By 2017, it is estimated that 95% of non-cash transactions will be paid by credit or debit cards. That leaves just a mere 5% paid through traditional paper check payments. Many attorneys are beginning to recognize if they don’t accept credit cards already, they may need to reconsider in order to facilitate collection of fees in the very near future.
If I hear one more lawyer tell me they referred out a case to another lawyer ‘just because’ and maybe that lawyer will send something their way down the road, I want to scream, ‘You are leaving money on the table.’ Do you not understand what a referral fee is? Do you not understand the value of this fee to provide you some financial stability for your practice?
Our profession has a long tradition of mentoring young attorneys. After several years of practice, you shift from mentee to mentor rather naturally. I believe in paying it forward, and I’ve been blessed to mentor some great young lawyers. And I continue to do because….
Every time a client makes the decision to retain a lawyer, they weigh the fee against the value of your services. If your fee is too high relative to the (perceived) value they will receive, they are not going to retain you. Therefore, if you don’t have a compelling value proposition, you must reduce your fee in order to get the client to retain you. And no lawyer really wants to do that, right? Because then you are competing based upon fees (cost proposition) and that is a losing game. So, what do you do?
We tend to choose to do immediate over important tasks because of the good feeling we get from a quick resolution. Getting an immediate job completed satisfies us. It is a subtle but important distinction in how the human brain works. But is it undermining your effectiveness as a lawyer? Find out.
Unless you are actively looking for non-English speaking communities you may not even realize to the extent they are present in your area. These are families that experience marriage and custody issues, these are workers that have employment and injury-related issues, and these are entrepreneurs that have business formation needs. In fact, due to language barriers, more trivial matters such as traffic tickets and ordinance violations are areas of concern for them as well. But you don’t speak (fill in any language). Learn how to tap these communities even if you don’t speak their language.
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.
Life is crazy and hectic for the solo practitioner and I’ve talked to many who feel they simply can’t leave their solo practice for any length of time because they wouldn’t really be able to relax or the business would fall apart without them. But if you must know the truth, not taking time away from work, meaningful, restorative time, is actually hurting your practice and your health in insidious ways. And this is supported through studies linked to below. Without taking a respite, our work becomes ineffective.