Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Law School and Writing Legal Dramas for Television

This time On the Road at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, host Sandy Gallant-Jones speaks with former federal prosecutor, producer, and author Jonathan Shapiro about his work writing legal dramas for television. Jonathan gives a brief synopsis of his legal background as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and talks about the path that led him to become of counsel at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. He reminisces about his early career, meeting his wife, Betsy Borns, and selling his first script to writer and producer David E. Kelley. The work of writers, he says, is to use their experience to create new material, and he discusses how this relates to his new book, “Deadly Force,” and his current show, “Goliath.” Jonathan closes the interview with an analysis of the high numbers of alcohol abuse among attorneys and his suggestions on how law schools can better teach students to form cogent persuasive arguments and revitalize the nobility and idealism of the legal profession.

Jonathan Shapiro has spent the last 16 years writing and producing some of television’s most iconic shows, including “The Blacklist,” “The Practice,” “Life” and “Boston Legal.” He has won an Emmy, Peabody, and Humanitas Award and also authored “Liars, Lawyers, and the Art of Storytelling” (ABA Publishing) and the novel “Deadly Force” (Ankerwycke Press). Prior to writing for television, Jonathan spent a decade as a federal prosecutor and as an adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School and the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. He is a member and the former chairman of the California Commission on Government Economy and Efficiency, as well as the founder and director of the Public Counsel Emergency for Torture Victims. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oriel College, and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Minefield in the Modern Employee Handbook

There are many legal and cultural issues that need to be addressed in an employee handbook, including accommodation for certain classes of people, wages and overtime, confidentiality issues, and many more. Unfortunately, lawyers can often overlook the importance of catering their firm’s handbook to their employees. In this On the Road report from the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Kate Bally, Matthew Schiff, Michael Lotito, and Sierra Spitzer, speakers from the conference’s panel “Minefield in the Modern Employee Handbook.” Together, they create awareness about the most important and often ignored laws and best practices for creating an effective employee handbook. Matthew explains the mistakes many lawyers make when taking their handbook from a previous firm. He also discusses exempt and non-exempt employees with regards to overtime laws. Michael goes into the National Labor Relations Act and why it actually does apply to lawyers, despite a belief to the contrary. Kate talks about LGBT and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, accommodation for disability, religion, and pregnancy, wage and hour rules, and state specific issues. Sierra Spitzer concludes the interview with thoughts on how to balance the law and culture in a law firm employee handbook.

Kate Bally is the director of Labor and Employment Service, Practical Law at Thomson Reuters. Kate has her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Matthew Schiff is a labor and employment partner at Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP where he counsels clients in all aspects of employment and labor relations. He has his J.D. from Boston University.

Michael Lotito is the co-chair of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute which provides advocacy services for clients, associations, and policy leaders on all workplace concerns. He has his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.

Sierra Spitzer is a partner at the law firm of Schwartz Semerdjian. Sierra has been practicing law in San Diego since 2004 with a focus on labor and employment issues, personal injury, and business litigation on behalf of both individuals and business entities. She has her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

The Florida Bar Podcast

Making Legislative Amendments to Rule 4-7.22

In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Renee Thompson and John Stewart talk with The Florida Bar Board of Governors Eighth Judicial Circuit representative Carl Schwait about the legislative amendments recently made to rule 4-7.22. Carl explains that the relationship of lawyers to clients and their procurement is much more guided through the internet today than it has been ever before. This shift in how the public seeks out legal services has brought a whole new group of for-profit companies and corporations into the legal marketplace whose chief aim is to match lawyers and clients. The Florida Bar declared a few issues that these changes now present to rule 4-7.22 and The Florida Supreme Court did not agree with some of these stated issues requesting that the bar go back and reevaluate the rule. Carl explains that their goal was to prevent for-profit matching services from arguing with the board of governors over whether they were a directory, a lawyer referral service, or some other entity and that most of these organizations didn’t want to be classified as lawyer referral services at all. The bar wanted to do away with all naming conventions and solidify the classification of these companies as qualifying providers so that every entity or person who was in the business of matching attorneys and clients would all fall within their rules. He emphasizes that The Florida Bar does not oversee qualifying providers and that their rules are to the lawyers who participate in this matching program in order to better protect the public. Carl closes the interview with an analysis of how these changes impact voluntary bar lawyer referral services, why the malpractice insurance requirement was removed, and how The Florida Bar might proceed if The Florida Supreme Court asked for oral arguments on these rules.

Carl Schwait is a North Central Florida mediator, businessperson, educator, Florida Bar leader and former public servant. Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and named to Florida’s Super Lawyers® for the last nine years, he has been a member of The Bar for over 39 years.

New Solo

CRM: Using Client Relationship Management in Your Law Firm

Client Relationship Management, or CRM, is a strategy implemented in business to maintain effective knowledge about and connections with your current, previous, and potential clients. Using technology, employees are able to nurture relationships with their clients by tracking conversions and setting notifications. But many lawyers, especially solos and small firm lawyers, aren’t using CRMs; they don’t know the potential value of these systems or even what they are. So why should attorneys bother learning about CRMs?

In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares discusses CRMs with Michael Chasin, co-founder and CEO of Lexicata, a law firm CRM and client intake software. Michael talks about the foundation of Lexicata and how it has helped many lawyers find and convert leads. He then explains how CRMs can help solo and small firm lawyers with client intake as well as marketing. By touching base with potential clients, we can create a positive, brag-worthy experience. In this way, clients will return with future legal needs and can also become great referral sources. Michael discusses how the right CRM can automate a significant part of this process, making your client feel attended to without taking up too much of your time. He finishes the podcast by talking about how lawyers should go about choosing the right CRM to build a foundation for the future of their solo practices.

Michael Chasin is CEO of Lexicata, a CRM and client intake software designed to help law firms and lawyers increase client satisfaction. Michael is also co-founder of both LawKick.com and Lexicata.com. He has his B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina, and his J.D./M.B.A. from Loyola Law School.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Solo Practice University and Clio.

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How to build a book of business without looking desperate

Business development doesn’t come naturally to all lawyers. Some hesitate to take advantage of social opportunities out of fear of looking desperate or needy, but that’s wrong-headed, says business development coach Larry Kohn. He speaks with the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward about ways that attorneys can promote themselves and their skills in ways that help both the lawyer and their potential clients.

Special thanks to our sponsors Amicus Attorney.

ABA Journal: Legal Rebels

Deborah Rhode is at war with complacency

Stanford Law School Professor Deborah Rhode is the enemy of complacency. This Legal Rebels Trailblazer is one of the most cited scholars in legal ethics, though she wears many more hats. She has carved out specialties in discrimination (ranging from race and gender to the unfair advantages that flow to physical beauty, often probing their intersection with legal ethics) and in criticism of legal education itself.

Lawyerist Podcast

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

 

“I think it’s all about asking questions. The more questions you can ask of somebody, the quicker you can hone in on what they actually need and whether it’s a service you can actually provide.”—Jamie Whitney

On this week’s podcast, Sam talks with Jamie Whitney about how to make choices about fee-setting when starting a new firm.

Jamie Richards Whitney is the owner of Richards Whitney, P.C., a solo law firm. Jamie began her career at Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. (now Norton Rose Fulbright), an international law firm recognized for its litigation teams. In 2016, Whitney started her own firm. She now works with growing businesses and online businesses to help them plan for the future, resolve disputes, and support expansion. She has served on the State Bar of Texas’ Court Rules Committee since 2009 and also provides volunteer legal services to political asylum seekers.

Law Technology Now

LegalX: Innovators from MaRS

If you think the legal industry’s future depends on small and big firms working together, you might be from MaRS. By MaRS, we mean the Canadian-based MaRS Discovery District (originally named Medical and Related Sciences) and its recent project to innovate the legal profession.

In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay interviews Aron Solomon and Jason Moyse, the co-founders of recent MaRS startup LegalX. Together, they talk about today’s transition from the big firm model of yesterday in favor of more nimble practices traditionally found in smaller firms and startups. Although there will always be a need for Biglaw on large, highly profitable matters, 80% of the U.S. market is priced out of legal services. That unmet need has become a primary driver in sweeping change to the legal industry.

So, what do these driving forces mean for the future of law? Monica, Aron, and Jason take turns answering that question with their forecasts of the legal market for the next 2-5 years. Not only will this near future continue to see big firms receding, but it will also usher in an era of innovation. Legal solutions made on one side of the globe will be solving problems on the other. Even more surprising, it is predicted that Biglaw will collaborate with small firms to produce more comprehensive offerings at lower prices. Tune in to hear more about the future of law as seen from MaRS.

Aron Solomon is the innovation lead at LegalX, a startup from MaRS Discovery District that specializes in connecting technologists, designers, engineers, and lawyers to drive innovation in the legal sector. Prior to that, he was ED at Ed, entrepreneur in residence at i.c. Stars, and co-founder and vision holder at SVBstance. In addition, Aron has served as Global Managing Partner at Futurlogic, CEO at Think Global School, and founder for The Mission Group.

Jason Moyse is the industry lead at LegalX, a startup from MaRS Discovery District that specializes in connecting technologists, designers, engineers, and lawyers to drive innovation in the legal sector. Prior to that, he was the manager of legal business solutions at Elevate Services, director of innovation execution at Cognition LLP, and director of service delivery at McCarthy Tétrault. In addition, Jason has been legal counsel and program manager to Xerox Canada.

Lawyerist Podcast

#75: Building a Mindful Law Practice, with Jeena Cho

 

“What they don’t teach you in law school is that the work that we do as attorneys is in many ways very traumatic emotionally.”—Jeena Cho

This week, Sam talks to Jeena Cho about her new book, The Anxious Lawyer, and how to build a mindful law practice.

Jeena Cho is a partner at JC Law Group PC, a bankruptcy law firm in San Francisco, CA. In addition to her law practice, she teaches mindfulness and meditation to lawyers. She regularly speaks and writes about wellness, self-care, and mindfulness. She also works with lawyers and law firms on stress management, work-life balance, career transition, and increasing productivity.

Lawyerist Podcast

#74: Staying out of Hot Water with the Ethics Board, with Eric Cooperstein

 

“One thing I noticed among my lawyer clients is their lack of organization, and it does connect to technology”—Eric Cooperstein

In this podcast, Sam chats with Eric Cooperstein, an ethics attorney. They talk about how to approach law practice in a way that avoids ethics trouble.

Eric Cooperstein is a Minneapolis-based attorney who advises attorneys on ethical issues and defends attorneys who are subject to ethics complaints. He is the former Senior Assistant Director of Minnesota’s Office of Lawyer’s Professional Responsibility and a past president of the Hennepin County Bar Association. He also previously chaired the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct Committee. Currently, he serves on the boards of Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance and Minnesota Continuing Legal Education.

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