The Practical Law of Legal Practice

Law of Legal Practice

Legal practice doesn’t have to be such an intimidating discipline, especially if you get some real-world tips from the experts at Practical Law of Legal Practice. 

Here, you’ll find information on how to turn your legal practice into a financially successful business as well as how to avoid common-law mistakes that will cost you clients and money. 

You’ll also learn how to run your firm effectively and efficiently so that you can take care of your clients while still keeping your personal life intact. 

Check out Practical Law of Legal Practice today and see how to become more productive and efficient in your practice!

What Legal Professionals Need to Know About Practical Law

When you hear practical law, what comes to mind? When I used to work in-house for a large company, I had little idea about practicing law and practical lawyers. 

However, thanks to my involvement with practical law as a lawyer and co-founder of Practical Law Media, I know a great deal more about what's behind practical law. 

In short, legal practice has a lot in common with small business management: an emerging niche profession within practical law is composed of lawyers who help other lawyers run their practices more efficiently.

What is the Purpose Behind Practical Law?

The primary focus of The Practical Law Company (PLC) is to provide practical legal information, advice, and education to enable practicing lawyers and those training for a career in law to increase their effectiveness. 

PLC was created by senior members of leading global law firms based in London, New York, and Washington D.C. 

who had recognized that there was an opportunity to create a new kind of professional services business that would offer lawyers tailored expert guidance through timely analysis, commentary, and educational materials on subjects such as substantive law; developments in specific areas; practice management; technology issues; client development strategies, etc. 

PLC's core business is providing practical information and knowledge tools designed specifically for lawyers.

How Do I Access Practical Law?

Any lawyer worth his or her salt knows Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg Law are valuable resources. But how do you get access to all that good stuff? 

The best way is by employing a membership tool called Westlaw Next. Here’s how it works: You pay an annual subscription fee and gain instant access to legal practice tools such as Thomson Reuters Bankruptcy Central, Court Rules Direct, Federal Rules of Evidence Viewer, and more. (Westlaw Next subscribers also have access to full-text case law from U.S. federal courts.)

Why Use Practical Law?

Legal practice isn’t a stand-alone entity. You, your clients, and your colleagues interact with a number of other entities that form part of your daily routine. 

From judges to potential business partners, it’s important to understand who these entities are and how they affect you as a lawyer. Practical Law is one such entity that helps make things clearer.

Who Can Use Practical Law?

Whether you’re just starting out as a new attorney or an experienced practicing attorney, you can use Practical Law. If you practice law in-house, corporate counsel will find it helpful too. 

If you’re looking for more information about practical business matters such as mergers and acquisitions, taxes, intellectual property (IP), and employment law, check out our sister site Fastcase. 

However if your practice primarily involves family law or estate planning/probate issues, we regret that Practical Law does not offer much in terms of benefits to your clients or firm at present.

Is There a Charge for Using Practical Law?

The Practical Law service is available to all lawyers, in-house counsel, and legal executives with an active subscription to a qualifying digital law service. 

In some cases, your employer may be paying for your access to Practical Law. If you’re not sure if you have an active subscription and want to take advantage of our free introductory offer, please log into Westlaw before accessing Practical Law. 

If you don’t know your username or password, or would like help with accessing Westlaw or online research tools contact [the business]. 

If you can’t access Westlaw because your employer has chosen not to pay for it, and you are a current subscriber who has been with us for at least six months and need assistance contact [the business].

Why Join the Network?

Westlaw® is a leading provider of legal research, information and technology solutions. It offers practical law solutions to businesses and legal professionals through its online platform, Westlaw®. 

For more than 80 years, customers around the world have trusted Westlaw to deliver solutions that help them save time and money, comply with regulations and reduce risk. 

We are consistently recognized as a market leader for our innovative approach to delivering tools that support efficient business practice for both in-house practitioners and their clients.

What Kinds of Legal Practice Guidance Are Available on the Network?

The Network offers practical legal guidance for lawyers and other professionals working in law firms, government agencies, corporations, courts, and legal departments. 

The Network covers a range of topics including starting a practice; client management; performance management; business development; marketing & brand management; finance & business planning; accounting & bookkeeping; technology & systems integration. 

Through expert-written articles and interactive webinars and forums, you’ll find practical tips and advice on all aspects of running your practice.

Where Does My Advice Come From?

There is a rich trove of practical law out there, but most lawyers rely on legal research. Westlaw and Lexis are leading sources for U.S. case law and statutory material, respectively. 

PracticalLaw has also put together guides that cover areas like Delaware corporation law (available here) and foreign corporation formation (available here). 

While it’s great to have so much information at your fingertips, it can be overwhelming at times: if you’re looking for answers to specific questions, these databases are hard to navigate because they contain so much information. 

They aren’t organized in a way that’s designed for quick-hit searches—not something you want when you need fast answers!

How Do I Interact With the Community?

There are a few ways you can become a member of your local bar association. One is to seek out your local chapter if it exists. 

In most cases, however, there will be a section for young lawyers or young professionals that allows people under an age limit (usually 30) to become involved. 

While you may have to pay an annual fee, it's worth it; not only will you network with other lawyers and judges in your area and hear about career opportunities as they arise, but you'll also earn CLE credits at little or no cost, which can help you get ahead faster as a young lawyer.

Are All Types of Legal Problems Covered by the Community?

The Community covers a wide range of legal problems and issues, including family law, commercial law, environmental law, and employment law. 

However, it does not include some types of legal matters. For example, you cannot use The Community to find information about real estate transactions or lawsuits brought against public figures (such as politicians). 

Although you can search for case summaries in these fields through The Community's website, you may need to contact a lawyer in person to get any advice regarding your specific legal problem. 

There are also limitations on how much information The Community can provide because state laws restrict what lawyers can disclose about a client's case. 

Other limitations exist for defamation concerns and for cases involving juvenile court proceedings.

As an Expert, How Can I Contribute to the Network?

If you’re an expert who’s deeply knowledgeable about a particular topic and you want to share that knowledge with lawyers, consider writing articles for legal blogs or otherwise contributing to online forums. 

For example, you could write a series of posts on patent law as it relates to artificial intelligence—or explain complex legal concepts in layman’s terms. 

You can also make yourself available for online chats, Twitter Q&As, and so on. These types of contributions help network members learn what they need—and demonstrate your expertise along the way. 

By positioning yourself as an authoritative resource within your industry and community, people will be eager to work with you when they have questions or concerns related to your area of expertise. And if someone seeks your help but has a limited budget?

How Do Lawyers Get Paid for Their Time Spent on Cases in the Network?

There are lots of different ways that lawyers get paid. For example, some take cases on a contingency basis: they only get paid if they win (or succeed in settling) a case. 

Other times, lawyers work as salaried employees and get set amounts per hour, or per case—but not both. Still other times, lawyers work on retainers: 

clients pay them an upfront fee for their services, but don’t have to keep paying after that initial fee is complete (that is, unless something new comes up). 

However your lawyer gets paid, you can trust that he or she won’t waste time in your matter...and will do everything within reason to make sure you understand what it means for your particular situation.

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