Daily Dispatch

Back to Basics

When Can You Pay a Referral Fee?

By | Sep.02.14 | 1 Comment

referral fee

In most practice areas, a lawyer’s marketing efforts should focus on generating a strong referral pipeline — from both non-lawyers and lawyers alike. If those efforts are successful, you’ll probably need some guidance on referral fees. Here it is. …

Back to Basics

How to Get the Fee You Deserve

By | Aug.29.14 | 0 Comments


It happens to every lawyer — although hopefully not too often. You propose or quote a fee to a client or prospective client and are greeted with a response such as “I can’t afford it” or “How can you have the nerve to charge that?” When that happens, don’t get angry, or defensive, or cry. It’s all part of a game. Here is how you play it.

There are basically four types of fees: fixed, hourly, contingency or “piece of the deal.” The latter two can have various arrangements, which may involve complex negotiations before the fee is established. Most fee challenges occur with either fixed or hourly arrangements, so let’s focus on them. READ THE REST

How to Make Small Talk

By | Aug.28.14 | 0 Comments

Welcome Handshake

Top 10 Icebreakers. Some people are born schmoozers and like nothing more than to meet and mingle at professional events. For others, this is about as painful as watching a “Kardashians” marathon at gunpoint.

If you fall into the latter category — and most of us do to some extent — it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Debra Fine, author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk,” offers her top 10 icebreakers. She suggests using them at those ubiquitous business/social occasions like fundraisers, association cocktail parties, conferences and dinners where you need to start a conversation with a colleague or potential client you don’t know well or would like to meet. … READ THE REST

Back to Basics

How to Calm an Angry Client

By | Aug.27.14 | 0 Comments


As much as we like to believe that, if we do everything well, our client will always love us, it’s just not true. You know the scenario. It’s the end of the day. The phone rings and you pick it up knowing you really shouldn’t. You should just let it go to voicemail, pack up your laptop and go home.

“What the bleep is this?” are the first words you hear. It’s your client. The one for whom you’ve worked like a dog, around the clock, for the past two weeks. It seems this month’s bill has arrived and he’s in flames! Now what? … READ THE REST

Back to Basics

How to Market Your Services

By | Aug.26.14 | 0 Comments

Play to Win

You are a member of an organization that holds quarterly dinner meetings with a speaker. You look at your calendar and realize the next meeting is Wednesday night — drat! But, dutifully, you show up just in time to sit down for the meal, chitchat briefly with the people to your right and left before the speaker starts his address, and then sneak out during the applause.

If you are like most lawyers, you will give yourself credit for going. In my book, however, you get a failing grade. I see it all the time: Lawyers going through the motions in their marketing and business development efforts. The fact is that executing the activity — even if done well — is but one of three key aspects of any initiative; equally important are preparation and follow-up. … READ THE REST

How to Get New Clients

By | Aug.25.14 | 1 Comment


Everyone knows business development should be part of every day’s to-do list. Still, it’s the rare lawyer who hasn’t experienced the sudden sinking feeling that comes when you’ve just finished your last client work and don’t know where the next is coming from. When it happens to you, don’t panic. While renewing your commitment to all the things you should have been doing all along, you can also take immediate action. We asked some of our favorite business development and marketing experts to give you advice on the best way to get paying client work right NOW. Here’s what they had to say. … READ THE REST