ABA Journal

Columns

294 ABA Journal Columns articles.

How to address the imbalance of women and men in appellate law

I am a partner in the litigation department of an Am Law 200 firm, vice chair of the firm’s appellate practice group, deputy general counsel for the firm, and I serve on a variety of firm committees. In addition, I have longtime faculty appointments at both Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Chicago Law School. I should also add that I am a white male.

Websites are law firms’ front doors; is yours open to clients?

Law school graduates are unleashed into the legal marketplace with strong analytical skills but often lack much of the practical knowledge needed to run a successful law firm, which can make or break a fledgling law practice. Thinking like a lawyer will only get you so far in the competitive world of solo and small law firms, and that is why effective marketing is so important, especially if it is not taught in law school.

‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ and controlling your rage in the courtroom

I’d been waiting for this series. The Incredible Hulk (aka Bruce Banner, with whom I share a surname and who helped me through some tough times as a “hefty/big-boned” kid in the late '80s and early '90s) has already made an appearance in my column. But I didn’t really touch on the aspect of superhero attorneys there. Now that I’ve had the chance to look back at that entry ... wow! It was written almost five years ago.

Reimagining the OCI Process: What we learned from the pandemic

On-campus interviews have long been a staple of law firm recruiting. But when the pandemic hit, law firms, like everyone else, had to adapt by taking this time-honored tradition virtual—in many cases with great success.

Chemerinsky: Originalism has taken over the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court term that ended on June 30 was the most originalist in American history. In case after case, the court professed that the meaning of a constitutional provision is to be determined by the original understanding at the time when it was adopted. Some of the justices—Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett—are self-avowed originalists. All of the conservatives often write their opinions in originalist language and sign on to expressly originalist decisions.

4 techniques for lawyers to find instant relief from stress

It’s well known that many in the legal profession experience stress and anxiety. For some people, the inevitable uncertainty and unpredictability that come with legal work can make life more exciting and invigorating. For others, it causes depression and burnout.

Legal Tech Directories: Your guide to the technology your firm needs

I’ve been writing this legal technology column for the ABA Journal for over four years. Every month, I cover a different category of legal software. I explain why lawyers should use it, what to know when choosing it and provide an overview of the options available in the legal tech marketplace.

Law firm leadership and the ‘Lemonade’ conference

Ari Kaplan recently spoke with with Debbie Foster, the managing partner of Affinity Consulting, a company focused on optimizing law firm performance. They discussed why efficiency, productivity and profitability have become a focal point for leaders in the legal industry, the technology applications that have the greatest impact on a law firm’s success, and the "Lemonade" virtual conference.

Unbroken: A call for psychiatric disability initiatives in the legal profession

So many of us struggle in silence while striving for excellence, when only a helping hand and understanding—not only from family and friends but also from colleagues and those with leading positions in law firms—could guide our way to attain success as humans and as professionals.

Effective Law Office Design: Inspiring and enhancing workplace culture

A thoughtfully considered office has the ability to truly shift the tide, and a successful redesign starts with just one question.

8 types of clients you must manage in your legal practice

Very early in my legal career while practicing law in Jamaica, a client kept me on my toes with a criminal law matter. In one instance, it was clear I had not been given any written instructions about a matter and that client was getting increasingly agitated. A very senior lawyer sitting beside me passed me a note that simply said, “Get that in writing. You must always protect yourself.”

Why it helps to have some clients

Clients. If you have a private law practice, it helps to have them. But what does one do to land clients—and more important, the right ones?

‘Bad People Like Him’: An interview with master negotiator and former governor Bill Richardson

On Dec. 13, 1996, President Bill Clinton, in a White House ceremony, announced the nomination of Bill Richardson as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Just a few days earlier, the congressman from New Mexico had been using his diplomacy skills in a much less stately setting.

‘Suits’ and the difference between federal and state court

“Most of the law practice occurs while the federal prosecutor sits alone in a room with the suspects. Despite the other outlandish issues in the episode, I found this scenario the least believable,” writes lawyer and ABA Journal columnist Adam Banner.

ProBAR lawyer recalls immigration tent hearings in Texas

“Today, I have to make an impact in front of the judge,” the Venezuelan asylum-seeker told me at the tent court in Brownsville, Texas. This was just a few minutes before his hearing in front of the immigration judge who would be appearing remotely on a monitor inside the tent court.

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