Another Amazing Attorney Ad…

August 22, 2013

Um… wow.

No, this is not a Saturday Night Live skit. This is for real.

Straight cash, homie…

Can I Start A Law Firm With No Money?

June 29, 2013

This is how you get paid.

I think one of the most common questions I get asked is, “Jordan, I want to start my own firm, but I have like $1700 in my savings account. Can I start a law firm with no money?”

The simple answer is yes, yes you can. It doesn’t take much more than a law license, a working computer, a printer, and a cell phone to start a law firm.

But here is the better question.Β Will your law firm succeed in the long term if you start it with no money?

Well, that answer is a bit more complex…

I will preface this post with a true story. A friend of mine was abruptly laid off from biglaw. He couldn’t find a job so he decided to start his own practice with no clients, an office from home, and very little money in savings. During the startup period, he defaulted on his mortgage and his house was sold at sheriff’s sale. He also defaulted on his motorcycle loan, and rides a pedal bike around the neighborhood. At one point, he was on food stamps. Yes, a lawyer who once made a six figure salary working for a law firm was on food stamps. A few years later, his solo practice finally pays his rent, but he lost everything in the process.

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Customer Service

April 6, 2013

At first glance, I thought Brandon was going to be a great client for the firm. He was dressed well, had a thriving business, and had no qualms about paying our retainer. This was going to be a good relationship. Brandon wanted to hire us to help him go after about six businesses who stiffed him.

Easy enough.

James called me into his office and said to just run with the file. I’d worked for James for about three years now, and he was confident I knew the ropes when it came to handling civil litigation files. James sent Brandon an email letting him know I would be handling the file.

“Dear Brandon: My associate Jordan will be handling your cases. Please continue to copy me on emails, as I will be supervising, but Jordan will be your point of contact. Thanks. -James.”

The next morning, I got into the office after getting back from court and checked my voicemails. “Jordan, it’s Brandon. Have those lawsuits been filed? I’m eager to get started!” I returned his call quickly. I didn’t want to cost James a client. But how could I possibly review his file and initiate a lawsuit in less than one day?

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Your Website Is Not a Reception Area #abatechshow

April 6, 2013

Today I was bored and decided to see what Rachel Rodgers is up to. Something she said caught my eye:

As a lawyer with an online-based law practice, your virtual law office website is your storefront and reception area.Β The first impression you leave with website visitors can often determine what they think of you and whether or not they will become clients.Β Its important that your virtual law office website be an interactive, trusted resource for your clients that reflects your personality and gives them a sense of what its like to work with you.

Ah, the future of law! Technology is going to change everything about lawyering! In the very near future no lawyer will have an office and everyone will work from either Starbucks or their living room. The cat will proofread your briefs. There will be no need for filing cabinets because all paperΒ will be stored in the cloud (or the trunk of your car). Court will be held in a chatroom, and the judge will be a moderator. Judgements will be in bitcoin and people convicted of crimes will be banned from the internet or something. This is where it’s all going! Get your iPad ready!

Of course, this “future of law” is usually propagated by non-lawyers and failed lawyers who claim to be qualified to tell us about the future without ever having been part of the past.

So get this. In the future, your website serves as your reception area!

Err, wait, what?

As a young lawyer with a real office, here is my actual reception area:

reception area

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Day in the Life of the Fishtown Lawyers: A YouTube Series

March 4, 2013


(warning – use of bad words)


A Night Like This

December 18, 2012

STRAIGHT CASH“Looks cold and rainy outside”, I think to myself. “I’d sure hate to be out there today…”

[DING] Google Reminder: Hearing before Judge Robinson today at 11:30…

No, don’t worry, I won’t be schlepping to the courthouse in bad weather. That’s for fogies. Evidentiary hearings are done on Skype nowadays. Which is good, because I’m so warm in my robe. How anyone practices law in a “brick and mortar” setting is beyond me… morons.

“Good morning, Judge Robinson. I emailed you all the defendant’s exhibits before hand. Just a sec… cat! Get down from the counter! Sorry about that, Your Honor. My cat is always up on the counter, such a bad kitty. In any event, the court and opposing counsel have been emailed my exhibits. Anyway, my witness should be logging into Skype shortly. If I may make a proffer, Ms. Jones is going to testify to…”

That went well. I think I’ll go to the gym and do some food shopping. Then maybe take a nap. Work life balance is important, you know.

[DING] “Dear Jordan: we need to schedule depositions. Please give me some dates you are available. Your office or mine?”
Reply: “I don’t have an office, and I will be on a beach in France all of next month, so we’ll need to do them over Skype.”
Opposing counsel: “Sounds great.”
Reply: “You don’t need to mail me a confirmatory letter. I’m a virtual lawyer, so I don’t get mail. Emails are all I accept.”

Oh cool, an email from a new client. How did I get this client? No, I didn’t meet them out at the bar. No, I didn’t meet them through a civic association, or through an organization I’m in, nor were they referred to me.

“Networking” and having a good reputation is for old people.

I did it the new way – by manufacturing a reputation on the internet. I wrote a blog post and Tweeted about taxes. Based on my blog and Tweets, this guy decided to trust me with some of the most important legal decisions in his life. How cool is that, eh? Here I am sitting on my couch, raking in new clients AND being a lawyer.

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Thanks to Working Class Creative for Our Awesome New Sign.

July 20, 2012

Thanks to Working Class Creative for Our Awesome New Sign.

We have a new hand-lettered sign thanks to Working Class Creative. Click on the photo to see more of their stuff, or get in touch with them at

If You Want More Bad Clients, the Internet is Great

June 7, 2012

“We’re lawyers. No, seriously… we really are lawyers.”

“Hey Jordan, it’s Leo…”
“What’s up?”
“We have new clients coming in on Friday evening, but something just came up and now I’m double booked. Any chance you could meet with them for the intake?”
“Ugh, on a Friday night? I wanted to spend time with my wife.”
“Suck it up you weenie. I’m not thrilled about having to go to this speaking event on a Friday night. This is the only time they said they’re available.”

[Friday Evening]

“Hey Leo, it’s Jordan…”
“What’s up?”
“I’ve been waiting for these new clients to show up for about an hour. I guess they’re a no show…?”
“Ah, that sucks.”
“Where did these new clients find us anyway? Wait, let me guess…”
“Yep. Through the internet.”
“Figures. You know that this is the second potential client this week who found us through the internet and wasted a lot of my time, right?”
“Your time is worthless so who cares?”

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Joseph Rakofsky in His Own Words: A Stunningly Sad Mix of Vanity, Hubris, Bad Judgment, and Irony

May 24, 2012

Alright, Joseph Rakofsky’s latest papers are out. I actually read them, so you owe me a beer. (They can be foundΒ in their entirety here).

If you don’t know the story, Joseph Rakofsky was admitted to practice on April 29, 2010 in New Jersey. On May 3, 2010, he claims he was approached by Dontrell Deaner’s family to defend him in a murder case. (say what? April 29, 2010 was a Friday Thursday. May 3, 2010 was a Monday. That means Rakofsky got licensed and somehow in four days was approached to handle a murder trial.)

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The Fishtown Lawyers Have a New Logo: Some Love for Beth Blinebury Design (Just Don’t Tell Scott Greenfield)

April 20, 2012

IsΒ Scott GreenfieldΒ around? No? Are you sure?

Alright, just so we’re clear, you’re ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that Greenfield’s not around, right…?

[looks around] Okay, no Greenfield… so I guess I’m cool to tell you this…

The Fishtown Lawyers have a new, updated logo. I’m unveiling such an important event here on Philly Law Blog:

It's got a trolley and some stars... holla!

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