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Logistics of Hiring Your First New Associate

If your firm is growing, it may soon be time to hire your first new associate. This sounds great, but beware: you should be cognizant that legal pitfalls await the employer who fails to properly navigate the small business legal labyrinth. Below, we introduce some of the very basics of new associate hiring.

Key Performance Indicator for Lawyers: Do Your Clients Like You?

Metrics are all the rage these days. Given the steady invasion of technology into our lives, it was only inevitable that metrics would impact the legal field. For example, now metrics can be used to measure you productivity (or non-productivity) at work.

Happily, lawyers offer a somewhat intangible good, so we cannot be measured quite so easily. The focus of legal metrics is, therefore, a bit more "touchy feely" than you might assume. The key performance indicators for lawyers don't simply boil down to billable hours.

The legal marketplace has changed dramatically over the last decade: the Great Recession halted the legal boom of the mid-aughts, putting a renewed focus on value and efficiency in BigLaw, while the rise of online legal services has undercut business that was once handled by smaller practitioners. But as the legal market has evolved, many firms haven't been able to keep up.

What's the reason so many firms are falling behind? Many of those at the top don't know how to do things differently and aren't willing to try.

Getting Money From Deadbeat Clients

It's the eternal struggle for solos. We've all been there. You render services, and you don't enforce the strict terms of the agreement. The client can't recharge her retainer because her transmission blew out, she had a family emergency -- we get it. She's out of money, or she has money and withholds payment.

No good deed goes unpunished and being the "nice" lawyer can cost you time and faith in humanity. Your lender certainly couldn't care less about your personal problems and negotiating your arrangement with them certainly won't end as favorably for you as it did your client. So, if you end up serving a deadbeat client who won't pay, what do you do?

The long July 4th weekend just passed, and if you were able to take our nation's birthday off, you might be thinking to yourself this Tuesday that a three-day weekend just isn't long enough. We agree. After all, your kids get the whole summer off. Even bar exam takers get a few weeks free after the test. We're pretty sure French lawyers get paid to spend six weeks on the Rivera every summer.

So don't feel left out. You too can take a vacation. Here's how to get it done, and how to make sure your practice doesn't suffer while you're out.

These Small Law Firms Already Practice Inside U.S. Walmarts

It's been a while since news came out that Canadian lawyers were offering legal services out of Walmarts. It was only a matter of time before Walmarts in the States began offering space for lawyers. As it turns out, this is already happening.

Not only are Walmart law firms here in the United States, but Georgia attorney Evan Kaine has been operating his Walmart office in Atlanta since 2012, according to the ABA Journal. By all accounts, it has been a successful venture for him, considering that he opened an additional two locations in Georgia last year.

You've hung your shingle. Now it's time to take it down. Whether you're retiring, moving across the country, joining another firm, or giving up on the law, you've decided to shutter your firm.

But closing a law firm isn't like shutting down any other business. You still have ethical responsibilities to take care of when closing up shop. Here's what you should do.

Is Business Slow for Your Solo Practice? Here's What to Do.

Every solo lawyer knows the anxiety of too few clients and too little business. Lawyers often complain about not having enough time in the day. But when free time actually does come around, they start to get worried.

If business is slow, you have to be proactive. For example, it may be time to start contacting past clients to seek a referral. But get ready to be rejected: people generally only want to see their lawyer when something has already gone wrong. Here are a few tips to help you get past your slow business slump.

Your business is growing and you're lucky enough to need another pair of hands to handle all the work. So you've hired an associate, hoping that by bringing on another attorney, you can take on bigger cases, generate bigger pay-outs, and help another lawyer start off their career.

But not all work relationships work out. Sometimes, you have to say goodbye to your associate hires -- or rather, "you're fired." Here's when you should let an associate go.

Lawyering in the age of Yelp can pose some tricky issues. No one likes to be reviewed like they were the neighborhood Thai restaurant, especially when the review is negative, or even false. But lawyers with online reviews are more likely to be hired.

And while online review sites have been around for more than a decade now, best practices and the law are both evolving. To help keep you up to date, here are the top five recent developments in online lawyer reviews, from the FindLaw archives.