Practicing Law

In Defense of the Accused

Twenty-four years ago I was in my junior year at the University of Pennsylvania where I was an associate editor of the award-winning Daily Pennsylvanian, the entirely student-run (with an independent corporation) newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania. The experience was fantastic.  In my time, I knew Harold Ford, Matt Selman, the infamous Stephen Glass,…

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How Not to Cross-Examine a Witness

My friend Dan Alban, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, appeared earlier this month before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, where he provided testimony on the state of property rights in American ten years after Kelo v. City of New London. The Kelo decision was an…

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How do I start a solo practice?

Having been profiled in MSNBC as someone who has had some success as a solo practitioner, I’ve been contacted by dozens of recent and not-so-recent graduates who wonder how I’ve done what I’ve been able to do.  For a more extensive discussion, visit my page <a href=”http://www.chetson.com/firm/”>www.chetson.com/firm</a>. First, I’ve been incredibly lucky. Raleigh was an…

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Should I earn a Paralegal Certificate?

I’m often asked whether it makes sense to get a paralegal certificate. The answer is, probably not. First, in order to be a good paralegal, you don’t need a certificate. You just need to be a good paralegal – good research skills, ability to be detail oriented, ability to deal with clients and potential clients.…

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Should I go to UNC Law school?

I’m a graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School at Chapel Hill. As I have written elsewhere, few are applying to law school and that’s a good thing. I’ve also written about my experiences in attending law school, graduating, and establishing a law practice. I was profiled by MSNBC in 2011. Required Reading…

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A Victory Against the IRS – Licensing and Tax Preparers

In a remarkable ruling, a federal district court judge in Washington, DC struck down new regulations imposed last year by the IRS upon up to 350,000 tax preparers, ranging from “mom and pop” preparers to employees of large tax preparation services such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. The lawsuit against the IRS was filed…

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Advancing the Public Discourse

Meet Bernie Burk, assistant professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bernie doesn’t like it when you say the current sad state of law schools or abysmal employment prospects for recent law school grads is a crisis or a disaster. This is what Burk had to say recently on the…

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Starting a Solo Practice – A Seminar

You probably don’t need to be told that this is the worst hiring environment for recently licensed (and even experienced) attorneys in… forever. A few statistics: Law schools are graduating 45,000 lawyers each year for what the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates are about 25,000 new jobs. Average recent law grad educational debt is more…

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The Terrible Legal Market

First, congratulations to those who passed the North Carolina Bar. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. Last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American economy created 25,000 new jobs requiring a JD. More than 40,000 graduated from law school. That same imbalance was true, more or less, of 2008, 2009, 2010,…

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