U.S. Capitol building

Disenchanted with Avvo

Jamison KoehlerLaw Marketing/Networking

My niece attended her first baseball game when she was four or five years old. After the first inning or so, she announced that she was done with baseball. I am done with Avvo. As reflected on the ABA listserv for solo practitioners, Solosez, other lawyers seem to have all sorts of concerns about this legal networking and referral service, the …

U.S. Capitol building

Juvenile Court Forever

Jamison KoehlerJuveniles

You watch him go.  You realize that, from his perspective, the future is nothing more than a quick visit with the judge, a bologna sandwich and coke for lunch, and then a trip back to the detention center to gather his things.  So yes, you think again, this time with more certainty, it will be for forever.

On Mirriam Seddiq and the “Not Guilty No Way” Blog

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Law Bloggers, Law Marketing/Networking

There are two fairly new criminal law blogs that have recently been given a lot of attention in the blawgosphere: Liberty and Justice for Y’All and Affirmative Links. In both cases the attention is deserved. Each blog is written by a group of criminal defense attorneys. And each blog is able to maintain a consistent voice while benefitting from the …

American flag

A Probation Officer Should Be A Client’s Best Friend

Jamison KoehlerOther Criminal Offenses

It is amazing to me how many clients spend more time in custody than they need to.  The sad fact is, violating the terms of probation is frequently a major cause of people going back to jail when they could be serving the remainder of their sentence on the street. There are many reasons people violate the terms of probation.  …

American flag

My Career as a County Prosecutor

Jamison KoehlerLaw Marketing/Networking

Unlike many of my colleagues in the criminal defense bar, I would have no moral qualms about working for the prosecution. In fact, during the summer after my first year at law school, I interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  I also interviewed with the county prosecutor’s office for an internship the following summer. …

Jefferson Memorial

Finding The Right Name For A Criminal Law Blog

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Law Bloggers, Law Marketing/Networking

Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice wrote a complimentary piece about this blog earlier this week. While I was very flattered to be described as “one of the newest and brightest additions to the blawgosphere,” Greenfield continued to encourage me to change the name of this blog.  Wrote Greenfield in a postscript: “Jamison, attempting to straddle the marketing blawgosphere and the …

Aerial view of DC

The Virginia Bar Exam: How Much Studying Is Enough?

Jamison KoehlerLaw Practice

One of my favorite episodes from the old T.V. show Taxi included the scene in which the Reverend Jim Ignatowski, the character played by Christopher Lloyd, accidentally burns down the apartment of Louie DePalma, the character played by Danny DeVito.  The Reverend’s father is a millionaire.  When the father finds out that his son has burned down the apartment, he …

Jefferson and Washington monuments

Surviving the Virginia Bar Exam: Reflections After Day One

Jamison KoehlerLaw Practice

Norfolk, Va. — Before starting law school, I read a number of books on how to survive your first year.  One book dealt with law school etiquette.  Top among its rules was not to discuss an examination with friends afterwards.  There is no point to doing this, the book said.  Both sides – the side that did well and the …

On Rushed and Ill-Considered Guilty Pleas

Jamison KoehlerLaw Practice

Last summer, my 19-year-old daughter decided that she wanted to come see me in court.  I had just given notice of my intention to resign from the Defender Association of Philadelphia effective at the end of the month, and she thought this might be the last opportunity to see me working as a public defender. I was running the list …

Jefferson and Washington monuments

A Public Defender with a Sense of Humor

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Law Bloggers, Law Practice

A couple of weeks ago, I complained about the lack of criminal law blogs done by women.  I also bemoaned the fact that, with a few exceptions, there do not seem to be many public defender blogs that don’t sound preachy, sanctimonious, and put-upon.   Yes, you’re a public defender.  Yes, the caseload is overwhelming.  Yes, the pay is pitiful.  And …