What’s in a name? Everything. How do you build your brand with your solo/small firm name? What limitations are there for law firms? Many! This is a very interesting discussion and, as always, we have fun as we teach. Listen and learn.
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2020 is proving quite the year and we’re only in the 2nd Quarter! What we are experiencing now is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. Yet, life must go on and so must your practice. But how do you practice in the age of pandemics? Jared and I discuss the changes, the modifications, both technical and emotional. How do you pivot your marketing so as not to be insensitive but more human? What technology must you use now? How do you handle it all without falling apart? We answer these questions and more so join us. You’ll be glad you did.
In a number of jurisdictions, the commentary to Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 Competency states that lawyers are to keep abreast of the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. Keeping this language in mind, allow me to ask if you actually take this language to heart? I ask because in my world while I often find that lawyers do a pretty good job of evaluating the benefits of any technology they are considering using in their practices, it’s evaluating the risks that seems to get the short shrift in the decision-making process. Afterall, taking time to investigate any potential downsides to whatever the next must have digital tech tool is can be such a killjoy.
The best risk management advice I will ever have to offer is simply this. Don’t ever forget to take care of yourself. I know it sounds simple; but for so many, it isn’t easy. I really do believe that taking this advice to heart can not only make a world of difference in every lawyer’s personal and profession life, it can also be an effective risk management tool.
No matter the size of your law firm, maintaining a positive cash flow is essential. The most successful law firms use a variety of best practices to manage their finances effectively, many of which can be implemented relatively quickly. We’ll lay out three different ways you can make small changes to your practice that result in a significant positive impact on your bottom line.
In order to grow, solos will need to delegate legal work to paralegals, administrative staff, free lance lawyers and associates and any vendor you hire on your behalf. Even hiring a marketing firm! But do you really know the ethics surrounding delegation of work you are ultimately ethically responsible for as the the owner of your law firm? This is a critically important topic. Listen and learn.
Your agent told you that you don’t want to have a clause in your policy called “The Hammer Clause.” No, it’s not a Pro-Wrestling move and no, you won’t find the term anywhere in your policy. The Hammer Clause is a term of art for forcing a settlement in the Defense, Indemnification, and Cooperation section of your policy. And you need to understand it. It could mean your career.
Lawyers occasionally reach out to me wanting clarification on what needs to be covered in a letter notifying active clients, whose matters the lawyer will be unable to complete in time, that their lawyer is closing his or her practice. Find out what you need to do.
Solo lawyers continue to occasionally call in wanting to discuss a business opportunity that has come to be known as the “license rental” model. In short, these lawyers are being offered an opportunity to affiliate with an out-of-state firm or occasionally a non-lawyer owed company and it’s often presented as an attractive way to develop a stable flow of recurring business. The out-of-state firm or non-lawyer owned company is wanting to direct cases to the lawyers they are contacting as a way to offer legal services in the jurisdictions in which these lawyers practice. The actual work may occur under an of counsel or contract attorney relationship and participating lawyers will receive some portion of the fee coupled with an understanding that the required amount of work will be minimal. Targeted practice areas include but are not limited to debt settlement, mortgage foreclosures, estate planning, traffic violations, and criminal expungements.
Those who take the time to call me are usually wanting to make sure that, if they sign on to something like this, their malpractice coverage will be in play should a misstep ever occur. Before I answer that question, however, I always start by asking if they have given any thought to whether signing on is ethically permissible because many times the opportunity under consideration often won’t ethically pass muster for a number of reasons. Read on….