Female Representation in U.S. Law Firms


Authored By: Iris Garrett


Women in the workplace.It appears female lawyers are still not being largely represented in the legal field. According to a new “Glass Ceiling Report” by Law360, women made up less than 35 percent of lawyers surveyed at the end of 2016. The report, which surveys a total of 300 U.S. law firms with 20 or more domestic attorneys, also shows little progress for women since 2015 with a less than 1 percent increase in their representation.


The Law360 report puts the percentage of female equity partners at its surveyed firms at “just shy of 20 percent” and finds that only 17 percent of the firms had 40 percent or more women on their legal staff.


According to an article in the ABA Journal, the Law360 findings disappointed Joan Williams, the director at the University of California at Hastings Law School. Williams told the publication that the small improvements were not enough, “It just hasn’t risen substantially in decades… what we should be looking for is progress, and that’s not what we’re seeing.”


Organizations like the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) are continuously working to empower women in the legal field. The organization has helped provide leadership, a collective voice and essential resources toward their advancement since 1899.


To find out more about NAWL’s most recent endeavors, click here.


To see the full findings from the Law360 report, click here.


Photo Credit: Nyul

South Carolina Association for Justice Annual Convention Next Week




SCAJ Logo 2017Will you be heading to the Westin Hilton Head for the SCAJ 2017 Annual Convention?


The conference is coming up next week on August 3rd through the 5th.


Michelle Rigsby and Rodney Dozier will be representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at the convention. We welcome you to stop by our booth (#8) to say hello and learn more about case expense funding


Don’t forget to register to win a pair of Beats Studio Wireless Headphones!


Each year in August the SCAJ convention includes dozens of seminars delivered by leading legal experts, and gives members a chance to qualify for 12 CLE credits which includes one ethics credit and one LEPR credit


We hope to see you there.


Now Hiring: Marketing Coordinator



Desk chair that reads "Now Hiring"Excellent opportunity in a profitable, growing company!


Advocate Capital, Inc. is currently recruiting for a new Marketing Coordinator to add to our MetroCenter (Nashville, TN) office.


We are a successful, rapidly growing commercial lender. The successful Marketing Coordinator candidate will offer administrative support to our Marketing Department including database maintenance, email and direct mail campaigns, website editing, content writing, social media monitoring, market research, tradeshow coordination, video shoot coordination, etc.


The hourly rate for this position is in the $13.17 – $16.16 depending upon education and experience.


Health, dental, and vision insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (company pays 80%, employee pays 20%); $50,000 of employee life insurance (company paid); Short-Term and Long-Term Disability insurance (company paid); Flexible Spending Account for Unreimbursed Medical Expenses and Dependent Care Expenses, 401(k) with company match (max 4%); Paid time off (PTO) starting at 17 days per year.


We offer industry-leading financial products and services providing law firms nationwide with low-cost access to capital and flexible business solutions.


To apply, please send your resume to HRM@AdvocateCapital.com.



·         Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook proficiency required.

·         Excellent written and verbal communication.

·         Possession of strong organizational skills.

·         A high level of attention to detail (accuracy, proofreading, spelling, grammar, consistency)

·         Effective use of time management and meeting deadlines.

·         Ability to handle multiple projects/tasks concurrently.

·         Ability to work independently on assigned tasks as well as within a team.

·         Flexibility

·         Must be able to work in a professional work environment

·         Salesforce.com experience helpful.


·         Corporate marketing.

·         Salesforce.com administration helpful.

·         Adobe Preimiere Pro and Photoshop experience helpful.

·         Google and social media analytics helpful.


·         Minimum: High school diploma.

·         Desired: Bachelor’s Degree in a related field.

Seniority Level

Entry level


Financial Services

 Legal Services

Employment Type


If you are interested, please submit your resume for consideration to HRM@AdvocateCapital.com. Click here to view the job posting on LinkedIn.com. 


Deciding Whether a Merger is the Right Move


Authored By: Iris Garrett


HandshakeHas your law firm ever pondered the benefits of a merger? Successful mergers allow firms to expand their national or global reach and be better equipped for the changing legal climate, but others can sometimes fail altogether and ruin the reputations and established relationships the firms had built beforehand. If your firm is wondering whether a merger is the right move, you may want to do more than just ponder the benefits. A decision as crucial as this requires due diligence and a laser focus on the future.


Leslie Gordon discusses law firm mergers in an article in the ABA Journal. She says though they are becoming increasingly popular, they are not a foolproof business strategy and should not be a firm’s endgame by any means. Gordon says mergers can serve a broader business goal, such as reaching new markets, adding new practice areas, or creating efficiency, and they also bode well for more simpler reasons like strengthening a firm’s size and brand. Firm management consultant John Olmstead agrees, “A merger is a very serious thing…” and cannot be “a knee-jerk decision that’s all about the short term, all about money”.


If your law firm’s reasons to merge meet these criteria, Gordon provides expert tips for surviving the process. We’ve listed a few of them below.


Before spending months on a merger, leaders should assess potential deal breakers. This could be business conflicts like the firms representing clients in competition with one another, or more personal conflicts like choosing the new firm’s name or partners who aren’t willing to back a new combination.


Leaders should be able to end discussions when necessary. If red flags start to pop up like one firm seeming too desperate to merge or trying to out-negotiate the other, leaders must have the discipline to walk away from what looked like a good deal.


Leaders should analyze and scrub compatibility metrics. Everything from clients and rate structure to finances and operations should be evaluated. A law firm’s work culture (its governance, work-life balance, how employees are treated) is also extremely important.


Gordon suggests creating a transition committee and an integration plan once the merger is underway. She says if firms notice weakening financial performance or a significant loss of clients, they may have a problematic merger on their hands, but if clients come to believe the combined firm is better suited to fit their needs, then the merger is a success.


To read Leslie Gordon’s full article, click here.



Photo Credit: kritchanut

Going Paperless at Your Firm


Authored By: Krista Kemmerly


The word Paperless on a keyboard

With the advancements in technology it seems it may be in your best interest to organize your client’s files without using paper.


Sam Glover, with The Lawyerist, says going paperless can be less work for a firm and can even help individuals become more organized.


Glover says when a firm goes paperless, they can eliminate the filing cabinet, the endless documents and manila folders. People simply scan their documents directly to their computer and begin to create the new and improved filing cabinet on their computer.  


It can be hard to get out of doing it the “old school” way. But Glover says one must look at all the benefits going paperless has for a firm. Going paperless helps with productivity, reduced costs and creates a more organized way to maintain client’s documents with just a click away.


For helpful tips and examples on how to organize client folders within your computer system read Sam’s full article here.



Photo Credit: payphoto


Safety Tips for the Lawyer Who Loves Boating


Authored By: Iris Garrett


MarinaFourth of July may be behind us, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get out on the water this summer season, especially if you own a boat. Taking your boat down to the marina is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, but it can also put you in harm’s way if you don’t take the right precautions.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says marinas pose risks such as electrical hazards, carbon monoxide, along with other dangers that can result in serious injury or death. Last year, nearly 1,000 accidents occurred in marinas and other similar bodies of water, with almost 10% of those accidents ending up deadly according to the U.S. Coast Guard.


Although marinas present risks to boaters, they are especially dangerous for those who choose to swim in these waters. Eric Chaffin of The Legal Examiner says always think twice before taking a dip in a marina because you may wind up electrocuted. He says the water can become electrically charged from the docks and boats that carry electricity. Chaffin says faulty wiring or grounding, damaged electrical cords, or other flaws can happen and potentially send an electrical current in the surrounding water. He says even one boat experiencing an issue can cause a domino effect because most marinas have a shared electrical system.


Like the NFPA, Chaffin says carbon monoxide poisoning is also a big hazard for boaters and swimmers around a marina. He says the gas can accumulate near a boat’s exhaust vent and hover six inches above the water (where swimmers often breathe). He also says the boats themselves can be hazardous to swimmers because of their propellers. Yet, even swimming at a distance can put you in contact with things like cables, hooks, fishing lines, sunken docks, and old pilings or litter.


Chaffin says the problem with many of these marina dangers is that they aren’t visible to the naked eye. What is visible are the common “no swimming” signs around these areas. He says it is best to obey these signs and only use a boat while you are enjoying the marina. Chaffin also says boat owners can help reduce hazards by installing CO alarms, conducting routine maintenance and circuit tests on their boat, and having it inspected annually.


To read Eric Chaffin’s full article, click here.



Photo Credit: dbajurin

Malpractice! $7.75M Awarded In Pressure Sore Case


Tom RhodesCongratulations to our friend Tom Rhodes and Robert Brzezinski of Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. who played a significant role in securing justice for a New Mexico man who developed acute pressure sores during a lengthy 2011 ICU stay at Presbyterian Hospital located in Albuquerque. Mr. Rhodes served as co-counsel with attorneys Randi McGinn and A. Elicia Montoya of McGinn, Carpenter, Montoya & Love, P.A.


Terrible story. While admitted at the hospital, the plaintiff Mr. Webb was unable to care for his own needs and was forced to rely on the intensive care unit staff. In six short days, wounds started to develop due to inadequate repositioning of his body. These ‘pressure sores’ developed into significant stage 4 ulcers…one of which is still not fully healed.


Thanks to the work of Mr. Rhodes and his colleagues, they were able to hold the hospital accountable for their negligence. While no amount of money will fully compensate Mr. Webb for what he endured, the hope is that this type of pain and suffering can be prevented moving forward.


Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. appreciates the important work done by this team of talented litigators who have dedicated their lives toward achieving justice for so many. Thank you for what you do!


You can read more about this case here.


Advocate Capital Employees Enjoy America’s Favorite Pastime


Authored By: Iris Garrett


ACI Team at Sounds Game

You can never have a bad time at a Nashville Sounds baseball game. Our team at Advocate Capital, Inc. can tell you firsthand what a blast it is to watch a game at First Tennessee Park and root (root root!) for the home team. In fact, we’ve had the opportunity to see the Sounds in action for the past three years, and this year was no exception.


On Monday, June 26th, several of the Advocate Capital staff and their families gathered to catch the Sounds compete against the Round Rock Express. The group was treated to drinks and an endless buffet of hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, and coleslaw while they watched the game from the Vanderbilt Children’s Picnic Place in right field. The view was perfect and sat us directly beneath the park’s high-definition guitar scoreboard.


During the game, the group enjoyed socializing and great weather, and many were given fun bobble heads to take home. After several hours at the park, the Sounds came out on top with a 5-3 win against Round Rock, making the night an all-around home run for our entire group!


To see photos from the Sounds event, check out our Facebook and Google+ pages!


Longevity! 10 Year Anniversaries


Any business large and small will tell you how important it is to retain top talent.  This is no different in our business, particularly for those staff members who are client facing.  Territory consistency is SO important to our clients and customers. 


For all of these reasons, I am so pleased to congratulate two of my Senior Directors of Strategic Solutions, Elaine Aniton and Lynne Cushing (pictured here) for their respective 10 years of faithful service to Advocate Capital, Inc.  Each of them has contributed significantly to the growth of our company, and have served literally HUNDREDS of clients during their tenure with us.


As tokens of our appreciation, both received tenure bonuses, gift cards, and awards (what I like to call ‘desk candy’) to serve as a reminder of our appreciation to their respective contributions to our business.


Thank you, Elaine and Lynne, for your loyalty, hard work, leadership and dedication the industry we serve.


Elaine Aniton manages our Texas, Indiana, Washington D.C., South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho markets.


Lynne Cushing manages our California market exclusively.


Congratulations and I am grateful you are a part of our Solutions Team!


American Association for Justice Annual Convention this Week


AAJ Boston Logo

Will you be heading to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston for the AAJ 2017 Annual Convention?


The conference is coming up this week on July 22nd through the 25th.


Michael J. Swanson, Tina Burns, Donna Jones, and Michelle Rigsby will be representing Advocate Capital, Inc. at the convention. We welcome you to stop by our booth (#506) to say hello and learn more about case expense funding.


Don’t forget to register to win a pair of Beats Studio Wireless Headphones!


The AAJ convention includes a spectacular CLE programs designed by plaintiff lawyers for plaintiff lawyers.


Attorneys can earn up to a year’s worth of CLE credits.


We hope to see you there.


Case Expense Financing at a Net Cost of Less Than 1%*

clove panel