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Did you know there is more to practicelaw than just forms?  practicelaw is designed to be a repository of resources intended to help your practice.  Similarly, the MSBA’s practiceblawg is a blog for the Association to share with you how the MSBA can help you improve your efficiency and grow your practice.  The MSBA offers members a number of products and services and is always looking for ways to better serve its members and provide greater value.

Got questions, complaints, suggestions, or any thoughts in general?  Let us know:

  • On a roll and it's time to go solo

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 31, 2015
    Many lawyers in Minnesota end up with solo or small firm practices, either by choice or by circumstance. While some may be excited by the opportunity to hang one's shingle and go it alone, others can be overwhelmed at the prospect. The MSBA offers many tools and resources to help solo and small firm attorneys and provides the sort of supportive and collaborative environment found in larger firms.
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  • To everything there is a season

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 27, 2015
    There is a time and place for everything, and perhaps right after the reporting deadline is not that time for most folks regarding upcoming CLE programming. However, with the new Bar year underway, the Association’s thirty-seven sections are preparing hundreds of programs for the coming year, the vast majority of which are accessible to attorneys throughout the state via a live webcast option.
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  • Getting by with a little help from your friends

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 24, 2015
    Through your MSBA membership, you have access to a number of valuable practice resources and hundreds of thousands of hours of legal experience. One of these resources is practicelaw. practicelaw is a repository of practice resources available exclusively to MSBA members, including over a thousand sample forms in a number of different practice areas.
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  • We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 20, 2015
    Legal technology is changing at a rapid pace. While some may see it as an opportunity others see it as a challenge or threat. One thing of which there is little doubt is that technology is changing the practice of law. There are many ways a potential client can address a legal issue; he or she can hire a lawyer or use LegalZoom or some online tool. But it doesn't have to be either/or. Lawyers don't need to fight the future; rather than competing with technology, lawyers can take advantage of new innovations to streamline workflows and processes and offer optimal solutions to clients.
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  • Beyond Ethics and Efficiency

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 17, 2015
    Much has been made of a lawyer's ethical duty relating to technological competence under the Model Rules, whether protecting client data and communications or just generally keeping abreast of benefits and risks posed by relevant technology and changes impacting the practice of law. Similarly, vendors and tech evangelists often highlight the competitive advantage and process efficiencies offered by technological solutions, of which there are many. But a third and perhaps overlooked element is client (or potential client) expectations.
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  • Lips are movin'

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 14, 2015
    Hips may not lie, but lips are another story. Among the many lawyer jokes out there is "How do you know a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving." Another common challenge facing lawyers is the perception that their services are expensive. While that may appear to be true, when compared to other alternatives, the real issue is that the conversation is focused on price rather than value to the client.
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  • The lesser of two weevils

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 10, 2015
    Much has been made of a lawyer's duties and obligations under the model rules with respect to technology and client data. The often overlooked part of the equation, however, is practicality or necessity. Is there a case where not only does the reward outweigh the risk but where the risk is almost a non-factor in the decision? Or perhaps the better question is when you cannot avoid the risk, how can it be minimized?
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  • Citrix ShareFile and the practice of law

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 06, 2015
    If you were in Duluth for the solo/small conference earlier this week, perhaps you had a chance to stop by the MSBA booth and chat with a representative from one of the MSBA's new Advantage partners, Kyle Booher with Citrix ShareFile. (The MSBA's other new Advantage partner, Clio, also had a booth on the lower level.) In addition to saving ten percent off the list price as a MSBA member, ShareFile offers members a way to securely share data.
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  • Getting to know MSBA President Mike Unger (and MN Find a Lawyer)

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Aug 03, 2015
    Earlier this month Mike Unger succeeded new judicial appointee Richard Kyle as president of the MSBA. Mike has been profiled in Bench & Bar and Minnesota Lawyer, and been featured in a video at this year's MSBA Annual Convention. Additionally, like over 1200 other members, Mike has a MN Find a Lawyer profile. What else can we learn about our new MSBA president from his MN Find a Lawyer profile, and of the over 64,000 searches how many of those return Mike's profile?
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  • Focus 2016: the MSBA and you

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 31, 2015
    Immediate past MSBA president and newly appointed Ramsey County judge Richard Kyle wrote several times in Bench & Bar over the past year about the Association's efforts to increase the value offered by and the relevance of the MSBA to solo and small firm practitioners in Minnesota. The Association has developed or improved a number of products and services and entered into new partnerships in furtherance of that objective. If you're going to be in Duluth next week for the Solo/Small Conference, stop by the MSBA booth to learn more.
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  • Would you like to play a game?

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 28, 2015
    Hollywood has long predicted futures where computers and intelligent systems have made humans obsolete or usurped decisions and actions previously requiring human input. The WOPR was able to predict an adversary's actions and execute a responsive battle plan. Are lawyers among those professions likely to be replaced by machines? NPR says there's a less than four percent chance that happens.
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  • Ignore the blonde

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 24, 2015
    There are many demands on a lawyer's time (and money). There are a number of clichés that may offer some guidance on how best to deploy limited resources, including this old gem, "You have to spend money to make money." But perhaps the wisdom of Russell Crowe offers another option.
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  • Cloud computing and the 'reasonable care' standard

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 20, 2015
    "To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject." That's the relevant comment to Rule 1.1, but what does that mean with regard to cloud computing?
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  • What is cloud computing?

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 17, 2015
    Last month Sam Glover tried to come up with a 'plain English' definition of "the Cloud," or perhaps more accurately start a conversation to collectively define the term. His initial attempt was "If you cannot put your hand on the computer on which your data is stored, you are using the cloud," although Benjamin Wright's definition paints a good picture too: The cloud is like giving your briefcase to an intern. You can have them carry it around for you and give it back anytime (or you could tell them to give it to someone else), but they physically possess it. The internet is just your intern."
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  • Build it one tweet at a time, and it won't cost you a dime

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 13, 2015
    Social media. Some may feel that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are the four horsemen bringing about the end of days, but social media can be a valuable part of your marketing strategy and can help develop and expand your brand.
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  • Race to the bottom

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 09, 2015
    There is much discussion about the justice gap as well as increased competition from non-attorney services. In terms of access to justice two underserved segments are those who cannot afford legal services and those who can but don't know how to find an attorney. In a free market economy, companies succeed by identifying untapped markets or offering cheaper solutions or more efficient services. Companies like LegalZoom and Sam's Club, for example, partnered to offer discount legal services to consumers. As an attorney, can you go toe-to-toe with the LegalZooms of the world? And even if so, should you?
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  • Imagine

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 06, 2015
    On this day in 1957, during a heat wave and in between a dog show and a brass band, a chance meeting between two teenagers would change the face of rock and roll. Lawyers are often told of the importance of networking, both within the profession and amongst potential clients, but is all networking the same? Is it enough to shake hands, take business cards and connect on LinkedIn?
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  • Get to know the new MSBA Colleague Directory

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 02, 2015
    As noted on Tuesday, the MSBA launched its new member directories in January. In addition to the new public MN Find a Lawyer directory, the Association revamped its colleague program, creating a private members-only directory that is available exclusively to members and available 24/7 via the MSBA website. The new Colleague Directory includes the 'brief consult' functionality of the old program but offers members a number of other ways to connect, whether for expanded business opportunities or other reasons.
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  • MN Find a Lawyer by the numbers

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 30, 2015
    As discussed in recent practiceblawg posts, the MSBA launched two new member directories in January, MN Find a Lawyer and the MSBA Colleague Directory, and based in part on feedback from members is in the process of updating the directories to improve performance and functionality. With MN Find a Lawyer, over a thousand MSBA members have taken advantage of this free service, and the directory gets over 8,000 searches each month. But what other interesting facts and figures are available about the new MN Find a Lawyer?
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  • Failing to plan is planning to fail

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 25, 2015
    The capstone event to the MSBA Annual Convention and the June Assembly meeting mark the end of the Association's fiscal year. For the past several months the Association has been planning for FY16 and beyond. Whether you go by a fiscal or calendar year, how far ahead do you plan? 1 year? Two? Five?
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