Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


Sometimes, civility will not do. Your opposing counsel pushes every single one of your buttons, and hell, you're nobody's doormat. 

But how far do you go? Sharp tones, a threat of sanctions, or gasp, a profanity or two? And what else makes a good "F U" letter? Are there any other ways to irk opposing counsel?

We've got a few ideas.

Whether you're a new attorney who's just found nonprofit work or a seasoned associate looking for something new, nonprofit legal services can provide a break if you spend your day on M&As.

And if M&As were never really your thing to begin with, volunteering could lead to a paying job if you eat your peas and say your prayers. Note, however, that you shouldn't walk into a volunteer gig expecting a paying job out of it. Show them that you do go work, though, and it could be in your future.

Here are three ways you may be able to turn a volunteer legal gig into paying work:

4chan users posted graphic rape porn in the comments section of Jezebel, a feminist blog. You won't believe what legal issues arose next!

And what happens when an attorney develops a meth addiction? When a prosecutor breaks bad, can be make it back?

Folks, if clickbait titles make you want to punch your monitor, the Upworthy Generator might be the best parody you'll read all day. And if you want to read some of the best recent posts from the blawgosphere, keep reading.

Groan. The dreaded billable hour, which, like the last five minutes of a football game, never seems to end. Obviously you need to bill all your time, and you've got to be ethical about it, but are you selling yourself short? A survey conducted by timekeeping software provider Chrometa of 500 professionals who bill by the hour revealed that they captured just 67 percent of their billable time.

How do you squeeze the remaining 33 percent of that time out of your day? Here are five things you can do to make sure you're maximizing your billable hours:

So you've decided to "hang your shingle" (oh, do I hate that phrase). Being a solo practitioner, by definition, is a solitary affair. That seems obvious from the word "solo," but it's solitary in a metaphysical sense, too.

If you're part of a firm, you can bounce ideas off others, take a break to discuss non-legal happenings, and you know that you can always rely on someone else if you have to. Solos don't have any of that, which means they more than anyone else need to get out there and network.

So how do solos network? Here are three suggestions that may work for you:

It's only mid-August, and the days are getting shorter already. I'm noticing it's darker out at my usual wake up time, and I'm thankful that I invested in my Philips Wake-Up Light so I can awake not only to bright light, but also the sound of birds chirping (kind of like this gal).

But seriously, anyone who feels the slightest effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder knows the impact of light on sleep. Now, a new study takes it a bit further -- into the workplace.

Here's a fun statistic: 31 percent of traffic to law firm websites comes from mobile search. That's nearly one-third of all of your Web traffic coming from smartphone and tablet users. And make no mistake about it, mobile Google results are very different from desktop Google results, which means you're playing a whole different game when marketing your practice online to that 31 percent.

Plus, that 31 percent is likely to grow. In December 2012, just 23 percent of legal consumers used mobile search. In 2011, it was 14 percent; four years ago, it stood at a measly 6 percent.

Bottom line: There's a clear trend towards users looking for legal help on their smartphones and tablets, and you need to plan accordingly for these "local-mobile" searches.

It's approaching back-to-school time for law school, which means students will be looking for internships and externships (if they don't have them already). With all these students out there, should your small firm get in on the action by hiring a law student intern?

Maybe -- but maybe not. Using unpaid interns in any for-profit business is under increased scrutiny, as a lack of jobs for fresh-out-of-college twentysomethings has given rise to an "internship" economy that may violate labor laws.

If you still want to grab an intern for the semester, tread carefully, and be prepared for some potential disappointment.

Running your own law firm is no easy task -- and then come the growing pains. Inevitably, there will come a time when you need to bring more people onto your team. First, you'll consider whether you should hire a contractor or a full-time employee. Then, you'll consider whether to hold a contest for the position (uh, probably not).

Well, we recently learned of a tip that aims to make your whole interviewing process a lot easier. All you need to do is ask one question...

Those who are so bad at test-taking that they cannot break the median LSAT score probably shouldn't go to law school. And yet, there are scores of subprime schools, places that charge $50,000 a year for a degree that carries no reputational value, and which push thousands of grads with little to no hope of passing the bar into the post-J.D. world.

$200,000 in debt and no career prospects. This is why many call law school a scam. Is the day of reckoning at hand?

And the big news of the week is Ferguson, Missouri. If you'd like to see someone being held accountable for using excessive force, a recent case out of the Eighth Circuit where a lenient sentence for a cop was reversed might soothe your soul... somewhat.