Lisa Needham

Lisa Needham

Lisa Needham teaches legal writing and skills courses at William Mitchell, is the Editor-in-Chief of Bitter Lawyer and Bitter Empire, and still believes in the Oxford comma.


What More Do We Need to Say About Law’s Diversity Problem?

Were you wondering if the legal profession was still utterly abysmal on diversity issues? Wonder no more, because the Ninth Annual Survey by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) makes clear that we still are, at least as far as BigLaw is concerned. NAWL asked the 200 largest firms to provide diversity metrics. 73 firms […]


Don’t Call Your Clients if They Are in Prison

Recently, people behind bars who needed to make phone calls got a piece of semi-good news: the cost of their phone calls would decrease from criminally high rates to merely obscenely high rates, thanks to the FCC. Even more recently, though, people behind bars who needed to make phone calls got a piece of super […]


Soon You Can Access Harvard’s Case Law Collection For Free

Harvard is renowned for an almost pathological level of copyright maximalism over the precious precious Bluebook. Rightly so, because forcing law students everywhere to buy that monstrosity nets them seven figures per year. However, it looks like they’ve decided to be a little less tight-fisted about their collection of case law, which is apparently enormous. Home to the country’s […]


You Will Only Be Fined $3,000 if You Literally Shock a Witness

Let’s say you have a flair for the dramatic. Well, of course you do, because you are a lawyer. That’s all well and good. Courtroom technique books and blogs are riddled with suggestions about how to be innovative in your efforts to sell your client’s story to a judge and jury. We are pretty sure, […]


Briefs: Law School Under Fire

It is an old and tired joke that everyone hates lawyers, but right now, it is law schools that are getting bashed around by, well, everyone. From low bar passage rates to the student debt crisis and everything in between, there is a continual drumbeat from media outlets that law schools basically suck. From Law […]


State Restrictions on Advertising

Thanks to the myriad types of electronic communications and social media channels now at our disposal, the venues in which lawyers can theoretically advertise has exploded. Here's where all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) are on the issue of advertising right now.


We Tried to Create the Worst Legal Writing Possible

Legalese is awful. To prove it, we combined forces to write the worst piece of legal writing we could. Here’s what we came up with: Clarity in Legal Writing: Unattainable Goal or Necessary Component of Effective Advocacy? The issue of clearness and conciseness in writing and preparing legal documents, e.g. court filings, pleadings, and motions and all other […]

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First Look: Ciinch Law Practice Management Software

If you are looking for something quick and efficient that helps you grind through your tasks each day, allows you to create a lot of reminders, and helps you with just invoicing rather than full-fledged accounting, Ciinch is a solid choice.


Court Opinions Are Rotten; Here’s a Fix

When one of your key sources only to hit a "404 - Page Not Found" error, that's link rot. It is a huge problem for lawyers and judges.


Six Benchslaps to Brighten Your Day

We all live in terror of being benchslapped, but that doesn't stop us from sharing them. Here are six of the best benchslaps we could find.


Good Luck Obeying These Parking Signs

Apparently, parking signs are meant to perpetually confuse drivers rather than point them in the right direction. Don't worry bikers, it's only a matter of time before these signs begin to apply to you.


You Are Wasting Way Too Much Time Checking Your Email

Everyone already knows that reading and responding to emails is a horrible time suck, one that we are forever trying to make a bit easier. We will never get out from under this email burden, however, if we don’t stop checking our email all the time, everywhere, all day (and all night) long. Adobe did a […]


As You Suspected, Lawyers Lean Left

If you are a person who is interested in politics and also happens to be a data nerd, have we got the study for you.  A trio of professors teamed up to assess demographic data — including where lawyers work, where they went to school, what field they practice in, and campaign contributions — to map […]


Solosmall Incubators Are Catching On

Incubators are all the rage in the (non-law) business world. They exist to provide start-ups of all flavors with resources, connections, and sometimes outright cold hard cash so that they can succeed. In the law arena, incubators have been a bit slower to catch on, but there are now a number of programs housed at […]


BigLaw is Literally Putting Associates in Boxes

Solosmall practitioners, it is assumed, gaze upon the perks offered by BigLaw with great envy. What if you had the marble floor entryway, the shiny elevator on the 32nd floor, the sweet private office where you get to choose your own desk? Yeah, about that last part. In [Paul Hasting LLP’s] new midtown Manhattan space, junior […]