Latest from My Shingle

For many lawyers, starting or owning a law firm remains at best, a consolation prize – sloppy seconds to employment as a lawyer – and at worst, an undesirable career path that ranks far lower than positions in legal ops or legal tech that don’t even require a J.D. At law schools, starting a law firm is synonymous with A2J – as evidenced by the 60 or so legal incubator programs established by bar associations…
Back when I graduated law school in 1988 (gasp!), suit-and-tie for men and skirt-suits and dress-and-blazer for women were de rigueur dress – not just for court, but simply for every day at the office.  Who knows why we ever thought it made sense to work that way  except for the fact that it was how it had always been done.  Over time and as with everything else, technology disrupted dress codes for lawyers at…
In a digital age, solo and small firm lawyers can largely accomplish what they need to online.  If you need help with getting discovery out or drafting a summary judgment brief, you can find project lawyers through sites like Law Clerk or Hire an Esquire.  Most case filling and organization can be handled by online clerks and paralegals provided that you can scan documents into digital format.  And sites like Google maps or Zillow…
By now, 36 states have adopted some version of the ABA’s updated Model Rule 1.1. duty of tech competence which requires lawyers to keep abreast of the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.  But there’s an even better reason than ethics compliance for lawyers to learn more about tech: to retain clients. Small Business Trends recently reported on a study showing that small businesses are turning to their accountants for technology advice. A full…
A recent  study by  Deloitte  reveals what today’s consumers want – and sad to say, it’s not anything that remotely resembles what today’s law firms offer. Take a look at this summary chart from the report – and let’s run through how law firms stack up: Value, Availability, Convenience and Ease  Consumers’ top three priorities are great deals, availability of products, convenience and ease.  Note – consumers did not specifically state that they want bargain…
Although summer conjures up visions of lazy weekends by the pool and hectic family vacations, for me, summer has always been the season to move discretionary projects off my checklist.  With many of the forums where I practice in recess for some or all of the summer and clients working short weeks, I often have more time to get things done. Plus, most summers, I typically have a brigade of eager law students who can…
I’m excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at a Table Talk lunch event here in Washington D.C. for Women Owned Law on June 5, 2019. Details below – hope to see you there! Women Owned Law -DC Table Talk : Learn about Free Resources to Start, Run & Grow Your Law Firm Date: Wednesday, June 5th2019 Time: 12:00PM to 2:00 PM Location: Ballard Spahr LLP, 1909 K Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC Open…
Eight and a half long years ago, I suggested that solo and small law firms share their security practices with clients as an added selling point for their practices. Of course, back in 2010, many solos and smalls hadn’t yet started using the cloud, email was still considered relatively secure and paper-less and virtual law firms were still largely a novelty. So my suggestion didn’t gain much traction. Fast forward eight years and so much…
As a mom and step-mom, Heinrich has a nuanced view of motherhood that she channels in her work. Particularly, when practicing family law, she focuses on collaborative child-centered divorce, and has empathy for other parents in similar roles. Inspired by a legacy of small business owners in her family, she started her own firm, The Heinrich Firm,  to have the flexibility to keep nontraditional hours and pump and nurse at her desk. To her,…
What I first saw… This morning as I strode through metro en route to my office, I spied a green column emblazoned with a checklist of items – hotdogs, plates, charcoal and lights and a tagline that read “BBQ, delivered.” Interesting, I thought to myself — I’d been meaning to host a law-firm sponsored summer get-together for years now and this seemed like a really convenient way to do it. So I walked around the…