Does a small general practice law firm have a future in a small market?

A partner from a law firm in a small legal market (under 500,000 people) in the United States asked me this question a few days ago. The answer is really one of definition. While the term "general practice" is relatively benign, claiming to be "full service" can be toxic for a...

Transparency: Beyond the Extranet (ILTA Presentation 2010)

The 2010 ILTA conference is still underway in Las Vegas. My panel, "Transparency: Beyond the Extranet," was late Tuesday afternoon, August 24. Cheryl Disch (the extraordinary proposal manager at Duane Morris about whom I've blogged in the past) assembled our diverse ILTA panel that included...

Free Lunch

A surprising number of otherwise sophisticated law firms spend a horrifying amount of time and money pursuing strategic alliances, partnerships, or other relationships with other firms. Some of these relationships work well. Most, however, produce disappointing results for both parties. This is the...

Client Interviews: Think Defensively

I have advocated for years the need for client satisfaction interviews as a means of keeping competitors from pirating your clients. Not only do these surveys, especially in-person ones, help to solidify the client relationship, but they let a firm know about any client dissatisfaction before the client...

Value questions to ask your top clients (Part 2 of 2)

This post concludes our list of questions to ask top clients. As noted last week , the idea is to pick just a few that fit your situation, schedule a meeting to discuss them, and listen to them while they talk 80% of the time. Whatever the client says, do not argue or get defensive. Just listen. More...

Starting Young Pays Big Dividends: Increasing Business Development for Female Associates

This article was co-written by Janet Brichard, Transformation Management Women associates who learn business development skills can become significant business generators as they hone their legal skills. Based on a study of 426 women attorneys, we find that 53% of survey participants report that one...

Keshet Study of Business Development

Harry Keshet , a researcher and consultant who has previously worked with the National Association of Women Lawyers , is in the midst of a study of business development that promises to be a significant resource for the legal profession. He is collecting data about business development opportunities...

Does your law firm need a “social agency?”

As social media channels grow and the "what should we be doing" buzz slowly moves across the legal marketing industry, more legal marketing professionals and law firm leaders are asking, do we need to hire an agency? If you're big enough or serious enough, you probably do. And according...

Coaching or The Buddy System

What I especially like about Seth Godin is his pithy posts which plant plenty of powerful (p)ideas in my pons (part of brainstem). Okay, I didn't do that well on that one, but heck it's only Tuesday. The point is that his recent brief post about "The Buddy System" got me thinking about...

Practical TIps for Developing Your Law Practice with Stephen Hess

Attorney Stephen Hess practices Construction and Sports Law at Sherman & Howard. Today he offers practical tips for developing your practice through writing and speaking engagements. To view this Videocast, please follow this link.

Universal Entrepreneurial Skills

Peter Drucker's Four Universal Entrepreneurial Disciplines Whenever I come across the writings of Peter Drucker , I almost never fail to be impressed by his insight. It's no wonder he was one of the most influential and forward-thinking management theorists in the world (and continues to be...

Just Being Social | by Jay Strother for Legal Management

If you're looking for the latest "buzz" about social media ethics and professional responsibility for lawyers (and their employees), I highly recommend Jay Strother's article, Just Being Social , published in the March/April edition of Legal Management, a publication of the Association...

Client Feedback Pointers

Seeking client feedback is not only important for every law firm, but it needs to be done right. Following a recent post of mine on the topic, my friend Stacy West Clark raised some issues that got me to thinking about the Who, What, When, Why's and How's of getting client feedback...

Facebook for Lawyers: Don’t overlook the efficiency and power of a network on Facebook

The other day, I added a "new" Friend to my Facebook network, someone I see maybe once a year at a professional gathering. I thought: This is great. Can it get any easier to stay in touch and up to speed on what's going on in her life so that the next time we meet we can immediately...

Commentary on Law360 Post, "How to Make it Rain by Marketing Individual Lawyers"

A legal marketing friend, John Eix, head of Regional Business Development - Texas for Hunton & Williams , sent me a June 24, 2011 Law360 article that I finally had a moment to read. It covers the age-old question of, "Do clients hire law firms or lawyers?" I have always insisted that...

Social media for introverts - Guest post by Paul S. Grabowski

I have worked with Paul Grabowski, Esq. at two well known Texas law firms, Andrews Kurth and Porter Hedges , where he led the marketing departments. He just wrote this post for Thom Singer's blog (Thom Singer is also an Andrews Kurth marketing team alum), which should resonate with many of the...

Only 5 months left to meet your 2011 marketing goals

I received an email this morning from the CMO Council on its "Marketing Outlook for 2011." While the research study made more sense to report in Q1, it's worthwhile to use as a check-up as we edge into August 2011. The Study reports that marketing budgets are on the rise, with...

Lawyers – ask why they buy, not why they didn’t

Have you ever thought about the reason people choose to buy legal services from a particular firm? Sure, if you're a lawyer in practice (or a business development professional at a law firm) you may have spent some time debriefing why you lost a tender, but have you actually talked to some...

Don't Turn Editors Off - Follow These Winning Tips

Being a good writer with a dynamite article you would like to get published is only half the battle. You must comply with editorial rules and protocol of the publications you're trying to reach, if you will have any chance at all of getting that best ever written tome published. So, whether...

How to Have a Successful Solo or Small Firm Practice

There are lots of things one can do from a marketing and business development standpoint to have a successful practice, whether you are a solo or, quite frankly, a lawyer in any size firm. Considering the fact that you will have less resources to bring into play the smaller your firm, here are a...

How does the "last mile" relate to lawyers' website biographies?

The "last mile" is a supply chain management term (and a single released by hard rock/glam band, Cinderella, in 1989, and also a play and movie from the 1930s) that refers to a product's last mile before it gets to market and on store shelves. Apparently, it's the hardest and most...

info@yourlawfirm.com | Is it working?

How can we help you? How can we help you? That was the message preceding a "request for information" form in the Contact Us section of a noteworthy B2B company website I recently visited. Ten days ago I filled out that form and requested specific information or a return phone call regarding...

Truth and Myths about Rainmaking

Too many lawyers believe that only "natural rainmakers" can win new clients. This is possibly one of the biggest factors in poor marketing and business development in law firms. Not believing that they can be good at marketing, many lawyers discourage themselves, and sometimes are discouraged...

Two Important Business Development Tips for New Lawyers

In a similar vein to the old real estate adage, in legal marketing it's all about contact, contact, contact. Two important factors need to come into play in building any relationship are how often you are in contact (with clients, referral sources and prospects) and what value those communications...

"Growing" Your Role in a Small Law Firm

Today's business conditions continue to have a major impact on solo and small law firm financial performance. Yet there remains a far greater and more significant problem for any small firm's future health: preparation of the firm's young lawyer (or lawyers) to assume future responsibility...