Tag: resources


Just Google That!


When I first heard about Googling from my late mother-in-law, I was skeptical. Jackie was relentless about converting people to her newest way of doing things. I felt I had her number so was prepared to be underwhelmed by the usefulness of Google. As usual, Jackie was right! Google was a great tool and it still remains one of my favorite tools.

Google looks so unassuming….

 GoogleI used to just pop what I’m looking for into the search box and away I’d go.  Recently, I learned some helpful search tricks that make me more of a Google Geek or at least more proficient in my Google searches. In the spirit of Jackie, here are just five of the cool search tricks that may help you supercharge your next Google search.


Don’t let a misremembered word or phrase stop you. Use an asterisk ‘*’ to tell Google that there is a missing word or group of words that should be filled in with the most relevant search result. For example, “Data that is being transmitted over the Internet, into the cloud, should be * to protect it.”


This is what Google figured out I was searching for:

 Search 1



Stumped by a slang term you think you should know for surviving holiday dinners with your teenaged nephew? Use “define:slangword” to finally find out what they are talking about.


This is what Google revealed about the term, “tweaker:”

 Search 2



If you want to find something quickly within a website, use “site:” 

This is what Google revealed about the term, “practice management” on the Oregon State Bar website:

 Search 3



Find links to certain websites with “link:”  For example, do you want to know who has linked to your website or to your blog or even your firm’s Facebook page?

Here is what Google showed me about links to my blog:

 Search 4



Search for specific words in a title by using “intitle:”

Here is what Google for articles about waiving attorney-client privilege: 

 Search 1


I hope you can put these five Google search tips to use and keep your eyes and ears open for additional Google search tips! 


Attorney at Law not Dabbler at Law

JEL23652-Blackford, Sheila P3 (2)  by Sheila Blackford   ©2010   There are many lawyers starting up their law practice these days. Some have become unemployed by larger firms downsizing as an economic survival tactic while others are newer lawyers who have decided to hedge their bet on getting an associate position. Whatever the push for opening up one’s own law practice, the attorney should take care to devote him- or her-self wholeheartedly to the clients who come seeking legal help. No dabbler’s in the law! You’d be horrified if a doctor set about to see a patient with a dabbler-in-medicine attitude. It is just as serious. What is dabbling? Though not a term of art, we all would agree that to dabble is to engage in something without the serious study and practice required of competent mastery.

Oregon Rule of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.1 Competence, based on the ABA Model Rules, states: A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.

Four Quadrants of Competence: Unconscious Incompetence is a dangerous place for dabblers
You may have heard of the Four Quadrants of Competence: Unconscious Incompetence, Conscious Incompetence, Conscious Competence, and Unconscious Competence. Passing the State Bar Exam indicates you have minimum competence. The Bar Exam can’t test all areas of law practice or assess how well a candidate can deal with a specific issue facing a client. Herein lays the danger: you may not know what you do not know. This is the quadrant known as Unconscious Incompetence. Something you can’t forget if you are working by yourself without supervision by a more experienced lawyer.

Cure for Dabbling
If you have a mentor helping you, call. If not, you may want to contact the Oregon State Bar Lawyer to Lawyer Program which allows you to check in with a more experienced lawyer. You can reach the Lawyer to Lawyer Program by calling the Bar at 503-431-6408. If you want to help lawyers by participating in the rewarding program, download an application here. The Lawyer to Lawyer Program is especially helpful as more experienced lawyers find themselves feeling the need to practice out of their practice area in order to make overhead and cost of living expenses.

It takes time to move from Unconscious Incompetence to Conscious Incompetence – where you are aware that you don’t know something and seek advice. It takes years of practice, getting advice and guidance from senior attorneys, attending substantive area CLEs and studying to develop the mastery of a practice area with Conscious Competence where you are aware that you know it and are tuned into the process of doing the details with competence.

As you may recall, the fourth Quadrant is Unconscious Competence, where you just act with competence without being consciously aware of the many steps. You may see unconsciously competent attorneys seemingly engaging effortlessly in cross-examination of a witness. They are not just a natural giant in the courtroom; they have honed their skills over decades of hard work. Many of these members of the Bar are willing to serve as mentors. Ask around for who are the giants in a practice area; call on them for some mentoring. They can help you prevent dabbling in the law.