The Solution Is Templates with Userforms: What Was The Question?

By Tamara Portnoy
What an attorney really needs is a simple way to produce regular forms and frequently used documents which, of course, means; templates, templates, templates. Yes, there can be a learning curve to create truly useful templates but you only have to create them once. Then you just use them over and over. If something changes you only have to change it in one place. Using automatic dates, line and page numbering, internal referencing and table of contents make templates even more useful and accurate. Too often attorneys cannibalize documents and end up with something that says Read more «The Solution Is Templates with Userforms: What Was The Question?»

Is Your Law Practice Evolving or Devolving?

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Most lawyers evolve as they develop experience. They learn from mistakes and from observing other lawyers. Although every lawyer is different, most go through some of the same predictable stages.

Conscious Incompetence
You’ve just graduated from law school and passed the bar. Whether it’s your first client or your first assignment from a partner, your excitement is mixed with anxiety. You’ve never done this before. You don’t really know what you are doing. You’re scared that someone will find out.

Unconscious Incompetence
You have some experience under your belt. You feel like you know what you’re doing. In fact, in some circumstances you actually do know what you’re doing, but you don’t know what you don’t know.

As a young lawyer negotiating agreements, I carefully examined every aspect of the proposed contract. I was trained in a prestigious firm that expected perfection from its lawyers. I sought to achieve a pristine document that gave my client maximal protection from every conceivable mishap.

I was quick-thinking and articulate. I had good reasons why my client should prevail on every point. I approached the negotiations with what I regarded as healthy suspicion. Sometimes negotiations dragged on and tension developed. I gained most of the concessions I sought. However, they came at a price that I wasn’t really aware of. Read more «Is Your Law Practice Evolving or Devolving?»