Daily Dispatch

Are You Making Money Yet?

Midyear Financial Checkup: Get in the Mindset

By | Aug.12.14 | 3 Comments

6-Month Financial Checkup

So it’s August, and you are sitting down to reconcile your bank accounts for July’s activity. This is an exercise you do every month (or should be doing). As long as there’s money in the checking account, life is good, right? Maybe. But it begs the question: Is your law practice profitable — and can it do better?

Understanding which key metrics you should be tracking and measuring is critical to remaining profitable as a solo and small firm attorney. This time of the year, with half the year’s numbers in the books, is a good time to evaluate the numbers on your “financial dashboard” before plowing through the rest of the year. … READ THE REST

Ralph Pais, Enterprising Lawyer

By | Aug.11.14 | 0 Comments

Enterprising Lawyer

Who are these “enterprising lawyers”? Actually, they are easy to spot. Look for the more engaged and happier lawyers in the crowd. Deeply invested in the power of the work they do for their clients, they have ample interests beyond the practice of law as well. And they seem to have more energy for getting things done than anyone in the crowd. You probably know one or two — you may even be one yourself!

Meet Ralph Pais, Partner and Chair of the Technology Transactions practice group at Fenwick & West LLP, and innovator of the NewLaw entity FLEXbyFenwick. … READ THE Q&A

The Friday Five

Most Popular: Five Really Good Ideas

By | Aug.08.14 | 1 Comment

Friday Five

Getting serious about solving that irritating practice management problem but need a little help? Did you know that you can access — at no charge — hundreds of Attorney at Work daily dispatches by simply searching our archives? There you’ll find practitioners’ perspectives and expert how-to’s on countless conundrums (be it the best billing formats or what the well-dressed wear in court). Speaking of great advice, here are the five most-read Attorney at Work posts from the past 30 days. These are really good ideas! … READ THE REST

Get to the Point!

Avoid Clichés? As If!

By | Aug.07.14 | 2 Comments


Here’s one for the books. You can bank on it. Clichés are overused phrases that everyone knows. Pundits of good communication advise shunning clichés as unoriginal and boring — which is why readers of these posts may be surprised to see me take a contrary view. … READ THE REST

Fake It 'Til You Make It

Tips to Boost Your Confidence

By | Aug.06.14 | 0 Comments


When teaching speaking skills to lawyers, the first question is why participants are there. What do they want out of the session? The most common answer is they want to feel more confident. They want to feel or be somewhat different from what they are, or to have something they haven’t got. So we’re talking about emotion, self-perception and the desire to acquire a certain skill.

Emotion and self-perception are long-term projects to tackle with a coach. Skill acquisition is a more objective goal.

How can you learn confidence? Sometimes you have to figure out how to act like you’re confident until you feel it. Here’s one way to go about it. … READ THE REST

Writing Tips from Gary Kinder

Words Matter: Writing the First Three Sentences

By | Aug.05.14 | 1 Comment

Editing with three easy steps

Lawyer, writer and writing instructor Gary Kinder wants lawyers to get to the point quickly in their communications with clients. “Too often lawyers write a letter to the client and won’t tell them the answer to the client’s question,” he says. Or if they do, they frequently bury the answer pages deep into the letter.

In part one of our interview, Kinder, who’s widely known for creating the popular WordRake editing software, offered four tips for concise writing. Here he gets even more specific with a helpful blueprint for the first three sentences of any client correspondence. READ THE REST