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Make Your Law Firm a Great Place to Work

If you can't wait to get to the office, you probably work at a great law firm.

If you feel like your co-workers are trusted friends, you probably work at a great law firm.

If you don't care about how much money you're making, you probably work at a great law firm.

Whether you are an employee or an employer, there are some sure signs that you work at a great law firm. Making the firm great depends more on the people than the practice area or any other common denominator in the workplace. It's not about firm development; it's about people development.

Here are some tips:

You have to have an independent streak to start your own solo practice. But that doesn't mean you have to be totally alone in the venture. More and more lawyers are taking advantage of legal incubators, programs that provide training, guidance, and even office space for lawyers bootstrapping their own practice. In exchange, participants must often commit to public interest work, or "low bono" practice.

So, if you're considering starting your own firm, should you look in to an incubation program first?

Tips to Starting a Family Law Practice

So you actually want to start a family law practice? And you did not come to this decision because a friend or family member asked you to help with a divorce? You actually want to spend your life in the most emotional battle zone in law?

Just checking, because, if you didn't know it, there are good reasons why many lawyers run from practicing family law. It can be emotionally draining, financially challenging, and even dangerous to your health. Once you can accept that, it's not that hard to start a family law practice.

Here are some tips, but first a story to double-check your commitment:

If you're a solo practitioner, you might envy your colleagues who work with, well, colleagues. After all, working in a firm can mean more resources, more support staff, a larger reputation.

But not everyone finds firm life fulfilling. Take Fabian Lima. Lima left his solo practice for a small law firm in 2013, after seven years on his own. He missed his life as a solo practitioner though, so in 2015 he went back, creating his own one-man firm. So far, it's been a success.

Workplace Tips for Setting Up Small Law Firms

Tips are like opinions: everybody has one.

That's not a great spin of the original phrase, but at least it's printable. What we're really talking about here is spinning some new ideas on setting up a small law firm. Because, seriously, aren't we a little tired of the same old song?

Here are some twists on the typical tips:

Takeaway Tips From a Successful Client Meeting

If you're reading this piece about a first client meeting, you probably are a new lawyer or soon-to-be one. After all, an experienced lawyer would not likely read this because it would not be his or her first rodeo. But in the off-chance that you're a seasoned attorney looking for a few pointers or just killing time, let me at least entertain you.

This is a story about a memorable first client meeting, about twenty years ago. It's a good one, and there are probably some pointers here and there.

3 Things to Look for When Looking for Law Office Space

Location, location, location. If only it were so simple.

You could ask Siri or Google to find your new law office space. Unfortunately, your virtual assistant might lead you to an office supply or office furniture store or some other non-starter. Until artificial intelligence can read minds, you likely will need to keep some practical and legal things in mind when searching for the right office space.

Future Law Career: Privacy Law Specialist?

To think that a good privacy lawyer could possibly have saved the election for Hillary Clinton ...

After hackers got into her email, it was the beginning of the end for the presidential nominee. A few non-secure messages, an ill-timed FBI press release, a really bad connection to a guy named Weiner, and the rest is history.

We could what-if the Clinton situation all day, but the point is that people need privacy protection more than ever. And so the Information Age is giving birth to a new legal creature: the privacy law specialist.

Solo Expansion: Making the Giant Leap to Small Firm

Every solo attorney has at least entertained the idea of expanding from a single person operation into a full-fledged law firm. Dreams are good, but expansion should only be undertaken if you have a plan in place.

Here are a few tricks to help you create your plan for growth.

How Much Do Solo Lawyers Really Make? This May Surprise You.

Perhaps you're feeling good about last month's bar exam and you're certain that you passed. Should you take that job with the mid-size firm or should you go solo? Well, the latter choice is a little hard to pin down. Incomes are such a touchy thing these days.

How much do solos make? More than you'd think, apparently. But hold it -- what does "make" mean, anyway?