Law Practice

Doing Pro Bono Work As A New Attorney

Doing Pro Bono Work As A New Attorney

As an attorney, doing pro bono work may be exceedingly rewarding. Helping those in dire need of legal services who otherwise might not have solved their problems or reversed their misfortunes without your assistance, may provide you with the most precious memories of your legal practice many years from now. In addition to helping those who are less fortunate, pro bono work allows attorneys, especially younger attorneys, an excellent opportunity to develop new skills. These skills include the hard skills – learning the substantive law - and the soft skills, those interpersonal skills that allow you to work effectively within the...

Continue reading

Supreme Court Amends Rule Of Professional Conduct Related To Competence

Supreme Court Amends Rule Of Professional Conduct Related To Competence

The California Supreme Court approved the amendment of Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. The new version of the Rule went into effect on March 22, 2021. The new version of the Rule contains a new Comment providing that a lawyer’s duty of competence encompasses a duty to keep abreast of the changes in the law and law practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. The Rule reads as follows: Rule 1.1 Competence (a) A lawyer shall not intentionally, recklessly, with gross negligence, or repeatedly fail to perform legal services with competence. (b) For purposes of this...

Continue reading

Summer Law Jobs 101

Summer Law Jobs 101

For law students, it is hard enough to get a good summer law job, whether at a private firm or public agency. Once this is achieved, the elation is immediately tempered with a stark fear of failure. You experience the realization that you will soon be making the transition from student to lawyer, albeit in a limited sense. Once you have a summer job at a firm, how can you ensure that the people who hired you will be satisfied with your performance and, more importantly, remember you as a worthy candidate for an associate’s job in the future? *Always exercise...

Continue reading

The Humble Lawyer

The Humble Lawyer

Humility is sometimes defined as freedom from pride or arrogance. Studies show that humble people handle stress more effectively and report higher levels of physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, it can be challenging for mere humans to express humility. Typically, this is attributed to our misinterpretation that actively demonstrating humility is a sign of weakness. In truth, humility is a sign of inner strength. Unfortunately, lawyers are often portrayed as anything but humble. The words “egotistical,” “arrogant,” and “pompous” are some of the words often used to characterize attorneys. Many of the descriptive words used to describe lawyers have the prefix “self”...

Continue reading

Areas of Practice That Require Understanding of Multiple Legal Subjects

Areas of Practice That Require Understanding of Multiple Legal Subjects

Attorneys practice law in many different contexts, including law firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Within each of these environments, attorneys may focus on one or several practice areas. Many, if not most, areas of legal practice involve the understanding of multiple legal subjects. Of course, an obvious example is that any attorney must understand the subject of civil procedure regardless of the area of law in which they practice. Some areas of practice, more than other areas, require an understanding of many different subjects. The practice of bankruptcy law is an excellent example. *Bankruptcy Bankruptcy lawyers represent individual and corporate creditors...

Continue reading

Lawyers And Ergonomics

Lawyers And Ergonomics

In the last few decades, the practice of law has substantially changed. Computers and related technology, specifically the mobile phone, have become a vital part of the 21st-century law practice. The result is that most lawyers spend an abundant amount of time using their computers and mobile devices. While these devices are convenient and time-saving, thus improving the efficiency of the modern law practice and reducing costs, which increases profits, there are drawbacks in the ergonomic issues that are caused by constantly staring at a computer, tablet, or phone. The modern 21st Century lawyer must have a comfortable workspace and utilize...

Continue reading

Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part Two

Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part Two

Checklists give rise to systems or processes where both represent a “process” a horizontal workflow for legal services. These processes start at some point in a law practice and conclude with some by-product deliverable to court or client. There is simply no legal practice area that would not derive any benefit from any well-established office procedure. Any process for any practice group must be well established and include everyone involved from partners to administrative assistants. Documenting these processes in writing ensures that the learning curve remains manageable and potential errors subjecting the firm to malpractice liability decrease substantially. As an example, personal injury...

Continue reading

Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part One

Developing Checklists Of Procedures For Legal Practice Issues – Part One

The practice of law requires a long list of procedural and analytical exercises before any client matter may move forward. While the information collected through these exercises may be overwhelming, the implementation of checklists within a law practice ensures that important information is processed, organized, and utilized effectively and efficiently. Checklists offer the following advantages: Checklists may help an attorney mitigate malpractice risks and comply with any ethical obligations. Checklists reduce the resources necessary to train employees and help orient new employees about the firm’s practices, policies, and goals. Checklists eliminate the potential for errors and avoid missing deadlines and other...

Continue reading

Ten Legal Technology Trends For 2021 – Part Two

Ten Legal Technology Trends For 2021 – Part Two

Here is the second part of our blog on ten technology trends for 2021. Greater thought as to how remote work is performed 2020 saw the implementation of a new workplace model encompassing virtual meetings, mobility, collaboration, and the completion and performance of work remotely away from the office. As a result, law firms must embrace technology to make this new workplace model as seamless and practical as possible. The changes caused by the pandemic are not temporary and have pushed attorneys to create a remote experience for clients that is equal to, if not better than, the traditional office...

Continue reading

Ten Legal Technology Trends For 2021 – Part One

Ten Legal Technology Trends For 2021 – Part One

As 2021 begins and lawyers scramble to adapt to the changes wrought from the COVID-19 pandemic, the development and use of technology in a legal context continues to evolve. The following is a look at ten legal technology trends in 2021. Accelerated movement to digital domains Consumers and clients are increasingly moving to the digital realm as evidenced by their behavior. Those law practices that choose to fully embrace the digital domain to interact with and attract clients are more apt to thrive than those who do not. Lawyers must ensure that new clients have the ability to discover their...

Continue reading