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.
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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……
As you think about rezooming your legal career beware of the joy-stealers. Who and what is a joy- stealer? They are the people who, when you speak about your dream or positive events that have unfolded in your favor on this journey to rezoom, pour cold water on your moment. As you reflect on the law you would like to practice they tell you its too competitive or worse, “Well, no one would want to practice in that field so it should be wide open.”
For the past 20 years, I have worked for an insurance company that insures lawyers for their malpractice. Trust me when I say I get it. There are going to be times when an insured doesn’t necessarily agree with every decision the company must make in trying to resolve his or her claim. That’s going to happen. What I don’t get is when an insured makes a decision to prevent us from helping at all.
There may be a time when a client wants to speak directly with the other side simply hoping to move the process forward. Truth be told, I’ve been there as a client. It felt as if my legal matter wasn’t progressing as fast as I thought it should and it seemed to me that the attorneys were the ones getting in the way. I started to wonder if I couldn’t move things along by just having a one on one with the other side. So, what does a good attorney do?