In this tough economy, many recent law school graduates are unable to secure employment at an established law firm in the Bay Area. With significant debt and few prospects, some will decide to go into practice for themselves. Unfortunately, law schools emphasize theory over practical skills, and new lawyers typically possess limited knowledge of California law or procedure. These would-be solo attorneys are equally unfamiliar with the business aspects of opening and running a law firm.
Published by Continuing Education of the Bar, California Basic Practice Handbook attempts to address the needs of these new solo practitioners. Chapter 1 concentrates on establishing and managing a law practice, offering advice on entity selection, accounting practices, purchasing insurance, and marketing. The next three chapters provide an overview of California civil procedure, discussing the mechanics of drafting, filing and serving pleadings, creating a discovery plan, and law and motion practice.
Subsequent chapters offer an introduction to consumer-oriented practice areas that tend to be dominated by solo practitioners, such as criminal defense, personal injury, consumer bankruptcies, landlord-tenant, small estate administration, and uncontested family law matters. Each chapter includes an overview of important terminology, governing laws and procedures, available remedies, and issues that frequently arise during representation. The text extensively cross-references other CEB practice guides, directing readers to suitable resources for more in-depth research.
Offering a crash course in the fundamentals of California law, California Basic Practice Handbook is an essential reference for new attorneys. Likewise, it is an excellent primer for established attorneys seeking to transition into a new practice area.
California Basic Practice Handbook is available at the Main Library in Oakland for in-library use only.