Daily Dispatch


On Balance

You’re Not Hired! Rules of Non-Engagement (Letters)

By | Oct.20.14 | 0 Comments

On Balance

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

Five Questions to Ask a New Client

By | Oct.17.14 | 2 Comments

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


Hiring

Using Social Media as a Screening Tool for New Hires

By | Oct.16.14 | 0 Comments

Social Media to find Employees

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


Curmudgeon's Perspective

Not My First Time at the Fashion Rodeo

By | Oct.15.14 | 1 Comment

Otto Sorts

I’ve been through a few fashion trends and I appreciate others’ perspectives on style. In our profession, it’s important to look … professional. Looking good can help bolster your self-confidence and can certainly affect how others see you. But the next time you’re in a room full of lawyers comparing ties and admiring each others’ socks, ask yourself if that’s really what you came to do. (You know. You’ve been there. It happens.) … READ THE REST


To Quote or Not to Quote: Either Way, Check Your Source

By | Oct.14.14 | 1 Comment

New Associates

The Internet is awesome. It’s also horrible. It’s the greatest timesaver in human history (okay, maybe air travel, but it’s up there). It’s also the biggest time-suck. With so much information and so many resources available at your fingertips, it can save your butt (anniversary gift overnight shipping, anyone?). It can also make you one.

We’ve all witnessed instances of friends and acquaintances turning into Chicken Little over the hoax du jour spreading like wildfire on Facebook, only to be doused by the guy who provides a link to Snopes in the 128th comment in the exchange. It’s easy to sit back and tut-tut about the dude who forwarded the link about the Tupac sighting at Coachella 2014. It’s even easier to be on the receiving end of criticism if you rely too heavily and, especially, too uncritically on the Internet for research and information.

I should know — I almost made an embarrassing mistake recently. … READ THE REST


Hidden Expenses

True Cost of an Employee

By | Oct.13.14 | 3 Comments

Cost of an Employee

If you ask the head of most any law firm about the compensation for a given employee, you’ll likely hear something like “$15 an hour” or “$50,000 a year.” Of course the dollar figure is correct. But it represents only about 75 to 80 percent of total compensation. The hourly rate or base pay is just the starting point. While many industries track the cost or “burden” of an employee, numerous costs get buried and are not included in the equation. …READ ABOUT THE HIDDEN COSTS