RODRIGO GONZALEZ FERNANDEZ
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|Legal Blog Watch|
Will Bankruptcy Lawyers Be Forced to Declare Bankruptcy With the Recent Drop in Filings?
Zywicki offers three hypotheses for the drop:
Most commenters tend to agree with the first two of Zywicki's hypothesis. Another explanation is that the economy has improved, thus reducing the need for bankruptcy filings. Of course, if bankruptcy filings continue to drop at the current rate, there's bound to be a rebound affect, as bankruptcy lawyers start declaring bankruptcy!
Why Firms Should Want Their Own Lawyers to Have a Portable Practice
Dan Hull of What About Clients? offers law firms a new standard for evaluating associates: the "dude, if you can't steal our clients, you're fired" standard. As Hull elaborates:
Of course, in Hull's paradigm, the law firm must reciprocate associate service to clients with its own service to associates. Because it's only by providing a "fun, lucrative and engaging" work environment that law firms can hang on to client-generating and client-serving associates.
Michelle Golden at Golden Practices opines that it takes trust to make Hull's system work: trust that partners and team members will do the right thing, trust that associates will learn what they need to know and trust that when you place trust in others, it will return to you. If Golden is right that trust is the lynch pin of a firm that really offers client service, I don't think we'll be seeing this model any time soon.
Blogging Policies for Companies and Law Firms
This week brings discussion among bloggers about blogging policies -- for companies and law firms. Justin Patten at Human Law links to a bunch of sample corporate-blogging policies. Some policies discuss whether there's a need to suspend blogging during the SEC-mandated "quiet period," before an IPO, while others merely consist of a list of sensible guidlines.
As for law firms, the real policy issue related to blogs is whether bloggers should get bonuses, an issue discussed by Peter Lattman in this WSJ Law blog post. Actually, the original discussion topic behind the post is whether law firm bonuses should reward associates for hours billed or rainmaking. In this context, Lattman notes that according to Kevin O'Keefe, efforts by bloggers like Dennis Crouch of Patently O or Christine Mingie of Forestry Law blog have brought clients to their firms. O'Keefe suggests:
What kinds of incentives does your firm give to associate bloggers or any kind of associate rainmaker?
Second Acts in Law
As Bruce MacEwen writes in this post, Back to Business Law, law firms in conjunction with the American Bar Association are developing programs to help female attorneys who left the law to raise families keep their skills fresh if they choose to return. As MacEwen describes, the programs cover cutting-edge issues in corporate law, like professional responsibility for corporate lawyers, Sarbanes-Oxley and changing regulation for securities issuances, and they're taught by first-rate experts.
Don't think law firms are necessarily growing more enlightened about work-life balance in sponsoring these programs. In many instances, economics drive the creation of these programs. As MacEwen writes:
And indeed, the law firms have found the right target audience. Consider this comment from MacEwen's post comments:
What firm wouldn't want to hire a lawyer (male or female) who overlooks the absolute blessing of children to bemoan the loss of a career and who apparently lacks the creativity to figure out a way to keep a place in the law without a job at Biglaw?