The Brief No. 12: EQ for Lawyers, the App Store for Biglaw, 1099 vs. W-2

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October 31, 2018


Changes in labor laws: the Dynamex decision

We often get questions about whether a job should be classified as W-2 (employee) or 1099 (independent contractor), and the recent Dynamex decision out of California threw a curveball to employers.

So how do you make sure that your hires are properly classified? Find out here.


Congrats to @owlsfan954 for winning #TriviaTuesday on Twitter this week! He won a bag of Smart Sweets—just in time for Halloween.

Our next #TriviaTuesday is Tuesday, November 6th at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT. You can join us here.

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🎃Happy Halloween! If you’re in the spirit like we are, today is a good day to brush up on your Slayer Statutes.  

Pressure cooker: Partners regularly take the blame for putting unrealistic pressure and deadlines on associates. But how often are they just passing along (potentially unwarranted) client urgency and fire drills? In Scott Flaherty explores the role clients play in lawyer stress, depression, and mental health problems and how clients can keep these issues in mind when working with their outside counsel. The spotlight on mental health in the industry is growing stronger in light of notable partner suicides, overdoses, and the recent announcement from Paul Rawlinson, that he would be temporarily stepping down from his role as Chair of Baker McKenzie. Many in the legal profession have shared familiar stories in the wake of this news.

The Big(Law) Apple(Store): Despite the tech-phobic stereotype of law, law practices run on software from billing to word processing and data storage. Yet, this software rarely interacts with each other well, if at all. Reynan Court is out to change that with a platform would allow firms to download several different types of software that work seamlessly together. Could this be Biglaw’s App Store? Maybe, because paired with the increase of funding in legal-tech, and the number of firms who are already on board—there’s little question that there are big changes on the horizon for legal tech.

Oh, the humanity: “Why care about emotions?” writes Gina Alexandris, senior program director for the Ryerson Law Practice Program in Toronto. While logic and analytical skills are key to practice, interactions with the client as a human being can equally determine success. Alexandris provides an overview of why it’s important and how lawyers can begin to understand and develop emotional intelligence.

Stitch Fix for Legal Services: The end of the year is a time to consider next year’s financial goals, and this latest article from Steven Best in the ABA Journal describes one novel approach: implementing subscription-based billing at your firm. Amazon, Stitch Fix, and Netflix are all based on the membership model—why can’t the same apply to legal services? Done properly (and he has some good tips for this), the subscription billing method gives corporate clients, in particular, the predictability they want and law firms the streamlined revenue they need. If alternative fee arrangements are the future, he argues, subscription-based legal services should certainly be one of them.


Could 80 percent of cases be resolved through Online Dispute Resolution? Colin Rule thinks so. In the latest episode of Legal Rebels, Colin discusses how in five to seven years, as half of U.S. citizens who file court cases will have access to online dispute resolution software walking them step by step through their matters.

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Staffing up for a project or growing your legal team? Learn more about how Hire An Esquire can help.