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Archive for ‘Practice of Law’

Too Much Information: The Dangers of Blogging About Your Client

If you are not careful, the Internet can be a dangerous place that can expose you to malpractice claims. LAWPRO Magazine has featured articles on Social media pitfalls to avoid and how there may be no coverage for some online activities: Danger Signs: Five activities generally not covered by your LAWPRO policy.

Another recent LAWPRO Magazine article on Practice pitfalls contains a section on Internet liability, which points out that “statements that lawyers make on the Internet, whether on law firm or other websites, or on social media sites such as Facebook, are a significant potential growth area for claims.” . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Technology: Internet

NY Ethics Opinion on Public Information on Social Media Sites

The New York State Bar Association has decided that it is ethical for lawyers to gather information on adverse parties in litigation from publicly accessible social media pages of those parties. Lawyers are not allowed to ‘friend’ the adverse parties, or have anyone else do so. (This is consistent with the Philadelphia Bar opinion from last year.)

A story about the Philadelphia Bar view is here (the Bar’s own site is currently down for maintenance).

Here’s how the press characterized the NY State ruling: “Lawyers may comb social media for dirt”. Does that strike you as fair?

What would we . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, ulc_ecomm_list

How Big Is Your Silhouette?

I’m returning from the Canadian Centre for Court Technology conference with a mix of problems, questions, solutions, and vague ideas swirling around in my head. I’d like to pluck one of my wilder notions out of this brain brew and offer it up here for discussion and a reality check.

As is the case whenever people get together to talk about technology, there’s a good deal of nervous and plaintive discussion about its unwelcome aspects — the way it intrudes work into formerly private time, the way it gooses the already speedy nature of our lives. There’s nothing here that’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

Getting Into the Practice Plan

I’m reading Patrick McKenna’s new Slaw column offering advice to the newly minted law firm support professional. His three points, I think, are all spot on; and I say that after spending more than 12 years in-house. Generating respect as a non-lawyer within a law firm isn’t easy, but it is entirely possible.

No matter which role you play, the big challenge will always be to select the right projects. And the curve ball, is that it doesn’t matter if you believe that your selected projects are important or valuable. What matters is if those projects deliver value to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Do You Drink Too Much? Take This Survey to Find Out

I came across an interesting article in the Autumn issue of University of Toronto Magazine. It indicates that John A. Cunningham, a behavioural scientist at U. of T., has come up with new criteria for defining how much alcohol consumption is too much.

You can measure your own drinking habits against these criteria by taking a short five minute survey at

The survey asks about the amount of alcohol you consume, and compares it to averages for others of the same age and sex. On an annual basis it also reports how much you spend on alcohol and . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

“0 of 0 People Found” – Law Librarians and Firm Websites

I know a few law librarians.

I make no secret of it.

Some of them have been essential in making Slaw a success — and only in part because they “got” IT light years ahead of the legal profession generally. Some have been engines driving the creation of powerful institutions of legal learning. Some have even been known to play vital roles in firms that practice law.

Why, then, do law firms hide their law librarians as if they were . . . dipsomaniac uncles and aunts?

I don’t say that firms sequester them in dank, windowless quarters. Or that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Is It Finally Over? (Not Quite)

Chris Mondics at the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if the legal market has seen the worst of the biggest recession in the legal industry since the Great Depression,

For law firms, the devastation that swept through the legal marketplace in 2008 and 2009 has come to an end. Layoffs have stopped or at least have been sharply curtailed, firms that suspended hiring are recruiting once again, and profits, though flat or down, have stabilized at numbers that would make average middle-class American wage earners click their heels with delight.

Even the sky-high starting salaries for first-year lawyers, long the source of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Practice Management

What’s Your Font of Choice for Legal Argument?

Seanna and I watched Gary Hustwit’s documentary film about the Helvetica font on the weekend. It’s led me to pose the question, “What’s your font of choice for formal legal argument?”

The movie explains that, aside from being ubiquitous, Helvetica is modern, minimalistic and neutral. I like it for formal legal advocacy for two reasons. One, I feel it’s a good “empty vessel” though which I can impose my own meaning without a font signaling something “off message.” Two, I’ve bought into the idea that persuasive argument is, first and foremost, digestible argument: writing point-first, plain language argument in Helvetica . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Why You Should Use A/B Testing on Your Website

We all run into design-related questions when creating a web page. Questions like “Should this button be red or green?” or “What would the most effective headline for this paragraph be?”. While these decisions may have a dramatic impact on the overall effectiveness of a website, they are often the product of subjective judgement calls by an individual, or worse, a committee.

What if, instead, we could approach such design decisions scientifically? A/B testing makes this possible by treating a web page design instance as an “experiment” where multiple variations of a webpage are randomly presented to page visitors; data . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology, Technology: Internet

Law Students – Perceptions and Reality

In Friday’s episode of Law Librarian Conversations podcast, we talked with two social media-savvy third year law school students to get a dose of reality on what they think about social networking, online communication, legal research and practice skills. Our guests were Laura Bergus from Iowa who runs a legal podcast called Legal Geekery and writes for and Huma Rashid from Chicago’s John Marshall Law School, who runs a personal blog called The Reasonably Prudent Law Student where she offers budget fashion tips and thoughts on being a law student. Both Laura and Huma participate in the Social . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice