Is Entrepreneurial Activity in Permanent Decline?

This article from highlights a new Brookings Institution study detailing a longstanding decline in startup activity in the U.S., as measured by the share of all businesses that are one year old or younger.  The question for me is whether this is a permanent state of affairs, with basically all business activity destined to be done via large and established institutions, or whether the U.S. can be expected to regain its entrepreneurial spirit, which has propelled its success in the past.  I think the latter is the case, though admittedly this may be a case of wishful thinking, since increased startup activity would be good for my business.  The following are some factors that could increase entrepreneurial activity in the coming years: …

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Income Share Agreements

I blogged last year about an IPO for a football player – the public offering of a share of the right to receive 20% of Arian Foster’s future football-related income.  There is a movement afoot now to introduce this concept in a much broader way:  the sale of a share of future earnings as a means for college students to finance their education, as an alternative to incurring student debt.  The current state of affairs is summarized in this Slate article. …

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Choosing Law as a Career in 2014

In the depths of the recent recession, it became de rigueur among lawyers and non-lawyers alike to advise recent college graduates against attending law school, with much news coverage about the levels of student loan debt incurred and the inability of law graduates to be able to obtain gainful employment that could service that debt.  Whether this advice is sound depends on whether the undeniably large downturn in demand for legal services was primarily based on structural or cyclical factors.  …

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Risk Factor Gone Viral

The Internet was recently ablaze with rumors that the Chipotle chain of fast-but-fresh Mexican food had announced an imminent avocado shortage that would lead it to stop selling guacamole.  An inability to obtain guacamole would be quite upsetting to me personally (first world problems), but it ultimately turned out that such fears were overblown. …

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Avoiding “BCC” Email Blunders

High up on the list of causes of avoidable email mistakes relate to use of the “BCC” field in emails, i.e., where the recipient receives a blind copy of the email that is not apparent to those who are receiving it in the “To” or “CC” fields. …

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The Evolution of Closings

Since I started practicing law in 1997, the manner in which closings of corporate deals are conducted has been completely transformed.  In the old days, a typical closing would be conducted in a conference room in a law office, and the various documents that needed to be executed would be organized in manila file folders arrayed in a scary-looking retractable metal contraption that kept the folders separated.  All attorneys and principals would be in the room, except that junior attorneys and paralegals would occasionally go scurrying off to make copies.

The Evolution of Closing Corporate Deals | Andrew Abramowitz, PLLC

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Further Thoughts on JOBS Act and Investor Fraud

Over the New Year, I saw the new Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which told the apparently mostly-not-embellished true story of boiler room scammer Jordan Belfort.  In addition to setting a record for use of the f-word in a film, this movie was the most relevant to what I do for a living since “The Social Network” improbably addressed the issue of dilution of startup founders.

JOBS Acts and Crowdfunding

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Big vs. Small Law Firms

In choosing which law firm to engage for your transactional matter, one threshold determination to make is whether to use a large or small firm, or something in between.  Needless to say, I’m not disinterested on this point.  The way I market my firm to potential clients inevitably portrays larger firms as not worth the cost – at least with respect to the types of matters I handle.  But I spent most of my career in big firms, and there are absolutely transactions that lend themselves to the resources that a “name” firm can bring to the table.

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Email Triage

In my post on emailing vs. phone calls, which laid out some advantages of communicating by email, I didn’t address one thing that many people hate about email, which is that it can at times seem impossible to keep up with the volume of incoming messages.  Unfortunately from an attorney’s perspective, if you miss a deadline because you lose track of an email, it won’t fly to complain to your client that you get 500 (or whatever) emails a day.  Regardless of whether law school lasts for three years or two, as President Obama would have it, there is little to no attention paid there to such mundane issues as email management, though this ends up being crucial to being a reliable attorney, which is a prerequisite to being a successful attorney. …

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Email vs. Phone/Meeting

A near-constant theme in my interactions with clients and other attorneys is the relative merits of various modes of communication — email, phone or in-person meetings.  After a long email chain, someone will get frustrated and say, “Why don’t we just get on the phone and figure this out?”  But those same people will, on another occasion, dial into a conference call, quickly get bored, and hone their skills at computer Solitaire.

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