I started to call this post “Software for Conquering Email Overload.” Then I decided that was a unicorn. There is no such thing as “conquering” our email. Perhaps all we can do is attack it and hope to live to fight another day. To that end, I’ll describe what I do to tame my inbox. I’m providing some links for your convenience, but they are not affiliate links and I do not receive any compensation or benefits for mentioning the products I use.
I would like to suggest that it is now time for solos to consider upgrading their Microsoft Office program to Office 365. This post will tell you why. In addition to making your data and documents accessible from anywhere, Office 365 has some great new features. They allow you to bring the benefits of many of the external apps you currently use under one integrated umbrella. In addition to having everything work together seamlessly, you can save time and even save money when you cancel other subscriptions you no longer need. (This is not an affiliate link…just my experience and opinion.)
You need to find ways to be more efficient and cost effective to attract and keep clients. Capitalizing on technology can not only make lawyers more efficient; it can also reduce the drudgery in legal work. But how do you overcome your own internal dialogue screaming, ‘I hate technology!’
The concept of “design thinking” pops up again and again in conversations about innovation and change. Design thinking strives to make a process, service or product more engaging, usable and useful. At last design concepts have begun to infiltrate the legal world. Solos who truly want to differentiate themselves in the market should consider incorporating design principles into their law practices.
You don’t have to be reminded that the legal world has become very competitive. You face it every day. For example, some believe that keeping abreast of technology trends breeds more success for a solo than making good grades in law school.
Online innovators use technology to provide low cost legal documents and low cost legal advice from attorneys. Some of these clients getting online legal services might have been your clients in years past. But now they may expect their legal documents to be generated quicker, cheaper and more conveniently than you can generate them.
Even if the clients perceive the difference between your services and an online provider, client expectations about legal costs and turnaround time are being influenced by online innovators. Where does this leave you?
Due to the nature of our profession, we lawyers have plenty to stress about, and the unprecedented changes affecting the legal industry today just add to the mix. With my “fly on the wall” perspective as a lawyer-coach, however, I notice that the way lawyers talk to themselves about their situation dramatically affects their level of suffering, and can also impact their results. So I want to offer two kinds of tools that may help when you are feeling stressed, anxious or down.
When writing copy for a website, lawyers need to learn how to talk less about their degrees and qualifications, and more about the problems that they solve. Marketing experts call it describing benefits, rather than features. Are you doing this on your website?
A disaster preparedness plan is an essential element of law practice management. After experiencing Hurricane Irene in 2011, Susan Cartier Liebel wrote about having a communication plan for emergencies. Here are a few more items to consider including in your plan.
“You never told me that!” Those are words a lawyer never wants to hear, but unfortunately many of us do. That’s why CYA (cover your a$$) can be so important.
Often a lawyer’s interaction with a client occurs during one of the most stressful times of the client’s life. Although it may be a routine matter to the lawyer, it may be the only time the client has ever been in this circumstance. Just when the client needs full brain power to comprehend new and complicated concepts, stress negatively impacts the client’s ability to think and remember. So put yourself in your client’s shoes and see how you can make their experience easier while covering yourself.