Daily Dispatch

Get to the Point!

Attorneys, Don’t Bury the Lede

By | Dec.05.16 | 0 Comments

Get to the Point

Attorneys frequently ignore this basic journalism rule: Start with your strongest point. Your lead or “lede” should entice the reader to continue reading. The phrase “bury the lede” appears to be the only use of this alternate spelling.

Perhaps your jurisdiction has rules or customs that require you to present information in briefs in a certain way or in a certain order. That might include sections for identification of parties, statement of facts, or itemization of damages. Within those confines for legal briefs, as well as in articles and letters, you can write better when you don’t bury the lede.Read The Rest

The Friday 5: Gift Guide for Lawyers

Five Holiday Gifts That Celebrate 2016

By | Dec.02.16 | 0 Comments

Gifts for Lawyers

As we usher in the holiday season there is no doubt that 2016 has been an audacious year, from hurricanes to the Rio Olympics to the presidential election. So, as you shop for your favorite lawyer this holiday season, consider these five ideas from my annual “Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers” that celebrate the events of 2016.Read The Rest

Content Under Pressure

Visual Storytelling: Don’t Leave Your Content on the Cutting-Room Floor

By | Dec.01.16 | 0 Comments

Kostal column images

Most lawyers deal with the printed word all day long. They’ve been trained to take in and share knowledge as text. As a writer, it’s a stretch for me to even conceive of presenting information in a simple Excel chart. My bible starts, “In the beginning, God made Microsoft Word, and He saw that it was good (except for auto-formatting, which still needed work).”

So it’s natural that some of us would overlook visuals in our marketing content and social media, whether it’s a photo, illustration, infographic or chart. But if you resolve to make just one change in your approach to content, let it be to tap the power of visuals.Read The Rest

Law Practice Management

Five Ways to Improve Your Law Firm’s Culture

By | Nov.30.16 | 0 Comments


Whether you practice solo with a small staff, at a midsize law firm or in BigLaw, you can always find ways to improve your firm’s culture.

It’s true that law firms have a unique culture, regardless of size. One reason is that the billable hour limits and even stifles collaboration. (Collaboration? It’s not something lawyers are taught to think about.) But the hierarchies and structures built into the law firm model can be managed in a way that creates a positive work environment and organizational culture. The benefits are both financial and psychological: lower turnover rates, increased productivity, an easier time recruiting new team members, increased morale and motivation, greater involvement, lower absenteeism and even lower insurance rates.

How can you ensure that your law firm (or legal department) builds or maintains a great culture? Here are five steps and resources.Read The Rest

Play to Win

Making Clients’ Lives Easier

By | Nov.29.16 | 1 Comment

Play to Win

Lawyers have a lot of questions about how to develop new business. Once they start working with a client, however, the question often becomes, “How can I expand the business?” The simple fact is that clients want to work with lawyers who “get” them — lawyers who understand how, as a client, I like things done, who take the time to learn my business and my situation, and who respect my guidelines and deadlines.

If you can work in a way that makes a client’s life easier, you will get more work. Period. So how do you do that?Read The Rest

The 28th Annual Trends Report

2016 What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession

By | Nov.28.16 | 0 Comments

What's Hot and What's Not 2014

Attorney at Work readers always get the first look at Bob Denney’s annual “What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession” report on trends in the business of practicing law. Which practice areas are heating up or cooling off? Take a look!

This is our 28th annual report on what’s going on in the legal profession. As with all previous reports, it is based on information my colleagues and I continually gather throughout the year from many sources — law firms, other providers of legal services, legal departments, surveys and the legal and general press.

It is also the seventh such report to be published shortly after a presidential election and the fourth in which the election resulted in a change of party and, therefore, a change of administration. These changes always have some impact on the legal profession, mainly in practice areas, but we expect the Trump administration will have a greater impact on the profession than any of the past three changes of administration.Read The Rest