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Networking events bring out all kinds of lawyers. For the most part, they bring out normal lawyers looking to connect with other normal lawyers. They also bring out great lawyers at every stage of their careers. What’s the fun in writing about those kinds of lawyer though? It’s the outliers who make for the best discussion. Events bring out the young lawyers with no jobs, wandering around like zombies clutching stacks of business cards with “Esq.” after their names but no firm name or physical address anywhere to be found. Some only list a cell phone with an Illinois area code and a Gmail or Yahoo email address consisting of a cutesy name followed by a few odd digits. As smart as some of them … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Marketing


I know why people hate lawyers. In fact, I’ve been watching a bunch of lawyers stage an elaborate and twisted public allegory in which they bitch about huge Biglaw bonuses as if the people receiving the bonuses somehow deserve bonuses at all and act like getting months or even years of pay for the average American is somehow an insult. Wait…what? It isn’t satire? People hate lawyers because they think lawyers are greedy. They think we’re all a bunch of privileged little brats who’ve lived our entire lives in a world of endless opportunity. They think we went to private schools and had tutors. They think we entered a mysterious old money system at an early age and got fed straight from prep school into … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers


If you haven’t experienced rejection, you are either delusional, or you haven’t been doing anything worthwhile. Rejection is an integral part of life well-lived. You can’t be everything to everyone, and someone is bound to be looking for something else. It’s just as true in your professional life as it is in your personal life. If you’re smart, you deal with it and learn from it. I got a little bit of rejection recently. It’s nothing special, really. I fought hard for a client, and despite the results I achieved, they ended up switching lawyers before the real battle started. Although it’s nothing new, it still stung. I thought I had built a relationship. I cared about the client and his family, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers

Getting a Job and Doing a Job, Gen Y Style

I recently had to fly to an undisclosed location to participate in an interview with a witness who shall remain nameless. Everyone involved tried to make the whole thing seem very high security, as you can probably tell. They seemed to be caught up in the intrigue and secrecy of it all. I found it extremely inconvenient. I didn’t get to know where I was going to go until a couple of days before, and I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone about it. After arriving, I was supposed to meet some people at a mysterious location. They refused to give me any details in advance. I knew the purpose of the meeting and who set it up, and I didn’t want to end up on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Law School, lawyers, Practice in General, Solo Practice

An Interesting Morning

When I arrived at court earlier this week, the courtroom for my hearing was still locked. A group of defendants and defense lawyers began to congregate. One defense lawyer walked up to the door and tried to open it. He began walking off when a defendant called to him, “hey, you a famous lawyer, ain’t you?” The lawyer puffed up his chest a little and smiled, obviously noting the presence of other defense counsel within earshot. The defendant nodded his head and explained, “I thought so. I seen you on tons of buses. Tons.” The lawyer’s chest fell and his smile disappeared. I felt a little bad for the guy. Later on, I was in another courtroom when a settlement conference was … Read entire article »

Filed under: Courts, lawyers

The Coverage Dilemma

I do my best to personally attend every single hearing for every single client I represent. Every lawyer I respect does the same. Despite my best intentions, however, I admit I’ve had to ask for coverage. I’m sure I’ll have to do it again. Trials sometimes go longer than planned, and judges sometimes set things over my objection. Every judge thinks his or her orders are the most important. When a non-lawyer justice of the peace sets a misdemeanor pretrial opposite a felony jury trial that’s been docketed for five months, you can bet I’ll be sending another lawyer to do that pretrial. I’ll send someone I trust, but it won’t be me. Yesterday morning, the tables were turned when another lawyer asked me … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Practice in General

What the "Hot-Shots" Do

I judged a law school moot court client counseling competition last week where the competitors were supposed to play the role of a lawyer in an initial consultation. One competitor struggled at times formulating questions, and he told the judges that was because he was concerned about asking too many questions. He didn’t want to know too much. Of the three judges, two of us practice criminal law. The third, a transactional lawyer, deferred to us to instruct the competitor about what to do about that dilemma. I answered by telling the competitor it wasn’t really a single dilemma with a clear answer I could give him right there, but more of a daily reality of practicing law in a field where you represent people. To know what … Read entire article »

Filed under: Clients, lawyers, Practice in General

Marketing to Bikers

I follow Susan Carter Liebel on Twitter. She’s the creator of Solo Practice University, a website that’s supposed to be “the #1 web-based educational and professional networking community for solo lawyers and law students.” Yesterday, I noticed she put up the following with a link: “Adam Gee teaches you How To Market To Bikers in his newest class.” Intrigued, I clicked the link. I couldn’t find anything about the content of the course though, so I went to Adam Gee’s page at SPU. There, I saw the following under his syllabus: Marketing to Bikers: Developing a Motorcycle Practice * Indirect Marketing Techniques * Direct Marketing Techniques * Blogs, social media and books I think SPU is a great idea, and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Bikers' Rights, Clients, lawyers, Marketing


When I was in law school, I was fortunate to attend many hours of public defender training. I can still clearly remember the cross-examination teacher describing his technique for impeaching a witness. He recommended something called “the 3 Cs.” The 3 Cs stood for “commit,” “credit,” and “confront.” I don’t know if it’s his thing or something widely known to trial lawyers, but it’s a pretty solid, general approach to impeachment. Let’s say you have an officer who’s saying something highly incriminating, something that he didn’t put in his police report. You want to impeach him with that omission. Using the 3 Cs technique the teacher recommended, you’d first commit the officer to his current statement. Make sure the judge or jury understands exactly … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers, Trial


When Nick Martin at Heat City put up a link to this on Twitter, I started thinking. Nobody’s going to feel too sorry for lawyers making $250 an hour. If they work 40 hours a week at that rate for a year, they’ll be earning roughly ten times the median household income in the United States. It’s nothing like $450 an hour, where they’d be pushing a million in fees each year working less than I do, but it isn’t bad. In all fairness, I imagine it’s larger firms doing all the work, so nobody in particular gets all that money. Take out a chunk for a top-floor office with lots of marble, throw in a few expensive associates who don’t contribute anything valuable to the representation, and maybe … Read entire article »

Filed under: lawyers

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