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

Recently in Practice Support & Services Category

As lawyers, we can receive up to 100 emails per day -- and that's on a slow day. Keeping track of so much email, and maintaining a clutter-free inbox can be a big job in itself -- before you actually even get to the content of the email messages.

How many of you have received an email that you weren't quite sure how to interpret? You're not alone. Without the benefit of the messenger's tone of voice, or expression, we end up projecting a tone on to the email message based on what we see on the computer screen.

Ramadan is coming. And for those that fast, this is probably the worst time of year for Ramadan. With daylight hours clocking in at almost 15 hours of the day, Ramadan (always difficult) is especially hard during summer.

So, as an attorney that is working at a fast pace for much of the day, how do you fulfill your religious obligations, while also fulfilling your professional and ethical obligations?

Last week, we read about an article discussing the fine line between having the right amount of stuff on your plate to avoid boredom, and being too busy. That elusive place in the middle was dubbed the "sweet spot" by The Wall Street Journal, and accompanied by a snazzy graphic (see below).

That got us thinking, how can lawyers find that elusive sweet spot? Here are our tips for finding that stress sweet spot and avoiding both boredom and overload.

So much of what we write about at FindLaw has to do with giving advice to attorneys -- but what about your clients?

We recently heard about a judge who lost his cool and yelled at a woman convicted of violently killing her boyfriend and stated "I hope you die in prison!" Apparently, it's not the first time he's said that to someone either, according to The Huffington Post. So what led him to make this outburst? The woman's disrespectful conduct: she interrupted the victim's aunt, snickered and rolled her eyes.

The judge was not amused.

Should Your Client Take Acting Lessons?

Oscar Pistorius, now on trial for murdering his girlfriend, has become famous for his outward signs of grief and anguish, including weeping and throwing up. Are the tears genuine? Is the vomit mere crocodile vomit? Who can tell? But he is putting on such a show that he's just been accused of taking acting lessons.

Huh, Acting Lessons? Good idea?

Should your client take acting lessons? Let's answer that question with a question, a question likely to be asked by opposing counsel. That question is, "Is it true that in preparation for your testimony here today, you took acting lessons?!?!"

Internet Lawyer Marketing? Let's Do It Effectively.

The Internet is now the most popular way for people to find a lawyer.

According to a new survey from FindLaw, this is a big change from just a few years ago. In 2005, only 7% of people would have used the Internet, while 65% would have asked a friend or relative. Nowadays, only 29% would ask a friend or relative, while 38% would use the Internet. Ten percent would consult a local bar association, and just 4% would consult the Yellow Pages. (However, 15% already have a relationship with a lawyer and wouldn't need to research one. The survey has a margin of error of 3%.)

Looking at those numbers, I'm almost starting to think that this new-fangled Internet fad is here to stay. So, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Are you using the Internet to market your firm effectively? Here are three ways to create or polish your net presence.

Starting Out in Criminal Defense? Here Are Some Mistakes to Avoid

You'd think that for $100,000 dollars or so, law schools would teach you everything you need to know to hang out your shingle and start out in criminal defense, but it just ain't so. Hopefully you've got good mentors, good practice guides and good malpractice insurance.

In case you have all of the above but could use a few more tips, here are a few criminal law "gotchas" you'll want to avoid.

Stronger than all the armies is an idea whose time has come. ... The time has come for equality of opportunity in sharing in government, in education, and in employment. It will not be stayed or denied. It is here.

--Senator Everett Dirksen, minority leader in 1964, on the Civil Rights Act of 1964

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which passed "on the backs of Northern Democrats and Republicans" by a vote of 73-27 in the Senate, and 289-126 in the House, reports CNN. As he announced the passage of the Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson stated, "It does say that there are those who are equal before God shall now also be equal in the polling booths, in the classrooms, in the factories," says CNN.

As we honor this momentous piece of legislation, we look at some of our posts dealing with handling discrimination claims and litigation.

I once had a car, a 1986 Nissan Pulsar NX, that had no keys. The ignition was started with a screwdriver, and the doors were always unlocked. I had this car for more than two years before it was towed away by the city.

Imagine an estimated two-thirds of your Internet accounts being that car. This, my friends, is Heartbleed, which has left the doors open since 2011. And the locksmiths are taking their time going around and changing the locks.

Here are a few tips for managing this minor crisis:

As the use of visual aids and technology during litigation increases, it's imperative that you keep up with presentation trends so that you can use all the tools available to you to persuade a jury. Increasingly, attorneys need to hone their design skills as PowerPoint presentations move away from bullet points, to graphics.

Here are some tips and resources for you to upgrade your PowerPoint skills.

1. Keep It Minimal

You want your slides to be easy to see and free of clutter. Don't rely on too much text because you should never read your slides. Instead, highlight key terms and be prepared to elaborate.