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As a lawyer, it is your job to help clients navigate the confusing, and unforgiving, legal system. We lawyers can often forget that we provide a service, rather than a product, to our clients. If clients don't understand, or even know, what you're doing for them, then they are less likely to be pleased with what you are doing.

Typically, while clients appreciate and value good results, one of the most important aspects of pleasing (and keeping) clients is clear, simple communication. Given that the attorney's role is to provide legal services, keeping clients informed and clear about their options goes hand in hand with providing good, client-oriented services. It isn't always easy to remember that our jobs require serving our clients: not just doing what we think is best for them, but rather presenting the client with their options and asking how the client would like to proceed.

Small Firm Lawyer Reality Check: Is There Really a Key to Success?

It turns out there is no key to success.

It's just a metaphor to sell the idea that success can be achieved with one, quick turn. But it's a lie.

So how do you achieve success as a solo lawyer or small firm practitioner? According to extensive research, you need something more like a keychain.

What to Do When Clients Demand More for Less

Have you ever put something on Craigslist, only to have potential buyers low-ball you so low that "dirt cheap" sounded good?

Or, if you are from the last century, did you ever have a garage sale and somebody offered to take "that junk" off your hands for nothing?

That's the same kind of thing that happens with some clients -- the low-ballers who try to make you feel like they're doing you a favor. Here's how to respond: "No, thank you."

Niche Legal Practices Areas That Have Taken Off in Recent Years

The bad news is some practice areas are gone. The good news is others are taking their place.

According to reports, scores of new practice areas have evolved in recent years. Fifteen years ago, they didn't even exit.

It's a trend that gives attorneys opportunities that they've never seen before. Most have evolved out of emerging technologies, new legislation, and social changes. Here are some of the new niches:

Sessions' Pot Edict Could Be a Downer for Cannabis Lawyers

Remember when pot used to be...

Oh that's right, you don't remember when you use pot. But still, it used to be legal in an increasing number of states.

Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered his legal troops to take another look at enforcing marijuana laws, however, the good old days may be ending for attorneys who serve the cannabis industry.

Kick Off 2018 With New Customer Service Goals

So maybe you've already broken your New Year's resolution; it's alright. We live one day -- not one year -- at a time.

Progress usually occurs in small steps anyway. So let's start 2018 with the number one priority for improving a law business: better client service.

After all, what good is a new office, new technology, or new practice area without clients? Exactly. Here are some client service goals to consider:

If you're like most lawyers, you know that your very presence in the life of a client is a gift in and of itself. As such, when the holidays roll around, an unbilled phone call just to check in is probably as much of a gift as you really need to give any client. Unless, of course, your taxman tells you that you have some money to burn.

But, if you've been visited by the ghosts of Christmas, and you're in the giving spirit or just looking for some deductions, since you're not as rich as Scrooge, below you can find some tips on how to decide which clients to give gifts.

Crowdfund for a Worthy Legal Cause?

Lisa Walinske, an attorney, is not homeless. It just looks that way.

She's on a type of strike, living in a shack to raise money for a non-profit law firm to help homeless, poor and underprivileged people. But her 12-year-old son said she looks homeless.

"He's homeless," Walinske told a reporter while pointing to a bearded man in his 50s. "I'm trying to help him."

Being a lawyer means seeking justice on behalf of clients. However, lawyers understand that justice, particularly in the civil sense, is about dollars and cents, more so than justice.

When it comes to persuading a civil client that it is in their best interest to settle, a lawyer's role as a fiduciary can really complicate matters. To that end, it is the ever-constant duty of the attorney to remind the client of the business judgment rule of litigation. If it makes good business sense for a client, they should settle.

Below, you'll find 5 tips on how to persuade clients to settle by getting them to think like a business, and not a spurned individual.

For elder law attorneys, an unfortunate trend seems to be on the upswing among the client base: individuals over the age of 65 filing for bankruptcy. However, given that the number one cause of bankruptcies is medical debt, this makes a bit more sense.

As Forbes explained, the 65+ demographic now makes up a higher percentage of bankruptcy filers than it did a decade ago. Some speculate that the increase is due, at least in part, to the increased cost of health care over that same time. Notably, legislation was passed in 2005 to reform bankruptcy to reduce the number of filers, but has not been effective.