If you follow the legal job market carefully, you already know that the market is extremely strong for unpaid law clerk work. In fact, unpaid work seems to be sprouting up everywhere, with clear opportunities available for law students willing to move boxes and do laundry. We recently came across the following advertisement on Craigslist, which appears typical for the unpaid law clerk job: [Read more...]
Email and other disclaimers are the mark of a true professional who understands the intricacies of IRS Circular 230. But there is a dark side to disclaimers, and that’s the “dis” part, the part that constantly says “no” to the people who just want to feel the love of “yes.” Lawyers already get a bad rap for saying no too often, mucking things up. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, in response to some groundbreaking work from a consortium of life coaches, more and more lawyers are turning to the “happy” disclaimer, or the “proclaimer” as it is now being called in the profession. Here’s how it works. [Read more...]
Two machines have revolutionized the legal industry: the adding machine and the numbering machine. The adding machine enabled hourly billing, contingent fee cases, and complex Ponzi schemes. It also rapidly changed how lawyers practice. After all, who knew that one day adding machines would have touch screens and could be used in coffee shops or while commuting?
The numbering machine — more commonly known as the Bates Stamper– also has a rich history, though not as celebrated. Where the adding machine is the Ricardo Montalban of office equipment, the Bates stamper is the Wallace Shawn. Something you’ve seen before but cannot quite remember where you saw it. Whatever its perception, though, the numbering machine remains an office workhorse, helping to categorize and track documents and to keep scriveners and law clerks busy during down times. [Read more...]
A breaking news story earlier today starkly outlines lawyers’ growing significant concerns over how law firms are dealing with a dangerous form of nascent metadata. Nascent metadata is data that does not yet exist but could exist if the right conditions develop. It is often referred to as fn-metadata. Attorneys, however, more commonly refer to it as “effin” metadata or even effin data. If you have not yet heard of effin data, pay attention. It is the next big thing. Ignorance of effin data can lead to problems within your firm, can negatively affect your effin data bottomline, and will likely confuse you at tech shows where effin ediscovery vendors maintain exhibits. Here’s what to know. [Read more...]
If you ask around, keeping track of client files is somewhat important. A few months after you finish up a case, though, you are often stuck with a pile of papers that have no other use except staple practice or wrapping last minute gifts. You could spend a ton of your downtime handing your dog client documents to chew on as part of regular file destruction, or you could try something attorneys have not yet used more widely: controlled burns.
Not every lawyer lives near a Starbucks. Worse, cofficing options for some lawyers are so limited that the only real option is a QuikTrip with spotty WiFi, bulk beef jerky, and International Delight creamers. If you find yourself in such a limited practice setting, accept that you may need to office initially from home from your mom’s basement.
If you find yourself sharing an office with kitty litter and a dehumidifier, here are a few tips to help get your practice off the ground, or at least above the ground.
The current rage among legal professionals is document management. Law office consultants stress the importance of maintaining an effective document workflow, from drafting to editing to filing. Paperweights, though, are often overlooked when thinking about document management. That’s unfortunate.