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Author Archives: Ed Poll, Special To Lawyers Weekly

Managing your stock in trade

A frequent refrain from harried lawyers is, “I’m so overwhelmed that I just don’t have time to take care of myself.” Do you feel the same way? If so, do you think you are providing your clients with the best ...

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A passing of the bar

Wisconsin law school graduates are undoubtedly happier than other law school graduates — America’s Dairyland is the only state that does not require a bar exam. Students who graduate from a state law school can practice in Wisconsin without taking ...

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Small firms and the small-business challenge

It has become conventional wisdom in this country that small businesses are the real engine of economic growth and job creation. Typical examples: the tech startup that becomes a global giant, or the small-service provider that ultimately franchises too many locations.

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When the phone stops ringing, start calling

The past five years have been financially painful for many small firm lawyers – the two-thirds of the nation’s 1.2 million attorneys who practice in firms with five or fewer members. They often make $60,000 to $100,000 a year and generally represent individual clients and small businesses in issues (such as personal injury, family disputes, criminal defense and personal debtor claims, among others) that tend to pay less to begin with. Couple this with the reduction in number of clients and number of matters and the slower payments that firms of all sizes are experiencing, and the result is an office phone that rings less.

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Tips for managing a difficult client

The law ultimately is a people business. Lawyers every day deal with human lives in the practice of law and should strive to communicate honestly and directly about the difficulties involved while maintaining respect for those with whom we deal. That is easier said than done, when clients who are involved in stressful and emotional problems (from divorce or personal injury to closing a big deal) expect their lawyer to provide all the answers and make things right. The fact is that we cannot always do this, and conveying it to clients is often difficult.

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