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January 2009

What Impact Will Barack Obama’s Message of Change Have on Society’s Institutional Bias To The Status Quo and Tradition

I remember one point during the campaign when John McCain repeatedly stated that America needed action not talk.  His overall point was that action was more powerful than ideas. That made me think.

Most of the time, an idea rendered to idle chatter is without substantial import.  But John McCain got it wrong.  An idea rendered to a movement is far more powerful than a single man’s actions.  When and idea is adopted as the norm, armies of followers take the lead.

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GAL Is Pleased To Announce The Best - Coolest - The Definitive Portal of Legal Information on the Internet On Monday, our technology holding company UspeakWEtype Technologies, LLC launched a highly customized Digg-style site devoted exclusively to legal information. (you can register for OFL here and add your best blog posts to really narrow, and often irreverent, categories).   You can read the press release which you can see here.  And check out the the ~100 niche categories and 200 feeds available in OFL.

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An Explosion of Talent: And It’s Available Right Now!

Small and medium sized firms always hire just as needed.  Not only are Large law firms not hiring, they’re actually laying off attorneys and downsizing.  That means that there is a lot of legal talent, both young and old on the street looking for work.  Doesn’t it seem like it is time for law firms to consider virtual workers and lawyers to consider contract work? 

The Failure of Billable Hour

Jordan Furlong, the author of, dispatches from a legal profession on the brink and has a great article about why ‘billing by the hour’ fails called, "The failure of billable-hour compensation." Not only does the billable hour technique wreak havoc on the lawyer-client relationship, but is also very destructive to the law firm and employee relationship especially during these tough economic times. 

Furlong states that "the problem, of course, is that every lawyer, from the rawest associate to the oldest partner, is scrutinized annually on the basis of the number of hours he or she has billed to clients. You never outgrow it and you never escape it – it’s a permanent, pernicious blot on the law firm landscape."

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Work Left Undone Means Profit Left Unearned

I am preparing for a presentation through CCM where my partner Brian and I are doing a presentation on implementing a virtual worker program in your law firm.  This has got me thinking a lot about virtual workers (not that I needed any more incentive).

Law firms always have to decide whether or not they’re going to understaff or overstaff.  Sometimes, they don’t get to decide and the workload leaves them with one problem or the other.  For law firms that have more work than they do staff to handle the work, virtual workers are the obvious answer.  Don’t they realize that work left undone leaves revenue and profits unrealized? 

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Regurgitation Thursday: Re-Defining Legal Value

Topics covered in this episode of GAL Radio:

  • Alternative billing and delivering value to clients
  • The benefits of value-based billing

CIRCA December 28, 2004: Re-Defining Legal Value

The question presented is can lawyers provide legal value to clients in fewer hours and thus less cost? Anyone who has worked in a law firm knows the answer is a resounding 'yes' in many types of cases and matters.  Lawyers must,  however, commit to find legal solutions for clients as opposed to creating problems which 'front' for an excuse to bill (or allowing an angry client to make poor decisions which provide little value but drive costs up), (2) to handle cases and matters which are within your core talents and (3) farm out issues and matters to other 'value billing lawyers who specialize in such matters.

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Is A Big Salary Worth Working Conditions That Make You Miserable

I’ve only been screwed by the internet once.  For those of you who have been around for a long time, you will remember that Jenny worked with me at my prior law firm and jumped ship with me when I started my new law firm.  Thanks to, Jenny made contact with an ex-boyfriend from high school, fell in love, and moved back to her hometown to be with him.  We will forever miss Jenny and the fond memories of starting this firm. 

We interviewed extensively to replace Jenny and are very happy to have Cathy (that’s now our second Cathy working for the firm) on board.  She just completed her first week at the firm.  The second day, I asked her how she was doing.  She noted that it would take some getting used to.  When I asked her to explain, she stated she was referring to the casual atmosphere of our law firm. 

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Introducing Over The Hump (OTH) Wednesdays: Sponsored By

That’s right! Another new feature on The Greatest American Lawyer Blog.  Starting next Wednesday, will be sponsoring “Over The Hump Wednesday.” What is Overflow Legal?  Well, the press release hasn’t gone out quite yet, but it’s a project that we’ve been working on for the last year.  Like you, we struggled to find the best of the best blog content on the internet within the niche issues that we care about most.  Sure, you can subscribe to Google Alerts and amass tens or hundreds of RSS feeds of your favorite blogs.  But what if there was a single source of information where the best blog posts were assembled within niche categories more narrow than any categories implemented on the internet for law.  What if those blog posts were rated by bloggers such as yourself so that the best of the best rose to the top?  What if you could subscribe to each narrow category of interest to you?  What if all of the content was human edited just like Wikipedia so that descriptions, synopsis, and categories were made descriptive and relevant? What if the latest social networking tools were built right into the system?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Best Blogging Tips For Building A Loyal Readership

Recently, I wrote a post titled “The Lessons of Format and Familiarity How To Take Your Blog To The Next Level and Build a Strong Reader Base” which discussed how to improve your blog by creating a more familiar format and sticking to certain key content areas in which you are passionate.  Today, I’m going to give you my top ten blogging tips to take your blog to the next level.  I guarantee that if you follow some or all of these ten items, you will see your traffic, the number of readers plugging you into their RSS reader and comments to the next level and beyond.

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