My Shingle: Inspiring Solo and Small Firm Lawyers



Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 16, 2008 at 03:09 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pick up my new feed here

I've moved to a Lexblog platform and apparently, my RSS feed has changed. You can re-subscribe here at or re-register at the newly designed site,

Carolyn Elefant

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 29, 2008 at 07:36 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Lawyers Appreciate...Passion, Baby, Passion!

Yes, you read my headline correctly - lawyers appreciate passion. At least, that's my official response to the Second Annual what do lawyers appreciate meme , for which I've been tagged by my friend Sheryl Schelin.

My answer may surprise you. After all, we generally, we don't associate staid lawyers with passion - unless it's kind of carnal passion like thisthat keeps bar disciplinary committees in business. But lawyers appreciate the another kind of passion: the inspired committment that the best lawyers bring to bear in representing clients, running their practices and participating in the blawgosphere. In fact, if you think about it, passion lies at the core of our profession, formally codified in our duty to zealously represent clients. What is zeal, after all, if not passion?

So how do I know that lawyers appreciate passion? Well, first and most obvious, because even though in our profession passion is in short supply, either squeezed dry by the rigorous demands of a job we don't like or the monotony of the same cases over and over again, many of us lawyers yearn to restore passion to our own practices. Second, because passion accounts for the public success and personal satisfaction of those lawyers at biglaw or their own solo practice, who practice law with joy and purpose, and in doing so, evoke our admiration. And finally, because passion drives the success of our beloved blawgosphere, home to memes such as this one. The blawgosphere depends upon the participation of hundreds of lawyers who blog their hearts out for audiences of ten or ten thousand simply out of sheer passion for exchanging and sharing ideas. And silly contests aside, for those laywers who passionately and genuinely captivate and inspire their readers, the blawgosphere bestows a wealth of riches like complimentary comments, mutual respect, intellectual satisfaction and, as Sheryl said, friendship.

That said, while I may appreciate passion in the practice of law, I don't have much passion, just patience, for memes. But I'll dutifully tag Scott Greenfield, Nathan Dosch, Bob Kraft and Ed Poll and Greatest American Lawyer. And of course, you don't need to wait for an invite - feel free to jump in and join the party as I did last year (lawyers appreciate...clients).

Update 12/24/07 made a few stylistic edits.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 24, 2007 at 07:52 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Another Contest: Law Is Stranger Than Fiction

My sister sent me this notice about a legal fiction writing contest sponsored by SEAK, a company that provides seminars and training for expert witnesses, lawyers and medical professionals. Either short stories or a novel excerpt of 2500 words or less qualify for submission. Entries are due March 31, 2008.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 22, 2007 at 05:08 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Round Up of Opportunities for Solo and Small Firms

Here's a quick round up of some opportunities for solo and small firm lawyers.

Check out Susan Cartier-Liebel's contest, So You Want to Fly Solo. The contest, which is open to all lawyers - "newly minted or well seasoned," and current and/or wannabe solos, offers a two hour consult (value: priceless) with Susan as the grand prize. Visit the link for details on how to enter.

If you're part of what has been dubbed the Practical Blawgosphere (someone tell me who's responsible for coining this term for future accreditation), sign up to join the Wiki of the Practical Blawgosphere, described in more detail by Scott Greenfield in this post.

Though it's a bit early (and I'll be reposting this), mark your calendars for a blockbuster event that I've organized for the DC Bar's Law Practice Management Steering Committee, entitled Practicing Law in the E-Court of Public Opinion: How the Internet Can Make Or Break Your Reputation and What You Can Do About. In a profession where a negative image can harm our clients or hurt us financially, all lawyers - from solos to partners at ginormous law firms - owe it to ourselves to understand how the Internet affects our reputation. The panel features a star studded cast, with David Lat at Above the Law and Mark Britton, CEO of Avvo who will discuss both the positive and negative effects of their popular websites on lawyers' images. And the panel will also include two D.C. attorneys Andrew Mirsky and Jonathan Frieden who will respectively provide expert advice on the role of First Amendment and libel law in protecting reputation and practical ways that you can guard and enhance your image. I'll be moderating the panel. The event will be held at the D.C. Bar on January 24, 2008, and best of all, even if you're not physically in DC, you can listen in via teleconference. Here's the sign up form for this not to be missed event.

Finally, if you know of any other events, conferences or activities that might prove useful to solo and small firm lawyers, email the information to me at

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 22, 2007 at 09:41 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

MyShingle Named in ABA's Blawg 100

MyShingle has been named as one of the ABA Journal's Top 100 Blawgs. I've placed my badge of honor in the sidebar to the left. My blog is included the in the category of Lawyer's Toolkit, whatever that means, and if you're so inclined, you can click on this link to vote for my blog.

While I'm honored at my inclusion on this list, it's difficult to fully celebrate when so many excellent blogs didn't make the cut. Moreover, as I posted earlier on a listserve, with 3000 blogs, I'm not so sure it's even feasible to have a "best of." My own preference would be to have an award for best blog reporting or blog article or series, which was my response here when I contributed to a Blawg Review meme on "simply the best blogs."

By the way, if you're interested in some of my own personal favorites from MyShingle, consider these:

  1. Pick Up the Phone and Make Yourself a Better Lawyer (April 2003);
  2. The Bar's Dirty Little Not So Secret Secret: Disciplinary System Discriminates Against Small Firms (May 2003);
  3. Maryland Rule Banning NonLawyer/Lawyer Referral Groups Discriminates Against Solo and Small Firms (May 2005);
  4. Saying Nay to the Naysayers (May 2005);
  5. I Have Been Crazy Busy (February 2006);
  6. And Where Were the Women Solo Lawyers...probably too busy blogging, running businesses and practicing law to complain(February 2006);
  7. Hey Biglaw, Where Were You When It Mattered? (May 2006);
  8. The Smallest Things Have the Biggest Impact (December 2006)
  9. The Florida Bar Won't Let Lawyer Promise to Help You Get Rid of That "Vermin Who Is Your Spouse(March 2007);
  10. A Tale of Two Lawyer Rating Systems (June 2007)

If you feel like taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting some of your "oldies but goodies," send me a link to your "Top Ten Blogging Hits" and I'll compile them for a post.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 28, 2007 at 07:38 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

DC Lawyers - Show Solidarity for Our Colleagues in Pakistan

I rarely discuss politics here, but the ABA's planned rally to show solidarity for our colleagues in Pakistan is not an issue of politics, but law - and what lawyers are sometimes called upon to do in order to preserve the law. In our own lives as lawyers, few of us will ever experience more than ridicule, perhaps a contempt charge, for our own efforts to enforce the law. The very least we can do, then is show support for those lawyers across the world who are doing just that.

The rally will be held on November 14, 11:30 in front of the the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. For more details, visit rally. To all fellow bloggers located in the DC area, please make a point of posting this information at your website because as of today (11/11/07), I don't see any information about this at the DC Bar website, which means that many DC Bar members may not learn about it.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 11, 2007 at 10:14 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Follow Up On Nader Anise Free Phone Call

Here's the announcement about the Nader Anise FREE teleseminar scheduled for November 15:

Hi there,

Happy Veterans Day.

This year's FRE*E "Lawyer Appreciation" teleseminar is all about making it BIG as a lawyerpreneur.

My guest is a high-profile, A-list attorney. He's also the "2007 Lawyerpreneur of the Year."

He's been in the news A LOT lately.

Want to know who it is -- and what he will talk about?

All the details are at Please go there now.

Here's a hint: a big part of what he and I will talk about is how to build a 7-figure law practice.

If you don't have such lofty ambitions, well, then you will still get some real gems about building a sizeable 6-figure a year income.

If you are a true lawyerpreneur and aren't offended by making huge sums of mone*y, then head on over to for the nitty-gritty details. You'll be glad you did.

Remember, it's a FRE*E teleseminar. Don't wait... this exciting call is only a few days away!

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 11, 2007 at 07:51 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Where You Can Find My Archives

Some of you new to my site may not realize this, but I started MyShingle back in December 2002, using Slashcode as my blogging platform. In November 2004, I joined the ALM Legal Blogwatch Network and moved to Typepad. Trouble is that my older posts are still buried somewhere in my computer's storage and they're difficult to revive and convert. As a result, I've never been able to resurrect them. But recently, I've found that most of my older posts are available here on the Wayback Machine in fairly easy accessible form. So if you're interested, go take a trip back in time.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 7, 2007 at 06:33 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Contest for Small Businesses

Do you have a neat idea for a unique kind of law firm that breaks precedent? Or perhaps, like many of my solo lawyer friends, The Billable Hour here or here, you've come up with a non-legal side business. If so, then surf on over to Anita Campbell'sSmall Business Trends to learn about three contests for entrepreneurs. By the way, a business contest isn't merely a lottery; it's a legitimate source of funding on par with applying for a private grant. And as Campbell points out, "the best part is, unlike with a loan or credit cards, you don’t have to repay the money."

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on November 5, 2007 at 04:17 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack