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We don't often look across the pond for advice on making 'Merica's legal industry great. We took the Magna Carta, some common law, and haven't felt the need to look back since 1776. But maybe there's a thing or two American lawyers can learn from their English counterparts, at least when it comes to the structure of the "law firm of the future."

A recent debate among English practitioners about the future of the firm has plenty of good insights for American lawyers. Perhaps the most helpful reminder: when it comes to clients, no one cares about law firm structure. What they want is results.

Here in Silicon Valley, it's not uncommon to see a tech millionaire zip by in their new electric Tesla sportscar, or to see those millionaire's secretaries sending gas money to their carpool through PayPal. Kids dream of privatized space travel; commuters long for super high speed rail.

Elon Musk, the tech mogul, has his fingers everywhere here. The former CEO of PayPal, Musk took his billions and spread them around through a variety of future-focused enterprises, from Tesla cars, to SpaceX, to hyperloop transit. He's quickly reached Steve Jobs cult-status.

We've often said small firms and solos need to think about their work as both a profession and a business. Part of business success is looking at business leaders. With that in mind, here's what lawyers can learn from Elon Musk, both in his triumphs and failures:

Always remember to say thank you -- even when you're a high rolling attorney. You should especially remember to thank other lawyers who send business your way. These referrals can be an important source of clients and are definitely worth a sign of gratitude.

But what's the best way to say thanks? A card, a car, an ethics violation? Here are some ideas on the best ways to give thanks for a referral:

Maintaining client relationships is just one the many jobs overseen by small firms or solo lawyers. While face-to-face attention is always best, you don't have to do all your glad-handing by hand. Client relationship management software can help make your client connections and marketing efforts run more smoothly and seamlessly.

But what, if any, CRM program is right for your practice? Here's a quick overview to help you tailor your CRM to your firm.

Sharks swim, weasels burrow, lawyers argue -- it's simply the natural order of things. Yet some abominations, "disruptive innovators" they call themselves, would seek to abandon this system that's worked so well for at least several hundred years.

Indeed, these innovative monsters think it's time lawyers focus on collaborating with, instead of crushing, others. Particularly, they want lawyers to cooperate with, or at least stop opposing, non-lawyer direct-to-consumer legal service companies. Do they have a point?

A seasoned criminal defense attorney might be able to charge $500 an hour with a $20,000 retainer, but there's only so many murdersome millionaires to go around. A recent law school grad, without an established reputation for success, won't be able to bill at anything near the same rate. Does that mean she should drop her rates to the bottom of the barrel? No way.

Setting fees means finding the going rates in your area, then positioning yourself somewhere within the acceptable range -- the Goldilocks spot allowing you to cover costs, make money, and attract clients. Go too high and you won't have many clients. Go too low, however, and you could find yourself severely undercharging for your legal services, even if you're still able to put food on the table.

It's a good time to be a woman in the legal profession. That is, at least when it comes to awards and accolades, if not equity-partnerships. Five female legal trailblazers were honored last Sunday with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards. That ceremony came just a week after Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers announced the 50 best law firms for women.

So, if you're looking to follow in the footsteps of great lawyers, and looking for the right firm to do it in, pay attention. Here's a look at the women and firms on top of the legal world.

We're in the middle of a crowdfunding golden age. Individuals have raised thousands of dollars to make potato salad ($55,000), create inflatable Lionel Richie sculptures ($12,500), and conduct a squirrel census ($9,000). When it comes to fundraising, it seems like people are just giving money away.

Should lawyers and litigants looking to finance a suit hop on the crowdfunding train? What about working with litigation investment companies? The answer, of course, is maybe. While crowdfunding has been used successfully, litigation investment poses significant ethical risks for lawyers.

You're more of a Perry Mason style lawyer than a Johnnie Cochrane, more Clarence Thomas than Antonin Scalia. You save the speechifying for the court room, leave the impassioned arguments in your briefs.

But, when it comes to dealing with reporters, you might be doing yourself and your clients a disservice by staying mum -- or worse, by speaking poorly. Don't miss an opportunity to represent your clients (and yourself) in the court of public opinion as well as you do in a court of law. Here are three mistakes attorneys often make when dealing with reporters and how you can avoid them:

Money isn't the only reason attorneys show up for work, but it's at least one of the main motivators. You may have joined the legal profession out of a sense of justice, but few lawyers' Atticus Finch dreams alone can pull them through another day of motion practice. That's the job of cash.

Compensation matters. But how you compensate your firm, or how your firm compensates you, can vary greatly from practice to practice. A good firm compensation scheme keeps lawyers satisfied and supports firm objectives. A messy compensation scheme causes division which can threaten the productivity of the firm. So, how do you get the first while avoiding the later?