Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

Special Reports

ATL Converge: The Benefits of Procurement with Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein

Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi interviews Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein, a panelist at the ATL Converge conference and executive director of Buying Legal Counsel. Silverstein discusses how procurement helps streamline the purchase of legal (and other) services by making it more objective, transparent, and measurable. Buying Legal Counsel is an organization of procurement and operations professionals tasked with sourcing legal services and managing legal services supplier relationships.

Special Reports

ATL Converge: Public Relations and Communication with John Hellerman

Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi interviews John Hellerman, partner at Hellerman Baretz Communications, about law firm public relations and media communication at the 2015 Above the Law conference ATL Converge. Hellerman discusses the differences between media exposure earned through the attention from mainstream media, paid media through sponsorships or advertisement, and owned media in the form of podcasts, white papers, and blogs. Tune in to hear about how each are important and where your law firm or practice should be focusing its energy. Hellerman Baretz Communications helps their clients identify and communicate with audiences through mainstream media.

Special Reports

ATL Converge: Media Relations with Joshua Peck

Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi interviews Joshua Peck about how law firms should interact with the mainstream media at the 2015 Above the Law conference ATL Converge. Peck explains that law firms need to openly and specifically communicate with journalists, victories in litigation, bankruptcy, corporate deals, and general firm advancements. Positive attention from niche legal and major business publications can increase firm reputation and attract the attention of prospective new clients. Joshua Peck is the senior manager of media relations at the Law Firm of Duane Morris and he co-founded Law Firm Media Professionals.

Special Reports

Above The Law Editors Discuss Converge Panels

The 2015 Above the Law Converge conference featured discussions of four current legal topics: privacy, reputation, communication strategy, and emerging technical trends. Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti sits down with the Above the Law editors moderating each panel the day before the conference to talk about why each topic is relevant to today’s lawyers.

The following are moderators and their discussion topics. For the benefit of our listeners, we interviewed the panelists about these legal topics after each panel.

Staci Zaretsky: Online Reputation, Privacy, and the Law

David Lat: Pitching the Mainstream Media

Joe Patrice: Emerging Technical Trends and Best Practices

Elie Mystal: The Future of Law

The Florida Bar Podcast

Admission on Motion, Reciprocity, the UBE, and Non-Lawyer Licensing

Three controversial issues relating to The Florida Bar admissions and the future of the practice as a whole are currently being discussed. The Florida Bar is considering whether to endorse the adaptation of the following programs. Admission on Motion, or reciprocity, deals with the concept of lawyers legally crossing state borders to practice law. The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) allows lawyers to take a test and acquire a portable bar examination score usable in any state that accepts the UBE (16 currently do). Finally, there is a question of whether the state of Florida should adopt some form of non-lawyer licensing. The Bar Admissions Committee of The Florida Bar’s Vision 2016 Commission is currently studying these issues closely.

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares and John Stewart interview lawyer and chair of the Bar Admissions Committee Lance Scriven about the pros and cons of Admission on Motion, the Uniform Bar Examination, and non-lawyer legal professional licensing. Scriven discusses the practitioner benefits of crossing borders and practicing law and points out that there are many instances in which this is already being done. The obvious negative in these programs involves lawyers who are worried about even more competition in a state which is already saturated with attorneys. Stewart points out that many services that these alternative solutions provide are filling a currently existing hole in the market of moderate or low income people and small business owners. Admission on Motion, the UBE, and non-lawyer licensing are strong alternatives to the competition being created by online legal services which already exist to fill this void. Florida is watching the action of major states like New York or California on these issues, Scriven says. Tune in to hear more about these controversial and important decisions facing Florida lawyers.

Lance Scriven is an attorney in Tampa, Florida, with the Trenam Kemker Law Firm. He practices as a commercial litigator and has been at the firm for 13 years collectively. Scriven is a member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors and Chair of the Bar Admissions Committee of The Florida Bar Vision 2016 Commission.

In-House Legal

Skills for Success as a General Counsel

In-house lawyers who are looking to become a general counsel face fierce competition and high standards. Corporations are seeking candidates with an extensive skillset, often favoring experienced general counsels, or exceptional in-house lawyers. But how does an in-house lawyer gain these valuable skills?

In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Mark Roellig, General Counsel of MassMutual, about the skills lawyers need to go in-house or become a general counsel, how to properly manage an in-house team of attorneys, and why diversity is important in business. Roellig explains that lawyers seeking a general counsel job need to gain legal experience above and beyond their current position in addition to the knowledge of business, communication, and other non-legal skills. He discusses how to choose the right team of employees, make sure your department adds value to the company, and the proper way to achieve success with diversity. Tune in to learn how to lead a corporate legal department successfully.

Mark Roellig is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). Roellig is responsible for all the legal affairs of the Company, advises management and the board of directors to ensure that MassMutual complies with corporate-governance requirements and is responsible for the corporate secretary, corporate compliance, internal audit, government relations and the Corporate Business Resources and Real Estate and Facilities Departments of MassMutual.

New Solo

How David Sparks Started His Solo Practice

In the last episode of New Solo, we heard about how Michael Downey left his big law firm to start a solo practice. But with all of the small decisions involved in going solo, each lawyer’s experience is different. David Sparks is a lawyer and self-identified geek who left his small firm of three attorneys to start his own practice. As he is tech savvy, Sparks’ process differed from Downey’s in several ways.

In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews David Sparks about why he decided to go solo, the first actions he took, and struggles he encountered during the process. Sparks’ first steps involved evaluating the potential costs of research, insurance, malpractice, and other legal necessities, and comparing it to an assumed client income. He talks about being a lawyer who uses Apple products and how he chose, or didn’t choose, products like Ruby Receptionists, Clio, Rocket Matter, and Omnifocus. Sparks also discusses the importance of marketing his new solo practice and how setting up the business and accounting aspects took longer than he thought it would. If you are considering starting a solo practice, this podcast is a good place to start.

David Sparks has been a lawyer in Orange County, California for 21 years and recently started a solo practice. He is also a technology expert who has a blog, a podcast, and often writes about finding and using the best tools, hardware, and workflows for Apple devices. David also writes for Macworld magazine and often speaks about legal technology.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.

Robert Half Legal Report

Making Succession Planning an Ongoing Priority

In this episode of The Robert Half Legal Report, attorney Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal and Sandra J. Boyer, Boyer & Greene principal, examine the importance of succession planning and why it is imperative to the future viability of law firms. They discuss best practices and potential obstacles that law firm management may encounter when implementing a succession plan.

Paralegal Voice

Results of the 2015 NALA Utilization and Compensation Survey for Paralegals

Every 2 years, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) conducts a survey of paralegals to establish current trends in the paralegal industry. Among those surveyed are NALA members, non-members, and members of affiliated organizations. Topics include the duties and responsibilities of paralegals, where they work, common practice areas, and the changes in billing rates and compensation. What is the meaning of survey results and how should paralegals use this information to improve their practice?

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews NALA President Kelly LaGrave, ACP about the results of the 2015 NALA Utilization and Compensation Survey, ways in which paralegals achieve professional growth, and the importance of certification to a paralegal career. LaGrave talks about the trends in the paralegal industry according to the survey, including more paralegals working in corporate legal departments, banks, government entities, the medical field, as well as private law firms. Popular practice areas, she says, include litigation, corporate law, real estate, administrative law, trust and estates, and increasingly commercial law. In order to keep up with trends, she explains, continuing education in unfamiliar areas and certifications are valuable to all paralegals. Voisin and LaGrave then discuss what it means to be certified, how to choose a qualified certification program, and ways to promote certification when looking for a job or promotion.

Kelly LaGrave, ACP joined Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC in Lansing, Michigan in 1993. She is a member of their business and corporate practice group. A successful passionate paralegal, LaGrave works in a wide variety of matters such as mergers and acquisitions, entity selection, and organizational planning for profit and nonprofit corporate planning and tax-exempt applications, loan transactions, real estate transactions, insurance regulations, and intellectual property. The current president of the National Association of Legal Assistants, she has served in many NALA leadership positions throughout the organization. She most enjoys helping develop and deliver training to other paralegals.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and ServeNow.

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How can attorneys get help without harming their careers?

With such a stressful profession, many attorneys face addiction and other mental health issues. If you find yourself struggling–or know another lawyer who is–what resources are out there? Does admitting a problem have to harm your career? What are your ethical duties if you do know that a colleague is battling an addiction or suffering from mental health problems?

In this month’s Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with Patrick Krill of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s legal professionals program to find out more. Krill is currently finishing a study in conjunction with the ABA to research substance abuse, depression, and anxiety in legal profession.

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