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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Why I (Mostly) Abandoned Flat Fee Billing

Flat fee billing is great for some situations and terrible in others. If flat fee billing is leading you to overworking yourself and undervaluing your skills, it may be time to consider a switch.

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How Much Trial Technology Is Too Much Trial Technology?

A court in Delaware recently disallowed all trial technology costs claimed by the prevailing party's attorney, saying that there was no evidence the tech helped the jury make its decision. This is probably the wrong way to think about trial technology.

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Podcast #76: Setting Flat Fees at a New Firm, with Jamie Whitney

For this week's podcast, Sam talks with Jamie Whitney, an attorney who recently went out on her own after several years at a large firm. They talk about the process of setting flat fees when you have just started your firm.

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Successful Decision-Makers Are Slow and Uncertain

Though we often tend to assume that successful businesspeople are able to make speedy and bold decisions, the opposite may be true: people that take a longer time to make decisions and are less confident about those decisions can experience greater business success.

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Why Hyperbole Will Destroy Your Case and Understatement Will Save It

Lawyers often give in to the temptation of overstatement and bombast, but attorneys can often strengthen their case with understatement instead.

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Your Smartphone Could Improve Your Public Speaking

Attorneys spend a great deal of time speaking in public. Two new smartphone apps aim to improve your public speaking skills and increase your precision and confidence.

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5 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Deposition

Before you file your next deposition notice, ask yourself if the deposition is really necessary. If the answer is no and you take the deposition anyway, you are wasting time, driving up litigation costs, and perhaps even damaging your case.

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How to Pick a Mediation Style

Mediation can resolve cases, but whether it does often depends on the mediator and the style of mediation he or she practices.

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Ace Your Initial Client Meetings

Your time is valuable and, like many lawyers, you may charge nothing for an initial meeting. Make sure you ask the right questions and get the right information before taking on your next client.

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Preparing for E-Discovery, Step One: the Client Interview

It’s safe to say electronic evidence—text messages, digital photos, cloud storage, and the internet of things—will be involved in every new case you have. As a result, it’s important you prepare to produce and request electronic evidence from the start of your case.

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Don’t Let Intimidation Drive Your Litigation Strategy

If someone could burn down your house, would they really knock on your door and blow smoke in your face?

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How To Handle Tire Kickers

One of the biggest challenges for all attorneys is balancing their current caseload against making sure new cases are coming through the door. Not every potential client, however, is created equal. Beware of the dreaded tire kicker—also known as a time vampire.

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Write Better Legal Documents with an Editing Checklist

Your first draft is never perfect. Better your writing and arguments with an editorial checklist.

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How To Dissolve a Law Partnership

But plans don't always work out, and what was once a promising law firm can find itself headed toward dissolution. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in the position of having to dissolve your law firm.

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How Scare Quotes Are Saving Legal Writing

If lawyers stop disarming themselves by using legalese, maybe they won't need scare quotes. Until then, we'll have to put up with them. A baby step in the right direction is much better than nothing.