f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

May 6, 2005

LSF again features lawyer poets

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:24 pm

Last year, The Legal Studies Forum published “the first effort of a United States legal journal to devote an entire issue to poetry.” We described that volume, entitled Off the Record: an anthology of poetry by lawyers (28 Legal Studies Forum 2004), at length here. The 700-page issue is a milestone and a treasure. This year, LSF and its devoted editor, West Virginia Law Professor Prof. James R. Elkins, have produced a spectacular encore — Legal Studies Forum XXIX:1 (2005) — which includes about 300 pages of poetry by people with law degrees (very little of which is about the law), along with interviews and essays about lawyers and poetry. (click the link for an online version, reproduced by the U. Texas Tarlton Law Library] Prof. Elkins says:

We’ve made no claim that there is a subterranean connection

between poem and lawyer/poet; what we claim is that knowing

that the poet is a lawyer turns out to be a perfectly good reason to

read poetry, poetry most of us would not otherwise read. And, we

think there is a good case to be made for the proposition that lawyers

turn out to be good poets!


LSF291sm Like Off the Record, every issue of LSF can sit deceptively on your office

book-shelf, looking like a typical dry law tome. But, you can take it down for a bit of

poetic inspiration whenever needed (only your timesheet will know). So, please click

for subscription info and help keep a good thing going.



To celebrate the publication of another LSF lawyer-poet anthology, we’re
presenting a pair of haiku from three of f/k/a‘s regulars, who happen to have law
degrees (only Roberta still practices; David and Barry are “recovering lawyers”):

all day long
i feel its weight
the unworn necklace

his death notice. . .
the get-well card
still in my briefcase

Roberta Beary from Legal Studies Forum XXIX:1 (2005) beary
“all day long” – New Resonance 2; pocket change
“his death notice” – New Resonance 2

old dog and master
for the tiny spot of shade

storm alert
every kind of cloud
in one sky

David GiacaloneLegal Studies Forum XXIX:1 (2005)

passing the beggar –
my pockets start
to jingle

the kite’s pull–
in another life I wore
a braided pigtail

Barry George
passing the beggarSimply Haiku (senyru page, Spring 2005)
the kite’s pullThe Heron’s Nest (July 2002)

p.s. For much more on lawyers and poetry see Strangers to Us All: Lawyers and Poetry, assembled with love by Prof. Elkins.

still sensitive over lawyer value pricing

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:23 pm

Don’t just take my word that the advocates of value pricing by lawyers

want to exploit price sensitivity to increase their fees.  Read what Suzanne

C. Lowe told the Legal Marketing Association (“Tomorrow’s Law Firm

Competitors,” Nov. 14, 2004):


“To achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, law firm marketing teams

will need to help their firms integrate their corporate and marketing strategies

together so that they will become truly market-driven organizations. These

law firms — I’ve called them “the competitors” — will employ a number of

advanced market-driven strategies to help them gain and hold a leadership

edge.” . . .


Value Pricing


complaint billF  “Competitor law firms will be more adept at addressing the

deeply strategic issue of price sensitivity.  They will employ nuanced research  

initiatives like “modeling” to help them price their services into the more

profitable “value-price” range. For example, a global business consulting/

accounting firm successfully used “Dynamic Price Sensitivity Modeling” —

a stepwise qualitative and quantitative research initiative that tested clients’

reactions to four specific pricing scenarios. Using that technique, the firm

was able to pinpoint its clients’ optimal pricing range for a proposed new

service — and it was notably higher than the firm’s previously employed

hourly pricing approach. The new service debuted with a value-priced service

that not only met the clients’ expectations but also enabled the firm to break

away from the chokehold of time-and-expense pricing.”

Would all clients who are seeking Value Pricing in order to pay higher fees please raise

their hands?




a nightingale singing
included in the price…
five-penny tea

ISSA, translated by D. G. Lanoue


SCotching lawyer nicknames

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:33 pm
Florida’s lawyer-advertising police can finally point to a state with even sillier rules than their own — South Carolina.   Thanks to some asinine legislative over-reaching by “tort reformers,” it is now unlawful for a lawyer to advertise with “a nickname that creates an unreasonable expectation of results.”  (S.C. Code Section 39-5-39(1); the legislation is summarized here, with links) (via RiskProf, who has done some interesting brainstorming; and Walter Olson)    Of course, one might argue that no nickname creates an “expectation of results.”  (especially in a part of the Country noted for nicknames).  But, that would require a belief — apparently lacking in the South Carolina Legislature — that consumers have brains (see our post & comment). 

hammer  I expect this Nickname Ban to be struck down as an overbroad limit on commercial speech.  Here in Upstate New York, we once had Jim “The HammerShapiro, and have had “The Heavy Hitters” (Martin Harding & Mazzotti) for years,  plus four lawyers who practice separately but advertise jointly as “The Dream Team.” So far, our consumers have successfully avoided Sobriquet Expectation Syndrome

Should the ban on nicknames be upheld, I suggest that South Carolina lawyers consider officially changing their given or middle names — perhaps to Champion, Rock, Vindicator, or the ever-popular Hammer.  And, please plan ahead: give your children names they can grow into that inspire confidence in the gullible.  Native Americans — or their admirers — could probably come up with some very evocative and effective names (“She Who Takes Many Scalps,” “He Who Always Gets One-Third”). Do you think “Sue” is allowed?   Got any (family-rated) suggestions?   Please use the Comment link below.

its name tag blowing
in the winter rain…
bag of rice

ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoue

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