Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans - The New Yorker. Andy Borowitz writes about scientists who complain about a new strain of humankind; you know who they are. "Don't confuse me with the facts". "I don't care what the facts are: He/She is my candidate". Conspiracy theorists, politicians, and, yes, Virginia, some of our clients, have this malady, and it is spreading. In BigLaw you don't have a lot of control over your clients. They tend to be large businesses who send a lot of work to the firm. You are assigned to a case; and, regardless of the fact-resistant human contact at the business, you are required to represent the client. Solos, on the other hand, get to choose our own clients. More than once, I have sacrificed money for the pleasure of saying "Sorry, I can't take your case". Or, "Given your inability to understand that your chosen course of action is counter-productive, I must withdraw from your representation". There is no better feeling (well, almost) than telling a problem client that they need to go elsewhere. So, fact-resistant humans, please stay in your fact-resistant world, and suffer your own consequences. I am very happy right where I am, down here on Planet Earth.
Law And More: DLA Piper Equity Partners Made Accountable for 7.5 Hours Daily Work. If this weren't so sad, it would be funny. This BigLaw firm is forcing its equity partners to fill out 7.5 hours of time cards a day. Or what? They will be shamed in front of their peers? What if they want to take an afternoon off? What if they want some balance in their life? For the record, I probably work 10 hours a day. But, I don't have to if I don't want to. And, while I keep time records, I don't force myself to meet some arbitrary goal of number of billable hours. I may not make as much money as a BigLaw partner; but, I am certain I am happier not having a billable hour czar looking over my shoulder. I hope some of these DLA Piper partners follow my advice, and get a life. Jeez.
Hacking Chaos: The Cornell Method of Note-Taking. Lawyers take a lot of notes. Our primary task in interviewing clients is to get the facts, organize them, identify legal issues and problems, and create a framework for a solution. This is a great article that can be boiled down to a simple concept. Don't just take notes, and write, and write and write. When you go back to the page, you will be confronted with a huge database of written notes that are totally incomprehensible. Take the same notes; but, make space at the left for the key points, and write them down, as simply as possible. When you get done, write a Summary at the bottom. I like to identify key facts and issues on the left, and write possible causes of action or solutions at the bottom. That's it. No computer, nor rocket science required. Now, go organize your fact finding.
How to Configure Folder Options in Windows 10. Lawyers deal with documents everyday. But, can we find the one we want in a digital file folder? For a long time, I used, and still use, PaperPort 14.5 to organize and view my files and documents. With big screens, and thumbnail views, it is ideal to look at the contents of a folder and view and pick out the document I want in record time. PaperPort also allows any document to be clicked and dragged to icons at the bottom of the screen representing any program that can perform a particular function with the document. Want to print a document? Just drag the thumbnail to the printer icon, and so forth. However, recently I have discovered that it is just as easy to use Windows 10 File Explorer for the same basic viewing function. This article shows how to change the default folder view to icon view in various sizes that organizes the files and uses the same file structure. Using the ScanSnap scan to folder function, I can scan a document to a folder, open the folder, and instantly see thumbnail views of all the files in the folder. While I still need Power PDF Advanced to manipulate files, I no longer need to view them in PaperPort. Windows 10 File Explorer does the job just fine. Now, go organize your files.
Don't Let Your Employees Bring Their Devices to Work - Divorce Discourse. I disagree with just about everything in this post by Lee Rosen. First, thanks for giving me another reason I am a Solo. I don't want Apple, or you, Mr. Rosen, telling me what hardware to use in my practice. More than 80 per cent of lawyers and legal tech support people use Microsoft Windows. MacBook Airs are not in the same league as the modern 2 in 1 computer/tablets. Second, why would I want to work in an ecosystem in which Apple controls the apps I use and Lee Rosen controls the hardware? Employees, don't work at a place where they won't let you buy and use your own devices. Any competent IP company can secure the system, regardless of the technology. Now, I am going back to my solo practice and use whatever device I want. I may not make a lot of money; but, nobody can force me to use a MacBook Air.
Is There a Future for Solos and Small Firms?. Richard Susskind is known as a law practice visionary, and he doesn't see much of a future for solo and small firm lawyers. I disagree. Yes, technology is going to take over at larger firms and eliminate many legal jobs that don't require a law degree. There will be many jobs that technology will amplify, and big titles will be awarded; but, being a lawyer will not generally be required. However, Mr. Susskind hasn't sat in my chair for 40 years, and he doesn't realize that the family lawyer and counselor will always be in demand, if the advice and counsel are good, and the price is reasonable. Technology has made it easier to be a solo, and ordinary people will always call on the family lawyer for legal advice. Small law firms may not generate large incomes; but, their services will be in even more demand if they use the Internet and Social Media to have conversations with fellow citizens. Who among us hasn't been collared by someone at a gathering peppering us with legal questions once it is disclosed that we are lawyers? Our clients don't care about the size of our law firm or the fanciness of our office. They have a problem. They want a personalized solution to the problem. Do you really think that need is going to go away? I don't. Lawyer on.
Florida Bar social media efforts connect with members and the public. Do you want to change the perception of lawyers in society? Go where the people are. Do you want to communicate with a diverse group of lawyers and keep them up to date daily on news and events that are important to them? Go where they are. Do you want to let the world know that lawyers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things? Go where the world is. Nowadays, the bulletin board is on the Internet, and people, including lawyers, interact on social media; whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, or elsewhere. This article shows why the Florida Bar's social media team has become the national leader in this area. Social media is where everyone goes to get news, and to have conversations about current affairs. Not only should lawyers follow the Florida Bar; but, everyone else can see lawyers in a positive light. Too often the only contact regular citizens have with lawyers and the legal system are sensational stories on the news, or negative interactions with the system. As my mom used to say: "If you don't toot your own horn, no one else will." Congratulations to the Florida Bar social media team. They get it.
Chess Grandmaster Tired Of People Comparing Every Life Situation To Chess Match.(Note: The Onion writes satire. The Futurelawyer sometimes writes satire. Get over it).