Practice Support & Services for Small Law Firms - Strategist
Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Recently in Practice Support & Services Category

Many of us are perfectly happy to practice in a limited geographic area. But, given the increasingly interconnected nature of today's world (the Internet, cheap airfare, free trade), it's not uncommon for attorneys to be faced with cross-border issues. We're not talking state lines here. This is international.

Cross-border disputes can soon be followed by cross-border discovery. And despite the "flattening" of the world, there are major differences between American-style discovery and international systems, particularly when it comes to data protection and privacy. Thankfully, plenty of international adventurers, or just lawyers, have gone before you and left some tips behind to help guide your way.

Society seems to be getting more diverse every day. If you're not convinced, just check out the array of bar associations in your area. You'll find that there's a bar association or committee for practically every geographic location, ethnicity, and legal practice area you can imagine.

Did you know there's even a National Cannabis Bar Association? That's right, a bar association dedicated to cannabis! Formed recently by a group of San Francisco-based lawyers (no surprise there, right?), the association seeks to bring the legal marijuana manufacturing sector into the mainstream.

Pot isn't your thing? That's okay. You can still experiment with getting high by joining the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.

If you're a personal injury attorney, you know that liens can play a significant role in obtaining a favorable resolution for your client. But where should you start when dealing with personal injury liens? What's the best strategy for negotiating and reducing liens? Should you handle hospital, insurance and med pay liens differently?

Don't worry, FindLaw has the answers. FindLaw's attorney writers have just released new and updated personal injury lien resources to help guide attorneys through the process. Here's a quick overview:

The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep to Your Practice

"I need to finish this brief by tomorrow. I can get by on a few hours of sleep." Except not really. Getting a good night's sleep can affect your performance as a lawyer -- and your practice.

It's easy for us to rationalize sleep as something that's optional, but in reality, it's incredibly important. For the sake of your job, don't skimp on sleep!

Keeping abreast of legal developments, picking up some management skills, learning about new legal tech or marketing strategies -- these are just some of the benefits of making sure you have continuous professional development. After all, in an industry that evolves every time a new case is decided, lawyers can't stay idle. Attorneys have an obligation to keep up their professional development.

But what are you to do if you're a solo practitioner or your firm doesn't offer a formal (or just good) professional development program? Fret not. There's plenty of P.D. opportunities out there for you. Here's five places to find them:

TR Products Win in National Law Journal Survey

Big Orange is the winner! Earlier this month, The National Law Journal published its fourth annual readers' best of rankings. Westlaw, one of our sister companies under the Thomson Reuters umbrella, took home the top "Legal Research Provider" designation, while FindLaw earned honors for "social media consultancy for law firms."

That's not all, though: Several products in the TR family also won awards.

Mental Health Courts: A Continuing Trend

As if regular courts weren't enough, South Carolina has voted to expand the state's mental health courts, reported the South Carolina newspaper The State.

Since their inception in the late 1990s, various states have implemented mental health courts, with great success. They take the position that criminal violations based on mental illness should be treated as a mental health problem, not a penal one. Will this trend continue?

3 Mistakes Lawyers Make Responding to ESI Requests

Electronic discovery is the name of the game these days as more and more people and companies store their stuff in the form of bytes, not pages. That means that lawyers need to know how electronic discovery works (and in some places, that's an ethical requirement).

Even so, nobody's perfect, and replying to requests for ESI can cause headaches. When you're responding to an ESI request, take caution to avoid these three mistakes.

After a long interview process, you've just hired some new associates. Congrats! Now it's time to get to work.

As you invest hours and other resources into training your new associates, you'll want to make sure they stay long enough to provide a good return on your investment. Still, despite your best efforts, some new associates may not stick around for very long, for various reasons.

Keep an eye out for these three warning signs that your new associates may be looking to stray:

Virtual Law Office 102: Which Web-Conferencing Software Do You Need?

If you're not meeting your clients in person, then your options are limited: phone or videoconferencing.

The problem with videoconferencing is the competing standards. There's (deep breath): Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, WebEx, and more. Some are mobile-friendly, some are not. Some are great for Apple users, some are better for Windows users.

Your best bet is to be familiar with all the standards, just in case your client is a die-hard adherent to single platform. And if not, there is an up-and-coming cross-platform standard that is compatible with nearly everything.