The Friday Five
When I graduated from law school in 2010, legal jobs were hard to find. After a brief stint as a staff attorney, I wasn’t optimistic about finding a job that would fulfill the dreams that led me to law school in the first place.
So, I started my own firm with a law school friend, called Mays & Kerr, LLC. Neither of us had experience as lawyers or business professionals, but we were entrepreneurs at heart and passionate about the legal profession. Despite our inexperience — and some early mistakes — our practice took off and the firm has been very successful. … Read The Rest
About this time each year, law industry publications are rife with advice about “holiday marketing.” The advice tends to be about gift-giving protocols and using social events to network and create relationships.
However, today’s legal environment requires more substantial analysis and strategy, a “Holiday Marketing 2.0” if you will. In the past, simply showing up and sending a holiday gift was adequate holiday marketing. However, the 20-year seller’s market, in which there were 150 cases for 100 lawyers, is over. It’s time to shift from a product-centric focus to a client-centric focus — and do it well. … Read The Rest
Law practice management software provider Clio released its first annual Legal Trends Report on October 17. The survey is a compilation of data aggregated from 40,000 Clio subscribers in the continental U.S. The data, representing usage events in Clio, is anonymized; the analogy the report draws is that of a turnstile at a sporting event, turning over numbers, without collecting identifying data.
The report reads like Freddy Krueger slashing through the (hopes and) dreams of solo lawyers.
It is almost entirely concerned with law firm billing; and, the majority of data relied upon is presumably the time and billing information garnered from users. The report itself is split into two parts: “The Billable Hour Index” (compiling data from 2010 through the first nine months of 2016) and “Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Lawyer’s Funnel” (compiling data from 2015). That’s a peppy title, is it not! Perhaps “Satan’s Playground: Law Practice in America” was already the title of a popular children’s book?
My goal today is not to recap the entire survey, but rather to cherry-pick interesting aspects of it, as well as to consider further effects not expressly addressed within the survey. … Read The Rest
Mountain climbers are fastidious about the lines they trust their lives to, and scuba divers are constantly checking the tanks and regulators on which they depend. In the hectic world of practicing law — when one interruption is so often itself interrupted by yet another call — are you taking the time to take care of your connections to others?
Have you recently spoken with your bridesmaid or best man? How about those cousins you played with when you were little? Any calls to them recently? Your law school roommate or moot court partner? … Read The Rest
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
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