Waiting For Bar Results-ARRGGHHH!

Filed under: Editorials | Tags: |

Recent law school graduate, Adrianne Thompson, writes about waiting for her bar results:

Our country is in a “state” with pivotal elections looming. There’s a lot riding on these elections. I am in a “state” just hours away from receiving my Georgia Bar results. There’s a lot riding on these results. AND, just days ago an associate position I’ve been counting on since before graduation fell through, so I’m in a bit of a funk. A true “Swing” state. I swing between a state of cool confidence, “I did all I was supposed to do, I quit my job to study, I took the premier Bar review course, I studied 8-10 hours a day, I forsook all that mattered for 10 weeks! I am going to pass,” to a state of frenetic panic, “But, I ran into several people on their third try, what if I’m on that track. . .the embarrassment . . .no job . . . no money . . .” Hour by hour. . . minute by minute. . . second by second . . . for the next 24 hours! Whew! Craziness.

I’m an older, second-career, non-traditional law student, so, to say I’m not marketable in this economy is an understatement.

What am I going to do if I don’t pass the Bar?

What am I going to do if I DO pass the Bar?

I don’t have a job, and I don’t have a clue.

Doing nothing isn’t an option. Panicking isn’t an option, and FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

What I do have is tenacity, perseverance, faith, a host of mentors and a plan. A plan is imperative. A plan to do what? Looks like I’m going solo. There are lots of solos out there, and though many strongly discourage new grads from going straight to solo, what else am I supposed to do at this moment in our country’s economic history? My other option is to return to my former career as a dialysis clinic administrator. I left on good terms, and it would have been so easy to remain there, but I want to be a lawyer. More specifically, a child advocate, and I couldn’t do that while managing clinics. And should things not turn out well October 29, it would be fairly easy to return. Several things lead me to this conclusion. My former boss is opening a fourth clinic and hasn’t replaced me… hasn’t removed me from his website . . . and in conversations with managers that remain there is an assumption that I’m coming back. It would be easy to go back . . . predictable schedule . . . predictable, comfortable income . . . familiar territory . . .

A voice is yelling:


Whew! It would be so easy to give up a dream. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Blog Posts For Starting Lawyers

Filed under: Blogging | Tags: |

Risk Failure

Filed under: Editorials | |

Karaoke State Finals 70

You can play it safe. You can stick with what you know. You can avoid singing “Blinded By The Light” in public.

Because if you go beyond your comfort level, if you try something new, if you … sing, you will, at some point, look stupid. You will say something you shouldn’t, you will mispronounce words, you will show your ignorance.

People will smile, people will point and people will laugh.

The more you risk, the worse it will be. You will show your complete misunderstand of a critical distinction. You will be on the wrong side of an argument. You will loudly and publicly be completely and utterly wrong.

You may be humbled, you may be hurt, you may want to crawl back to your comfort zone.

But, don’t.

If you let yourself make mistakes, you will be more tolerant about other’s mistakes, more compassionate about their feelings, and less smug for not having made the same mistake.

You can’t be great without striving. You can’t strive without falling on your face. You won’t know who your friends are until you fall.

I have ventured into this theme before: defeat does not come from failing. Defeat comes when you stop trying.

Don’t stop trying. Don’t stop reaching. Don’t stop making mistakes.

Note: I strongly suspect this post has more trilogies than anything I have previously written.

CC photo credit: evocateur

How To Create And Read QR Codes!

Filed under: Software | Tags: , , |

Qr code flock
QR codes or “Quick Response” codes, these squiggly boxy bar codes with an inflated sense of self worth are a great way of storing information. They are also a great way of letting customers find out more about your business, find your website, and add your contact information directly to their smart phone.


I love business cards. There is a art to creating a beautiful card. Your cards can make people happy!

The only problem is that people lose them, or get so many that they can’t find your card! If your customer does not enter your contact information into their phone, blackberry, iphone or put your card into their day planner, it is likely that they won’t be able to find your information when they need it!

Quick Tip: I’ll let you in on a secret. Read the rest of this entry »

Law Student And Recent Graduate Guest Bloggers Wanted!

Filed under: Editorials | |

She fought the Law

One of the themes this month is law students entering the job market. I am looking for guest posts from law student and recent grads.

Here are some possible topics:

  • Technology in law school & the technology lawyers are hoping to find at law firms.
  • Internship experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly).
  • Interviewing experiences.
  • Advice you would give law firms hiring new lawyers.
  • Your plans if you do not find a job?
  • What will you do if you do not pass the bar?

If you are interested in doing a guest post, contact me at tom@planet10tech.com.

Creative Commons License photo credit: OctopusHat

Outsourcing Building Back Links (aka How To Ruin Your Good Name And Pay For The Privilege)

Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , |


Those seeming positive comments that don’t actually say anything and are generic enough to be posted on any site? Which, of course, they are! Here is the latest I received on my Colorado Social Security disability law site:

I am speechless. This is a fantastic site and very engaging too. Excellent work! That’s not really much coming from an amateur publisher like me, but it’s all I could think after enjoying your posts. Great grammar and vocabulary. Not like other site. You really know what you’re talking about too. So much that you made me want to explore more. Your blog has become a stepping stone for me, my friend. Thanks for the detailed journey. I really enjoyed the  posts that I have read so far.

I love legal bloggers;  so I hate seeing them go down the wrong path. One of the benefits of starting small is that you can make mistakes. However, when you take shortcuts to try to get more viewers… well, you are just showing your mistakes to a wider audience.

So I decided to find the attorney and write back Read the rest of this entry »

How To Find A Great Contract Attorney

Filed under: Freelance | Outsourcing | Tags: , , |


CC photo credit: swambo

Legal researcher, legal writer and attorney-at-law, Rebecca Phalen revealed how hiring a contract attorney can make your life easier. Today, she takes us to the next step:

So how do I find a contract attorney?

The best way is word of mouth. Put the request on an e-mail list that you trust. Tweet about it. Use Google. Because you will supervise the contract attorney, you are not limited to attorneys in your state. As you receive responses, have high expectations. Know what you are looking for and what level of experience will satisfy you.

Here are the first questions I would ask:

  • Do you maintain a conflict database?
  • Can you provide proof of professional liability insurance?
  • Are you licensed in good standing?
  • Can you submit a resume?
  • Do you have access to your own research resources? (if necessary for the project)
  • Can you provide references?
  • Provide a writing sample?
  • Do you keep detailed time entries? (for projects billed hourly)

If the prospective contract attorney cannot answer “yes” to all of those questions, then don’t move forward.

But if the contract attorney satisfies you on those questions, and you like what you hear from the references and see on their website, then ask about their experience, their availability, and their rate. You do not have to meet the contract attorney in person; you can have a great working relationship by telephone and e-mail.

These suggestions should help you find a contract attorney who can help you grow your practice, while offering a little stress relief.

Check out Rebecca’s site and definitely read her blog.

Solo Lawyer Meetup Wrap-up (October 20, 2010)

Filed under: Editorials | |

Thanks to everyone for attending the first El Paso Solo Attorney Meetup.


Topics discussed included:

  • What to do with the back room filled with paper files?
  • Using Google Voice / Google Phone in your practice.
  • Balancing working as lawyer with the running your law firm as a business.
  • The state of market for legal services.
  • Ways to position yourself in front of prospective clients.

Personally, I got to share my own recent marketing discovery that has increased my intakes by 30%. However, I am not going to share it here. Not because I want to you to buy an ebook or subscribe to a marketing course — it’s not about that. I want you to attend the meetups.

I want these meet ups to be a chance for lawyers to get together and openly share what’s making a difference in their firms. I want solos to pull together and help each other. This only works in a participatory environment. So, if you want the good stuff, you have to attend.

The next meet up will be on November 10, 2010 (the second Wednesday of the month). All solos are welcome to attend (even of you are not in El Paso County). Mark it on your calendar! I hope to see you there!

CC photo credit: alancleaver_2000

Tech Story Roundup

Filed under: Cloud, Marketing, Software | Tags: |

Headline News

Here are some of the best tech stories from around the web.

What were the best articles you read this week? CC photo credit: christopher.woo

Going Geek Sells!

Filed under: Marketing | Tags: , , , |

Planet10tech business card with QR Code

Geekbeet.tv has a great article on geeking up your storefront to get more business.  Putting up QR codes lets prospective clients with smart phones get more information about you, your services, links to your website, etc.

This goes beyond storefronts! Even lawyers should harness this! Our business cards are our storefronts. What does yours say about you? If all it says is that you are lawyer, you’re missing the boat!

Your card should tell a story about you! It should, at a minimun, tell customers what you do. It should also your customer an impression of what it’s like to work with you!

I designed my card with the help of Rick Campbell, an amazing designer, who also did my logos. I wanted to convey a high tech, fun, and personal approach.

I also streamlined my business card to just reflect how people can get in touch with me. I include my email, twitter and website address. I cut out my address since I am do not work in just one geographic area. And I added a QR code to let people automatically download my contact information directly into their smart phones address book.

Do you think it works? What does your business card say about you?

CC photo credit: Legal Technology Expert Tomasz Stasiuk