The Stuff They Don’t Teach You in Law School – Chapter 17 – Billing

I got religion on this issue. Bills matter. Over and over, in my practice, the highest level of client scrutiny has gone to bills rather substantive legal work – as absurd as that might seem to an attorney who lavishes effort and concentration on lawyerly services and sends bills in a stack each month after a quick proofread. In bills, describe your work carefully yet succinctly, be consistent, and follow through on promises you made to the client when you were initially hired.Read More

Will Non-Lawyers Soon Be Able to Practice Some Law in California?

In the medical world, if you don’t have insurance and can’t afford a doctor, you can show up at a public emergency room or health clinic, where (though you may wait long hours) you will generally eventually be treated. This is less than ideal – it does not offer preventive care and early diagnosis, and it clogs the emergency rooms – but it is, at least, a back stop. In the legal world, though, if you can’t afford an attorney, you have no back stop. Read More

Judge Winifred Y. Smith—Pro Bono Leadership Award Spotlight

During Judge Winifred Smith’s distinguished career, she has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the administration of justice, fostering diversity in the legal profession, and promoting appreciation of the legal profession in our community. She has been a longtime friend and supporter of VLSC, serving on our Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014, and was recently instrumental in the creation of VLSC’s Unlawful Detainer Mediation program in partnership with the Superior Court. We are grateful for Judge Smith’s wisdom, generosity, compassion, and kindness and honor her longstanding support of our organization and of the greater Alameda County community. Read More