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9 posts from October 2007

October 31, 2007

A You-Tube for Legal Docs? Check out DocStock

Here's a profile of DocStock, a site allowing people to find and share professional (including legal) documents. 

The profession is changing, my friends.  What are you doing to be ready?

Boise, Idaho ... Here I Come!

I'm going to be in Boise, Idaho on Monday (November 5) to speak about innovation for lawyers to the Idaho Bar Association.  If you are in the neighborhood (and really, who isn't?) come on by. 

October 11, 2007

25 Ways to Find a Client

OK, so this post from Dumb Little Man is about ways to find a date in the real world, but it has some great advice for finding clients.  Seriously.  I especially liked these success tips (which are in addition to the 25 ways):
1. Have a simple goal of making new friends. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Seek to find a great friend and see where things lead.
2. Commit to saying "Hi" first. Don't be shy. Perhaps set a goal of saying hi to 5 people a day. Start with one a day and then work your way up.
3. Smile and have fun. Everyone looks better with a smile.
4. Be open to meeting new people anywhere and everywhere.
5. Always be dressed and groomed to meet new people even if you're just running out to get milk. You just may meet that someone special in the dairy isle!
6. Conversation success tip: Be interested in others and ask lots of questions.
7. Don't be afraid of rejection. You've got nothing to lose!! What's the worst that could happen? Someone will laugh at you? That's hardly likely. And even if they do, who cares! Just say "Next!" and move on!
8. Go slow for safety and success. Never rush into anything. Go slow.

Read the entire post.  Just don't let your significant other catch you doing it.

October 09, 2007

15 Thoughts for Law Students: A Mini-Manifesto

I've written a few mini-manifestos for clients and lawyers before and remain quite enamored with the format.  Here's one for law students with some random (semi-related) thoughts on law school and the legal profession.  Let me know what you think, and feel free to add your own in the comments.

1.  Law school is a trade school.  The only people who don't believe this to be true are the professors and deans.

2.  Want to piss off your professors?  Ask them if they've ever run a successful law practice.

3.  Being good at writing makes you a good law student.  Being good at understanding makes you a good lawyer.  Being good at arguing makes you an ass.

4.  You can learn more about client service by working at Starbucks for three weeks than you can by going to law school for three years.

5.  Law school doesn't teach you to think like a lawyer.  Law school teaches you to think like a law professor.  Believe me, there's a huge difference.

6.  You can get through law school without understanding anything about what it is like to be a lawyer.  That is a terrible shame.

7.  The people who will help you the most in your legal career are sitting next to you in class.  Get to know them outside of law school. They are pretty cool people.  They are even cooler when you stop talking about the Rule Against Perpetuities.

8.  Your reputation as a lawyer begins now.  Don't screw it up (and quit bragging on your MySpace page about how drunk you got last night).

9.  Law is a precedent-based profession.  It doesn't have to be a precedent-based business.  Be prepared to challenge the prevailing business model.  Somebody has to.

10. Experienced lawyers work with clients.  Young lawyers work with paper.  You like working with paper, right?

11. You are about to enter a world where getting your work done in half the time as your peers doesn't get you rewarded.  It gets you more work.

12. Except for prosecutors and public defenders, nobody tries cases anymore.  Especially not second year associates.

13. You have a choice:  You can help people and make a decent living, or you can help corporations and make a killing.  Choose wisely. 

14. There are plenty of things you don't know, and even more things you'll never know.  Get used to it.  Use your ignorance to your benefit.  The most significant advantage you possess over those who've come before you is that you don't believe what they do.

15. People don't tell lawyer jokes just because they think they are funny.  They tell lawyer jokes because they think they are true.  Spend your career proving them wrong.

Web 2.0 Replaces Lawyers Again?

Brian Benzinger at Solution Watch writes about a new service called Tractis, which "allows you to negotiate and execute worldwide legally binding contracts online."  Significantly, the service also has sort of a contracts wiki that allows folks to upload contracts and templates that can be edited, commented upon, tagged and shared.  Very cool/scary for lawyers.  Find out for yourself and take the tour.

Outsource Your (Non)Legal Practice

I'm a big fan of Tim Ferriss' book The 4-Hour Workweek, though some of his suggestions are a bit impractical for an office-dwelling professional.  That's why I really liked this post on 43 Folders that gives several realistic examples of ways to outsource your personal and professional life.  Well worth a read, if only for this fantastic advice for those to whom "delegation" is a four letter word:
It’s easy to tell yourself that it would take too long to figure out how to explain a project to someone else than to do it on your own.  After all, you’re the only person who has the grand picture, understands the purpose of the work, and is familiar with the details. But with a bit of pluck and a capacity for seeing projects for what they truly are (collections of discrete actions,) you’ll be astonished at how much you can rid yourself of.  I have often found that what at first seemed daunting to explain to someone else actually just required a few moments thinking about how the problem needed to be approached—which is a process I was going to have to go through anyway if I were ever going to complete the task in the first place.

October 06, 2007

Just GOOG it for Info.

Need to dial directory assistance?  Use Google's 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) for all your directory assistance calls.  It is FREE and gives you the option of pushing the details of the listing you're seeking directly to your mobile phone via SMS.  So far, it isn't ad-supported either.  Program it into your cell phone now.

Thanks to Cool Tools for the tip.

October 03, 2007

Got er Done!

Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba share a great idea in this post about a condo development that posts huge "SOLD" signs on the outside of each unit, arguing that the signs "are the best possible evidence" that the condos are desirable.

I was wondering if this idea could also work for lawyers.  Imagine a weekly or monthly full-page newspaper ad that shows all the new business formations, real estate closings, or even "newly single" divorce clients a firm helped (with their permission, of course).  Not sure how this works in some jurisdictions, but it is a thought.  What do you think?

October 01, 2007

Making Partner (Over)Bites!

From Indexed: