The Right Way To Brand Personal Injury Work, Promoting Without Pushing

The television show Better Call Saul may play on all the most egregious stereotypes of the personal injury lawyers, but isn’t there always some truth behind the stereotype? The fact is, some personal injury lawyers can be aggressive in their marketing tactics, and it’s a red flag that something is amiss, and savvy potential clients know to steer clear. Still, if you’re going to stand out from other personal injury firms, you need to show that you’re different from other firms. You need a strong brand. Establishing Your USP Marketing’s basic premise is that, in order to attract clients, you…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Be Aware of Warning Signs of Instability in Young Lawyers

  The facts shared this week in an open letter from the widow of a Sidley lawyer were shocking and heartbreaking.  The suicide of a 42-year-old partner in the LA office raised many issues of our responsibilities as lawyers to our colleagues. It was discovered too late that this suicide victim suffered from a form of perfectionism that created so much pressure, anxiety and insecurity that the only way out seemed to be to take his own life.  If those facts came as a complete shock to everyone around him, that would give those of us in the profession some relief.  It…

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Why Women Lawyers Should Consider Service on a Public Board or Commission

This week, a historic number of women were elected to Congress and a record number of women ran in and won other races nationwide. If I had to pick a single word to describe this situation, it would be this: awesome. We need more women and diverse voices in government. But what you may not have heard about in the coverage of the recent elections is that the need to increase the representation of women extends to unelected government positions as well.  In particular, women do not make up a fair proportion of the people serving on state and local…

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What does it mean to be a lawyer? Navigating disability and unexpected physical demands.

I was a scrappy lawyer. I always had enough energy to write another motion. I was a tough negotiator, willing to endure my adversaries’ insults and bullying.  I was versatile. Well, if that's what you call taking a depo in a Jiffy Lube employee break room because it's the most convenient place for the deponent to appear. Like so many of my peers, I prepped witnesses on weekends and took calls at all hours. I was never off limits. The job wasn’t always easy on my body, but when it came down to what I needed to do to win, I…

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Moving with the Military…and a Law License

     A lot of vacation days being taken at work to attend my husband’s important military events. Packing bags for both of us over and over again. Making lists at home-more than I ever made at work. Having the chance to explore an exciting new city. Networking with all types of awesome people near and far in various phases of their careers. Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 204.4…I never thought I would want to even think of a numbered Rule of Civil Procedure after that course in law school that tells us what day you have to respond to…

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Women at the Border: Resilient, Strong, Protectors

Fear, desperation, and hopes for a better life for their children drive women to the Mexican-U.S. border. Many women are fleeing domestic violence and gang violence that their own government has been unable to or refused to protect them and their children from. This leaves them no choice, but to escape. Even the smallest chance of a better life is worth the dangers they face traveling miles by foot, car, train, and bus. Most of the women I have met with, both at the border and, in my office, when they consult with me, have described a perilous journey- one that…

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Statistically Weeping: A Statement of Purpose

In my first installment of this column, I wrote about purpose. The first of many commandments for all law students - always remember your audience and your purpose. Of course, this concept goes beyond our legal research and writing. It can come into play through our work and experience in client representation and advocacy. I would argue this question is thought of in both public and private sectors. To some degree, we are always asking ourselves - who am I speaking to, and why am I speaking? After all, lawyers of every stripe have a point they need to make,…

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Friend or Foe? Technology in Our Everyday Lives: Habits

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, identity theft was the second biggest category of consumer complaints, comprising close to 14 percent of all consumer complaints received. To this point, are there any habits you have that may be putting your personal information at risk in public? Take a look at some examples below. Charging your phone in public ports While the convenience of a quick mobile phone charge in an airport or conference center lobby may seem benign, hackers can collect your information while your device is connected to a public power strip. It’s…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I need to start paying more attention to business development. But it’s very hard to keep up with that when I am really busy. And it’s not my favorite thing to do anyway. Are there things I can do to “force” myself to be more consistent about business development? A: It’s always easiest – and often essential – to do urgent things first. But as you realize, there can be a cost to letting business development languish. Here are some tips that may help: Set modest goals. Particularly if you are busy, it may be easier for you to…

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How I Got Over My Fear of Asking for Things for Me: I Treated Myself Like My Own Client

In my practice, I routinely ask for—nay demand—things on behalf of my clients without a second thought: produce the documents, dismiss the complaint, find in my client’s favor, etc. But, when it was time for me to take a step forward in my own career, I was startled to see how hard it was to ask for things for me. To be honest, it felt downright unnatural. This had always been a problem for me. I remember as a kid getting jealous when my mom came home from the store with a purchase for my sister. With rather sage advice…

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