Lawyering Skills

We have suggestions regarding legal writing, client communication, continuing legal education, and more. You will also want to review our posts on legal ethics, practice management, and legal marketing.

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How to Handle a Mixed Check with Earned and Unearned Fees

Learning how to appropriately handle mixed checks is the best way to avoid bookkeeping errors that lead to ethics problems.

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Bestlaw for Chrome Adds the Features Westlaw Forgot

Joe Mornin, a 3L at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), built Bestlaw, a free browser extension for Google Chrome that adds a bunch of useful features to WestlawNext.

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5 Tips For Writing Briefs For Tablets

Fifty-eight percent of federal judges are using tablets. Learn how to format your briefs for tablets with these five tips.

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BP Lawyers Stretch the Meaning of “Double-Spaced”

"Counsel’s tactic would not be appropriate for a college term paper. It certainly is not appropriate here."

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New Lawyers and Law Practice: the Velociraptor You Don’t See

Some lawyers are so focused on marketing that they may get blindsided by other essential parts of a law practice: lawyering and running a business.

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How to Write More Effective Opening Paragraphs

"By replacing formulaic openers with forceful arguments," says Burlingame, "lawyers can capture the judge's attention, enhance their credibility, and show from the outset why their clients should win."

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Hacking Chaos: The Cornell Method of Note-Taking

It isn't an exaggeration to say that the Cornell Method helps me in every note-taking situation I've encountered in my professional life.

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Reduce Legal Research Costs with Google Scholar

If you are seeking ways to reduce legal research costs, you should use Google Scholar to find cases and secondary sources — for free.

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Lawyers Should Take Notes by Hand

Based on this study, at least, there is no question how lawyers should be taking notes: by hand.

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5 Ways To Keep Your Client Occupied During Mediation Downtime

Let's spice things up with some much better ways to pass the time when you're locked in a room with someone (with whom you may only have a nodding acquaintance personally) for hours at a time.

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How to Lose Your Case

I didn’t realize that attorneys would prefer to lose, not win, their case. But if your goal is losing, this article is for you. Be sure to incorporate these ideas from my law clerk friends into your motions and briefs — if you want to lose your case.

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Dealing with Rule 11 Threats and Motions

"I have had a number of threats for Rule 11, but only one firm had the balls to actually file one, and the judge ordered them to pay my fees for having to respond."

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What Jurors Think About Attorneys

Regardless of the verdict given, what attorney—having argued a case—hasn’t come away wishing for more insight into the minds and perceptions of the jurors? Given ten years of data from systematic surveys of jurors, some patterns in their responses emerge.

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How to Increase Focus and Productivity with Mindfulness

So, what exactly is mindfulness and why should lawyers care? The simple answer is that practicing mindfulness will help you be a happier human being and a better lawyer.

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How to Prepare for Oral Argument

The key to better oral argument is to get away from your outline and use a more "modular" approach when preparing.