We receive a lot of questions about how much it costs to start a solo law practice, particularly a successful practice with a web site, well-stocked bar, and good staplers. Estimates from so-called legal marketing experts range from $49.99 to $3,000. But as Scott Greenfield is quick to point out, most of these fly by night operations don’t budget for basic legal research, such as books, a set of Shepard’s, and a multi-disc tray to use for your dedicated Westlaw terminal. No worries, we’ve looked at the research, considered needed capitalization, and have come up with a solid bottom line. [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...]
Many attorneys have hair. And while hair upkeep is a day-to-day professional obligation, it can still present challenges. Whether it is using the appropriate hair products or brushing dandruff off your dark suit, focusing on hair can increase law practice success. Nevertheless, when head lice strike, your work to keep a positive hair focus could be ruined. Worse, when confronted with head lice infestation, law firms often cave to embarrassment and attempt to hide the problem, exacerbating any recovery. Relax. There is hope. Here is what you can do. [Read more...]
Attorneys have a lot of tools under their belt, not all of them used effectively. One tool that typically sits in the back closet is the office chain saw. Whether it’s a Stihl, Husqvarna, or Craftsman, the chain saw — when used properly — can enhance your practice, attract new clients, and lead to overall office harmony. Here’s how. [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.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e’ve talked about establishing a stapleless office, but if going stapleless proves too difficult or emotionally draining, don’t push yourself. Keeping a stapler in the office is often a good, if not essential, option. And with great staplers out there to help make stapling easier and more efficient, you may not need to get rid of your staplers entirely, at least not yet.
Pastries are highly functional office accessories. But with hundreds of pastries to choose from, what is best for building a modern practice? We’ve studied this issue and have talked with dozens of attorneys who think about it carefully every day. Most attorneys mention donuts as the workhorses of law firm nutrition and morale. We agree. But while some of our choices may spark controversy in the profession, here are our top five donuts to consider for a contemporary practice. [Read more...]