Law Practice

Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location And Legal Office-Space Options: Conventional Space

Location, location, location! Location is everything when it comes to real estate. Location is everything especially when it comes to commercial real estate, and this includes law offices. Lawyers have many options when becoming sole practitioners and opening a new office. Each space and location provide amenities and conveniences both with associated advantages and disadvantages. Lawyers starting a new practice must be sure to examine the written lease for each space option and understand clearly what they are receiving and what they are not receiving. It is always a good idea for new practitioners to compare various leases to ensure they...

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Identifying Your Client Base

Identifying Your Client Base

Not every lawyer can be all things to all people. An important component of an attorney’s success is not necessarily having as many clients as possible but finding and attracting the right clients. This not so simple task begins with a lawyer identifying the ideal client base for the firm. Is it even possible that a lawyer has an “ideal client” base? To start, some evaluation should be undertaken to determine this. Ask the following questions: What makes someone part of this client base? What does your ideal client do for a living? Where are potential clients located? How do they...

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Knowing The Minority’s View

Knowing The Minority’s View

A minority or dissenting opinion is an opinion by one or more judges in a legal case who disagree, or dissent, with the decision reached by the majority. Any law student knows that a dissenting opinion creates no binding precedent as any applicable part of case law. Yet, it is not uncommon for judges to cite them as persuasive authority for an argument the holding of a court should be overturned or limited. John Patrick Dolan founded the California Desert Trial Academy College of Law (CDTA) based on the philosophy of not only teaching students the substantive law, but on training, educating,...

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Improving Organizational Knowledge-Sharing

Improving Organizational Knowledge Sharing

Lawyers are dependent on using the experience and expertise of other lawyers as a valuable and necessary resource. Convincing employees to freely share their knowledge and ideas is not an elementary, basic task since it involves the implementation of an organizational culture that promotes and fosters the sharing of information. The following factors are crucial to the development of an organizational culture conducive to better knowledge sharing: The design, creation, and fostering of an organizational climate that encourages trust and corporate citizenship. Again, this requires time and commitment, especially from the firm’s leadership, as well as the zeal to challenge the existing...

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The Next Wave: Using Legal Voice-Recognition Software

The Next Wave: Using Legal Voice-Recognition Software

Many years ago when law firm receptionists used rotary phones without caller ID to take messages, and secretaries used typewriters to draft documents, attorneys used dictating machines, or Dictaphones, to create pleadings, correspondences, notes, and anything else that they needed. Trends always seem to return over time, even in the realm of legal technology. Currently, this statement may be applied to lawyers using voice recognition software with more frequency. Sometimes called speech recognition, voice automation, or speech dictation software, voice recognition software has replaced the Dictaphone. The difference is that attorneys are dictating to software that is transferring their words immediately...

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File Management For Attorneys: Initial Physical File Organization

File Management For Attorneys: Initial Physical File Organization

A legal matter’s initial file organization sets the standard for effective file maintenance. Right or wrong, competence is associated with organization; and client perception is crucial to malpractice claim avoidance and client retention. No file number should be assigned for billing purposes until the retainer agreement is signed and the conflicts check has been completed. Analysis of a firm’s practice areas should identify subfile categories. Along with basic client personal information, the following is a list of categories for client files: attorney notes and file memoranda substantive pleadings discovery pleadings correspondence legal research client documents drafts corporate documents demonstrative/documentary evidence   These files...

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Sole Practitioners Must Know Their Cost Per Hour

Sole Practitioners Must Know Their Cost Per Hour

I have known more than a few attorneys who were abysmal at math. Fortunately, a brilliant secretary or handy calculator was around to bail them out on almost every occasion. Of course, these individuals did not become lawyers to do math problems and as long as they could compute (knew) their target cost per hour to make their desired profits, all was well and their practices succeeded, if not, thrived. When starting a law practice, a firm commitment to marketing the firm for so many hours a week is essential to success. Estimates of costs and hours may be used when...

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More FAQ About Legal Malpractice Insurance

More FAQ About Legal Malpractice Insurance

Legal malpractice insurance is a specialized form of professional liability insurance designed for legal professionals that protects them from lawsuits alleging sub-standard work or some mistake, such as failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Such insurance typically pays both the legal fees and any settlement associated with a lawsuit covered by malpractice insurance up to the policy’s limits. Lawyers in the market for legal malpractice insurance for the first time may want to check with the state insurance regulating agency to ensure that a carrier under consideration is presently in good standing in the state. Here are more...

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Some FAQ About Legal Malpractice Insurance

Some FAQ About Legal Malpractice Insurance

The public and prospective clients assume lawyers have the requisite amount of legal expertise, and the ability to apply such expertise correctly when retained to handle client matters. When lawyers make mistakes, they may be sued for any damage or harm caused by their misfeasance. Legal malpractice insurance helps lawyers protect themselves from covered lawsuits that accuse them of making errors. When shopping for legal malpractice insurance, a wise course of action is to contact at least three carriers and compare costs, deductibles, coverage limits (per claim and aggregate), as well as other coverage terms. Here are some frequently asked questions and...

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Lawyers and Timekeeping

Lawyers and Timekeeping

Like traditional law schools, the California Desert Trial Academy’s (CDTA) curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. It is a simple notion that attorneys sell time. Some would...

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