The Break Up

January 29, 2015

tombstoneIt was a good run.

But ultimately, Jordan and I have decided our practices are taking us in different directions.

So after much discussion, a bit of Sarah McLachlan, a few boxes of tissues, some Crossfit (I hated it), and a brief custody dispute over our awesome furniture, Jordan and I decided to part ways effective Jan 1, 2015.

I’m continuing with a new entity, “Mulvihill LLC”, where I’m going to keep doing what I do, namely, defend my clients and be a thorn in the side of prosecutors (by the way, got another Not Guilty verdict today).

Jordan’s continuing to practice as “A. Jordan Rushie, Attorney at Law“, where he’s going to keep doing whatever it is he does (namely, wiping the floor with opposing counsel in poorly considered lawsuits against his clients. See, e.g. this).

But don’t cry for us, blawgosphere, as we both are going to continue to write here for PhillyLawBlog and be general pains in the ass. We still have a lot to say, whether you want to hear it or not. Don’t be strangers.

Hugs and Kisses. XOXO,

-Leo & Jordan


Should I Start a Law Practice? (Redux)—Retrospective, Dec. 31, 2014

December 31, 2014
The Author with an Author

Sometimes real lawyers agree to slum it with the likes of me.

The practice of law is about relationships“.
-Me (And Brian Tannebaum, and probably plenty of other people much smarter than I am).

About two and a half years ago, Jordan wrote a post called “Should I Start a Law Practice?” It remains one of our most-viewed articles on this blog. Because it’s the end of the year,  rather than being creative and thinking of a new and exciting topic, I decided, now concluding my fourth year of practice, and having started as a true solo fresh out of law school, to revisit the topic Jordan discussed back in 2012. I’d intended to write this follow-up to his post way back then, but simply never got around to it.

My perspective is different that Jordan’s—partly because I graduated in 2010, when the market had tanked—and partly because I did not work at a firm before I hung my shingle.

Here’s my point: You should start a practice if you want to, and if you understand that the practice of law is all about relationships—with your colleagues, with your mentors, and with your clients.

Read the rest of this entry »


A Day in the Life of a Young Lawyer — Part Deux.

January 17, 2013

Part two in a potentially continuing series giving some insight into the life of a young, small firm lawyer. Today, we get some insight into Leo’s day. Click here for part one.

The Evening Before.

5.30pm. I finally get the last document I need to assemble my hearing notebook for tomorrow. I have been up since 5.00am and at the office since 8.00am. Put the notebook together and set it aside for later review with fresh eyes.

6.00pm. Leave office. Walk across street to get home.

6.02pm. Get home. Greet wife with “Hey, honey, I am going to be up late tonight. I have court in another county tomorrow at nine, and I just got the final document for a hearing tomorrow afternoon.”

6.15pm. Walk dogs with my wife, talk about her day at work. Try to pay attention instead of thinking only about the statutory arguments I’ll need to tomorrow.

7.00pm. Get home. Check email. Forward some important documents to clients. “Babe, what do you want for dinner?” Leftover chili. I love my wife’s chili.

7.15pm. Eat dinner.

7.30pm. Watch yesterday’s The Daily Show on Hulu.

8.00pm. “Sweetheart, I have to finish up prepping for tomorrow. I’ll be up late.” Make a pot of tea and walk upstairs to the home office with a mug.

8.01pm-11.00pm. Put on an old Episode of This American Life for background noise. Review the client’s file and applicable statutes. Put on another episode of This American Life. Rehearse my argument approximately 400 times.  Put on a third episode of This American Life. Gee, Ira Glass’s voice is really soothing. Review hearing notebook for completeness, Bates stamp it, and submit to 24 hour printer. Get confirmation email. “Great, it will be done by 1am.” Drink another cup of tea. Green tea this time.

11.01pm-midnight. Rehearse argument, review file, make last-minute changes and additions to my argument.

Midnight.

12.05am. Check email. “Oh, my print job’s done early!” Get another cup of tea — peppermint this time.

12.06-2.00am. Keep rehearsing argument. Check files for the 638th time for completeness.

2.05am. Eyelids heavy, I realize it’s time to go to bed. Shut down computer, turn off the home office lights, carefully walk into dark bedroom as to not wake up wife. Trip over dog sleeping on floor, smash my face into dresser, wake everyone up in the process. Sheepishly brush my teeth, gargle with Listerine, and climb into bed for some relaxing sleep…

Wakey Wakey.

5.00am. BEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPP! Alarm goes off. Dogs jump on my face. I push them off and hit snooze.

5.30am. BEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPP! Alarm again — did I really hit snooze all those other times? I can’t remember. Dogs jump on my face again. I get out of bed, put on my robe, and half walk/half fall down the stairs. I put on hot water for tea. Read this morning’s news.

5.50am. Tea’s ready. Take two mugs upstairs. Wife’s preparing for work. I read Simple Justice, then shower.

7.10. Wife leaves. “Have a good day at work!” I get dressed.

7.30am. I walk out the door. Realize it’s raining. “Dammit.” Run to office to pick up a few things. Get to car. “God I hope traffic’s not too bad on I-95 today.”

8.00am. Drive 20 miles to get to another county’s courthouse by 9.00am.

8.45am. Park by the Courthouse and hurry in the rain to get there.

9.00am. Meet client in Courtroom. Review the case with the client. Complete necessary paperwork. Sit around until 11am when judge comes out. Hearing is over 5 minutes after that.

11.05am. Grab coat and hat and leave Court to get back to car and return to city for a 2pm hearing. Realize I left scarf in the Courtroom. Sheepishly return to get scarf. “God I hope traffic didn’t get bad on I-95 while I was in court.”

11.10am. Realize it’s still raining and that I don’t have a portfolio to protect my demonstratives. Run to local art supply store.

11.45am. Portfolio in hand, drive back to the City.

Noon.

Get back to office. Don’t even take off my coat. Did I eat breakfast? God I’m hungry. Make a cup of coffee as I review my file for this afternoon’s hearing for the umpteenth time. Chug coffee, grab el tokens & portfolio, start trudging to the El. “Well, at least it’s stopped raining.”

12.30pm. Get off the El. Walk to print shop to pick up presentation binders. Carry everything four blocks down to the hearing room. Get an email from opposing counsel in another case regarding discovery. It can wait until tomorrow.

1.00pm. Get to hearing room. Review file and presentation for the umpteenth plus one time. “Ok, so the regulation says X, we have X, we should be ok to go.”

2.00pm. Time hearing is supposed to start.

3.40pm. Time hearing actually starts.

3.55pm. Time hearing is over. Decision held under advisement. Receive a text message from another client needing to meet today for an important issue in their case. Asks to meet at 4.30pm.

4.30pm. Get back to office.

4.31pm. Client shows up.

5.15pm. Meeting over. Make a few important phone calls, send a few important emails, scan the mail that came today. Oh jeez, I didn’t eat lunch either. It’s ok, this wrap-up work will take 5 minutes. Send text to wife “Hey, I’ll be home in about 5 minutes.”

5.45pm. I look up. It’s been more than 5 minutes. My wife is used to this.

5.59pm. Finally wrapped up. Close up shop, walk home. Let my wife know I’m really leaving for real this time.

6.00pm. Get home. Greet my wife. “How was your day, babe?” Pet my dogs. Change out of suit and into dog-walking clothes.

6.15pm. Walk dogs with my wife, talk about her day at work. Try to pay attention instead of thinking about tomorrow’s schedule, and my to-do list. Ah, I need to get those subpoenas out tomorrow.

7.00pm. Eat dinner — finishing the rest of the chili. My wife’s chili is dammed good. Open a beer to drink with dinner — Stoudt’s American Pale Ale. Yum. Check my emails, review today’s news. Spend a few minutes on Facebook. Get in some stupid online arguments about inconsequential things. Start thinking about a blog post I’ll write tonight about “a day in the life”.

7.30pm. Pass out on couch from lack of sleep. Didn’t even get to finish the beer. Post didn’t get written.


Tell the Truth About Your Experience. — the Young Lawyer Chronicles.

October 21, 2012

This hangs right over my desk. I was admitted in 2010. I am not ashamed.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the last week on the legal blawgosphere about the truth.

Josh King wrote a post about truth and ethics in attorney advertising. Scott Greenfield discussed truth and numbers on Simple Justice. And the concept led to the most active Lawyerist comment thread I’ve ever seen.

I think it all started with a simple e-mail in my inbox.

But before I begin my story, let me digress: as an attorney, you’ll find that everyone wants your money. The most egregious offenders are legal marketers. They’ll e-mail and call you relentlessly, promising “X new leads” in exchange for the low low price of several hundred dollars per month for a featured profile on their attorney directory website.

So here I was, minding my own business, when I get an e-mail solicitation: Read the rest of this entry »