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Freelance Lawyer and Fungus Fanatic

Knowing what to look for is one of Lisa Solomon's specialties. Since 1996, Lisa has run her own practice as a freelance lawyer, focusing exclusively on helping other lawyers nationwide with all of their legal research and writing needs; she also conducts CLE classes about persuasive legal writing. When it comes to mushroom hunting, the same level of expertise is necessary: although there are an estimated 10,000 species of mushrooms worldwide, only around 100 are widely picked to be eaten.

Since there are about 20 common poisonous mushrooms, and since a few of those-with names like the "destroying angel"-can kill you, it's good to know what you're looking for, especially if you're planning to cook them up. "I've enjoyed cooking for a long time, and I thought that mushroom hunting would be an interesting way to expand the types of food available to cook. It's that and so much more. I love foraging for wild, edible foods," says Lisa. "I'm in front of a computer screen all day. I don't mind it, but it's good to get out in the fresh air."

Lisa Solomon loves hunting for mushrooms and just the right case.
Lisa Solomon loves hunting for mushrooms and just the right case.
"I love my law practice. I also love my hobby, which is mushroom hunting and foraging for wild edible foods."

Fungus Among Us

Long ago, Emily Dickinson wrote a poem about the mushroom, calling it the elf of plants. Today, mushroom hunting has become so popular that you can find amateur mycology clubs around the country. These clubs organize mushroom walks for members, who bring baskets, hiking shoes and enthusiasm. Online, mycology enthusiasts share photos of their interesting–and sometimes puzzling–finds.

Lisa Solomon's club makes a social event of its mushroom walks. "I enjoy going hunting with my mushroom club," says Lisa. "I get to spend time with my friends, doing something we all enjoy. And the potluck lunch we share after every mushroom walk is an added bonus, especially since many club members are talented cooks. "

"WestlawNext makes me more productive, so I can spend more time doing things I enjoy, including hunting for mushrooms."
Grab a basket, a guidebook and some tennis shoes. We're going to look for elm oysters and onion bagels today!
Grab a basket, a field guide and some hiking shoes. Thanks to the recent rain, the hunting should be good!

Willing to Dig In

Finding exactly the right case to cite in her briefs is another of Lisa's passions. WestlawNext makes hunting for the right case easier. Though Lisa was a longtime Westlaw Classic user, she was hesitant to switch to WestlawNext. "I consider myself a power searcher," she says, "and I wasn't sure how switching could benefit me."

No surprise there, given her penchant for foraging. But once Lisa did try WestlawNext, she found new tools that made her power searches easier. In addition to tabbed browsing and the single search box, she loves Related Documents. "I was a huge fan of ResultsPlus on Westlaw Classic. But then I learned that WestlawNext offers a plan called Related Documents, which brings all the documents displayed in the right-hand column of your search results within your subscription. I highly recommend the Related Documents plan, especially for solos and small firms that might not otherwise have access to such a wealth of secondary sources."

WestlawNext gives Lisa cutting-edge technology both at home and on her iPad®. "I think my clients have an additional level of confidence in me because they know that I'm using the best tool, the sharpest scalpel," she says.

"When you find a species of mushroom you've never found before, it's very exciting," Lisa says. Same applies to finding the right case. "When you find the one case that's going to really nail it, when you put that case in your brief and you write about it, it's a great feeling."

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