jay.reeves@ymail.com | 919-619-2441

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Over the course of his 35-year career he was a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms put more mojo in their practice through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations.

7 Ways to Take a Vacation From Lawyer-Speak

As you head out for your family vacation, be sure to turn off the lights, lock the doors – and stop talking like a lawyer. That means conversing with your kids instead of cross-examining them. It means not objecting to something your spouse says as irrelevant, and not trying to impeach grandma’s cr… Read More

Take This Law Firm Letterhead Pop Quiz

Is it permissible to include on your letterhead the name of an attorney with whom you consult regularly – but who is licensed only in Virginia – if you add the limitation “of counsel” or “consulting counsel?” No, according to RPC 25. But what if your attorney-consultant fri… Read More

ABA Opinion Raises Ethics Bar on Cybersecurity

Is the day approaching when the mere act of sending a sensitive client email without encryption could be an ethics violation? A new ABA opinion suggests as much. In May, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 477. The 11-page opi… Read More

Don’t Become a One-Hit Wonder in Your Practice

It worked out pretty well for the group Looking Glass to be a one-hit wonder with its 1972 pop tune “Brandy.” The song hit Number One in 1972 – and now 45 years later it’s back on everyone’s playlist as part of the soundtrack to the film “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.” B… Read More

Don’t Tell Worried Client to Be Happy

Here’s a little free risk management advice: if a client repeatedly asks what’s going on with their case, don’t reply by telling them it’s complicated and that you’d have to write a book to explain it all. It won’t make the client happy, and it might get you a grievance lett… Read More

Market your firm without breaking a sweat

When it comes to growing your practice, the best marketing advice is to do a great job on the case you’re handling right now. It doesn’t matter whether it’s large or small, or whether the client is a big shot or not. If you bring your A-game, you will be rewarded with happy clients, repeat bu… Read More

7 Ways to Magically Turn a Business Card into a Paying Client

Don’t become so consumed with marketing your practice online and through social media that you overlook the awesome power of a tiny slip of paper that costs only pennies and fits easily inside your pocket. We’re talking of course about the humble business card. These days it’s not getting mu… Read More

New Rule Requires All Attorneys to Disclose Evidence of Innocence

By now you probably know that North Carolina has become the first state in the country to require all attorneys – not just criminal prosecutors – to disclose evidence of innocence after a conviction. What remains to be seen is how this rule will play out in practice. Rule of Professional Conduct 8… Read More

Don’t Mix Job Hunting With Client Representation

If you’re angling for a job at a firm that represents an adverse party in a case you’re handling, you might need to get your client’s consent before going any further. Otherwise, you might find a State Bar disciplinary notice waiting in your new office if you get hired. “[A] lawyer may… Read More

Data Security Tips From Practicing Lawyers

When it comes to safeguarding your law firm data, it can be difficult for solo and small firm lawyers to even know where to begin. The basics are simple enough. Use secure online passwords and change them frequently. Don’t open suspicious emails. Apply software patches. Train your staff to recognize and … Read More

The Ten Percent Rule and Other Top Marketing Tips

When a potential client calls out of the blue, be sure to find out how they got your name, regardless of whether you end up taking the case. Otherwise you might be missing out on a goldmine. Knowing where your prospects are coming from – and analyzing that data to determine what marketing activities are… Read More

Law Grad Job Rates Improve

The news is mixed regarding job prospects for new lawyers. On the one hand, a higher percentage of 2016 graduates have landed full-time work than their 2015 counterparts. On the other hand, there were fewer members of the Class of 2016, so the actual number of new law jobs declined by four percent. This is ac… Read More

9 Traits That Make Lawyers Unlikeable

Boasting about the important people you know and all the valuable connections you have is a great way to turn off prospective clients. So is checking your phone messages during an interview. These actions are all but guaranteed to make you unlikeable. And if clients don’t like you, they won’t hire… Read More

Top Baby Names of 1977 and Today

In 1977, the most popular baby names in the U.S. were Jennifer, Melissa, Michael and Jason. That same year, a new name appeared on the North Carolina insurance scene, to-wit: Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company. It was greeted by the state’s attorneys with the same warmth, enthusiasm and excitemen… Read More

Lax Data Security Could Open Malpractice Floodgate

As if the threat of hackers wasn’t bad enough, lawyers now have to worry about being sued for lax data security – even if no breach has occurred and no client information has actually been compromised. It’s happening in Illinois, where a class action lawsuit against the Chicago-based Johnson … Read More