Articles

The Law School Debt Crisis

If this sounds like a scam, that’s because it is. Florida Coastal, in Jacksonville, is one of six for-profit law schools in the country that have been vacuuming up hordes of young people, charging them outrageously high tuition and, after many of the students fail to become lawyers, sticking taxpayers with the tab for their loan defaults.

Yet for-profit schools are not the only offenders. A majority of American law schools, which have nonprofit status, are increasingly engaging in such behavior, and in the process threatening the future of legal education.

Computer vs. Lawyer? Many Firm Leaders Expect Computers to Win

Junior lawyers are used to feeling like cogs in a machine. According to a new report, a surprising number of law firm leaders expect to be able to replace them with actual machines—and soon.

In a large-scale survey released this month, 35 percent of law firm leaders said they could envision replacing first-year associates with law-focused computer intelligence within the next five to 10 years. That's up from less than a quarter of respondents who gave the same answer in 2011.

Alcohol Taxes and Incentives - The Spirit of the Law and What's Hoppin'

The Basics of the Federal Excise Tax on Alcohol

Federal taxation of alcohol generally follows the same tax structure and controls as are used with other commodities and products that are subject to excise tax (e.g., tobacco, gasoline, etc.). Accordingly, there are Federal Excise Taxes ("FET") related to the production, importation, and sale of alcohol.

CFPB Issues Compliance Bulletin on PMI Cancellation and Termination

The CFPB recently issued Compliance Bulletin 2015-03, addressing the cancellation and termination requirements for private mortgage insurance (PMI) under the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 (HPA). We note that this Bulletin does not provide much in the way of novel interpretation or expected best practices. Instead, the Bulletin outlines the basics of these requirements, and cites examples of servicing practices that have misapplied or confused the plain language of the HPA.

A former lawyer who left a steady 6-figure job explains what it's like to take the leap

"I've always wanted to work for myself," she explains. "I didn't feel like the partnership track in a law firm is right for me. I would look around and think there were really no women here who have the kind of career I want and the family life I hope to have. I knew I wanted a family, and I knew I wanted to spend time with that family."

Finding Your New Office - Starting Your Own Law Firm Series

What would a lawyer be without a place to work and meet with clients? One of your first missions is to locate your new office. But first, you need to do a quick assessment of your office needs before jumping into the search.                       

1. Determine what type of office you need                

Social Media Marketing in Law Practice

Social media marketing by lawyers has entered a new phase. No longer is it novel or unusual for a lawyer to have a marketing presence on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. In fact, it may be more uncommon for a lawyer not to have made at least some efforts at online marketing.

Instead of a how-to article about social media, we approach this topic by asking some active Law Practice Division (LP) members and others well known in the legal technology field to identify the social media platform they considered most essential to their practice – and why.

Teaching the Technology of Practice: The 10 Top Schools

About the Authors

Richard Granat is president of DirectLaw Inc., a virtual law firm platform provider, and LawMediaLabs Inc. He also serves as co-director of the Center for Law Practice Technology at Florida Coastal School of Law and co-chairs the ABA’s eLawyering Task Force.

Marc Lauritsen, author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Working Smarter With Knowledge Tools (ABA Law Practice Division 2010), is president of Capstone Practice Systems and of Legal Systematics. He directed the clinical program at Harvard Law School and has worked extensively on document drafting and decision support systems. He also co-chairs the ABA’s eLawyering Task Force.