March 25, 2013
Posted by Bruce under Being Solo
, Marketing The Practice
, Practice Management
, Practice Matters
, Practice Tools
, Rural Practice
, Small Town Life
| Tags: Client Expectations
, Going Solo
, Law School
, Law Students
, Practice Management
, Rural Law
, Small Town Life
, Software as a Service
, Solo Out Of School
, Solo Practice
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Well, it’s official – Becoming a Rural Lawyer is here. Like RuralLawyer the blog, RuralLawyer the book is designed to help you decide if you’re meant to practice in the 128,000 small towns dotting the US landscape. Becoming a Rural Lawyer looks at the myths of practicing in small towns, discusses emerging areas of rural practice, talks about the rhythms and (unwritten) rules of small town life, and includes advice, tips, and words of wisdom from rural lawyers from across the US.
Becoming a Rural Lawyer is available through Amazon.com (where I welcome your impressions of the book).
February 2, 2011
In her January 25 post, my friend and fellow blawger Susan Cartier Liebel asks “what obligation does the ABA owe to law students?” Susan’s post and the November 2009 report, The Value Proposition of Attending Law School by the ABA Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crises on the Profession and Legal Needs she mentions should be on every prospective law student’s must read list.
While I agree that the report should have wide distribution among prospective law students, I respectfully disagree with two of the post’s underlying assumptions: (a) that the ABA owes an obligation to prospective law students and (b) that the sole reason d’être for not quickly disseminating the report is simple greed. (more…)
November 24, 2009
Make voyages! – Attempt them! – there’s nothing else… (Tennessee Williams)
So, you are thinking of going solo right of school – great! Here’s some things to keep in mind:
- If you can pass the bar exam, you are (or at least yourState Bar thinks you are) competent to practice law. Period, end of discussion. So never doubt that you are sufficiently prepared to go out there and commit random acts of lawyerism. That nagging doubt, that fear that sneaks up in the quite hours of the night does not feed on your lack of competence, it feeds on your lack of experience. The good news is that there’s a cure for that – time. (more…)
March 19, 2009
The harsh reality is that law school only teaches theory and, until recently, learning the actual practice of law was taught by that harsh task-master experience. For the new associate just entering an established law firm, experience’s lessons are tempered by the older and wiser partners, however for those of us who march to our own drumbeat as solo practitioners finding mentors can be a daunting task. On March 20th, 2009, this changes with the opening of Solo Practice University.
Solo Practice University is the brain child of Susan Cartier Liebel and stems from her frustration with the inability of law schools to cover the innumerable variables that are unique to the actual solo practice of law. Solo Practice University is an on-line community bringing law students and solo practitioners together with an experienced, nationally recognized faculty. (more…)
October 15, 2008
Posted by Bruce under On Law School
| Tags: Law School
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Yes, you do have to read it all. However, the faster you can get up to speed with the proper way to read a case, the easier your life will be. Your goal when reading a case is simple, eliminate the fluff and isolate the critical facts the court used, the issue the court decided, and the rule/ruling made. The cool thing is that these are the same skills you’ll need when taking an exam. The shorthand for this is IRAC (issue rule analysis and conclusion). The only real difference between reading a case and taking an exam is that the exam requires you to do your own RAC — your professor will take care of hiding the issue and critical facts among the extraneous fluff.
Commercial outlines, case briefs and nutshell guides are useful, but are no substitutes for doing the reading. These commercial products are the law school version of Cliff Notes. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that you can get away with using them in class as a substitute for having read the case. Better to admit you are unprepared than to start playing “stump the chump” with the professor. First, there is no way a one page summary is sufficiently comprehensive to provide enough information to satisfy a detailed probing by a motivated professor. Second, commercial products are notorious for getting the names of the plaintiff and defendant reversed at random locations through out a brief and there’s no surer way to set yourself up for a game of “stump the chump” than not being able to present a coherent summary of a case. Use the commercial products to fill in holes in your notes, but don’t rely on them as substitutes for actually reading the material.
Statistics show that your performance during your first year in law school is predictive of your success on the bar exam – if you can manage a C+ average by the end of your first year, you’ll have no problem passing the bar. The catch is: the pace of law school does not allow for “being a little lost”. If you even suspect you might be a little behind, aren’t quite sure of the material, or might have missed something in class don’t wait any longer before you get a tutor, find an academic coach, or get help from the professor. If I were to do it all over again, I would set up a standing weekly appointment with a tutor the moment I set foot on campus and I would keep that appointment religiously.
The hardest part about your first year is realizing that, for the first time in your academic career, you may get a C. Don’t fret. Law schools take the cream of the academic crop each year (the average GPA for my first year class was 3.75). All that a C means is that you are an average over-achiever. C’s get degrees and, more importantly, C’s get jobs too.