Pennsylvania Bar Opinion
Do you need advice about the ethics issues involved in social networking? Chances are your questions will be answered by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s recent Formal Opinion 2014-300. The 18-page opinion addresses issues that are important for lawyers in every state.
The Pennsylvania opinion rests on the premise that Rule 1.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct requires lawyers to have “a basic knowledge of how social media websites work,” as well as the ability to advise clients about the legal ramifications of using the sites. … READ THE REST
YEAR-END STATUS CHECK
The year’s end is right around the corner, along with the holiday season. So, what do you really want for a holiday gift? How about getting paid for the work you did during the year?
The holidays can be extra hectic for lawyers with the scramble to get checks from clients before year-end. Most law firms operate on a calendar year and are run on a cash basis, meaning work isn’t counted as revenue until clients pay. If you are a partner or even an associate, your compensation may be tied to the amount of money your firm collects on the work you billed. If you are a solo, you know all too well your compensation is directly tied to how much you collect on invoices … READ THE REST
Play to Win
If you are like most lawyers, you have done little to organize or manage one of your most important business development assets — your contacts. Why is it so important to keep track of the people you know?
Most clients will tell you they hire the lawyer, not the law firm. Even as corporate clients become more businesslike in vetting and selecting counsel, there is usually a relationship that led to being put on the shortlist. … READ THE REST
When you speak to potential clients, your goal is to hear them say, “You’re hired!” — or words to that effect. Then out goes the engagement letter, in comes the retainer and off to work you go. Isn’t that the point of a law practice, after all? Meet new clients, get retained, do the work, help your clients and make a living.
But have you given much thought to the potential clients you meet who ultimately say, “You’re not hired”? These non-clients can come back and bite you if you’re not careful.
Unfortunately, if we’re not hired after the initial discussion with a potential client, most of us move on with our business and don’t give them another thought. Before you move on next time, think about sending out a non-engagement letter. … READ THE REST
The Friday Five
It’s one of the fundamentals they drummed into you in law school: It is your job to know the answers. That’s why clients seek your help, right? How you prove you are smart, and why they pay your bills? Well, yes and no. In many cases, it’s less about you knowing the answers and much more about you knowing the right questions to ask.
Case in point: Your first meeting with a new client. There will never be a better or more important time to ask all sorts of questions. At this meeting, it should be your No. 1 priority to launch what you hope will be a long, productive relationship by learning all you can up front. … READ THE REST
Recruiting and hiring a new employee is never easy. Last time I talked about different ways you can use social media to find better job candidates. For some, though, the most difficult part comes when you have narrowed your pool to two or three candidates you think would be great additions to your team. Now you want to evaluate the finalists further.
You’ve heard rumblings about employers using social media to evaluate candidates, but how do you do it? What do you look for? What are the rules for doing it? … READ THE REST