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solo & small firm

Practice Points

What you need to know in a quick-to-read format. Find all of the Solo & Small Firm Committee’s Practice Points in this archive.


Answering Your Client’s Legal Questions: It Depends
By William J. Hale – August 16, 2021
It is important for attorneys to understand their clients’ underlying concerns to better help answer the clients’ questions.

Keep It Simple: Making Complex Litigation Understandable for a Jury
By William J. Hale – August 16, 2021
Three ways to help you appropriately simplify a complex case without oversimplifying it and losing key information.

Legal Marketing Staff: An Investment with Serious Return for Small Firms
By Kimberly Cushing – August 10, 2021
Some answers to your potential questions as to whether or not a marketing team could benefit your firm.

Editing Your Legal Writing: Avoiding Common Mistakes
By Stephanie Richards – May 28, 2021
A few basic missteps that every attorney, paralegal, or law clerk should keep in mind when reviewing pleadings.

Transitioning Back to the Courtroom: “Trials” and Tribulations
By Stephanie Richards – May 28, 2021
As the world slowly transitions back to normalcy, COVID-19 will never be forgotten, and neither will the perseverance shown within the legal profession. 

Does and Don’ts: Tips for Using Social Media as a Litigation Tool
By Stephanie Richards – April 22, 2021
A few ideas on how to best use social media activity during a trial.

Five Tips for Social Media Savvy Attorneys
By Stephanie Richards – April 22, 2021
A few considerations for attorneys to help navigate the murky crossover between ethical rules and social media usage.

Optimizing Inclusion: Building and Benefiting from a Diverse Law Firm
By Stephanie Richards – March 25, 2021
Firms which support a diversity and inclusion initiative appeal to clients who hold the same values.

Starting Your Legal Career as a Law Student
By Miller Leonard – March 2, 2021
Don’t wait! Start networking after your first semester in law school. 

Accounting for Lawyers: Beyond the Numbers
By Kevin Kwan – February 18, 2021
An introduction to basic accounting issues that attorneys should know.

Editing Your Oral Arguments: Removing Filler Words
By Miller Leonard – February 3, 2021
You do not want the jury or judge counting how many times you have said “um.”  You want them thinking about your argument.

Top Five Skills to Look for When Hiring a Paralegal
By Autumn Nelson – January 21, 2021
An indispensable paralegal has an ability to multitask, a strong attention to detail, a willingness to learn, an expertise in organization, and psychic abilities.

Four Reasons Your Small Firm Should Hire a Law Clerk
By Andrew Mcelmeel – January 19, 2021
A few benefits to hiring and mentoring a law student.

The ABCs of Creating a Successful Virtual Work Environment
By Michael L. Goldblatt – January 19, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the workplace as we know it, both business- and environment-wise. Regardless of the changes you face, here are some simple tips to keep your practice moving along smoothly.

Ten Reasons to Use a Parent Coordinator for Custody Disputes
By Laurie Wasserman – January 19, 2021
A few ways parent coordination can help dispute resolution in family law matters and avoid trial.


Marketing in the Digital Age: An Ethical Trap?
By Stephanie Richards – December 26, 2020
Marketing online is often the cheapest and most effective way to get exposure in your community but be sure to research the applicable ethical obligations to avoid potential sanctions.

Injunctive Relief 101: Immediate Remedies When Money Does Not Cut It
By Anna Limoges – December 22, 2020
When money is not enough to compensate your client for wrongdoings, consider injunctive relief to protect your client’s proprietary interests.

Litigating During Covid-19: Continuances, Continuances, and More Continuances
By Stephanie R. Richards – November 19, 2020
Continuances are becoming a band-aid solution for courts in quarantine, so attorneys must adjust to avoid over-preparing early and then having to re-start from scratch.

Se Habla Español: Benefits of Being a Bilingual Litigator
By William J. Hale – November 9, 2020
Speaking a second language provides a serious advantage in the legal field.

Judgment Execution: A Big Win Doesn’t Always Mean a Big Payout
By William J. Hale – October 9, 2020
There are options to try and turn a judgment into cold hard cash!

Avoiding Virtual Deposition Disasters
By Stephanie Richards – October 7, 2020
Ensuring your remote depositions are as effective as face-to-face.

Yoga for Stress Relief
By Sarah White – September 23, 2020
Learning to regulate our bodies’ biological response to stress is important, and yoga helps us to do just that.

Three Tips for Pandemic Productivity
By Kelsey Heino – April 28, 2020
Some tips to help your small firm stretch its budget over these months of uncertainty and hit the ground running when business gets back to normal.

The Basics of Accounting for Lawyers: Part 1—Understanding Financial Statements
By Kevin Kwan – March 27, 2020
Some simple concepts and tools that can be applied in your practice.

Coronavirus: Do’s and Don’ts for Your Firm
By Kelsey Heino – March 10, 2020
A few steps your office should and should not be taking to keep your employees and business safe.

Does My Firm Really Need an Employee Handbook?
By Kelsey Heino – March 9, 2020
Some benefits a handbook can provide your firm and guidelines to keep in mind when implementing or updating it.

Battling Compassion Fatigue: When the Helper Needs Help
By Kelsey Heino – January 27, 2020
A few tips for managing this mental health issue before it becomes symptomatic.

Choose Your Response to Change
By Kelsey Heino – January 27, 2020
Change is an inevitable part of life but approaching it from the right perspective can make all the difference. 


Twenty Business Resolutions to Consider in 2020
By Kelsey Heino – December 30, 2019
It’s a new year and a great time to improve your business.

Five Tips to Get Your Small Firm Ready for Tax Season
By Kelsey Heino – December 30, 2019
With tax season looming, it’s important to get a head start on your business’s preparations. These simple tips can give your business a boost!

Tips for Making Business Development a Thankful and Not Thankless Task
By Emily Kirk – November 27, 2019
Developing business does not have to be a strictly “business” event.

Small Claim Savvy: Should You Take the Case?
By Kelsey Heino – October 31, 2019
Be sure you and your client carefully weigh the pros and cons before you take on the matter.

Ditch the Handbook? Personal Interaction over Policies
By Stephanie Richards – August 27, 2019
Instead of a policy that may do nothing, interact directly with your team and make sure they understand the importance of their actions

Office R&R—Retreat and Rebuild
By Stephanie Richards – August 27, 2019
Retreats help your team build relationships, clarify goals and renew a sense of purpose, and align future efforts.

Perfect Pitch: Four Tips to Hit the Right Notes with Your Presentation
By Kelsey Heino – July 22, 2019
What you should remember the next time you’re preparing for and presenting a client pitch. 

Crossing Boundaries: Should You Take that Out-of-State Case?
By Kelsey Heino – July 22, 2019
Taking cases in foreign jurisdictions and serving as local counsel expand your opportunities, but it is important to analyze the pros and cons of each engagement.

The Argument for EI: Why Emotional Intelligence Is as Important as IQ
By Josh White – June 3, 2019
Having social and self-awareness and being skilled in relationship and self-management will help you succeed in the legal industry.

What Do You Want? Twelve Questions to Help You Create Your Future
By Paula Black – June 3, 2019
Creating goals and strategy for your business and personal development helps you to set your course, helps you articulate your commitments, and fosters a sense of accomplishment.

Turning Compassion Into Action
By Dr. Crystal J. Davis – April 18, 2019
Setting aside time to help better the world around you will help you, your team, and your practice thrive.

Four Tips for Concise Communication
By Christie Finnegan – April 18, 2019
Keep in short and simple, and improve communication within your office and, more importantly, with your key clients.

Look Before You Leap: Five Things to Do Before Opening Your Own Firm
By Elizabeth Miller – March 11, 2019
Take these tools and pull the trigger. There is no better time than the present to start living your dream and opening your own law firm!

Five Tips to Make Bill Collection Bearable
By Kelsey Heino – January 31, 2019
While it may seem unavoidable for some of your firm’s accounts to be in delinquency at any given time, there are steps to keep that to a minimum.

Oh, Baby! Accommodating Parental Leave in Your Small Firm
By Kelsey Heino – January 31, 2019
A few suggestions for handling the impact of a missing employee.


Hey Computer: Make My Law Firm Run Smoother
By Kelsey Heino – December 31, 2018
Three trends in legal technology you should consider in 2019.

Get the Most Out of Your Firm’s Google My Business Page
By Kelsey Heino – December 31, 2018
Three tips to get your firm name out there and make sure potential clients get the best possible first impression.

6 Phrases Servant-Leaders Can Use to Encourage Innovation
By Dr. Crystal J. Davis – November 26, 2018
Employees who sense that the boss cares for and supports them are happier, more engaged, more productive, and it shows up on the bottom line.

Here’s Your Smart Legal Marketing Template
By Wendy Witt – November 12, 2018
Get the right people at the right time in front of the person who does your intake.

3 Firm Policy Ideas from Recent #MeToo Legislation
By Kelsey Heino – October 24, 2018
Tips for avoiding sexual harassment and discrimination in your workplace.

“That’d Be Great”: 5 Tips to Successfully Share Office Space
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – October 15, 2018
While the benefits of banding together with other solo attorneys can be plentiful, there are several considerations to be addressed before signing that lease.

Five Tips for Starting 2018 with Success
By Linda G. Yang – January 30, 2018
Ideas to help start 2018 at the top of your game.


Put Some Power Back into Your PowerPoint
By Linda G. Yang – December 20, 2017
5 tips for making your presentations shine.

How to Protect Your Practice from Email Scams
By Linda G. Yang – December 18, 2017
This most common fraud method is skyrocketing on a global scale.

Voices of Recovery Podcast Series
By ABA CoLAP – November 10, 2017
The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs debuted the first of a series of podcasts that will address substance use disorders, mental health issues, addiction, and recovery issues. Episode 1 features attorney Laurie Besden, the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, who shares her battles with alcohol and drug addiction.

How to Survive the Holiday Season with Your Health (and Sanity) Intact
By Emily J. Kirk – November 30, 2017
7 tips for avoiding the season’s miseries.

5 Tips for Dealing with Self-Represented Litigants
By Linda G. Yang – November 27, 2017
The presence of self-represented litigants creates additional obligation on courts and, in many cases, on the other parties in the litigation.

Benefits of Pro Bono Work
By Emily J. Kirk – August 21, 2017
There is a critical role to play for solo and small firm practitioners.

5 Tips for Working Remotely Effectively
By Emily J. Kirk – August 20, 2017
Ensure your work does not suffer when you are outside the office.

"Top Five Reasons for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers to Hire a Summer Associate"
By Emily J. Kirk – May 31, 2017
Having an intern in the office is a good way to experiment with the development of your office and career.

4 Marketing Tips for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers
By Emily J. Kirk – May 31, 2017
Implement these ideas with little cost and stress.

April To-Do List for Solo and Small Firms
By Elizabeth Miller – April 28, 2017
A checklist to keep you at the top of your game.

Tips for Effective Marketing and Networking
By Emily J. Kirk – March 29, 2017
You have to be willing to give more than you will get.

March Tips for Solo and Small Firm Office Management
By Elizabeth M. Miller – March 27, 2017
With spring in swing, freshen up your practice.

5 Tips to Generate Revenues and Boost Morale
By Elizabeth M. Miller – February 24, 2017
February is a shorter month, but that doesn’t mean there’s less to do.

The Importance of Work/Life Balance
By Elizabeth M. Miller – February 24, 2017
Tips for preventing burnout so you can get the best results for your client.

8 Tips to Start Your Firm’s New Year Off Right
By Elizabeth M. Miller – January 24, 2017
A checklist for having a successful year.

It Concerns You: A Quick Comparison of Illinois Trade Secret Act and Defend Trade Secret Act of 2016
By Xiaoyin Cao – January 17, 2017
A look at why these laws matter to you.


5 Tips for a Productive Start to the New Year
By Emily J. Kirk – December 31, 2016
A quick review on how to recover from the post-holiday blues.

Quick Guide to the Amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
By Kaysey Fung – December 27, 2016
The amendments are effective December 1, 2016.

Six Tips to Help You (And Your Client) Connect with a Jury
By Emily J. Kirk – November 29, 2016
Advice from seasoned litigators.

Making the Most of Your ABA Section of Litigation Membership
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – November 17, 2016
You’re a member of the ABA’s Section of Litigation—now what?

Lessons from Tough Trials
By Carmen Caruso – October 28, 2016
Points to remember when your case is extra difficult.

Six Simple Tips to Effectively Prepare Your Client for Her First Deposition
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – October 10, 2016
The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown.

Tips for Representing a Client with Diminished Capacity
By Candice A. Garcia-Rodrigo – January 29, 2016
Learn about the issues faced by the attorney handling these often difficult situations.

Stop Living in Misery: You Deserve Better
By Emily J. Kirk – January 29, 2016
Why do so many lawyers end up unhappy? Learn some ways to break the pattern.

"5 Signs You're Not Ready to Open a Solo Practice"
By Emily J. Kirk – January 7, 2016
A recap on what to look out for before deciding to go it alone.


The Right and Wrong Reasons to Form a Partnership
By Emily J. Kirk – August 11, 2015

Solo Practitioners Need a Break, Too!
By Emily J. Kirk – June 8, 2015


How to Prepare for Oral Argument
By Emily J. Kirk – November 7, 2014

The Temptation to Depose Every Expert
By Emily J. Kirk – February 21, 2014

Highlights from E-Discover Roundtable
By Emily J. Kirk – January 8, 2014


Coming to a Court Near You—Restricted Discovery
By Eric S. Johnson – December 18, 2013

Juror Use of Social Media: Closing the Evidentiary Back Door
By Emily J. Kirk – November 26, 2013

Users of LinkedIn, Beware!
By Emily J. Kirk – November 7, 2013

The Virtues of Going Virtually Solo
By Virginia Sierra – September 24, 2013

Blog Discusses Five Technologies That Have Changed the Solo Practice
By Alison Clemency – April 16, 2013


Law School Launches Program to House Solo Lawyers
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – November 29, 2012

Social Media and Marketing Tips
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – October 17, 2012

Is It Smart to Lower Overhead to Lower Fees?
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – September 18, 2012

Developing a Business Plan for Your Practice
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – August 14, 2012

Attorney Fees Award Based on Size of Requesting Firm
By Cameron LaDuke – July 25, 2012

The Chilling Effect of Sanctions on Small and Solo Firms
By Norayr Zurabyan – June 5, 2012

State Bar of California Aims to Add Mentorship Regulations
By Virginia Sierra – May 22, 2012

Why and When Should a Solo or Small Law Firm Get Bigger?
By Norayr Zurabyan – April 13, 2012

E-Discovery on a Budget
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – March 28, 2012

ABA Launches Solo, Small-Firm Resource Center
By Norayr Zurabyan – March 16, 2012

Time Management Is Crucial to Business
By Virginia Sierra – February 28, 2012

Can Coworking Help Your Solo Practice?
By Virginia Sierra – February 17, 2012

Tips for Decreasing Health Insurance Coverage Costs
By Norayr Zurabyan – January 26, 2012


Making Your Firm Small, but Mighty
By Virginia Sierra – December 20, 2011

Going Solo: Challenges and Solutions
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – November 29, 2011

Law Firms Begin Implementing Firm Procedure Programs
By Virginia Sierra – November 18, 2011

Checklist for Creating a Unique Website for Solo and Small Firms
By Norayr Zurabyan – October 5, 2011

Easing the Changeover from Solo Practice to Small-Firm Operation
By Bobbie K. Ross – August 31, 2011

Branding for Solo and Small-Firm Practitioners: Consistency is Key
By Virginia Sierra – August 12, 2011

Starting Salaries for Law School Grads Fall as More Take Jobs with Small Firms
By Cindy Albracht-Crogan – August 3, 2011

Solo and Small Firm Economics
By Virginia Sierra – July 15, 2011

Ethical Considerations When Practicing in New Areas of Law
By Allie Clemency – June 27, 2011

Words of Wisdom Before Opening Up Shop
By Lauren M. Koloseike – June 27, 2011

Ask and Answer: Issues to Consider When Starting a Solo Practice
By Cameron LaDuke – May 25, 2011

Practicing Law in a Struggling Market: The Virtual Law Firm
By Julia Guinane – April 20, 2011

Updating Your Small Firm's Technology
By Virginia Sierra – April 20, 2011

Recent Holding Shows Metadata Is "Intrinsic" to Electronic Production
By Kathryn Harris – March 22, 2011

Don't Be a Forgotten Law Firm
By Virginia Sierra – March 22, 2011

E-Discovery Boosts Sanctions
By Cynthia Cohen and Virginia Sierra – February 22, 2011

Keep Up Those Client Referrals
By Virginia Sierra – February 1, 2011

Going Solo: Starting Your Own Practice
By Virginia Sierra – January 18, 2011

Solo Practitioners Granted Attorney Fees for Clerical Work
By Julia Guinane – January 18, 2011