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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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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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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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5 Reasons Why Mentoring Is Good for Mentors

     Lack of mentorship for female attorneys is often cited as one of the reasons that women still have not achieved parity in the legal profession. Most of the time when people talk about mentoring, however, the focus is on the benefits that such a relationship offers to the mentee. As a new partner, I certainly appreciate this since I know that, without good mentors, I never would have made it. Still, I have been struck over the last year how much relationships with younger lawyers have benefitted me in positive way. I have always believed in the idea…

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Should You Have a Niche for Your Practice?

Many law schools are telling students to “find their niche.” Some students take it to heart, while others prefer to take a more general approach to their practice. Whether or not you choose a niche is a personal decision. But it’s important to understand the advantages and potential disadvantages of specializing in a particular field of law. Understanding Niche and Micro-Niche Practices Today, we have niche and micro-niche law practices. The differences between the two are subtle but important. Here’s an example: Niche Practice: Personal injury lawyer Micro-Niche Practice: Mesotheliomia lawyer As you can see, a micro-niche is very specific,…

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3 Lawsuits That can Have Drastic Consequences For New Business

New business owners face many obstacles in their efforts to establish and maintain a new business. A few of these obstacles are controlling spending, making good hires, and fighting for market share with competitors. However, lawsuits from customers, former employees, or other business owners is a significant obstacle that is often overlooked.   Wrongful Termination   New hires are an important part of the growth strategy of any new and expanding company. However, business owners much take time to assure they make excellent hires for a variety of reasons.   Employees who feel they have been dismissed of job duties…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Have a burning question about your career? Just send an e-mail here or tweet to @babysharklaw. I will answer in a future post. Q: I got my performance review. I thought things were fine, but my review was pretty negative. I mostly just listened. I don’t know if I should start looking for another job – and of course, the review didn’t give me information about which lawyers have concerns. How do I find out what I should do? A: Unfortunately, negative reviews sometimes come as a surprise. And as you note, the comments are typically anonymous. Here are some…

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Standing Out in a Male-Dominated Firm

Male-dominated firms are common, and perhaps that’s because women make up just 35% of the legal profession. In private practices, just 22.7% of women are partners and 19% are equity partners. Women judges are also underrepresented, with just 33% of Supreme Court Judges being women. Salaries for women, compared to the salary of men, are also lower, and this figure dropped from 89.7% to 77.6% between 2015 and 2016. Statistically, women are at a disadvantage in the legal field. It's essential that a woman stand out in a male-dominated firm to be able to demand higher compensation, have the chance at…

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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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The 5 Best Ways To Build Your Reputation As A Lawyer

Lawyers live on their reputations. Have a good reputation as a lawyer and you can pretty well write your own check. Have a spotty or unclear reputation and people are not going to know what to make of you. Entire practices have had to shutter themselves in the past due to not having the kind of solid reputation that successful firms have been able to hang their hat on. Today we are going to explore some of the ways that everything from clever advertising to strategic HR can be used to build your reputation.   Strong Advertising One thing that…

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