I don’t know about you but one of the biggest killers of my productivity is constant disruptions. We can blame it on our poor time management skills or our addictive behavior when it comes to obsessively checking emails or the delusion we are gifted multi-taskers. But at the end of the day, productivity suffers and this means your profits suffer.
It’s incredible to us that what started as a dream has now been, from day one, a successful reality for seven years and going strong. But as with anything, it truly takes a village and we’ve had an outstanding community of faculty, columnists, guest lecturers, students, readers, sponsors, and a very classy, devoted team. We know we couldn’t have done half of what we’ve done without all of you. You have our deepest heartfelt appreciation.
So, in what has proven to be a birthday tradition, we have a fabulous gift for you and the lawyers and law students in your life.
Many people talk about Access to Justice (A2J), the big legal movement of the 21st century. But the biggest hurdle to A2J is the delivery of the legal education itself. The organization who controls what constitutes a valid education to gain a license to practice law is the American Bar Association (ABA). They determine accreditation. And as we all know, in order to sit for the bar exam you have to have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school (with the exception of California, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming).
Yes, it’s true. The ABA is the greatest hurdle to providing access to justice for the millions in this country who need affordable legal services. Let me tell you why.
Amazon transformed the retail industry by networking small businesses together. It eventually replaced the individuality of each small business with it’s own ‘brand’, Amazon. Eventually, small businesses were able to reduce their overhead further by cutting out their physical real estate, cutting employees and simply marketing and selling their goods through Amazon. This on-demand online company is a ‘networked platform’ and meets the customer where they are. Imagine a network for lawyers that has nothing to do with a commercially branded company, but through bar associations, or through certain law schools or an AmLaw 100 firm. Imagine a network for solos in a given state or region. Imagine a network driven by the lawyers. This is an eye-opening guest lecture which will help you to envision practicing the way you want to practice. Listen and learn.
Do you think a signed retainer agreement is the beginning or end of your marketing to gain a client? The beginning or end of the ‘sale’? Today we talk about the reality that once a client retains you it is just the beginning of the sales ‘re-cycle’ – the continuing process of re-affirmations that the client made the right choice in selecting you as their attorney. Listen and learn.
We’ve all been there. We thought we had a great relationship with a client and the next thing we know we’re getting a letter from another attorney asking for our client’s file. You’re surprised, hurt, don’t understand what happened. You may even try to call the client but by this time the client isn’t necessarily forthcoming. So, you get upset for a while, or you celebrate because the client was a pain in the butt. But what you don’t really do is assess. You move on.
Therein lies the problem. You decide it was out of your hands. Wrong. You need to understand why the client fired you.
Debra says she’s always felt like Paul Revere trying to make lawyers understand what is transforming the law profession but it’s been challenging. In this guest lecture she share her thoughts on the subject and how you can survive commoditization. Listen and learn.
Christina Burns is the Director of Client Happiness at Ruby Receptionists. Ruby’s understanding of customer service is so deep, their results so stellar, it is why this company is growing by leaps and bounds and you will only find they receive glowing reviews. Christina understands, and Ruby Receptionists lives and breathes, customer service. They have developed a Service Pyramid which is at the core of their client service. Today, Christina will teach you how to implement your own Service Pyramid to improve your clients’ experience with your law firm. Listen and learn.
What happens when we are quiet about those things we should question? We become unwittingly complicit. And what happens when companies not bound by professional rules of conduct who are heavily financed, entice those who are starved for clients? Potential trouble. Are you getting into trouble and not realizing it?
Here’s the problem. We’ve fallen into too much casual contact with clients and this contact is ’round the clock for both the client and the lawyer’s convenience. Cringe-worthy mistakes are inevitable. How do you avoid it? I have one simple suggestion.