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Is It Time to Grow Your Marijuana Practice?

Is it too cheesy to say that the pot practice is growing like a weed?

Hey, it is what it is. Marijuana actually does grow like a weed and some lawyers are riding high on its popularity.

According to a CBS poll, support for legalized marijuana is growing. More than 60 percent of Americans think it should be legal for recreational use and 88 percent favor it for medical use.

While representing marijuana "drug dealers" may have been a stigma a decade ago, more civil attorneys have emerged from the shadows and are competing for marijuana business clients. Legal developments have helped.

More Lawyers Use Social Media, but Don't Know How It Helps

Almost all lawyers use social media but few know how it helps their practice, according to a new survey.

Attorney at Work, reporting results of its third annual social media marketing survey, said that 96 percent of the respondents regularly use social media. But barely seven percent believe social media is directly responsible for bringing in new clients.

And while more lawyers are using sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, they don't really know whether social media marketing is more reality or hype.

The disconnect seems to be that most attorneys don't know how to use social media to get new business. Here are some ideas:

Pros and Cons of Being a General Practitioner

People used to ask me, "What kind of a lawyer are you?"

"A good one," I liked to reply. It usually brought a smile, and always brought a follow-up question: "No, like, what kind of law do you practice?"

In the law practice world, clients seem to expect that lawyers have a specialty. It almost goes without saying, but here goes anyway: there are pros and cons to being a general practitioner.

Millennials, those 18-to-34-year-olds born after Generation X, are now the largest generation in America. They make up about a quarter of the U.S. population and more than a third of the current workforce. And as Millennials come into their own, they're becoming an increasingly important part of the legal consumer market.

But Millennials aren't your traditional legal consumers, according to a new study by FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing, and they need a marketing approach tailored just to them.

Choosing Your Market, Not the Low-Hanging Fruit on Your Client List

If you're like me, you go to the produce section with a list.

That's because usually my wife tells me what I want: avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, apples, and bananas. It's all good because at least I know I'm getting the right stuff.

But once in a while, I wander through the produce section with that rare air of knowing I can buy anything I want. Today I'm getting peanuts -- in the shell, roasted and salted!

So that's what marketing for your law firm will be like in the future. You will get to choose your practice area, and not just take the low-hanging fruit on your client list.

Landing Clients From BigLaw Firms

Everybody knows that David slew Goliath, so how could that story be an analogy for solo attorneys and big firm lawyers working together?

It's not gonna happen, unless you change the story like this: David knocked down Goliath, and then they respectfully formed a partnership; or David only challenged Goliath, and then they agreed to give each other referrals.

So don't read too much in this story, "How a David Can Partner with Goliath." There are some lessons solo practitioners can learn from the classic tale, however.

The millennium used to be considered a bad thing. Millenarians in 899, 1199, and 1299 thought the ticking of the clock would soon bring a Final Judgment and the beginning of the Apocalypse. In 1999, we all worried that the New Year, and the Y2K bug, would send airplanes falling from the sky.

Now, of course, when we think about the millennium, we think much less about gloom and doom and much more about Millennials, the largest living generation in the United States right now. And instead of marking the end of the world, these kids can be the future of your firm. If you know how to reach them.

Jacoby & Myers Loses Appeal to Associate Nonlawyer Investors

How many lawyers does it take to own a law firm?

One -- the rest are banks, landlords, and service providers who own everything that keeps the practice afloat.

So it's not a good lawyer joke, but comedy is sometimes born of sobering truth and many attorneys know the challenges of struggling to stay in business. If only there were an investor ...

It's not going to happen, according to a federal appeals court. Not even Jacoby & Myers, the poster boys of law firm expansion, could persuade the judges that attorneys should be able to reduce costs to clients by sharing ownership with non-lawyers.

You spend your days dealing with divorces, or insurance claims, or digging through millions of pages of discovery. Then, when it comes time to head to an industry mixer, you're expected to make small talk with strangers about -- what? Sports? The weather? You'd rather not.

But if small talk is a big obstacle to you, your business could hurt. After all, networking can be key to bringing in clients and building your name. So, to help you out, here are some quick tips to improving your casual conversation skills and overcoming your disdain for small talk.

Things aren't what they used to be. Today's lawyers face a constantly shifting legal landscape. Technology has made it possible to run a paperless law firm, to outsource tasks across the globe, or to find yourself swamped in endless eDiscovery. The internet has made it easier for people to find (and review) lawyers online, but it has also empowered clients to demand more for less. Meanwhile, growing corporate legal departments are handling more tasks in house, while smaller clients are increasingly seeking out DIY solutions.

Is your practice ready for this "new normal"? Take one quick quiz to find out.