Flash sale sites, also called sample sale sites, used to only be known to fashion junkies and those in the know but have become more mainstream over the last few years. However, I find that most of the general online shopping public still are not aware that flash sale sites exist or even if they do, shop them. Flash sales can be a great way to add new and interesting pieces to your wardrobe from head to toe.
A few years ago, I wrote a post I titled Start a Solo Law Practice for Under $3,000. Boy, do I regret that title. Starting a law firm is a relatively inexpensive endeavor, but picking an arbitrary number and trying to stick to it is wrong-headed. I’ve met plenty of lawyers who have done just that, and many of them have struggled to keep their practices afloat — or failed — as a result.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Retail establishments seem to use any excuse to have a sale and Memorial Day is no exception. In fact, Memorial Day weekend seems to have turned into one of the biggest sale weekends of the year in stores and on-line. If you find yourself having some free time between barbecues and time with loved ones then check out some of the best sales this weekend around the internet to stock your closet.
If your current computer is wearing out and you are in the market for a new one, you should consider an ultrabook. Ultrabook is Intel’s term for “Windows laptops that are thin and light like the Macbook Air.” For convenience, when I say ultrabook, I mean the Macbook Air, too, for people who like Macs.
At FindLaw Technologist, Stephanie Rabiner says you might want to look at an ultrabook if you find it difficult to get work done on your tablet, as well.
So do ultrabooks have enough power to replace a full laptop?
I went paperless over six years ago, shortly after I started my own law firm. It was one of the best law practice decisions I ever made. I have saved lots of time and money, and I have been able to take my files with me everywhere I go (if I want to). Plus, my digital, encrypted, and backed-up files are far more secure than paper could be.
The decision to go paperless is a no-brainer, but many lawyers who want to leave paper (mostly) behind just don’t know where to start. This list of essentials includes everything you need to get started.
‘Tis the season to buy stuff, and you might as well start here. Not only are these great deals on good stuff, but if you click through to Amazon and then purchase something, you will help us keep Lawyerist going.
- Flip MinoHD Camcorder ($223.98) – I have been wanting one of these since my daughter was born. We have a full-on camcorder, but my wife refuses to learn how to get the files off of it. The Flip is dead simple; plug it in and tell it where you want the files.
- Acer Aspire Revo Desktop PC ($210.99) – This would be a perfect “kitchen” PC, and fairly serviceable for your seasonal law clerks. And hey, for two bills with a monitor, it’s hard to pass up.
- Amazon Kindle ($259.00) – Thompson-West has started publishing titles for Kindle, and Kindle now supports plain old PDF files. I am thinking about getting one for my in-court reference, instead of hauling along a court rules tome.
- 30″ HP Monitor ($1,253.73) – I got myself a 22″ monitor a couple of years ago, and it was a huge productivity boost. Now I am antsy for a 30″ so I can hand my monitor down to Randall.
- Bose Companion 5 multumedia speaker system ($399.00) – Okay, maybe a kickin’ speaker system is overkill for your office, but these would go great with a home theater PC or in your home office.
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us ($17.79) – Inspirational reading to help you be more productive.
- Fujitsu ScanSnap S300 Color Mobile Scanner ($242.99) – I think everyone knows I am a diehard ScanSnap fan. The smaller, portable-ish S300 is perfect for a home office or remote document review.
I think we all agree that sending handwritten notes is a great habit to get into. A note is always an appropriate and appreciated gesture if someone has made time for you or provided you with some assistance—or sometimes, just because. Keeping up with friends on Facebook is convenient, but sending a note is more personal.
But instead of getting generic notecards at the office supply store, consider finding something more unique on Etsy. Etsy is a website where crafters sell their wares, and there are a lot of hand-crafted notecards. I prefer something with a monogram, but look for cards that suit your style. (I keep a variety of cards on hand.)
When writing a note, keep it short. Two or three sentences are best. In a thank-you note, for example, say thank you, reference something notable from your interaction, and express your wish to reciprocate or to see the person again.
Expect to get thank-yous for your thank-you notes!
Starting your own solo law practice? When it comes to starting a small business, a law practice is one of the least-expensive options. A computer and a clear space on the kitchen table are about all you need. Well, almost. There are a few other things. In this article, I will lay out what you need to start up a solo law practice, plus a few nice-to-have extras. This is not a bare minimum, but I have left out things like registering an LLC or corporation ($160 in Minnesota), liability insurance (mine was $599 for my first year), and business cards and stationery (I don’t use stationery, but I buy my business cards from VistaPrint for $29.99/500).
This post proved to be quite controversial, and has generated over 100 comments. To get a more realistic picture of what it costs to start a law firm, read How Much it Really Costs to Start a Law Firm.
Starting a Law Firm for Under $3,000
The following purchases will get you through your first year of solo law practice, at least, but the hardware should last far longer. If you shop wisely, your hardware should last at least 5 years, if not longer.
Assuming you do not already have a computer, printer and internet connection, your startup costs would be just under $3,000, leaving some room for miscellaneous supplies. If you do already have a computer and printer, you can convert them to business use and save $1,248.99 or more.
Even better, your second year overhead will drop to $837.60, since you will already have all the hardware you will need.
I really really really want a Nintendo Wii. The last time I saw one at CostCo, I managed to talk myself out of it, and I keep hoping my wife will decide to spoil me for the holidays.
I would love an Asus EEE PC, just to have something more compact to carry around for e-mail and blogging so I can leave my laptop at home.
Of course, I am already antsy to see the first round of Android phones. They will arrive way too late for the holidays, but just in time for me to get one anyway.
On the more practical side of things, I might get myself a MyBook 2 TB external drive for secondary backup of files and deposition videos. I’d like to leave it at home, hooked up to the Linux media server I hope will materialize under our tree.
What gadgets, software, or other geekery are you asking the Flying Spaghetti Monster for this holiday season?
I just stumbled across Dynamism.com, a company that imports Japanese notebook computers, cell phones, and other techie wares for U.S. consumers hungry for the latest and greatest. They have the drool-worthy Sharp Zaurus PDA/UMPC, which is Linux-based and has a hard drive. It’s like the Palm LifeDrive except awesome. And the credit-card-sized NEC n908 smart phone. Ooooh. (If you aren’t hip to the benefits of buying your phone separately from your calling plan, free yourself from the tyranny of early termination fees and two-year contracts!)
Check out the site. I am constantly jealous of all the great technology that seems outdated (by world standards) by the time it hits our shores. No more!