Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drum Roll Please...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...we have our first family law matter!

Considering we walked out of the first day of Family Law class, I was surprised to get a referral for a divorce. Um, sure, we do divorces!

The initial meeting was a little rough, due to our lack of experience (this is where I thank God we have a list of helpful attorneys in our contact database). We wouldn't have taken the case save for the facts that there are no children (those can get really ugly and last a long time) and the wife (who we represent) has a moderate income.

Due to these two factors, we are going to do the "unbundled approach." That means we limit our representation to assisting with specific items such as document preparation and coaching, rather than "full representation" which would entail her paying a hefty retainer fee. Several attorneys who practice divorce law complain that when they burn through the retainer and ask for more, the client then squeals "I have no more money!" and the lawyer is left to do the rest of the work for free. It puts both attorney and client in a real bind.

Unbundled legal services is a great solution, providing affordable legal services to middle income families, and allowing attorneys to do many family law matters on a flat fee basis.

Anyways, off the soapbox. Wishing you all a great weekend!

Ah, yes, divorce ... from the Latin word meaning
rip out a man's genitals through his wallet.
~Robin Williams

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tell Me Your Story

My apologies for the lack of entries recently. It's not that we've been bowled over with clients throwing themselves at our door like voracious zombies (that one is for you, James!).

Actually, we've had several phone calls. But many are those we like to call "Story Tellers."

Take "Mike," for example. He calls me on a Saturday (at this point, we'd answer the phone for a client on Christmas Eve if we had to). He's talking really fast, something about a physical illness he had which was something something with his Veteran's benefits.... Finally I interject and ask for his name and telephone number, politely stating that I'll need it in case we get disconnected.

He tells me his name is Mike. He gives me his area code, then goes off on another long tangent about how the Veteran's Administration misdiagnosed him, yada yada yada. I interject a second time, explaining it's a Saturday and I actually have to meet a friend shortly, but I'd be happy to talk to him more on Monday, if he'd just give me the rest of that phone number.

He hangs up. I kid you not!

Now seriously people, did he get anything out of yaking my ear off for five minutes? I don't know. But, I've run this by several other attorneys and they agree it's pretty common. Some people just want to talk, share their story.

One more thing they don't teach in those non-existant Law Firm Management classes at law school.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again.
~Groucho Marx

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's My Birthday and I Got a Stapler

My mom is in town, and she took us on an office supply blow-out buying spree at Costco today. Her gifts will cover both of our birthdays (mine being May 12th) and Paul's in July.

On the long-coveted list:
  • A rockin' STAPLER--this baby can do 25 sheets. It is HOT.
  • A Brother 4-in-1 machine. Faxer, printer, scanner, copier. Wow!
  • Paper--5,000 blindingly white sheets.
  • Business security envelopes.
She also bought me a pair of shorts, running socks, a new shirt, and some Philips Sonicare toothbrush heads. What can I say, I'm a practical woman.

Thanks Mom! Seriously, the "business" gifts are much appreciated because they will really increase our productivity. Let's hear it for Liz's Mom!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Our Favorite Blogs

As bloggers, we have to keep up with other blogs. Our blog is quite measly compared to the ones we'll list here. Some writers are so creative, cleaver, and informative, it's hard not spend the whole day reading their entries, when we need to be out beating the pavement.

Hence, a post about some of our favorite blogs, and why we are shamelessly addicted:
  • Sweet Hot Justice: HILARIOUS account of an associate at an anonymous big law firm. Her accounts of big law life have made me squirt Diet Coke through my nose more than once.
  • California Injury Blog: Jon Bisnar and his crew are incredible, maintaining an amazing blog with almost daily entries about personal injury cases throughout California. This guy never sleeps.
  • Above the Law: one of the top-ranked legal blogs in our present day. It's our one stop shop to learn about the latest law firm lay-offs and hiring freezes. Tip: ignore the comment sections, things get out of control regularly.
  • My Shingle: consistently brings in news and tidbits for those out on their own, in the sun or in the cold. She also wrote a book titled Solo by Choice. Although we've yet to check it out, judging from her blog, it's likely a good read.
  • Legal Marketing Blog: consistently comes up with solid, useful tips for marketing a law firm.
  • Build A Solo Practice: I've been following this informative blog since before graduation from law school. It has a wealth of resources and interesting articles pertaining to hanging your shingle. It's creator, Susan Cartier Liebel, is the mastermind behind the incredible Solo Practice University.
  • The [Non] Billable Hour: the top post was "Selling Through a Slump" so it automatically goes on here.
  • The Greatest American Lawyer: blog tag line is "Changing the Way Law is Practiced." We're doing the same thing. So there. It's G2G.
The personal nature of the blog is what they find appealing.
~ Ethan G. Salwen