Earlier this week Bitter Lawyer published an article about salutations. Technically, the article was about valedictions, or the closing clause in an e-mail. Many commenters asked what they should be using, since the author argued against most of the common sign-offs. Unfortunately, The Atlantic Wire’s Guide to Advanced Digital Etiquette is useless on this issue. In my opinion, the answer is the same as it is for any legal question: it depends. You could take a formal approach, a satirical approach, or my favorite, the minimalist approach. But don’t use the same valediction all the time. It’s boring. And your standard automatic signature for one day may be totally inappropriate for another day.
Our firm hosted an open house last week. At the party, I had a chance to catch up with old friends, chat with acquaintances, and even meet some new people. The party flew by, and it was fun. I left completely energized by the event. I did not, however, always feel this way about networking events. Only a few years ago, my party plan involved attending legal events while clutching a trusty friend and rarely leaving his or her side. What changed?
That can also lead to attorneys providing legal advice when they simply do not have enough information to render a professional opinion.
Rendering haphazard legal advice creates all sorts of problems—and none of them are of the good variety.
If you plan on having a successful career as a lawyer, you had better understand some things about trust.
How is it created? How is it destroyed?
Who trusts you? Who do you trust?
What types of things do you do at your practice to earn, nurture and solidify trust?
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Sam’s manifesto on why your blog sucks is worth the read. I thought I’d take the micro-approach and tackle one comparatively tiny thing: headlines.
What is a headline?
A headline is the title of your post. The best headlines, generally speaking, are short and descriptive. The worst are cute or clever and objectively fail to match the post’s content, like a bait-and-switch. I’ve written good headlines. I’ve written bad ones. Just like anything else, writing a “good” headline depends on your overall level of skill and what you want to accomplish.
But one thing’s for sure: the best headlines provoke an emotional response from the reader. Do new lawyers really get rich and famous by blogging, as the headline of this post says? No, generally not. But I bet you’re curious.
Numerous articles have addressed social media. They all seem to convey the same idea – we live in a world where social media engagement is an absolute necessity.
Recently, a UK based friend who had been working with axiclaim.co.uk, decided to start his own law firm. He asked me what I thought about LinkedIn, Avvo and Quora. I thought, “that seems like a lot of social networks to handle, where do you find time?” Having said that, dedicating at least 30 minutes in a day to client outreach will help grow your network. The best part is, you don’t even have to be at the office during those 30 minutes!
(Remember to understand the ethical issues that might arise prior to participating in social media.)
To keep us talking, here’s a list of topics. Please add anything you’d like to talk about, serious or not.
If you’re not into the whole face-to-face, audio-visual thing, I’ve started an IRC channel at
irc.synirc.net as an experiment. Join using your IRC client of choice, or use the synIRC webchat client. (Don’t know what IRC is? Come to the Hangout and ask!)
An airport is probably one of the most boring places to be at. But as attorneys, we are often forced to travel and airports are rather comfortable. As a young attorney, the journey can prove to be incredibly anxious and confusing.
Lets face it; young attorneys are “ready for the kill”. Or in legal parlance, they often forget that there is “no duty to rescue”. Young attorneys are constantly trying to find solutions to problems, even when a problem does not exist. Call it an occupational hazard, but as an experienced attorney, you know when to intervene and when to just walk away from a situation.