Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Law Firms in the Business of ... Charity?

When people think about law firms, the word 'charity' is not the first word that springs to mind. And these days, it looks like most firms aren't feeling very charitable.

But attitudes can and should change. It's better for the community and it's better for the firm's reputation. Charity work can be an opportunity for a law firm to get noticed in the community and capture good sentiment from would be clients. Here are a number of ideas your firm could consider next time charity is discussed. Don't worry -- it's cheap.

Who or What Is 'The Law Guy'?

If you were one of the lucky few who earned a passing score on this last July 2015 bar exam, you might be "the law guy" to your family and friends. Just be careful about using that term in or around New York ...

The origins of "law guy" are both fascinating and a nice break from typical monotony of appellate work. It's almost like our profession's version of the cryptid. How did it begin? Are you a law guy?

Sure, attorneys aren't the biggest early adopters of new technology. You won't find many esquires who are well-versed in artificial intelligence or nano-architecture, for example. But it turns out that we're also terrible at technology basics. The Legal Tech Assessment, a program developed to test attorneys' skill at simple office tasks like redacting information from PDFs, has proven time and again that lawyers often fail at basic law practice technology, wasting time and client money.

In the 14 months that the LTA has been around, no firm has had all of its attorneys pass the tech test -- until now. The boutique business law firm, Keesal, Young and Logan, has become the first firm ever to have all of its lawyers pass the assessment.

How to Attract Top Millennial Talent to Your Small Law Firm

According to data taken from Census Bureau data of 2015, the Pew Research Center found that Millennials now make up the largest workforce in the nation, according to the Pew Research Center, they're expected to soon become the largest living generation.

Along with this giant demographic change are the attendant cultural shifts that come along for the ride. Millennials are the new lawyers, doctors, and service professionals of today. Thus, law firms need to attract young millennials lawyers and keep them if they are to survive. As attorney Bruce Stachenfeld has so presciently noted, if the lawyers leave, what kind of a firm do you have?

Jared's diet helped turn him into a child molester. That's the novel theory his lawyers developed last week on the eve of his sentencing. Jared Fogle, the former Subway sandwich chain spokesman and famous weight loss champion, was sentenced last week to over 15 years in prison for having sex with minors. But his lawyers argued that he should be shown leniency because he developed a sex addiction only after overcoming his food addiction.

It sounds suspiciously like the Twinkie defense to us.

Sheldon Silver Trial Update: Jury Deliberates Federal Corruption Case

It has been a difficult several weeks for former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, once one of the most powerful men in New York.

Closing arguments concluded in Silver's multi-week corruption trial that saw its beginnings with the Speaker's arrest in January amidst allegations that he traded favors to benefit two real estate developers and a Columbia University researcher. Latest news is that at least one juror has requested to be excused from the case.

You follow a judge on Twitter. (There's plenty of them to be found.) He tweets about life on the bench. You tweet about cats and the occasional courtroom victory. The judge even retweets you on occasion.

If this tweeting takes place while you have a case pending before said judge, have you both engaged in ex parte communication or created the appearance of bias? At least one Ninth Circuit appellant thinks so.

How to Start a Solo Law Practice: 5 Tips to Get Started

Many attorneys have successfully hung their own shingle, but it can be daunting to do this on your own. Part of the appeal of BigLaw is that someone else will make the big decisions for you. But this also means micromanagement and other crimes against your independent nature. Here are a few tips to remember as you begin your own solo practice.

When an employee quits, it's not just a worker walking out the door, its years of training and investment. Hiring replacement employees is expensive and time consuming, requiring you to invest resources in job search and training -- resources that could be better spent on the firms' practice.

Retention is key. With that in mind, here are some of the top reasons law firms suffer from high employee turnover and how you can prevent them.

Law Firm Tips for Outsourcing

With all the eagerness to be part of the BigLaw leagues, it is very easy to be blinded by the glamour and overlook many of the disadvantages of BigLaw. Sure, people like to be associated with the big names on BigLaw firms, but most will stay just that: an associate. When bad times hit, BigLaw firms look to outsource -- starting with you.

If you're part of a small firm, you can take steps to weather the economic storm and also take the driver's seat. Instead of firing your people, work with them so that they can telecommute. And of course, outsource the work that doesn't require your immediate attention or skill -- hopefully without much tears.