- what? Sports? The weather? You'd rather not.

But if small talk is a big obstacle to you, your business could hurt. After all, networking can be key to bringing in clients and building your name. So, to help you out, here are some quick tips to improving your casual conversation skills and overcoming your disdain for small talk.

Solo Attorney Takes New York's 'Bona Fide Office Rule' to the Supreme Court

Ekaterina Schoenefeld is a one-woman law firm working out of a duplex in New Jersey. She is also a force to be reckoned with, so get used to pronouncing her name.

Admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York and California, Schoenefeld sued in 2008 for a declaration that New York's law requiring out-of-state attorneys to maintain in-state law offices to practice there is unconstitutional. She has pushed the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, and three bar associations and countless lawyers are following her in support.

Schoenefeld argues that New York's Judiciary Law Section 470 violates the U.S. Constitution's Privileges and Immunities Clause. It does not require in-state practitioners to have physical offices, only out-of-state lawyers. That's not fair, she says.

If you are starting to think she is right, join the club. Here are a few words from her sponsors:

3 Reasons You Shouldn't Cap Hourly Fees

Capping your hourly fees is like going on a Jenny Craig diet.

For most people, any diet is hard to do. But Jenny also costs money. The best-case scenario is that you will get skinny.

Same thing with capping fees. It's a difficult discipline. It will definitely cost you money. And if you don't make enough money to put bread on the table, well, you get the point.

Sure, capping fees is great for clients; they like their lawyers lean. And it may pay off in the long-run if it keeps clients coming back. But maybe you actually want to make more money for desserts at the end of the day. Here's some food for thought:

Things aren't what they used to be. Today's lawyers face a constantly shifting legal landscape. Technology has made it possible to run a paperless law firm, to outsource tasks across the globe, or to find yourself swamped in endless eDiscovery. The internet has made it easier for people to find (and review) lawyers online, but it has also empowered clients to demand more for less. Meanwhile, growing corporate legal departments are handling more tasks in house, while smaller clients are increasingly seeking out DIY solutions.

Is your practice ready for this "new normal"? Take one quick quiz to find out.

The EPA and the National Endowment for the Arts aren't the only government programs facing massive cuts under President Trump's proposed budget. In the proposal released last Thursday, the President urged Congress to fully eliminate funding to the Legal Services Corporation.

Under the proposal, the nation's largest funder of legal aid wouldn't receive a single federal cent -- a move that has plenty in the legal community fuming.

Lonely Lawyer? How to Deal With Isolation

In a scene from the movie 'All Is Lost,' an aging Robert Redford is desperately alone in a life raft in the middle of the ocean as a cargo ship passes him as if he weren't there.

It is a painful metaphor for so many people in the world -- those nameless souls who watch as the world passes them by. They sit on street corners as drivers avoid making eye contact with them; they hide from the rain and cold under cardboard shelters; they labor alone in law offices late at night ...

Alright, so being a lonely lawyer is not as bad as being homeless or lost at sea. But if it is a problem in your life, consider these ideas:

Lawyers can't ignore social media anymore. Facebook can be a way to reach potential clients, for example, while a strong Twitter account could help increase your profile in the legal community.

At the same time, social media is not "one size fits all." Attorneys need to understand the differences between the main social media platforms and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Police Get Search Warrant for Everyone Who Googled a Fraud Victim's Name

Do not Google these words: "Douglas" and "passport photo."

If you do, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a search warrant. The Edina Police Department has obtained a search warrant for anyone who Googled that name in connection with a theft of $28,500 from a Minnesota bank earlier this year.

"Douglas" is not the suspect; he is the victim. Police have concluded that the suspect Googled the victim's full name to search for a passport photo. The suspect then used a downloaded photo to create a fake passport, which was presented to the Spire Credit Union to complete a fraudulent wire transfer.

What's your 'Net Promoter Score?' You don't know? Well, you should. A Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a measure of client loyalty, the odds that a client will come back or recommend you to others.

For an industry that relies so heavily on referrals, knowing your NPS is essential. And it's pretty easy to figure out, too.