Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


How and When Not to Write a Brief

They say two wrongs don't make a right, and that explains how and when not to write a brief.

Attorney Dennis McCoobery learned that lesson the hard way. First he failed to file a brief, then he drafted a fake one to cover up the mistake.

That's not how you write a brief, and there is a point when it's just too late.

Law firms, like any business that relies on individual customers or clients, might want to lean into Valentine's Day before it's too late. And thanks to social media, even if you forgot to plan anything, you can still do something.

To that end, if you're confused on how to get social media marketing right on Valentine's Day, below you can get a few tips on what to do.

Checking In: How Are You Doing With Those New Year's Resolutions?

By now, most people have blown their New Year's resolutions.

Actually, only half of all Americans even make resolutions. The other half, on average, fail in the first month.

Of course, lawyers are not your average Americans. They just start a new billing cycle.

According to recent reports, 2018 was a great year for law firms. Net income, profits per partner, rate growth, demand, and productivity all increased.

The actual percentages of each metric above may not have reached record highs, but as the ABA Journal notes, this may be the best year for many firms in a decade. In one survey, it was reported that 61 percent of firms saw an increase in demand, year over year, and over 70 percent had increased profits per partner.

What to Do When You Make a Mistake in Law Practice

In case you haven't learned, you are wrong.

It's as universally true as the Earth is the center of the universe. By the way, everybody except Copernicus used to believe that. Of course, they were wrong.

So unless you are Copernicus, it's a good idea to admit that you are wrong -- at least sometimes. In life and in law practice, it is the beginning of understanding.

AI Lawyers Making Work for the Rest of Us

Herman and Lara are "AI lawyers," the newest breed of specialists in the law.

They work for AirHelp, a company that helps airline passengers resolve legal claims for refunds and damages from cancelled flights. Herman reviews travel claims, and Lara handles more complex cases.

The thing is, they are robots. If that makes you nervous, relax. It's not like you wanted their jobs anyway.

Are Your Legal Forms Gender Biased?

Lawyers reuse letters, pleadings, and legal docs all the time. A quick copy and paste, coupled with a find and replace ... It's part of practicing. Sometimes, we even borrow language we like from other lawyers and cases.

But more often than any practitioner would like to admit, copy and paste errors, usually in the form of omissions, occur. You know exactly the error being described here. When you forget to paste over the last client's name that was used on a form, or forget to change a pronoun.

And on the subject of pronoun confusion, depending on how you set up your forms, your boilerplate could be expressing gender bias without you ever even realizing it.

Local news out of San Antonio, Texas, is reporting that the first lawsuit to allege cyberbullying under David's Law, the state's anti-cyberbullying law for school kids, has been filed.

Fortunately, the case does not involve a teen suicide, as in the namesake's case. Rather, the bullied student was voted "most likely to shoot up the school" on social media by other kids in the school, and from there, things went from bad to much worse, before his dad decided to pull him out and file this lawsuit.

Unless your firm hasn't done any hiring in the last decade, you've probably noticed that the Millennial Shift has happened.

We've hit that point where Millennials are now entering leadership positions at all levels in great numbers, and with that, more law firm employers need to be mindful of shifting their policies and practices to be more in tune with what the generation's top talent really wants, and no, it's not foosball, nor ping-pong, though both are delightful pastimes. Below, you can get a few tips to keep and attract top Millennial talent.

Do You Feel Pain or Gain From Changing Firms?

Body builders -- not lawyers -- made up the expression, "no pain, no gain."

There are some mutual truths, however. Lawyers inflict pain, and they usually gain in the process.

Of course, that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the pain or gain of changing firms.