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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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.

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Learn to Deal with Mentally-Ill Clients

It is not your imagination; some of your clients really are mentally ill. In fact, depending on the kind of law you practice, the percentage of your potential client base with a diagnosable personality disorder is probably substantially higher than the average.

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The Best Lawyers Demonstrate the Best Ways to Attack Adverse Authority

What should you do when your opponent cites authority in a motion or brief that appears directly on point? Panic. After you finish panicking, you need to determine two threshold issues.

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A Civil Justice System With No Trials

"If we continue on the current path, our judicial branch will look far different 25 years from how it does today—and we may not like what we see."

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Proper Deposition Objections

Whether you are defending (or taking) your first or your hundredth deposition, you must be ready to handle objections. That means knowing which objections are proper and which are not. Once you know, you can keep the deposition proceeding smoothly — and avoid embarrassing yourself.

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Know Your Weaknesses

We look at how to evaluate your own weaknesses, and how the knowledge of those weaknesses can help you turn them into strengths.

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Learning from Others

Instead of discussing iOS7 today, I wanted to share some lessons from people much smarter than me. Michael Dell, Thomas Edison, Oprah, and Warren Buffett all weigh in on values that can make you a better person, and a better lawyer.