I had lunch recently with a young lawyer who has been out of work for a while. She had worked for a BigLaw firm for a couple of years before getting caught up in a layoff. Several months later, she was still searching for a law firm that wanted to hire her. She was, quite […]
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What goes in your professional email? What if your email server occasionally marks something as “read” which in fact has not been read? How do you respond to that? Should you include your email signature every single time or only the first time you respond? What belongs and does not belong in an email signature? What about typos? When does an email become too long and you’d be better off just writing a proper letter? What about graphics in email signatures? Or funny quotations?
And what about that long list of disclaimers many of us lawyers append to every single email signature?
You’ve just been through some very intense contract negotiations for a new client and now that things are wrapping up, this client thought the time was right to let you know that once your work is complete, you are to turn over everything in your file. In short, you’ve just been informed you are not to retain anything relating to this matter. As a risk guy, I now have serious concerns. If you comply, how in the world could you defend yourself in a subsequent malpractice claim? Remember, the client will have complete control of the file. Admittedly, this kind of situation doesn’t happen often; but it does happen. So, let’s talk about your options if you ever find yourself in a similar pickle.
To this day, one of the most common challenges for solo and small firm lawyers is getting paid. Your payment structure notwithstanding, a smooth billing process is predicated on honest and open communication — particularly during your consultation. Paired with a dependable, secure tech solution, the latest billing best practices will help you achieve a significant drop in friction, avoid awkward client interactions, and ultimately collect on more unpaid invoices.
I heard a story on NPR this morning about a 1993 Harvard Business Review Article entitled “The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk.” I remembered the article. It made some waves, back in the day. In the article, author Kathleen Reardon asks several influential business people whether a female executive should send a memo regarding sexism in the workplace to the company’s CEO. The memo details the struggles of women to be heard and treated equally by their male peers. Then it asks several prominent professionals whether she should give the memo to the CEO or let it sit in her desk drawer. Find out …..
Some of us grew up in the 70s, captivated by the heroic adventures of The Six Million Dollar Man, when a million dollars was an amazingly large amount of money – unattainable for most. Now we scoff at a million, knowing it’s not enough for retirement and successful attorneys don’t pull in a million dollars over their lifetime; they pull in a million dollars in one year. Even solo and small firm practitioners are generating a million dollars of revenue.
If you’re thinking, “BS! Only big firms make over a million dollars,” you’re mistaken. It’s completely doable. It’s a lot easier these days and you don’t create a million by yourself. It takes knowing your numbers, a team, a guide, the proper mindset, and the million dollar law firm formula.
Marketing is job #1 for small firm attorneys and solos. It’s a simple equation: no marketing = no clients, and no clients = no firm. But, quite frankly, marketing can really suck.
There’s a cacophony of BigLaw websites, advertising, and social media drowning out small firm voices. And then there are about a million new small firm sites every single day. Not to mention that referrals from other lawyers and professionals can be tough to come by when everyone knows an attorney or ten who do what you do. And don’t forget the do-it-yourself options like LegalZoom and Findlaw.
How do you make yourself heard amongst all that noise? There’s no point shouting into the wind. You can’t make yourself louder than everyone else, so don’t bother trying.
I have no personal experience with this, but there are studies that have found that text message advertising is more effective than email campaigns. I hear that it works better because it is simple, fast, and won’t break the bank. However, the question lawyers must ask is whether text messaging to potential clients violates the ethics rules that govern lawyer advertising.
Ah, Spring! A time of rebirth, renewal, hope and overall excitement about the possibilities that lie ahead. And we’re all about the amazing possibilities for finally being your own boss.
This year we are combining our 9th birthday celebration and our Spring Into Solo Practice Promotion so we can help pave the way for even more lawyers who want build their solo/small firm practices.
Now through April 2, 2018, we will be reducing our first month’s tuition to $127 (monthly renewal thereafter remains $65).
As I often like to do, let me share two brief stories. The first involves a criminal defense lawyer. This lawyer represented a client who staunchly refused to allow the lawyer to call his girlfriend to testify at trial. There may have been other witness who the lawyer could have called as well; however, the client simply refused to ever discuss the matter. Here’s the problem, this client has somehow always managed to find his way out of trouble; but this time was going to be different and the lawyer knew it. This time the client was likely to spend a serious amount of time behind bars unless she could find a way to convince her client to work with her……