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Must-Have Credentials for Your Law Career

This blog is not about writing a resume. It's about getting the right stuff on your resume.

Once you have completed law school and started practicing law, your career tends take a natural course. Hard work, opportunities, and even challenges will shape your future.

But you can better control that future by adding credentials in two areas: writing and speaking. They really are not that hard to do, and they can help steer your career in the direction you want it to go.

Talcum Powder Cases: Lawyer Advertising Done Right?

A jury has awarded $110 million in another talcum powder-cancer case, a further indictment against Johnson & Johnson and an endorsement for lawyer advertising.

Attorneys rarely get public approval for their ads, especially when it comes to late-night solicitations, but this time it is paying off in more than dollars. The latest nine-figure award is only one of many cases -- about 2,000 nationwide -- that have made the public aware of the dangers of using talcum powder.

Louis Slemp, a Virginia woman who was diagnosed in 2012 with ovarian cancer that spread to her liver, could not attend the trial because of her illness. In a deposition testimony played to the jury, she said she used the talcum products for more than 40 years.

"I trusted Johnson & Johnson," she said. "Big mistake."

How to Save Client Relations If a Case Goes Over Budget

When it comes to going over a client's budget, there really are two sides to the coin.

On one side, you have a client who is not happy with the bill. On the other side, you have a lawyer with a potential client problem. Either way, we're talking about money.

The trick to saving the client relationship -- and not losing money -- is to add value. It means you have to invest in the relationship.

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.