Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : January 2007

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 SOLO/SMALL FIRM PRACTITIONER

BY PAT YEVICS  

TMI: Can You Have Too Much of a Good Thing?

As some of you may know, TMI is short for "too much information." If you thought websites offered an overwhelming amount of information, then blogs have added to the information boom, or glut, depending on your point of view.

According to The Blog Herald (www.blogherald.com), 100,000 blogs are being created every day. Needless to say, there is a blog for just about every topic imaginable (and some that are even unimaginable). Blogs are all about dissemination of information. Some blogs focus on only one topic while others cover a variety of related topics. Much of the information on individual blogs is compiled from other sources. Unlike many websites, blogs are done by individuals and are updated regularly. Some media blogs are updated many times a day.

This month, I will list just a few that may help solo and small firm practitioners.

One of MSBA's Own

Stuart Levine of Fisher & Winner has created a blog, "Maryland Courts Watcher" (www.marylandcourts.blogspot.com), for Maryland Court Opinions, and it is very good. Levine and other MSBA members provide synopses of all opinions publicly available on the Internet of the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, the U.S. District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, the Maryland Tax Court, and any Circuit Court in Maryland.

According to the blog, "The synopses contain no editorial opinion except where absolutely necessary to accurately reflect any opinion. However, we encourage both attorneys and lay readers to post their analyses and comments. In addition, we will also link to commentary on the Internet with respect to any case that is posted here."

Not only do they provide a synopsis of an opinion, there is link to post comments, as well as a link to all other opinions by the particular judge or judges. This is a site worth reviewing and bookmarking.

A Good Starting Place

A good place to start researching legal blogs – sometimes called "blawgs" – is www.blawg.com. The site contains many categories, some of which include:

  • Good place for management tips. Ed Poll is a legal management consultant and his blog, www.lawbizblog.com, hosts a wealth of tips taken from his many books. He has some especially good information on making more money.
    Another site for partner income is Tom Collins' More Partner Income (www.morepartner income.com/blog/). Although it is directed towards larger firms, there is some good information on how to run a firm more effectively to make more money.
  • Help using legal blogs. Kevin O'Keefe's "Real Lawyers Have Blogs" (http://kevin.lexblog.com) can help you create your own blog and use it effectively.
  • The Wall Street Journal's Business of Law. The Wall Street Journal has an outstanding blog (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/) reporting on "business and law and the business of law."
  • "Learn Why Bob Kraft is P.I.S.S.D.". The description of this blog (http://www.pissd.com/) says that the title reflects Bob Kraft's attitude toward "those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people." A lawyer from Dallas, Texas, Kraft created this blog because he has "spent almost 35 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims."
    This site is good for anyone who helps clients deal with various government agencies.

Legal Technology Blogs

There is no end to the blogs by lawyers about legal technology. Here are a few that are considered some of the best:

  • "I Heart Tech" (http://ihearttech.typepad.com/ihearttech/). Great Tips on Outlook, Excel, Power Point, Word and general MS Tips.
  • "Tablet Lawyer" (www.tablet lawyer.com/). Tips on using a tablet PC in your practice.
  • "The Greatest American Lawyer Blog" (http://greatestamerican lawyer.typepad.com) has a category for Small Office Technology.
  • "Home Office Blog" (http://gdgrifflaw.typepad.com/home_office_lawyer/home_office_lawyer/index.html). This blog's tagline is "A Mac. A Blog. A Home Office. What else does a lawyer need?" There is great information on being paperless, as well as other ideas for having a home office.
  • "The Chief Happiness Officer" (http://positivesharing.com/). What a great world this would be if there was actually such a position in most businesses. Here you can read the book Happy Hour is 9 to 5, by Alexander Kjerulf, the Happiness CEO (actually, it is not as silly as it sounds). In the book and on the blog, Kjerulf talks about the value of having "happy" and motivated employees. As I have said, solos and small firms do not have the luxury of having mediocre employees. There are some interesting tips on what works and, more importantly, what does not work in motivating employees (by the way, free pizza does not work.)

In addition to all of these general legal blogs, there are blogs about every practice area available. Do a Google Search and you will be linked to blogs with information that you may need to help your client. The answer is out there.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: January 2007

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