One of a Kind
Research suggests that life experiences, not material things, are the key to happiness. Nonetheless, by and large people still choose to spend more of their money on material items because they believe they’re of greater value. After all, it’s pretty easy to peg a value to a new flat-screen TV that costs $4,000. But it’s hard to estimate the value of a great memory born of an amazing experience.
The same principle applies in marketing. Provide a service to a client and you’ll earn a fee. But provide a positive, memorable experience and you’ll earn not just a fee, but a loyal ally and enthusiastic advocate for your firm. Clients will come back for more — and bring others with them. … READ THE REST
Lawyers can easily find themselves, very early in their careers, in a predicament of epic proportions. It happens when you don’t know what to do next, and end up in a rut — a long, deep track made by the repeated passage of the lawyers (um, vehicles) who went before.
For our purposes a rut has a number of relevant characteristics:
• It begins at the start of the road. As a result, you have a tendency to find yourself in it very quickly.
• Once you’re in it, it can be hard to get out without a lot of frustration.
• Unless you get out of it, you’re going to end up at the same destination as everyone else. … READ THE REST
Friday Five Trending
If you haven’t figured it out yet, business development is a perpetual, ongoing commitment. It can be especially onerous if you are in a small or solo firm, where you’re not just a lawyer — you’re often the entire sales force and sole customer service rep. But, thanks to the many resources found online, you’re not completely alone in learning how to move your law practice forward. Here’s a sampling of some of the helpers out there right now. … READ THE REST
In last month’s column, “Stylin’ It in Microsoft Word,” I showed how using Word’s default Styles to format documents can make your life much easier — and urged you to “leave ’em as Microsoft set ’em.” Still, I had a few requests from readers who really would prefer to change the default Styles settings and wanted to know the best way to go about it.
Changing Word’s default Styles is quite easy to do. You can either use what I’ll call the “formal” method or make changes even more quickly using the “easier” method. Once you make the changes you wish to Word’s default Styles, for better or worse, from that point forward Word’s Styles will become your default Styles. … READ THE REST
“I found myself in a rut of doing work … then more work … and feeling stuck in the day-to-day of never seeing past tomorrow,” says Josh Brown, a solo attorney who deals primarily in franchise law.
Like most small firm attorneys, Brown’s to-do list kept growing, and no one was around to take something off his plate.
If you work in a small firm and your practice is growing, eventually you’re going to need to delegate work — whether you hire staff, outsource tasks, use virtual assistants or take another technology-based route. It’s not a matter of whether you can delegate work — technology has made expert knowledge and services available to do almost anything from anywhere. It’s a question of how. … READ THE REST
Most lawyers have probably heard the word “metadata” and, at minimum, know that it has something to do with their documents. But it’s vital that every law office, staff included, is aware of the risks posed by metadata, and what steps can reduce the dangers.
A popular, if slightly ambiguous definition of metadata is “data about data.” In fact, metadata is the hidden information that can be found embedded in electronic files. It may include transactional details about the document, such as author, software used, the date it was written and even edits made along the way. It occurs in many different forms and in a vast number of locations. In a Word document, for example, metadata can include tracked changes, comments, text smaller than 5 points, white text on any background and previous authors. The most potentially damaging of these can be the tracked changes or comments made in earlier versions.
Emailing documents adds another layer to the problem. … READ THE REST