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Law Practice Tips

Attorney at Work’s Top 20 Articles of the Year

By Joan Feldman

Revisit this collection of tech tips, marketing ideas and top law firm management articles for valuable advice on building your practice.

Counting Down the Top 20 of 2023

The launch of ChatGPT in January 2023 rocked the legal tech industry, and not surprisingly, readers flocked to articles focused on using generative AI: Four of our top 20 articles cover genAI’s impact on the practice and business of law. Mark C. Palmer offered expert advice on ethical pitfalls, along with an excellent ChatGPT primer for lawyers. Ruth Carter interviewed the founder of the AI Marketing Institute for perspective outside the legal bubble, and the team from Sensei Enterprises grabbed the No. 4 spot with an update on ChatGPT features.

Personal growth and productivity are the core of Attorney at Work, thanks to columnists like Danielle DavisRoe, Bull Garlington, Sally Schmidt and Jamie Spannhake, who earned top spots with posts covering tech tips, soft skills, rainmaking habits and overcoming negativity. Our newest columnist, veteran PI attorney Susan Cohodes, cracked the top 20 as well, with a question that’s on the minds of many of our readers: “Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?”

In 2023, we focused more on law firm growth and the challenges facing law firm owners and partners. Columnists Brooke Lively and Wendy Merrill write on profitability, talent and leadership — and their most popular posts are included below.

As for the No. 1 spot … Michael Rynowecer moved up from No. 4 last year, with his annual update on top growth industries and practice areas.

Congratulations, and thank you to all of the Top 20 authors. You are the best in the business!

The Countdown

Without further ado, here are the top articles of 2023. (Like what you see? Subscribe to our newsletter — and please share your favorite posts with friends and colleagues!)

20. Are You Dealing With Executive Functioning Disorder? by Wendy Merrill

19. Make Rain by Forming Good Habits by Sally J. Schmidt

18. Microsoft Office Tricks: 10 Easy Ways to Save 10 Minutes a Day by Danielle DavisRoe

17. Yikes! I’ve Lost My Job‚ Now What? Roy Ginsburg

16. Top Law Firm Website Design Trends for 2023 by Karin Conroy

15. Ethical Pitfalls When Using ChatGPT by Mark C. Palmer

14. AI Is Changing the Legal Industry: Interview With AI Expert Paul Roetzer by Ruth Carter

13. The Flat Law Firm: Why Collaboration Over Hierarchy Makes Sense by Leslie Howard

12. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Retiring From Full-Time Law Practice by Susan Cohodes

11. How to Quickly Redline Legal Documents With Word’s Built-In Compare Feature by Danielle DavisRoe

10. 5 Ways to Change Your Negative Thoughts by Jamie Spannhake

9. Have You Hired a Terrorist? 4 Kinds of Law Firm Employees by Brooke Lively

8. 15 Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost Your Productivity by Danielle DavisRoe

7. Harnessing ChatGPT: A Primer for Lawyers by Mark C. Palmer

6. Your Law Firm’s Employees Cost Too Much to Lose Brooke Lively

5. Soft Skills: How to Hack Your Greatest Superpowers by Bull Garlington

4. Chat GPT Is a Lot More Valuable for Lawyers Now by Michael Maschke, Sharon Nelson and John Simek

3. Flat Fee or Hourly? Pros and Cons of Lawyer Billing Options by Ruth Carter

2. The Best Compensation Plans Use the Law of Thirds by Brooke Lively     

1. Top Growth Industries and Legal Practice Areas for 2023 by Michael Rynowecer

While we excluded posts written by Attorney at Work’s editors from the tally, these three posts were among the most read:


top law firm management articles 2022

Counting Down the Top 20 of 2022

In college, my roommates used the phrase “anxious dread” to describe that mix of nervousness and despair we felt when marching off to class to take a make-or-break final or turn in a big assignment. That’s a lot like what 2022 has felt like — but different.

Perhaps the year’s mood is best described as “anxious optimism.” Despite the onslaught of “unprecedented” events, we picked our jaws off the table and kept plunging back into activities considered normal and sought new ways to navigate the familiar and unfamiliar. This year’s list of the most popular articles on Attorney at Work reflects that mood, with a mix of practical advice for avoiding missteps and tips for improving your business. But the most-read articles also offer information to help you view your practice differently — and consider new ways of doing things.

In keeping with Jamie Spannhake’s terrific article below (No. 7), the difference between anxious dread and anxious optimism may be a shift in perspective.

The Countdown

20. How to Prepare Your Law Practice for the Coming Recession by Brooke Lively

19. How to Handle a Mistake as a Young Lawyer by Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz

18. Top Digital Marketing Trends for Law Firms in 2022 by Annette Choti

17. Leaving Your Firm? Aim for a Joint Notice to Clients – Ask the Experts at by Mark Palmer

16. Redefining What It Means to Be ‘Responsive’ to Clients by Jay Harrington

15. Attorney Compensation: Taking Your Firm From Good to Great by Camille Stell

14. Lawyer Tech Tips: Productivity and Connectivity Tools edited by Joy White and Joan Feldman

13. The Legal Job Market Is on Fire! (It Won’t Always Be) by Anna Sanders

12. Analog Attorney: The Best Undated Planners by Bull Garlington

11. The Flat Law Firm: Why Collaboration Over Hierarchy Makes Sense by Leslie Howard

10. Four Ideas to Keep Associates from Leaving Your Law Firm by Wendy Merrill

9. Ten Marketing and Business Development Activities Any Attorney Can Complete in ONE Weekend by Walter McCorkle

8. Where Should You Put Your Tech Dollars This Year? edited by Joy White and Joan Feldman

7. Five Ways to Shift Your Perspective by Jamie Spannhake

6. Lawyer Billing | Flat Fee or Hourly? The Pros and Cons by Ruth Carter

5. Cybersecurity Trends | 25% of Law Firms Have Been Breached by Michael Maschke, Sharon Nelson and John Simek

4. 8 Legal Practice Areas Growing in 2022 and Beyond and Top Growth Industries and Legal Practice Areas by Michael Rynowecer

3. Project Management Tools for Lawyers by Nicole Clark

2. Using Outlook Rules to Process Email Like a Pro by Danielle DavisRoe

1. Protect Your Electronic Contact Lists from Prying Eyes by Michael Maschke, Sharon Nelson and John Simek

best of 2021 law firm management

Attorney at Work’s Top 20 Law Firm Management Articles of 2021

When 2020 finally ended, we searched for a word to encapsulate the year. “Unprecedented” and “pandemic” topped the list at dictionary sites, beating out personal favorite “hellscape,” and those themes dominated Attorney at Work’s content.

For 2021, “vax” and “vaccine” achieved word-of-the-year status at The Guardian and Merriam-Webster, respectively. As Merriam-Webster says, “For many, the word symbolized a possible return to the lives we led before the pandemic.” Emphasis on the word “possible,” as we spent the year in a strange, slightly unfocused limbo, doing our best to improve our personal workspaces and daily efficiency habits while waiting for definitive announcements on hybrid work and WFH policies — and vaccination requirements. “Vaccine” was also selected word of the year because it has been at the center of debates about personal choice, political affiliation, professional regulations … and so much more.

For the business word of the year, Grammarly put forward the following somewhat cringy but apt contenders: “Rethrival,” “communigreat,” “stratiskilled,” “flexpert,” “fur bomb,” “greenhousing,” “jammagabbing,” “blursday (what day is it?)” “spark-tacular” and “me-ssential,” a word that encapsulates the movement to prioritize self-care and wellness in the workplace.

Here, then, are the most popular, spark-tacular posts published by Attorney at Work in 2021, based solely on page views. Thanks to all of our contributors for sharing their expertise (flex and otherwise), creative thinking and support this year. Here’s to your rethrival in the new year.

The Countdown

20. These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (for Your Home Office) by Andrea Cannavina (@AndreaCan)

19. How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day: Everything in Its Place by Jay Harrington (@HarringJ75)

18. Diversity in U.S. Law Firms: ‘It’s Always Going to Be Incremental’ by Susan Kostal (@SKostal)

17. Shadow IT: A Serious Threat to Law Firms by Sharon Nelson (@SharonNelsonEsq) and John Simek (@SenseiEnt)

16. When Everything Is Urgent and Important: How to Prioritize by Jamie Spannhake (@IdealYear)

15. Top 6 Reasons to Hire a Paralegal Over a Lawyer by Roy Ginsburg

14. Scale: The Three-Step Formula to Grow a $1 Million+ Legal Practice by Jay Harrington (@HarringJ75)

13. Analog Attorney: 17 Amazing Ways a Hobinichi Techo Will Change Your Life by Bull Garlington (@AnalogAttorney)

12. Five Organizational Skills for Lawyers by Camille Stell (@CamilleStell)

11. Tricks for Reading Documents in Microsoft Word by Danielle DavisRoe (@affinitylegal)

10. 10 Habits for Successful Email Communication by Mark C. Palmer (@PalmerLaw)

9. Must-Have Apps for Running a Tech-Forward Law Firm by Catherine Tang (@AmericanAttorney)

8. Five Kinds of Rest: Avoiding Exhaustion Means More Than Getting Enough Sleep by Jamie Spannhake (@IdealYear)

7. Home Office Setups: Best Products for Comfort, Productivity and Joy by Bull Garlington (@Bull_Garlington)

6. Attorney Burnout: Four Traps to Avoid by Gray Robinson

5. Productivity Apps and Hacks for a Smoother 2021 with tech tips from Sheila Blackford, Brett Burney, Tom Lambotte, Sharon Nelson and John Simek, and Camille Stell

4. Using Outlook Rules to Process Email Like a Pro by Danielle DavisRoe (@affinitylegal)

3. 8 Legal Practice Areas Growing in 2021 and Beyond by Michael Rynowecer (@BTIconsulting)

2. The Remarkable 2, Supernote A5 X and iPad: War of the E-Tablets! by Bull Garlington (@Bull_Garlington @AnalogAttorney)

1. Solo and Small Law Firm Hourly Rates: Winners and Losers, by State and Practice Area by Susan Kostal (@SKostal)

law firm marketing

Attorney at Work’s Top 20 Law Firm Management Articles of 2020

When asked the one word or phrase they’d use to describe 2020, Washington Post readers came back with “exhausting” and “relentless” and “surreal.” “Dumpster fire,” “heartbreaking” and “persevere” also made the list. Over at, “unprecedented” and “hellacious” were up top, while the lexicographers at Oxford opted to ignore precedent and said, “umm, no” to choosing a single word of the year.

The Guardian chose “pandemic” as the most influential word of 2020 because it best describes the sheer scale of the COVID-19 crisis. It has, of course, overshadowed everything and everyone — including this year’s list of Attorney at Work’s top 20 articles.

In February, after noting an uptick in interest in the topic, we published Megan Zavieh’s No. 2 post on the ethics of relocating. Little did we know that working remotely would become so common that the ABA would update its Model Rules to address it. Our contributors stepped up in early March, the crisis looming: Jared Correia predicted the shutdown would be a referendum on remote work. As confusion and chaos unfolded, Gina Rubel and Susan Kostal taught us how to communicate with both the media and clients during a crisis. Sharon Nelson and John Simek advised us on Zoom videoconferences — and the security risks of sending lawyers and legal professionals home to work, practically overnight, with few safeguards in place. Since April, remote work, videoconferencing, and what to do about marketing, tech, staffing and stress have been the themes of this relentless year.

Most of us became adept at Zoom — quickly shifting from “where’s the mute button?” to experimenting with Zoom backgrounds and flattering lighting. Why did Bull Garlington’s “Looking Good in a Tiny Square” rocket to No. 1 this year? What does it say about our collective state of mind that, even in these grim times, our default is to show up, sit up straight and try to look our best (at least up on top)? To paraphrase Roy Ginsburg’s advice to solos in his No. 4 post: Failure was never an option. It helps to have someone as smart and funny as Bull to remind us to laugh.

Now, at year’s end, we’re back inside, isolating, watching COVID-19 cases climb during this surreal holiday season — and counting down the days until 2021 begins.

“Hope” is a word you won’t find on any of those 2020 word lists. We know the overwhelming problems we’re facing won’t fade with the New Year’s Eve fireworks. And yet, after a year filled with heartbreak — a surreal year, a dumpster-fire year — there is hope in sight. An inkling.

The Countdown

20. The Power of List Making by Meyling (Mey) Ly Ortiz

19. 10 Tips for a More Effective, Personable Attorney Bio by Gina Rubel (@FuriaRubel)

18. Attorney Unhappiness Hits a High: 5 Things We Can Do About It by Jamie Spannhake (@IdealYear)

17. 5 Hacks to Level Up Your Videoconferencing Without Spending a Dime by Andrea Cannavina (@AndreaCan)

16. Succeeding in the Business of Law: 5 Rules Every Lawyer Should Live by Robert Katzberg, author of “The Vanishing Trial”

15. This Is How Lawyers and Clients Look Good on Video Calls by Scott Brennan

14. Five Tips for Online Court Appearances by Joan Feldman (@AttnyatWork)

13. Five Things to Stop Doing With Business Emails in 2020 by Laura Ernde

12. Offline: The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Become a Referendum on Remote Work by Jared Correia (@RedCaveLegal)

11. Five Reasons Lawyers Avoid Retirement by Camille Stell (@CamilleStell)

10. Beware the Four Most Dangerous Outlook Features (Video) by Deborah Savadra (@LegalOfficeGuru)

9. Moving to a Virtual Law Office: How to Ethically ‘Practice in Place’ by Mark C. Palmer (@PalmerLaw)

8. Public Speaking Tips for Videoconferencing During the COVID-19 Crisis by Marsha Hunter

7. Continuity of Care: Reassuring Clients You’re Prepared for COVID-19 by Susan Kostal (@SKostal)

6. Scrub Your Document With Microsoft Word Document Inspector (Video) by Deborah Savadra (@LegalOfficeGuru)

5. 30-Day Business Development Plan for Lawyers During the COVID-19 Crisis by Jay Harrington (@HarringJ75)

4. COVID-19 Impacts for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers: Beyond Remote Work by Roy Ginsburg

3. Getting Started With Zoom and Using It Securely by Sharon Nelson (@SharonNelsonEsq) and John Simek (@SenseiEnt)

2. Can You Relocate Without Taking a New Bar Exam? by Megan Zavieh (@ZaviehLaw)

1. Zoom Backgrounds: Looking Good in a Tiny Square by Bull Garlington (@Bull_Garlington)

The Rest of the Best: Top Law Firm Management Articles

Attorney at Work’s Top 12 Practice Management Articles of 2019

Attorney at Work’s Top 20 Marketing Articles of 2018

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Categories: Law Firm Marketing, Legal Technology, Managing a Law Firm, News and Trends, You At Work
Originally published December 19, 2023
Last updated January 21, 2024
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Joan Hamby Feldman Joan Feldman

Joan Feldman is Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of Attorney at Work, publishing “one really good idea every day” since 2011. She has created and steered myriad leading practice management and trade publications, including the ABA’s Law Practice magazine where she served as managing editor for a dozen years. Joan is a Fellow and served as a Trustee of the College of Law Practice Management. Follow her on LinkedIn and @JoanHFeldman.

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