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Tips for Your Law Firm Social Media Policy

Have you ever seen a retraction or correction of a news story?

They are rare and often inconspicuous when they do appear. After all, nobody likes to highlight their mistakes.

The real problem, however, is that retractions and corrections do little to erase false impressions that have already been published. Words -- especially in the social media world of instant publication -- are very hard to take back.

For this reason alone, law firms must have social media policies.

House Republicans are considering a new bill that could drastically curtail class action litigation. The proposed law, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017, was introduced earlier this month by Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, the current chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill would enact several major changes to the way class actions are currently litigated, including by limiting attorney's fees and narrowing the types of plaintiffs that can be grouped in a class. Needless to say, it's not winning much support from the plaintiffs bar.

What's the Most Lucrative Practice Area for a New Solo Lawyer?

The most lucrative practice is not the one that makes the most dollars, grasshopper. It is rather the practice that makes the most sense.

OK, so that's not a real Chinese proverb. But David Carradine wasn't a real Kung Fu master either. The point is, legal career consultants agree that if you want to make money and be happy, choose a practice area that you like.

After all, money doesn't buy happiness, right? It just buys the things that make you happy.

Enough with the pseudo philosophy already, here are some booming practice areas for new lawyers:

Tips for Hiring a Law Student for Your Firm

"I am not the source of knowledge. I am a guide to it."

That's how I introduced myself to students when I taught law school. I was explaining my teaching philosophy:

"In this laboratory of learning, we discover more when we participate together because collectively we know much more than any one person."

This philosophy was especially true when I taught students in the school's externship program, monitoring their progress as they worked in the legal community. Allow me to offer a few tips about hiring law students from that perspective.

Are Solo Lawyers Entrepreneurs?

There is a debate raging among lawyers about whether solo practitioners are entrepreneurs. But come on now, in the immortal words of Rodney King, "Can we all just get along?"

As Black History Month reminds us of the more divisive issues of our times, are we really debating the entrepreneurial nuances of law practice? With apologies to Allen Iverson, we're talking about practice! We're talking about practice! We're talking about practice!

Somewhere between the sublime and the ridiculous -- which is the internet -- legal minds are dissing each other about the difference between a lawyer who hangs out his shingle and a person who bakes cupcakes. Here, mercifully, is a summary:

'The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax,' Albert Einstein once said. We'd say, though, that any lawyer who can figure out the Rule Against Perpetuities or the proper use of Latin legalisms can probably handle tax season.

That doesn't mean you won't need help though. We're no accountants, but we do have a few tips to aid solo practitioners and small firm lawyers during these trying times. Here's some of our best, from the FindLaw archives.

Consider the traditional law firm service model officially disrupted. According to a new study, a sizable majority of companies are now using some sort of "alternative legal service provider," moving away from the classic model where a firm guides every aspect of a legal matter.

In today's legal market, "consumers of legal services find themselves beneficiaries of a new and growing number of nontraditional service providers that are changing the way legal work is getting done." And it's not just companies that are getting nontraditional legal services from a variety of providers. Firms, too, have begun integrating alternative legal services into their practices, the report finds, both as consumers and providers of the services.

Referrals can be an important source of business for your law firm, as other lawyers recommend your firm for clients they cannot take or cases they won't handle. John can't take a personal injury case because he has no time? He may hand it over to Sally. Sally does do divorce but has a client who needs family law services? She may send him to Jim. You get the idea.

But referrals don't happen out of the blue. They're based on relationships, reputations, and connections that need to be built and fostered. Here are some tips on how to get started, from the FindLaw archives.

If you're a solo practitioner, you might envy your colleagues who work with, well, colleagues. After all, working in a firm can mean more resources, more support staff, a larger reputation.

But not everyone finds firm life fulfilling. Take Fabian Lima. Lima left his solo practice for a small law firm in 2013, after seven years on his own. He missed his life as a solo practitioner though, so in 2015 he went back, creating his own one-man firm. So far, it's been a success.

Death of the Billable Hour Rumors Are Coming True

According to reports, the billable hour may go the way of the dinosaur.

Still adjusting to market downturns and evolving technologies, law firms need to make changes in their practices that also change the way they bill for services. If they don't adapt, reports say, they will not survive.

The 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market says that the death of the billable hour has been "one of the most potentially significant, though rarely acknowledged, changes of the past decade."

"Although firms still technically bill a majority of their work on a billable hour basis, budget caps imposed by clients mean that as much as 80 percent to 90 percent of law firm work is now done effectively outside of the traditional billable hour model," according to Thomson Reuters, which prepared the report with The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at the Georgetown University Law Center.