Short Takes

Lawyers getting scarce in Nebraska (hat tip to Sidney Sun Telegraph)

The Nebraska State Bar Association is reporting that many Nebraska counties lack sufficient numbers of lawyers to adequately serve the needs of the client base. Currently 12 counties have no lawyers, the end result being that clients are traveling 200+ miles in order to access legal services (unintended consequence #2 is that these clients are not only taking the dollars they would spend on lawyers out of the county, they are taking the dollars they would spend on other things as well). The good news is that the Nebraska State Bar Association has started an initiative to try to encourage law students to consider a rural law career – pointing out things like the accelerated career advancement (average time to partner in  a rural firm: 4-5 years), and the availability of a challenging workload. The program includes tours of small towns and, in its inaugural year, connected at least 2 – 3 graduates with jobs (hey, it’s a start).

OK, So I wasn’t the first with the idea to map where lawyers aren’t

The South Dakota Bar Association beat me to the punch with their map of “Lawyer Population in Rural Areas“, and if that’s not bad enough, I’m betting it’s even more accurate than mine ’cause they most likely had professionals do it (not that I’m jealous or anything).

The reviews thus far for: On Becoming a Rural Lawyer

Susan Carter Liebel has posted a thoughtful review of my book over on Solo Practice University. Caroline Elefant of My Shingle fame was very generous with her review, as were the folks over at SDRuralLawyer, who listed my book as one of their featured books.

Some Beach, Somewhere – The Romance of Freelance

Some Beach

Now, this is a desk chair

If you try to make something just to fit your uninformed view of some hypothetical market, you will fail. If you make something special and powerful and honest and true, you will succeed. — Hugh Macleod

I have this recurring midwinter fantasy of buying a snowmobile, putting it on a trailer and heading off in a southerly direction until someone asks me “what in tarnation is wrong with that jet-ski?” The short days, cold nights, monochromatic landscapes, and mountainous piles of snow of the prairie winter are no doubt to blame for these visions of salt water, warm beaches, and a law practice run from beneath the shade of palm tree. Generally, reality (that pesky need to earn an income) quickly steps in to bring me back to the normal world and awaiting Persephone’s return, but this winter, fortune has allowed me to indulge in the dream just a bit longer (seems Demeter has gotten some help with those anger issues) by providing me with a copy of Kimberly Alderman’s new book: The Freelance Lawyering Manual.

The Freelance Lawyering Manual is the fruit of Kimberly’s career as a nomadic lawyer working from the wilds of Alaska to the beaches of the Caribbean and is the first manual to cover this revolutionary type of law practice. Freelance lawyering is not contract lawyering – Freelancers are seldom found in the dark, dank cellars of big law scouring over documents printed in that ubiquitous legal font “tiny, illegible”. These are not the hourly wage earning worker bees of the big law hive. Freelancers work from their own offices on a variety of matters billing their attorney-clients directly. They are independent lawyers running a solo practice complete with all the perks, benefits, overhead, and worries that come with running a business. Continue reading