Biggest Obstacle to New Business for Law Firms?

Last year, one of the lawyers I coach was excited about an opportunity to discuss expanding the relationship with an existing client, which at the time only used the firm for litigation. Five firm lawyers flew to meet with representatives of various departments of the company about things the firm could do to assist in other practice areas. Weeks went by and then months passed; a year later, the firm has still not seen additional work. In my meetings with lawyers, there have been innumerable times that lawyers excitedly convey an opportunity — a contact who reached out for information; a prospect who asked for an engagement letter; a target who said, “We’ll use you on the next deal.” When di

Are You Creating and Converting Sales Opportunities? How to Get in the Game

This won’t make me popular, but here’s your new year preview wake-up: Unless you’re creating sales opportunities, or converting sales opportunities, most of what you’re spending your business development time on is largely a waste. The “game” I’m referring to has two components: Opportunity generation Opportunity conversion Anything else, you’re hanging out on the sidelines with the other nonplayers, acting like you’re in the game. “I’ll Get by With a Little Help From My Friends” With apologies to the Beatles, no, you won’t. Don’t buy into the chatter about “forming relationships,” “strengthening relationships” and “enhancing relationships.” You’re forgiven if you find the constant drumbeat

Five Oldies but Goodies for Getting Fit

Everyone is always looking for the next new best thing when it comes to fitness. Remember P90X, Beachbody, PiYo? I’m not saying they aren’t good or that they don’t work, but you don’t need to be on the cutting edge of every new fitness trend to get and stay in shape. These oldies but goodies are still some of the best ways to get fit. 1. Weight Training Weight training builds strength, tones your body and improves your body composition (your muscle-to-fat ratio). The strength you gain with weight training is not just for lifting heavier things, it also prevents injury to your bones, joints and back. The increase in strength that applies to your bones is of particular importance to women in p

Lawyers’ Duty to Google: Not Changing Anytime Soon

We're responsible for being able to uncover much more information than we were in the past. By Megan Zavieh The “duty to Google” is a shorthand way of saying that when information is publicly and easily available, it simply cannot be ignored. This is not a new concept and not one specific to Google. However, in a digital age with some late and resistant adopters, it bears repeating that we have a duty to Google. There’s No Ignoring the Obvious Lawyers have never been able to bury our heads in the sand and ignore what is right in front of us. In court, when an argument clearly lacks merit, we are admonished not to make it. (See ABA Model Rule 3.1, Meritorious Claims and Contentions.) We cann

Survival Skill No. 1 for Lawyers: Emotional Resilience

Practicing law takes a toll on your physical and mental health. It’s not only the long hours — it’s the stress. Lawyers face unique pressures ranging from the nature of their cases to high billable hours to dealing with around-the-clock client demands. Lawyers suffer from depression and are at least twice as likely to exhibit problem behaviors with alcohol than the general public. Learning to Be a Healthy Lawyer Is Part of Being a Good Lawyer The reality of practicing law is different than studying it in law school. Most law schools have done a poor job of teaching how to practice wellness as a lawyer. I am encouraged, though, by reports that leading law firms are committing to the ABA welln

Staying Competitive: 7 Tips from 7 Legal Marketing Pros

The past decade has seen a dramatic shift to a buyer’s market in legal services, with in-house counsel demanding greater value for their legal spend. Coupled with a rise in alternative legal service providers, this increasingly competitive market makes it imperative for lawyers to stay top of mind at the times most critical to the decision-making process. But how? Like all relationships, business relationships are built on trust and value. That means lawyers should continually identify opportunities to build trust and add value through daily interactions. Here are seven tried-and-true tactics along with real-world applications that help lawyers differentiate themselves by taking a holistic,

Blogging About Boring or Complex Legal Topics

One challenge of legal marketing is that sometimes the topics related to our practice areas are boring. Or they are so super complex it’s hard to explain a concept without giving a background lecture first. How am I supposed to write a blog post on something that could be the subject for an entire law school course? When I saw Jonathan Kranz was speaking on “Nightmare Marketing: How to Create Content for the Boring, Complex and Undifferentiated Stuff That Scares the S@#t out of Everybody Else” at Content Marketing Worldlast year, I immediately added his talk to my must-see list. Here’s some of the practical advice he gave on how to attack these challenges. The Boring If a boring topic wasn’t

Write Like People Read

Have you noticed that the way you read websites, emails, text messages — even magazine and news articles — has changed over time? A growing body of research suggests the internet is changing how people pay attention to writing. The most anxious accounts describe a burning platform: The internet is degrading our ability to pay attention for long periods and so also process extended chains of causal reasoning. I prefer more pragmatic accounts: People just are reading differently, and the challenge for writers is how to adapt to these new conditions. Clearly, the pragmatic approach is important for lawyers hoping to be understood by clients. People Don’t Read, People Skim How you’re reading thi

Working from Home? Five Productivity Hacks to Help You Get More Done

In her new book “Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at Work,” Emily Price has collected hundreds of tips aimed at helping you use technology to your advantage, schedule your time wisely, and get better organized. Price, a freelance tech and travel journalist who regularly contributes to Fast Company, Fortune and Lifehacker, divides her hacks among sections devoted to the office, working from home, traveling and meetings. It’s the kind of handy guide you can flip open to any page and find a quick fix or have an “aha!” moment. While it may not be rocket science, it’s an extremely motivating read. Besides, sometimes all you need is a quick friendly nudge to get on a more prod

Five Ways to Build Strong Client Relationships from Day One If your practice involves a high level o

You have a well-laid plan on Monday morning when you arrive at the office. You have a couple of meetings, discovery review and a pleading that needs a client’s final approval. By 9:30 a.m., however, you have taken two calls from clients about “emergencies.” By 1 p.m., one of those early calls has turned into an actual emergency, you still need to get the pleading to the client, and you can forget about the discovery review. Your plan for the day is out the window. If you are an attorney who has a high level of daily client contact, days like this are common. To keep cases and clients from blowing up, your client relations skills are as important as your courtroom and negotiation skills. Rel

Divide and Conquer: How a Divisible Content Strategy Boosts ROI

Last month, in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Blair, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about whether consumers should be allowed to order wine from out-of-state wine shops. If history repeats itself, once a decision is handed down “client alerts” explaining the implications for interstate commerce from hundreds of law firms will cascade across the internet and flood inboxes across the continent. The aggregate investment to produce this content, as measured by the opportunity costs associated with lawyers spending their time writing content rather than billing clients, almost certainly will reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. This will be time w

“Coequal”: Is That a Word?

We’ve heard a lot lately about coequal branches of government, but what exactly does that word mean? Is it even a word? Well, yes, it is a word. My Webster’s dictionary defines coequal as “equal with one another.” goes a bit further to same effect: “equal with another or each other in rank, ability, extent, etc.” The bottom line is that “coequal” means “equal.” Despite this word having been around since the late 14th century, it does not appear in the Constitution. But Shouldn’t There Be a Hyphen in Coequal? No, despite what you may have seen, “coequal” is not a hyphenated word. We use the prefix “co-“ a lot to describe relative status, such as when we talk about our coworkers

Remote Work Is Trending: How to Make It Work at Your Law Firm

Remote work has grown commonplace across industries. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal a whopping one out of five professionals work from a location outside of the office. Law firms, in particular, are expected to widely adopt a remote workforce in 2019, through both “virtual firms” — in which all lawyers work remotely — and evolving policies at conventional law practices of all sizes. The legal industry has been slow to embrace the trend due to compliance issues, heavy regulation and concerns over client data protection. That is changing, however, with the steady rollout of new technologies, improved security capabilities and wider connectivity. Turnover is another mot

Advanced LinkedIn Tips

While many in the legal community have an account on the social network LinkedIn, they don’t typically maximize the potential of their interactions. The infographic below highlights 10 easy ways that anyone can improve their performance and generate immediate results. It is divided into three themes: generosity, consistency and engagement. Here are quick words on those. Generosity LinkedIn allows you to connect others by simply reviewing your contacts and offering to make introductions. It also gives you the chance to post an update on behalf of someone seeking a new career opportunity. Consistency Developing a regular publishing cadence on LinkedIn, routinely tagging others in posts, and fo

Business Development: Step One Is Always ‘Google It’ Nobody has time to "catch up" these d

Lawyers know they have to stay in contact. Otherwise, you risk missing out on work simply because too long of a gap between communications made the client or prospect forget you. But too many lawyers struggle to generate relevant welcomed conversation with clients and prospects. Most also know the old-school “let’s catch up” gambit isn’t going to get them onto many busy calendars these days. Nobody has time for that. Even if your relationship is strong enough to get you an audience “just to catch up,” a thinly veiled attempt to get them to allocate some, or more, of their legal spend to your firm and you is a non-starter. So, what’s a harried lawyer to do? You’ve Got to “Earn” a Conversation

Attorney Bios: Make LinkedIn Recommendations Your New BFF Plus: Lawyers who have mastered the art of

I’m all over this latest trend in law firm bios. I first saw it debuted at a Legal Marketing Association presentation, and now I’m seeing law firms actually adopting it. The hook? Put the lawyer front and center, but from the perspective of the client. Think Like a Client When Writing Lawyer Bios Before listing credentials, practice group or law school, firms are leading with a quote about what it’s like to work with the attorney, what clients see as their specific strengths, or what the attorney reports is their professional passion. Which social media platforms get the best ROI? But here’s the rub. Unless you are self-aware with a quote at the ready, a top-ranked Chambers attorney with rev

Exhausted? Scrimping on Sleep Is Hazardous to Your Health Still in hyperdrive at 2 a.m.?

For over 20 years I worked past the point of mental and physical exhaustion on a regular basis to rack up the requisite billable hours at a corporate defense firm. Worse, when I finally dragged myself to bed, my brain was still in hyperdrive. I knocked myself out with Tylenol PM and never thought about the health implications of my groggy existence. Are you so busy juggling your legal career with family life that you log only six hours of sleep and walk around in a zombie-like trance? Do you down mega-doses of caffeine just to keep from nodding off during less-than-scintillating depos? You probably won’t be surprised to learn that law ranks as the second most sleep-deprived occupation, accor

Seven Privacy Protections to Put Into Place Now

If you resolved to shore up your privacy protections this year but have yet to take action, could it be because you’re not sure how to do it? To guide you, here are seven protections to consider implementing today. 1. Limit Third-Party Tracking Online With Privacy Badger When you look at the average website, you’re looking at a page that includes content from multiple sources. For example, the average news site contains content from advertisers, a comment section host, and their own content. These different sources embed images, scripts and advertising in the pages that you visit, and can use cookies and other methods to track your movement online. If you’ve ever felt creeped out by how tail

By: 2019