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Law Firm Breakups and Operating Agreements with Jonathan Hawkins [LGE 077]

Lawyer for lawyers and their firms, Jonathan Hawkins, joins Megan in this episode to talk about the business side of law firms. Partnerships and other firms should have operating agreements in place, because without them, the inevitable breakup is ugly and messy. This is a great companion episode to Episode 75 on succession planning with Dylan Hyatt. Please bear with us on the audio in this episode. Download the transcript here. Guest Info: Jonathan's website Jonathan's email is...


Small Firm Roadmap from Lawyerist with Stephanie Everett [LGE076]

Lawyerist is a community of forward-thinking lawyers, and its leadership team has written a book to help lawyers build their own small law firm of the future. In this episode, Megan sits down with co-author Stephanie Everett to talk about the book, why it was written, why change is coming to the legal profession, and how small firm lawyers can use the collective wisdom of Lawyerist to design their own firm that works for them, their clients, and their life. Resources Mentioned: Book...


Succession Planning for Law Firms with Dylan Hyatt [LGE 075]

Estate planning lawyer Dylan Hyatt joins Megan on this episode to talk about how to protect a solo lawyer's biggest professional asset - their firm. Highlights include: Guest Info: Dylan Hyatt - email Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive every new episode delivered straight to your podcast player every Tuesday. If you enjoyed this episode, please help me get the word out about this podcast. Rate and Review this show in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, ...


ATILS: Rule 5.4 Alternative Proposals [LGE 074]

The UPL exceptions proposed by California's task force seem to be stirring up a lot of anxiety amongst lawyers. In this episode, Megan breaks down the actual proposals and encourages public comment on each of them. Allowing more players in the legal services game is not half as scary as reactionary comments on social media would lead us to believe. In this episode Megan discusses proposals to modify Rule 5.4. Resources Mentioned: Podcast discussing Essentialism Clio Cloud Conference - use...


Fighting to Make Law Free with Ed Walters [LGE 073]

If you think that the laws we study in law school, from cases to statutes to regulations, are free, think again. Copyright claims over the laws governing our country stymie access and innovation. Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, joins Megan to dive into this issue and the upcoming Supreme Court case that may change it. Highlights include: - Ed's teaching of the law of robots - Historical perspective of the fight to make law public - Impact of law not being public - Current events at the US...


Let's Talk UPL Exceptions Under ATILS Proposals [LGE 072]

The UPL exceptions proposed by California's task force seem to be stirring up a lot of anxiety amongst lawyers. In this episode, Megan breaks down the actual proposals and encourages public comment on each of them. Allowing more players in the legal services game is not half as scary as reactionary comments on social media would lead us to believe. In this episode Megan discusses proposals 2.0 through 2.6. Resources Mentioned: Main public comment page Infographic Summary memo Full...


Legal Coaching: Law Firm Service of the Future with Jennifer Gerstenzang [LGE 71]

Legal coaching, or limited scope representation, can address a tremendous need for participants in the justice system to get access to information not otherwise available to them. In this episode, criminal defense attorney and legal coach Jennifer Gerstenzang talks with Megan about her coaching practice. Highlights include: - How legal coaching bridges the gap for criminal defendants awaiting assignment to public defenders, allowing them to prepare for their first court date in a way...


Non-Lawyer Ownership: Public Comment to California ATILS [LGE 070]

Non-lawyer ownership of organizations providing legal services is a broad topic encompassing solos sharing their operating accounts with their spouses all the way to publicly traded law firms. As California considers rule changes that would allow non-lawyer ownership, this episode explores what non-lawyer ownership may look like, common arguments in support of the ban, thoughts on whether the ban actually protects against the supposed risks of non-lawyer ownership, and the California...


Stop Using Ethics Rules as a Crutch/What's Really Holding You Back with Jess Birken [LGE069]

So often lawyers are afraid to try something new (or new to them), and they often cite the ethics rules as one of the reasons they cannot do whatever it is. After reading Seth Godin's recent blog post Fear of Kohlrabi, Jess Birken and Megan got into a discussion of what really hinders lawyers' ability to try new things. Megan and Jess cover a wide range of topics on this episode, all related to how lawyers allow themselves to be held back by fear. Listen in for topics including: - False...


California Leading Change - ATILS Public Comment is Coming [LGE 068]

As California's Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services makes its recommendations and the Board of Trustees puts them out for public comment, the country is watching closely. Every lawyers, member of the public, and consumer of legal services (i.e., everyone) needs to pay attention. Today's episode gives an overview of the proposals and calls for widespread public comment. Proposed regulatory changes include: - Abolishing Rule 5.4 fee sharing prohibition - Loosening Rule...


Women Building Law Firms of the Future with Erin Gerstenzang [LGE 067]

While we all wait for the ethics rules to change and open up avenues of innovation such as non-lawyer ownership in law firms, there are lawyers grabbing the bull by the horns and changing how they practice despite the confines of the ethics rules. These lawyers are offering subscription legal services, virtual multi-state practices, concierge wills and trusts service through virtual portals, empowering self-represented litigants, and more. On this episode, Megan and her guest Erin...


Finding Fulfillment Without Leaving the Office [LGE066]

We talk a lot about lawyer wellness, including getting out of the office and disconnecting from professional life, but we can address wellness issues from inside the office too. In this episode, we explore ideas for nourishing your professional soul. - Mentor and be mentored (check out Megan's article in Bar Association of San Francisco's Bulletin) - Work on the business of your firm - Teach - Serve on non-profit boards Share your ideas for how to nourish your professional soul. Thanks...


Four Seasons Customer Service for Lawyers with John Strohmeyer [LGE 065]

Lawyers are terrible at customer service. Many bar complaints could be prevented with far better client service. We have all experienced amazing service at other businesses -- five star restaurants or hotels, local businesses that deeply care about the customer, and others. Today's guest John Strohmeyer -- estate planning and international tax lawyer -- shares with listeners his experiences at the Four Seasons and how they can apply to lawyers. John and Megan talk about: - John's...


From the Virtual Mailbag [LGE 064]

Lots of questions from listeners pop up again and again. This episode, we tackle some of those frequent questions. Among them: - How do I report my IOLTA to the State Bar? - Must I continue representing someone who complained about me to the Bar? - Is failing to perform with competence the same as being incompetent? - How do I withdraw cash from my IOTLA? (Hint - you don't!) - How does timing work on my moral character application? I also highlight some news on fee agreements in...


Women Mentoring Women with Erin Gerstenzang [LGE 063]

Erin Gerstenzang and Megan presented a workshop on Women Mentoring Women at the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women Empowerment Conference in March 2019. On this episode, Megan and Erin talk about women mentoring each other, why it's critical that we stand up and help each other, how women mentor differently than men, and what specifically we can be doing to work together. This workshop is one Erin and Megan are taking on the road, so be sure to check out their speaker pages (Megan's...


Out-of-the-Box Mental Health Tips [LGE 062]

Lawyers are well-known for not paying enough attention to our mental health and ultimately getting ourselves in trouble as a result. But all the talk about taking care of ourselves can sometimes seem like noise and we don’t actually accomplish doing anything any better. How do we make self-care as routine as brushing our teeth? In this episode, Megan offers up some suggestions beyond yoga and meditation. Some outside-the-box mental health tips: 1) Do something that sounds crazy to you 2)...


Lawyer-Scientist and Specialized Skills in Law Practice with Lisa Gonzalez [LGE 061]

Being a lawyer is a complex and strenuous profession and throwing forensics into the equation creates an entirely new concept to master. Lawyer-Scientist is a new title and only 69 people in the US currently hold that designation, and Lisa Gonzalez is one of them. Lisa specifically has a focus on forensics within the practice of criminal law and is a member of the American Chemical Association. Lisa has incorporated her specialized knowledge of science into her law practice. In this...


State Bar Probation: Managing Without Violation [LGE 060]

Being on probation with the State Bar can be more complex and significant than you might anticipate. When you are on probation, even the most unintentional or seemingly trivial mistake can lead to monumental consequences. In today’s episode, Ethics Attorney, Megan Zavieh shares exactly what you need to know to make it through the probation process in a clean and efficient manner, so that you can restore your standing without further repercussions. While the California Bar is the example the...


Managing Your Online Reputation: From Poor Reviews to Bad Press + Everything in Between with Jordan Schuetzle [LGE 59]

Did you know that potential clients are judging you based on what others are saying about you online? In this episode, we listen in on ABA TECHSHOW 2019 where Megan presented with Jordan Schuetzle Director, Proposition Strategy & Market Development Lead at Thomson Reuters. Jordan consults with lawyers and speaks at larger events on how to manage your reputation online. Jordan points out that much of the content about us online is content that we did not write or have any input on, so you...


Getting Paid Ethically [LGE 058]

A struggle for all law practices is getting paid. Even when you think you have a clear fee agreement, without effective communication and ease of payment, you may well find yourself with mounting receivables. Today Megan Zavieh shares tactics to help you avoid those “I’ll pay you when’s…” and how to maintain a stress-free relationship with your clients. To learn more about making payments easy for your clients, tune into this episode of Lawyers Gone Ethical. Show Highlights: Thank you for...