Your Voice

A lawyer’s personal take on making New Year’s resolutions that stick

We are nearing that time of year again, namely, the beginning of the next year. Resolution time. During the 40-plus years of my litigation practice, I made my share of resolutions on how to optimize my practice habits and routines, winning some and losing some. Given that I have more time now to reflect on these issues, I made a resolution to share some of my resolution experiences.


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A biotech attorney's experience with the 'guerrilla lawyers' at the border

It’s Monday morning in October, and Jodi Goodwin, one of the Rio Grande Valley’s premier immigration lawyers, has just arrived at the big white tents set up as makeshift courts at the edge of the Rio Grande river in Brownsville, Texas.

Her clients, a family from Guatemala, have an initial…



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How ‘Legally Blonde’ influenced a generation of women lawyers

“What, like it’s hard?” Elle Woods famously quipped when her ex-boyfriend Warner Huntington III was shocked to see that she was also a first-year law student at Harvard Law School.


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The role of counsel in preserving and protecting a closely held business

Many lawyers, accountants and business consultants advise closely held and family businesses. A critical time for these counselors occurs when the founder and sole owner starts to consider the role and responsibilities of the next generation, particularly if some of those adult children are employees of the business.

There are…



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Top tips for lawyers to stay in control of their business development

When I was practicing as a securities lawyer in Washington D.C., I can’t say I did a very deliberate job with my business development. Luckily for me, my natural strength and inclination was in business development and marketing. That’s why things worked out for me all those years when I practiced. But If I only knew then what I know now.


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Reframing value: A new paradigm for law firm compensation

In my last year as a general counsel of a large public company, we were embroiled in a complicated international transaction that required tax advice under time pressure. I reached out to our corporate law firm and asked for a call to recommend options the following day.

Shortly before the…



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Where is the client-facing innovation in law practice?

Not long ago, I attended one of the typical “future of the legal industry” conferences in Denmark.

All the usual speakers were there: A chief information officer from a large law firm talked about experiences with implementing a solution about two years ago; a consultant talked about breaking down silos…



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The legal profession doesn’t have a leadership problem—it has a character problem

The legal profession is full of leaders. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers in leadership positions. They are interviewed in legal publications and featured on law firm websites where they are asked questions like: “What made you so successful?” or “What makes you such a great leader?”


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When it comes to unconscious bias, are judges at risk?

If a business school was designing a case study of unconscious bias in the courtroom, a recent series of events in Massachusetts might offer the perfect scenario for analysis. The topic: how the defense of a protester responding to a “straight pride” parade resulted in the arrest and shackling of a female defense lawyer for speaking in court.


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Super Law: How ethical obligations can shape business and your practice

When framing the phrase super law in relation to sustainability with senior in-house execs and lawyers some years ago, people were puzzled by the concept.

The notion of sustainability super law, a prevailing set of obligations—often self-imposed and without the weight of law—acting more like a biblical decree that somehow…



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