Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


The end of summer is near, and the fall semester of law school is approaching. As your summer associate season comes to a close, there's one big question looming: will you extend the summer associates offers?

These days, having a summer associate job doesn't guarantee an offer, so summer associates may have lower expectations. That said, rather than taking advantage of cheap summer labor, you should really put some thought into whether you should extend offers to any of your summer associates.

Here are some things to consider.

Sorry folks: no porn or leather this week. Instead, our weekly shout-out to the best law-related things on the Internet is a bit more tame, and some might say pragmatic. 

It's office attire. And a guy kicked out of court for his attire, which mocked the judge's ongoing ethics scandal. Plus, law graduates that can't afford attire. And more!

As always, if you have a suggestion for next week's roundup, tweet me @PeacockEsq.

This is a wee bit ridiculous.

New Orleans Attorney Stuart Smith, a notable environmental lawyer, apparently hates noise, fun, and cabaret shows. Robert Watters owns Rick's Cabaret and opposes strict noise ordinances in the French Quarter. On its own, this dispute is unremarkable.

Except Smith allegedly sent a text message to Watters and is now being charged with cyberstalking.

We've been talking about firm culture a bit, but haven't really defined the term. Think of it as your law firm's personality. While you've probably heard the concept of "lifestyle firm" when it comes the occasional BigLaw or MidLaw firm, you're probably wondering what that has to do with small law firms. Well, we're here to tell you that it is definitely important to small law firms.

Let's look at some ways law firm culture will play a larger role in your firm's business.

One of the more creative ideas I've had for advertising a law firm was to put a DUI law firm's phone number on bottle openers and either leave them on the counter at a liquor store or toss 'em into cases of beer at nearby stores. I never tried this -- it probably violates some ethical rule that I was too lazy to look up, but it seemed like a good idea in theory.

It's also a good idea, in theory for a law firm to mock a brewery's logo for advertising purposes: in this case, Sessions Law imitating Session Brewery. The best part is, the logo was not only used online, but it was also used on brown paper bag covers for beer cans, reports the ABA Journal. The brewery, unsurprisingly, is suing for trademark infringement.

We've talked a lot on this blog about how to give feedback to employees, but as we said on Friday, communication is a two-way street. Just as we have feedback for our employees, they may have some feedback of their own for us, or the firm as a whole. Hearing out your employees will lead to a happier firm workforce because your associates and staff will feel that their opinions are valued. Not only that, but they may have some good ideas too.

Here are four tips for how to accept feedback from your employees.

Porn. Dominatrices. Online privacy. Judges dropping F-bombs. And one badass Army Captain blogging about her experience with the JAG Corps.

Welcome to "Holler," a weekly piece where we'll give shout-outs to the best things we've seen that week in the legal blawgosphere. If any of those topics interest you, read on. And if you have a suggestion for next week's roundup, tweet me @PeacockEsq.

You may be sick of hearing Pharrell Williams' "Happy" by now, but you'd be lying if you said it didn't put a smile on your face, and a swing in your step -- at least when it first hit the radio waves. And, maybe it resonated with so many people because well, people like to be happy.

Even lawyers.

Earlier this week we read an article in Inc. about company culture hacks for a happier workplace. We were inspired, and decided to give their hacks a law firm twist -- especially considering lawyers seem to struggle with this "happy" thing just a bit. Here are five easy things you can do to make your law firm a happier place.

Relax folks: unless you are really successful, this proposed tax "reform" won't affect you.

Section 3301 of the Tax Reform Act of 2014 [PDF], as it is currently drafted, applies to personal services businesses with ten million dollars or more in annual gross receipts -- a figure most solos and small firms can only dream of. But if you're an attorney to the stars, or a small firm that does big business, or if inflation gets really bad, a mandated switch to accrual accounting, instead of cash accounting, will be a major pain in your behind.

Besides, even if you're solo now, who's to say that you won't team up, or make it big, at some point in the next few years?

Google Ventures, a leader in technological innovation, has adopted a rather simple way of keeping track of time during meetings -- the Magic Clock. Not really "magic," the term is borrowed from grade schools. Jake Knapp, a design partner at Google Ventures, saw it in his son's first grade classroom, and said, "I figured what worked for small children would probably work well for CEOs, too," reports Entrepreneur.

So that got us thinking, what else can we borrow from preschool and first grade methodology to make law firms run more efficiently? After all, we're just more articulate versions of our preschool selves, right? The key thing about preschool and first grade is that students' time is very structured. By adding more structure to your time, you may use the little time you have more efficiently.