How Law Firms Can Benefit from Artificial Intelligence

By Andrew C. Hall


The world’s first AI legal assistant | Andrew Arruda | TED Institute


Artificial intelligence (AI) has trickled into every aspect of our existence, significantly impacting how we live, work, and communicate. Perhaps the biggest value added of new and improved technology is the convenience it creates. Using a machine to complete a labor-intensive task frees a lawyer from the most tedious or mundane tasks and permits the lawyer to focus on analysis, counseling, and advocacy.

Artificial intelligence is not a replacement for lawyers. It is a tool for facilitating greater productivity and efficiency. More importantly, by comparing information to other relevant information, while also considering the lawyer’s skills in identifying issues or the effect of otherwise obscure facts on the events at hand, the work product improves. The key is knowing when and how to apply these emerging technologies and to recognize their limitations. Achieving that balance will be essential to positively transform the legal profession.


Applying AI for legal applications

AI technology creates more time for attorneys to advise clients, appear in court, and work to negotiate deals. It has the capability to take away the monotonous process of reviewing and managing “boilerplate” within legal contracts, which is a huge part of the work that law firms do on behalf of their clients. After all, much of the law is based on predictability and precedent. AI can help streamline many of these processes and repetitive tasks with high predictable results.

In the business world, artificial intelligence can serve as a guide to determine which provisions of a standard contract to include when a customized version is required or when doing business with a new customer. An AI system can also notify with alerts in advance of critical dates in a contract—like renewals and options. These pop-ups always help a business manage an agreement more effectively. Of course, the main goal is to always identify risks and problems with how contracts may be revised to avoid negative impacts for clients. AI can often help sort out problems faster with fewer mistakes that are often overlooked by the human eye.

It’s vital for critical points that are included in all contracts to be crystal clear and transparent to both parties. At the same time, as a litigator, it’s imperative to realize that different people can read and interpret contracts in different ways. As business contracts are becoming longer and more complex in our multifaceted economy, AI can help both parties in drafting those contracts by pulling standard clauses for application to a given situation. Then, the attorney can focus their time on the most important new points when constructing a mutually beneficial agreement.

Consistency in the drafting of contracts is also key. For example, if a party wants a legal term referred to in a specific way throughout an agreement, it must be ensured that this is accurate and incorporated in a timely manner because as we know, any variation from that practice could prove damaging. AI software can keep these terms consistent while also identifying any variation with a warning to the practitioners.


The potential to reduce overall cost

One of the best circumstances where AI can significantly reduce litigation costs is when it is applied to electronic discovery during a major case. The technology can deliver potential savings by lessening the number of billable hours to gather necessary facts based on document review as well as create a timeframe and fact pattern. The legal team on the case can then use its resources more strategically for analysis, which in turn, may reduce the cost of litigation.

Another example is the amount of time an attorney spends proofing a document opposed to running the original through AI software. AI often saves hours of time in these situations, with accuracy, which then translates into monetary saving as less attorney time is involved in finding answers or fixing mistakes. Ultimately, applying AI in these circumstances consistently can, over time, make up for the cost of AI programs.


What businesses should be doing

There are two areas of utmost importance that businesses should focus on related to AI. First, look at using algorithms and online tools for both writing and managing existing business contracts. This day in age, we have access to the best contracts in any industry written by distinguished lawyers. Everyone should take advantage of the wealth of knowledge available from already prepared contracts which can then be modified as appropriate.

Also, knowing that we all live in a litigious society, anyone who files a commercial lawsuit will end up wanting to review all of your documents. That means compiling and providing information from tablets, mobile devices, computers, and third-party data services. This process can be extremely long, stressful and costly—so you should use a powerful IT management tool to code your information. At that point, you’ll not only be able to provide the relevant information quickly but in a more cost-efficient manner.


Future prospects for disruptive innovation in litigation

AI has the potential to make the discovery phase of the litigation process proceed more quickly. Since this can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of a case, these systems could potentially help parties resolve their disputes more quickly throughout any arbitration or litigation.

It’s not unusual to find thousands of computer files, emails, calls, text, and video messages all of which relate to a complex case. Right now, firms like my own, use computer algorithms to identify keywords or other relevant information that is essentially buried in electronic documents. Only until the material has been gathered can it be reviewed by a legal team, then analyzed for true significance. For major cases, we may hire more people to assist in a general review which would then reduce the volume of documents needed for review by our own attorneys’ later use the case.

The evolution of AI tools will continue to add powerful analytic components, like creating a more straightforward chronology of events and identifying fact patterns that make a case. Yet with all of that in mind, and despite all of the pending advancements still to come with AI in law, the ability to be nimble and make quick reactions during unexpected occurrences at trial—which can happen at a moment’s notice—can never be replaced by a machine.


Make 2019 the Be$t Year Ever for Your Law Firm by Developing These 3 Strengths

By Stephen Fairley on November 26, 2018Posted in Law Firm Development

Building a lifestyle law firm — one that enables you to do what you want when you want to do it — begins with the understanding that you are running a business. And the success of your law firm lies in how well you are able to develop your strengths in three key areas:

  1. Marketing your legal skills.

As an owner or partner in a law firm, your primary focus (in addition to honing your lawyering skills) is to understand the key principles of business development and law firm marketing and to apply them every single day. Not every attorney will be a top Rainmaker, but everyone can do something to grow and market his or her practice.

  1. Creating extraordinary experiences for your clients. 

You need to “micromanage the client experience”—controlling every aspect of how the client experiences your law firm. From how the phone is answered, to greeting them by name as they walk in the door, to minimizing the amount of paperwork you ask them to complete, to reserving your conference room with their name on the door, to returning client phone calls and emails consistently and promptly…everything should be focused on creating a positive experience for your clients.

  1. Building deep and lasting relationships with your clients.

Far too many attorneys only have a transactional relationship with their clients. They create an estate plan for them, they file a lawsuit on their behalf, or they set up a corporation for them. To be successful over the long term, you must think long term and develop lasting, meaningful and influential relationships with your clients because the most expensive thing you can have is a one-time client. One of the most basic marketing strategies for law firms is getting additional business from current clients – yet many attorneys fail at doing this effectively.

A great way to end the year strong and start 2019 even stronger is to attend a Rainmaker Retreat, where you will learn how to develop all the above strengths and more. Here are the upcoming sessions:

  • December 7-8, 2018 — Los Angeles, CA/Ritz Carlton Marina del Ray
  • January 18-19, 2019 — Las Vegas, NV/Aria Resort & Casino
  • February 15-16, 2019 — Miami, FL/DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean Point Resort & Spa – North Miami Beach
  • March 22-23, 2019 — Scottsdale, AZ/Talking Stick Resort

You can register online for a Rainmaker Retreat or call 888-588-5891 for more information.


Dolce & Gabbana Are Threatening Legal Action over Cancelled Show, Racist Row

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The Fashion Law is an independent source of objective fashion law and business analysis, and serves as a community for lawyers, business executives, fashion industry insiders, and students.

Julie Zerbo is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fashion Law. She has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, MTV, and NBC, and has been cited by publications including the New York Times, the Economist and Vogue publications worldwide, among others. Julie authored a chapter and assisted in editing Fashion Law: A Guide for Designers, Fashion Executives, and Attorneys, a leading fashion law textbook in law schools in the U.S. She is a lawyer and exclusively pens the “Law Review” column for Women’s Wear Daily.


“Dolce & Gabbana is facing a major crisis in China where top e-commerce sites are dumping its products over accusations of racism,” CNN reported on Friday. “The backlash against the Italian luxury fashion brand began earlier this week after it launched video ads featuring a Chinese woman struggling to eat pizza and other Italian food with chopsticks” ahead of the brand’s scheduled runway show in Shanghai.

According to the New York Times, the brand “abruptly canceled the fashion show,” as the situation escalated when offensive comments that were sent from co-founder Stefano Gabbana’s personal Instagram account began to surface online, including on the China-specific social media site, Weibo, as Western social media sites are blocked on the mainland. Other media outlets have suggested that it was the Chinese government, not D&G, that was responsible for the show’s cancellation.

In the wake of the cancelled show and still-mounting consumer fury, retailers, such an luxury e-commerce giant Yoox Net-a-Porter, and China-specific platforms, Alibaba and JD.com, have begun dropping the Italian design brand from their lists of stocked brands. Another Chinese retailer, Yangmatou, confirmed in a social media post Wednesday that it had removed 58,000 D&G products from its site. Lane Crawford, a Hong Kong-based retailer with several outlets in China, also revealed that is is putting a stop to the sale of D&G goods in stores and online after its customers started returning them.

Beyond the third-party backlash, the brand, which was founded in 1985 by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, has gone into face-saving overdrive, asserting that Mr. Gabbana’s Instagram account – where the racist comments originated – was hacked and issuing multiple clarifications and public apologies. According to a statement put out by the brand this week, “Our Instagram account has been hacked. So has the account of Stefano Gabbana. Our legal office is urgently investigating. We are very sorry for any distress caused by these unauthorized posts. We have nothing but respect for China and the people of China.”

“My Instagram account has been hacked. My legal office is working on this. I love China and the Chinese culture. I’m so sorry for what happened,” Mr. Gabbana wrote on his personal Instagram account.

Still yet, Dolce & Gabbana’s communications office has taken to threatening legal action against highly-followed social media users that have labeled its founders and the brand as a whole as racist. In cease and desist letters seen by TFL, Dolce & Gabbana’s reps have demanded that any and all “false information” be removed from a handful of users’ accounts in order to alleviate the need for legal action, presumably defamation-centric lawsuits. Of course, the brand’s ability to successfully make such defamation or false light claims in court (as opposed to merely threatening legal action) assumes that there is not any truth to the statements made, since truth is an absolute defense to assertions of defamation.  

The entire fiasco “could prove an expensive blunder,” per Reuters. “Closely held Dolce & Gabbana is widely reported to have notched up $1.5 billion in revenue in the year to March 2017. If the proportion of Chinese sales approximates those of rivals, some $500 million could be at risk.” Ben Cavender, a senior analyst at China Market Research in Shanghai, told CNN, “In the eyes of Chinese consumers, it has already been done.” On the other hand, Luca Solca, luxury analyst at BNP Paribas, told Vogue, “It is very early to tell.”

Dolce & Gabbana facing fallout from alleged racism in China | Squawk Box Europe


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Our Confusion Over What Is A “Lawyer”

A profession facing an existential crisis

The Algorithmic Society

Author: Ken Grady is an adjunct professor for Michigan State University College of Law’s LegalRnD – The Center for Legal Innovation.

When I was an undergraduate student, I suffered from lack of focus. Unlike many in my cohort, I enjoyed a broad range of classes. My pre-med friends liked science courses and, for the most part, endured humanities courses. My humanities friends steered clear of the science buildings and lived for courses that explored the meaning of life. Other friends spent hours in art classes, or carried around thick books with fascinating titles such as “Intermediate Cost Accounting” or “Financial Management”. But I enjoyed a broad palette of courses.

I took many of the heavy science courses (inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, anatomy). I also took as many psychology courses as I could fit in — my goal was to become an academic studying the biological causes of human behavior. Sprinkled in each semester were courses in areas such as ancient history, political science, and music theory. My course lists were eclectic, but fascinating.

As I neared graduation and was exploring graduate schools, my mentor and undergraduate advisor had one of those “now it’s time to get serious” talks with me. He was very enthusiastic about my going to graduate school, but he was worried. “To excel as an academic,” he said, “you will need to pick an area and become an expert in it. You can’t dabble in many areas and expect to build your reputation, get grants, and get published.”

As it turned out, I never had the chance to explore whether he was right or wrong (though I think he was much more right than wrong). An accident in my family midway through my senior year meant I had to leave college to care for my mother. I needed just a few credits to graduate and my college was generous enough to let me take them at an accredited college near my home.

By the time I got back to exploring graduate schools, I had done more investigating. The pipeline of Ph.D.s was stuffed (I am in the middle of the Baby Boomer pack). Many with doctorates from name schools were struggling to find jobs (the popular meme at the time was the Harvard Ph.D. in biology who was running the franchise office of a lawn fertilizer company). I was told that if I had any alternatives to getting a Ph.D., it would be wise to explore them. I had spent part of my interregnum working at a major law firm, so off to law school and graduate management school I went.

Looking at my undergraduate transcript, you would find it difficult to define a central interest. Science? Psychology? Humanities? Music? Exactly what was my field? The core definition problem was: What is a Ken Grady?

What Is A Lawyer

Today, lawyers also have a definition problem: What is a lawyer? This may seem like one of those “how many angels will fit onto the head of a pin” problems, but it isn’t. I would argue that it is at the heart of many of the discussions about the legal industry today. If we can’t define a lawyer, then how can we establish what we need to teach students to become lawyers? How do we define what is legal work and what isn’t (apparently, reviewing documents in litigation is not legal work though for decades, lawyers thought it was).

Duc V. Trang, Managing Director of Landon Advisory Services, raised the same question in a recent post on the ROSS Intelligence blog. He has an interesting take on defining lawyers tied to the concept of problem solving. But with the growing diversity of lawyers and what they do, I wonder if problem solving is a sufficiently common element, and a unique element, suitable for defining a “lawyer”.

Is interviewing witnesses in litigation legal work? Studies show that FBI agents are better at doing interviews than lawyers. Perhaps writing briefs and other documents is legal work. If so, then lawyers are in trouble. Most lawyers are bad at writing. Journalists and english majors are typically better at writing than lawyers. Some political scientists know more about Supreme Court jurisprudence than some lawyers who file briefs with the Supreme Court.

We can go on and on through the various tasks that lawyers perform, and yet none of those tasks is uniquely a “lawyer” thing. Look at research, critical thinking, legislative drafting, and on through the list of what lawyers do and there isn’t anything that lawyers and only lawyers own.

Another big part of the problem is that a lawyer is not one thing. A lawyer can be one of many things and there are many types of lawyers. We have corporate lawyers, family lawyers, criminal defense lawyers, and intellectual property lawyers. We can expand that list to include dozens and perhaps hundreds of lawyer-types. At one time, perhaps in the 1800s and early 1900s, a lawyer was a much narrower thing than a lawyer today. Attempting to find the common denominator among all the lawyer-types typically leads to something so vague that once again we are left without an adequate definition of lawyer.

Perhaps lawyers are package deals. It isn’t that we excel at any one thing, but that we put together many things into a unique package. We are not the only ones that can do each task, but we are the only ones trained to do a combination of tasks that fills a role in society. It is that combination that defines the lawyer.

I offer up this analysis not because I have found the answer to the question “what is a lawyer,” but because I still am not satisfied that we have the answer. Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind tried to find a definition for “professional” in their book, The Future of the Professions, and finally settled for a definition that would satisfy no one (I suspect the authors included). We have the same problem as we search for the definition of lawyer.

Lawyers Versus Legal Services Providers

The “what is a lawyer” question starts to really hit home when we begin disaggregating what lawyers have done. Give part of what a lawyer does to a project manager, another to a pricing specialist, and a third to artificial intelligence, and the lawyer’s contribution may start to look skimpy. The lawyer adds judgment and experience, argue some. Is the lawyer in his or her first year adding judgment and experience the same as the lawyer in his or her twentieth year? Clearly not, but then when does that first year “lawyer” become a Lawyer?

And what of judgment and experience. If artificial intelligence can scan 10,000 or 100,000 records in a data set and provide a recommendation based on that “experience,” is the lawyer who relies on his or her lifetime of cases — a fraction of what the AI can review — providing experience? If the lawyer’s judgment is subject to bias and the judgment of artificial intelligence is bias-free (admittedly, something we are still trying to achieve), is the AI’s judgment better than the lawyer’s?

Many of you will read these questions and brush them aside. “People are better than AI. We bring compassion, intuition, inference, and other human skills to bear on what we offer clients. AI can’t do the same,” you say.

For now, that is correct. But to believe it will always be that way flies in the face of what already has been done with AI. Even now, people in many disciplines can provide those human skills as none of them is reserved to lawyers. So, we still have not defined a lawyer.

The “What Is A Lawyer” Question Comes Up Every Day

Each time an individual or organization needs something done and a lawyer is a potential solution provider, the “what is a lawyer” question comes up explicitly or implicitly. Does the individual need a lawyer or will someone else (an accountant, a counselor, a legal publisher) do just as well? Does the organization need a lawyer, or will a consulting firm, an accounting firm, or a law company suffice? Lots of people and organizations are problem-solvers.

More frequently, individuals and organizations are answering the question “do we need a lawyer” with a “no.” Individuals are going it alone and organizations are turning to others (those without law degrees) to provide solutions. There are many reasons behind these changes, but one is the failure of lawyers to define how they uniquely add value.

Lawyers have enjoyed an artificial moat around the profession. There are those who have law degrees and those who don’t. If you don’t have a law degree, then beware — engage in certain tasks and you can be charged with the “unauthorized practice of law” — a vague standard defined and interpreted by lawyers. But that moat is getting shallower and narrower every year. If a U.S. organization hires a law company in South Africa to negotiate contracts and that law company relies on its U.S. office to do the work, has the law company engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? Should we care? Was the U.S. company harmed?

Individuals and organizations have problems they need solved. Unless lawyers can demonstrate they provide a unique value proposition in solving those problems, individuals and organizations will consider going, and often go, elsewhere. So we are back to the central question: What is a lawyer?

What If There Isn’t An Adequate Answer

I am sure some of you reading this post will jump in with your own definitions of a lawyer. We all want to answer the question, if for no other reason than to justify what we have done with our lives. As you provide a definition, take a moment to challenge it. Does it really provide a unique definition or could others fill the role? Is a just-graduated lawyer superior at analyzing a Supreme Court opinion than a 20 year political science professor who has studied the Supreme Court her entire career? If the answer is “yes,” then what defines the lawyer that the political scientist does not have? If the answer is “no,” then why can’t the political scientist write a brief and file it with the Supreme Court? I’ve glossed over a few things to make this point, but the core question remains.

I think the fear many lawyers have today is that the answer comes down to regulation not substance. The difference between a lawyer and someone who isn’t a lawyer, is that the state has decided that those individuals with certain education and training, and who have passed certain tests, get a ticket to practice. They may not be substantively better than others at doing the tasks lawyers do, but they did the things required to get a ticket to practice. If that is the distinction, then lawyers are at risk — and probably with good reason.

This same analysis could be applied to many professional fields today, as the Susskinds note. The wide availability of information and knowledge that once was trapped in silos has been a great equalizer. Artificial intelligence will break down more silo walls. Depth of education, training, years of experience, and perhaps something else may be all it takes to define a profession — any profession — sufficiently. Even if so, those in the profession must take it upon themselves to come up with a definition sufficiently persuasive to society to justify continuation of the profession. Right now, lawyers are struggling to come up with that definition, and that does not bode well for maintaining the moat around the profession. And, that may be a good thing for society.

Ken is an author on innovation, leadership, and on the future of people, processes, and technology in the legal industry. He is an Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow at Michigan State University College of Law; and on the Advisory Boards for MDR Lab and LARI, Ltd. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, and follow him on Facebook.

Matthew Whitaker Applied To Be A Judge With A Ridiculous Collection Of Nonsense And Football

Source: Above The Law

By JOE PATRICE

Back in 2010, Pretending Attorney General Matthew Whitaker attempted to snag himself an Iowa judgeship. Specifically, Whitaker was aiming for the Iowa Supreme Court, presumably so he could do his part in blocking marriage equality, which at the time had just been authorized by a unanimous Iowa high court opinion. He even waxes philosophic at the end of his application about how the Court has “wandered beyond its constitutional authority” and cites John Roberts lying about how judges are just umpires.

The real story here though isn’t that a right-wing operative wanted to crash a gay-friendly state court, but that his application is so laughably bad. It’s just a complete mess. The good people over at American Bridge have uncovered Whitaker’s application to be considered for the Iowa Supreme Court and… wow. If you wondered why career DOJ personnel are so concerned about Whitaker wielding any significant measure of power in his new quasi-job, this application will set you straight.

5. State the periods of your military service, if any, including active duty, reserves or other status. Give the date, branch of service, your rank or rating and your present status.

I did not have the honor of serving in the United States Military and it is one of the greatest regrets in my life.

Thank you for your lip service.

The purpose of this question is to offer a little bit of affirmative action for veterans — an “all else equal” accommodation for those who gave their service. This chud feels so deeply the entitlement of a mediocre man that he can’t even stomach the idea that a veteran might have an advantage in this job and just needs to spout off that he’s basically “service adjacent” because he enjoys the Expendables and bitching about black people expressing opinions about police brutality.

And I never get these “oh, I wanted to and I regret it” conservatives. Like, some people aren’t physically cut out for it, but when a Power 5 Conference Tight End says this stuff… No. You don’t regret it because if you cared enough you could have absolutely done it. You just wanted to go to law school more and that’s cool, but don’t come at us with this chickenhawkshit. While there are undocumented migrants and gay folks and trans Americans enlisting in the Armed Forces and getting hassled by this administration you now serve, no one should have any patience for this preening.

As one might imagine, the bulk of the application focuses on the applicant’s legal experience. It asks for a rundown of positions held and clerkship information before including the classic “any other relevant particulars.” Seasoned applicants know this is the catch-all for that very, very short spiel about how you served as a mediator a ton while working at your last firm and that gave you insight into the adjudication process that isn’t immediately clear from your résumé or something.

But, you know, it’s a question that requires actually accomplishing something “particularly relevant” to answer. So instead, Hoss decides to treat the poor bureaucrat reading these applications to a rambling eight-paragraph biography — written in the third person for some f**king reason — about everything that’s happened to him since birth. It’s the Tristram Shandy of Suck.

Unsurprisingly, the fact that he played football plays a starring role. FOUR of the eight paragraphs mention football. For example:

Matt received an athletic scholarship from Coach Hayden Fry and the University of Iowa. At Iowa, Matt played in 35 consecutive games during his Sophomore, Junior and Senior years, letting all 3 years he played. Matt was a three-time academic all-Big Ten selection and an academic all-American his senior year. Matt played in two-post season bowl games including the 1991 Rose Bowl.

Weird flex in a judicial application but whatever .

And it doesn’t stop! When asked how his appointment would “enhance the court,” he gets right into it again:

As you can see from my resume, I graduated from undergraduate at Iowa in three and one half years while playing on the Iowa football team. My senior season of football was my first full year of law school and I already had completed my first year of coursework toward my MBA. As recent (sic) as this fall, I was practicing law full time and also teaching a business law class for the University of Iowa in their Executive MBA program. I would bring this strong Iowa work ethic to the Court.

He taught one class? As someone who has lived in Iowa, I find the idea that an adjunct gig represents a “strong Iowa work ethic” offensive.

By the way, this cannot be overstated: MATT WHITAKER HAD ALREADY SERVED AS U.S. ATTORNEY AT THIS POINT. This application is the very definition of why less is more. Just say, “Greetings, state judicial nominating folks… I was appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate to represent the United States of America in federal court and now I want this job,” and there’s almost no way he doesn’t get fast-tracked. Instead, he goes on this Desperado jag that only makes him sound like he has no facility for discussing the legal profession. When asked to describe the character of his legal experience…

Overall, the character of my legal experience is broad and diverse. I have represented government, business and individuals in both litigation and transactions. This broad and diverse experience would be a tremendous asset for me with the Court’s unique position in the legal system.

“Unique” is one way to describe the court’s role in the legal system. This wouldn’t be an impressive application to serve as a judicial intern, let alone a judge. And it just never stops. When asked to describe three significant matters, he threw in an RV dealership breach of contract action he’s handled that “settled confidentially.” It ultimately resulted in $26,000 in damages. That’s the big case Whitaker chose to include. Forget “Acting Attorney General” this guy sounds like he’s only an Acting Attorney.

Have you ever held public office other than judicial office? If so, give details, including the office involved, whether elected or appointed, and the length of your service, giving dates.

I was appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa on June 14, 2004 and served until November 24, 2009.

That’s an acceptable answer. It’s exactly the approach he needed to take with this whole application. Is that the end of his answer? Absolutely not.

As members of the Commission may know, my two immediate predecessors as the appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa currently serve as judges…

Dude, play a little hard to get. Is this, mercifully, the end of his answer? Oh dear reader, you know all too well it’s not:

Also, two of my former colleagues as United States Attorneys have been appointed to their respective state’s Supreme Courts…

Jon Favreau’s character from Swingers thinks leaving this message is uncomfortable. It’s actually astounding he never says, “You know who else played football? BYRON MOTHERF**KIN’ WHITE. Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!”

And now he purports to be the nation’s top law enforcement authority. He’s already counseling the White House on policy stances he picked up off the back of a cereal box somewhere along the line. It’s the new American Dream, folks. If you apply yourself to social climbing in enough of a cloying, often embarrassing way, there’s no limit to the jobs you can illegally occupy.

By the way, did you know Whitaker played football?

Convincing Clients You’re Worth the Cost.

If a client can’t or won’t pay your retainer, they are not worth a discount, Janice Brown tells the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward in this episode of Asked and Answered. But there are ways to explain your true value to a potential client who balks at the cost.

Brown, who is the founding partner of the litigation firm Brown Law Group, advises confidence when speaking with a potential client and gives listeners tips drawn from her own experience explaining legal fees and retainers.

One tip is to have examples ready for how much attorneys usually charge for similar work, so you can immediately provide context if a potential client responds that your retainer is expensive when you say the amount. Brown also advises having a list of colleagues to refer them to if they can’t afford your fees, so they still see you as a person to go to for answers.This podcast was brought to you by our advertiser, LawPay. “Did you know that attorneys who accept online payments get paid 39 percent faster on average than those using traditional payment methods? With LawPay, the only payment solution offered through the ABA Advantage program, you can accept client payments online, via email, or in person—no equipment needed. Visit LawPay.com/podcast to sign up and get your first three months free. Trust the #1 payment solution for the legal industry—LawPay.”

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