Law Practice

Greater Need For Patent Attorneys

Greater Need For Patent Attorneys

The Trademark and Patent Lawyers and Attorneys industry provides intellectual property due diligence, application, and litigation services to businesses and individuals. While the reduction in the number of applicants for law school over the past several years has been steady, the number of law school graduates qualified to sit for the patent bar exam has been declining even more rapidly. Presently, in 2020, there is clearly a greater need for patent attorneys in the United States. The number of applications to law schools dropped 35% from 108,522 in 2009 to 70,025 in 2015. However, applicants with a technical or science background who...

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The Oath To Practice Law

The Oath To Practice Law

Ethical matters must always concern a lawyer. Young lawyers must be more than familiar with the ethical requirements of the practice of law from the first day they begin to practice law. Lawyers have a responsibility not only to clients but also to society. They must zealously represent the client to the fullest extent permitted under the entire body of ethical rules, standards, and statutes without offending or damaging the legal system. Intermittently, a lawyer should read the oath given upon admission to the practice of law. This will help remind the lawyer of his or her basic duties to clients...

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Sharing Office Space

Sharing Office Space

As most people know, lawyers may share office space with other lawyers but with ethical considerations, such as client confidentiality, advertising, and conflicts of interest. For example, attorneys may not advertise their services in such a way that they mislead the public into believing that the lawyers sharing space are members of one law firm. In a shared office scenario, attorneys sublease with other practitioners. The office’s common areas such as lobby, kitchen, conference room, etc., are shared by sub-tenants, who are required to either make equal or proportionate contributions based upon use for the common space, furniture, office equipment, select...

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About IOLTA Accounts

About IOLTA Accounts

A strange acronym with which every attorney who starts his or her practice becomes familiar is IOLTA. This stands for Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts. And this interest raises money to provide civil legal services to indigent individuals. Any lawyer who handles client funds that are too small in amount or held too briefly to earn interest for the client must participate in the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts program. Such IOLTA accounts may only be kept at approved financial institutions. Attorneys routinely receive client funds that must be held in trust for future use. If there is a large sum of...

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Some Ethical Considerations Of Billing

Some Ethical Considerations Of Billing

A law practice's method of billing may directly impact the financial viability of the practice and is an important component of an individual lawyer's ethical and professional obligations. Most states grant lawyers a large degree of discretion to develop billing practices that are suitable to the law practice and beneficial to the client. However, the billing practices of a law firm are not solely important because of the necessity to ensure the firm’s financial stability, but because attorneys have an ethical duty to engage in proper billing practices. A primary focus of attorneys throughout their practice is the collection of outstanding fees....

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Law Practice and Marketing

Law Practice and Marketing

Law firms vary by practice area, location, client-type, experience, and many other facets. Each additional factor causes the marketing requirements of each business enterprise that much more distinctive and unique. While they all share the reality of operating in an overly competitive legal industry, they must find their niche within this industry, then develop and sustain this niche over time. The law is extraordinarily varied and offers law students and established attorneys a wide menu of specialties from which to choose.  These choices may become narrower based on geographic location and client-type. It is important and rewarding to know that none...

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Solo Practitioners And Personal Commitment

Solo Practitioners And Personal Commitment

The benefits of working for yourself often seem distant when working during the 11th hour trying to finish a motion. However, this situation would certainly still occur even if you were working at a firm. Practicing law on any scale often requires hard work after hours seven days a week. For solo practitioners wishing to achieve success, the practice of law involves a deep, personal commitment that will be time-consuming beyond anything else in the practitioner’s life. At least, for some period of years. Any graduating law student considering a solo practice should address and answer the following questions to get...

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Attorney-Client Privilege And Client Confidentiality

Attorney-Client Privilege And Client Confidentiality

As law students prepare for graduation, certain questions that relate to legal ethics and professional responsibility become more prevalent in their minds. These practical considerations are of equal importance to any other aspect of a law firm’s practice. Like substantive legal rules, they require the strict adherence of all licensed attorneys. An important question relates to protecting client confidentiality. After all, most attorneys like to talk. On one hand, there is the attorney-client privilege which, of course, contains a facet of confidentiality. This is what law students learn about in professional responsibility class as they study the ethical rules, including RC...

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When A Lawyer Is Representing A Corporation, Who Exactly Is The Client?

When A Lawyer Is Representing A Corporation, Who Exactly Is The Client?

A recurring question for lawyers who represent corporations and other entities is who exactly is the attorney representing? What is the scope of the attorney’s clientele in this situation? Does the attorney also represent others? Does the attorney represent shareholders? Affiliate and subsidiary corporations? Officers? Directors? In California, Rule of Professional Conduct 1.13 “Organization as Client” answers this question. A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization through its duly authorized constituents. A lawyer must conform his or her representation to the concept that the client is the organization itself, acting through its duly authorized directors, officers, employees, members,...

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Fixed Legal Fees And Making A Profit

Fixed Legal Fees And Making A Profit

Of course, like any other business that charges some cost for its services, fees are the lifeblood of a law practice. Legal fees depend on several variables: the time necessary to remedy the problem; the lawyer's ability, experience, and reputation; the novelty and difficulty of the case; the results; and associated costs. A lawyer's overhead expenses such as rent, utilities, office equipment, computers, also affect the fee charged. Profit is a lawyer’s income. In the case of a law practice, it is what remains after paying the aforementioned overhead costs of the practice. Research indicates that attorneys may expect to keep...

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