LinkedIn is all about making business connections and luckily for you, there are several great tools on the site that makes networking on this platform a breeze. Once you have your profile in place and have made sure all the information is up to date, that you have some blog posts connected to it, and have added a video or two, you are set to network. Here are the three key steps you need to take: Step 1: Have LinkedIn import your address book and search your email account. The site will then suggest some connections based on who you already know. Send those suggested connections a connection request and you are on your way. Step 2: Find and connect with potential clients. Search by industry first to see if you already have any connections at companies you are targeting for potential new business.If you find that you have a first-degree connection to a prospective client, call or email your first-degree connection and ask them to make an introduction.If the connections … [Read more...] about 3 Steps to Network Your Law Firm on LinkedIn
Law Office Management
When it overturned a federal court’s order suppressing a litigant’s right to publicly gripe about a pending suit late last month, the Ninth Circuit took the opportunity to remind those of us in the legal profession that we are held to a different, higher standard when it comes to public comment on litigation. In an early footnote in the Court’s opinion in In re Dan Farr Productions, the Ninth Circuit distinguished the instant case from its prior decision in Levine v. U.S. Dist. Court, noting that counsel “are officers of the court subject to fiduciary and ethical obligations” which “do not apply to non-attorney participants.” Slip Op. at fn. 3.In California, those obligations include abiding by the Rules of Professional Conduct, which broadly prohibit counsel from commenting extrajudicially on their cases when “the member knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing … [Read more...] about When It Comes to Pretrial Publicity, Should Lawyers Let Their Clients Do the Talking?
The key to success as an attorney in any type of negotiation is to get the other party to view things as you do. If you can do this, you win. You have successfully converted those sitting in judgment into believers. To do this, you have probably employed some psychological triggers as your persuasion agents. So why aren’t you using human psychology to help you convert prospects into paying clients? Here are 10 mental triggers you can deploy immediately to increase your sales dramatically: Avoid pain/gain pleasure. Humans are wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. We may not like to work out, it may be painful, but we do it because of the pleasure of a slimmer body and better health. Applied to your marketing efforts, you must know your target client’s pain point and communicate how you will relieve this pain and bring them pleasure. For example, if they have suffered an injury from a defective drug or product, you as an attorney cannot take away their physical … [Read more...] about The 10 Mental Triggers Lawyers Can Use to Turn Prospects Into Clients
I frequently work with my children to help them understand the importance of good table manners – elbows off the table, how to set a table, which fork to use, how to hold a fork and knife (and properly use them), which glass to drink from, and to never chew with their mouths open. Let’s just say it is a work in progress.While these lessons seem obvious, you would be surprised how frequently we get requests for etiquette training for lawyers. But it’s a fact that how we present ourselves has a significant impact on our brand. If you are seated next to a lawyer who slurps his soup, uses the wrong fork and drinks from your water glass, how likely are you to hire him?Like our table manners, our communication etiquette sometimes needs attention, too. After all, good relationships begin with good communication. As a communications professional, here are my five biggest communication pet peeves:Email Signatures: It is a best practice to include your telephone number in your … [Read more...] about 5 Business Communication Etiquette Pet Peeves
As a law firm, your brand is one of your most important assets. Having set brand guidelines can help you control the way your brand is perceived by clients and potential partners. So what are brand guidelines and how can they help your firm succeed? What Are Brand Guidelines?Brand guidelines are a set of rules that are put in place in regards to your brand. This includes but is not limited to guidelines for logo usage, font usage, color usage, overall brand tone, and photography.Brand guidelines ensure that your brand elements are used consistently by everyone within your company. While they are important for law firms of any size, they are critical for firms with large teams across several locations. In order to be effective, branding needs to be consistent - no matter how large a firm is. Why Brand Guidelines Are ImportantBrand guidelines are essential for law firms because image is important. Brand guidelines will help give your company control over the way your law firm is viewed … [Read more...] about The Importance of Having Brand Guidelines For Your Law Firm
When you watch Sharon Rowen’s documentary, Balancing the Scales about discrimination against women in the legal profession, you’ll probably laugh out loud at some point. By interviewing legal professionals ranging from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, Roe v Wade attorney Margie Pitts Hames, female equity partners as well as young associates and law students, Rowen shows the multi-faceted and multi-generational nature of discrimination in the legal profession; effectively pointing out where we have been, where we are, and just how far we need to go. Rowen created this documentary out of a desire to help spark a national conversation about the state of women in law and leadership roles. Back in 1994, when Rowen began the project, she says, “I had seen a number of changes from when I started practicing law in 1979 and in 1994 I really believed, along with everyone else around me, that change was going to keep happening, and then it … [Read more...] about Balancing the Scales: A Look at Gender Discrimination in the Legal Field
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” --- Greek ProverbIt seems you can’t gather a group of Managing Partners together for more than 20 minutes without the topic of conversation drifting to something that touches on a critical firm challenge today: “Succession Planning.” No challenge is more ubiquitous in the legal profession – there are simply no law firms of any size where succession challenges are not, or at least should not be, a high priority for firm leadership. Even those lucky firms whose partners are all still relatively young (i.e. all under 60) should recognize the challenge for the future when key individuals ultimately depart.The challenge is as complex as it is widespread. At a recent internal LawVision Group meeting, our colleagues from all areas of our practice reported seeing succession challenges impacting their interactions with firms. … [Read more...] about Facing the Inevitable: Succession Management is Today’s Leadership Challenge
You may occasionally have clients who call regularly with one-off questions to remove a roadblock or solve an immediate short-term need. For many, as nice as it is to have a client depend on you for advice, doing it regularly with no payoff or chance of additional future work can be disappointing. That disappointment is compounded when you find out that long-term substantive work may even be going to other firms at better rates.It would be easy to call your client and tell them you want no more save-the-day one-off assignments until you get more long term-business. But this would probably not be very effective and may cause you to lose a client. Keep in mind, receiving such calls is an indication that your clients trust your expertise and is a possible trojan horse for additional engagements.My advice: if you are tired of getting one-off calls for advice, then quit waiting around for the calls and do something about it.Follow this plan with your clients who … [Read more...] about Is Free-Advice Hurting Your Bottom Line?
Lawyers often say that the most rewarding aspect of their careers is providing pro bono services to individuals in need. While not intending to be comprehensive, the following post provides several examples of ethical issues that may occur in pro bono representation and the rules that guide attorneys facing them.Scope of Representation. Who is your client, and what are the parameters of the work that you will be providing to your client? Equally important, what work will not be done on your client’s behalf? The New York Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) permit attorneys to provided “unbundled” or limited-scope legal services to clients, as a way of making at least some legal representation available to greater numbers of people who may need it. For example, you might have the bandwidth to help a pro bono client with an uncontested divorce, but not to handle a custody trial. This is completely acceptable, … [Read more...] about Three Ethics Rules To Know Before Taking on a Pro Bono Matter
Many law firms I know are spending thousands of dollars every month on lead generation. Some tout their ability to generate hundreds of new leads every month for their firm, thinking that number is the benchmark for success. It’s not. If your firm is not converting the leads you generate into paying clients, you are flushing your cash down the crapper. Your ability to successfully convert leads starts with your intake process. Typically, the firms that fall down at intake are failing not because their people don’t care (actually, some don’t, and you need to get rid of those, but that’s a subject for another post), it’s because they lack a defined process. They keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, letting those paid-for leads slip through their fingers. To avoid this from happening to your firm, here are four things that you absolutely must have to implement an intake process that will help you convert leads: A dedicated intake team. … [Read more...] about 4 Things Law Firms Need to Improve Their Intake Process