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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Happy New Year! This month, I am going to ask the questions. With the start of a new year and the conclusion of the annual associate evaluation process at many firms, it is a great time to take stock. The questions below are designed to help you reflect on the past year and get off to a strong start in 2019.  What were your work highs and lows last year? Start with a high-level “fly-over” of the past year. What stands out? And are there any trends or patterns that warrant a closer look? Think about successes and what you…

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Four Expenses That May Not Be in Your Law Firm’s Budget

Running a successful law firm requires you to attract and retain clients as well as to provide exceptional service on a consistent basis. More than that, you need to properly manage your law firm’s budget and finances so that you regularly operate in the black. Unfortunately, there are several expenses that are common in law firm operations and that may be easy to overlook. As you review and update your law firm’s budget, consider if these commonly-overlooked expenses may need to be incorporated in your firm's financial plan.   Equipment Repairs and Replacements A typical law firm has many types…

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Interview with Jacques Anderson, Counsel at The Players’ Tribune - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

I’m excited to introduce Jacques Anderson, Legal Counsel at The Players’ Tribune. A graduate of Harvard Law and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Jacques Anderson worked as a Mergers and Acquisition Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates prior to joining The Players’ Tribune in 2018.   Welcome, Jacques! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I was hoping you could share with me your path to The Players’ Tribune. Did you have an interest in sports during your undergraduate and law school education? Jacques: At a high-level, entering the…

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You Don’t Own This, So Don’t Let it Own You

I had just arrived in the office, dumped my bags at my desk, and sprinted down the hall. I had to find my boss. I needed to tell her about a call I received from a client in the middle of the night that made my heart race and jaw clench. It involved an urgent, immediate, life-altering matter that couldn’t wait until morning, and I had to give the kind of legal advice that you ruminate about for hours after you hang up the phone. I found my boss sitting at her desk and scanning through her email. I knocked…

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Best Career Advice for “Becoming” My Best Self

During her Becoming book tour, First Lady Michelle Obama chronicled her career and professional and personal challenges. Though in a large arena, her deeply personal stories, which usually ended in sage advice, felt like they were spoken directly to me. One such piece of advice is actually the #1 piece of career advice I ever received. After sharing that she brought her four month old daughter to an interview in which she unapologetically negotiated for the salary and benefits she desired, she admonished women in the room to stop hiding everything about ourselves and start bringing those things to the…

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Tips for Passing the Bar Exam in an Additional Jurisdiction (CA & NY)

First of all, be damn sure there's no other way for you to get admitted to the second jurisdiction without taking the bar exam. It's not exactly a blast to spend summer days seeking out a seat in the public library (although I did see some interesting sights, including a security guard tasked with waking people up with an umbrella. And no, I did not learn that first hand, I'm proud to say.) I didn't find a way around taking the entire bar again in NY (people still tell me I missed a workaround). A good strategy employed by a colleague of…

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A JD Preferred Career Cocktail Recipe & Toast

Sigh, this is my final post for Ms. JD as a 2018 Writer in Residence.  I want to close with a dose of good cheer and optimism for your career, in 2019 and beyond, by offering up a career cocktail recipe and toast to send you off merrily into the New Year! First, allow me to give due credit to the source of my inspiration for this post.  I have not met or spoken with Cheryl Rich Heisler, who runs Chicago-based Lawternatives (a career consultancy), but I watched her entertaining and insightful webinar from the ABA Alternative Career Advice Series entitled ‘Pouring Over…

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How To Optimize A New Law Firm’s Website

Gone are the days when lawyers would rely on traditional advertising and referrals to spread the word about their practice. Instead, the internet has stepped into the role of loyal clients that recommend a law firm, and lawyers can now use online locals to market themselves. As such, law firms are taking the right steps to consolidate their online presence and enhance the outlook and functionalities of their websites.   Talk to SEO Experts The best way a law firm can ensure that its web pages pop up whenever a potential client is searching for an attorney online is to…

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Serving the Public Interest: Should You Become a Public Interest Lawyer?

Public interest lawyers play an important role in society. Choosing this position means making an active choice to sacrifice your time and money to help others, but it also means giving yourself a chance to make a real change. If you're considering this type of position, you may want to look at the factors that will hold sway over your professional life. Do You Have a Desire to Serve? The most important question to ask yourself about a public interest job is whether or not you have the drive to serve. This is often the type of law that those…

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Can the Contingency Fee Structure Work with Business Cases?

Fee structure is an important consideration when going into your own practice. Traditionally, your practice areas dictate how you got paid. Attorneys who work with private individuals typically work with on a contingency basis. Attorneys who work with businesses, on the other hand, generally work on retainers and/or hourly fees. But there are some attorneys who are taking the contingency approach with corporate clients. Can this fee structure work? Is it even advisable? A Growing Need Contrary to popular belief, not all corporations have unlimited sources of wealth. Corporations with limited resources are often forced to endure injustices because they…

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