How to Discuss Innovation and Strategy with Lawyers

Nathan Darling , the Director of Client Development and Marketing for Van Ness Feldman in Washington, DC, and the 2010 President of LMA International , has the following suggestions for marketers who want to "brainstorm" ideas with their firm lawyers. 1. Frame such sessions as "strategy...

Law Firm CMOs: LSSO Listserve Discussion about Their Future

"Where have all the CMOs gone?" is the subject line of an LSSO listserve discussion late last week. Some of the legal marketing/sales industry's top consultants ( Silvia Coulter and Bill Flannery , to name two) weighed in on this hot button topic. Silvia, a consultant with Hildebrandt...

The keys to new business in a changing economy (Part 1 of 2)

When the economy changes, lawyers must change too. New client demands and new levels of competition are requiring lawyers to rethink the way they develop business. When I wrote the book Legal Business Development: A Step by Step Guide a few years ago, I outlined the steps each lawyer should take to find...

The keys to new business in a changing economy (Part 2 of 2)

Whether you choose to focus on current clients and referral sources or to spend your time looking for new ones, the marketing tactic that is most critical in this changing economy is increasing the value you provide. This need is hardly limited to the legal world. In his book, What the Customer Wants...

The Revenue Impact of Alternative Fees (Part 2 of 2)

Last month, Of Counsel, the Legal Practice and Management Report , published an article based on The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees , which they described as "the most lucid and comprehensive study that we have seen on this topic." This post reproduces the second part of the article...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 1 of 5

This five-part series is an expanded version of an article I published last week on AmericanLawyer.com entitled "Teaching Lawyers How to Manage: Can It Improve the Bottom Line?" When I interviewed AmLaw 100 chairmen, senior partners and C-level executives for a recent survey of alternative...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 2 of 5

Is it possible to control the costs of legal matters? While some lawyers have been working on a fixed price basis for years, others still believe that fixed fees simply cannot be applied to complex legal matters. The cost of defending a suit may be very low if your opponent is willing to settle early...

What every lawyer needs to know about project management, Part 3 of 5

How to reduce write-offs Another best practice discussed in our project management workshop at Warner Norcross & Judd was just as simple and even more likely to quickly impact the bottom line: "Hold difficult conversations before money is spent, not after." Anyone who has been involved...

Fear of Facebook: Part II: How to use Facebook privacy settings

Facebook estimates that only 20% of its members take advantage of the privacy features. As a business professional using Facebook , privacy settings allow you to manage your network so you can speak discreetly to certain Friends, like co-workers or family members, as opposed to other "Friends"...

Fear of Facebook Part III: Fan Pages for Law Firms?

"There's a lot of business done in country clubs, but you'll never see a company open a booth in the club's dining room. Instead, individual business people network quietly there, blending into the scene and using the social atmosphere to their advantage. That's how I feel about...

Yes, Successful Rainmakers Can Be Made

Some would argue that Rainmakers are born that way, and those that aren't can't. It is conceded that developing business does not come easily for a lot of folks, but the skills can be taught, at least to most lawyers. Ed Poll's article that appeared in LawyersUSA this week, advises small...

Legal Project Management (Part 5): Six Sigma and Lean

When I started this series of posts, I thought it would have only five parts. However, a significant amount of new information has been published on this topic since I started the series a few weeks ago, so I will continue with several additional posts. When experts talk about increasing legal efficiency...

Legal Project Management (Part 6) – Budget problems and solutions

Many lawyers believe that it is simply not possible to predict the costs of complex legal matters. As the managing partner of a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers put it in The LegalBizDev Survey of Alternative Fees : [Some] litigators say [a fixed fee] just doesn't work at all, because who knows...

Getting a rash from the rash of law firm RFPs

During round table discussions in 2009 entitled, "Best Practices in Business Development and Proposals," we asked invitees (law firm marketing and BD professionals mostly) about the uptick in the receipt of RFPs and RFIs from clients and prospects. The overwhelming response was that the number...

Law Firm Branding: Hocus Pocus or Results?

Baker McKenzie beat Skadden in gross revenues in the 2010 AmLaw 200 list taking over the top spot for the first time since 1994. That's a big deal, I guess. Ben Hallman writes in " Behind the Numbers : A Change at the Top", ( The American Lawyer , April 19,2010) that Baker McKenzie,...

Legal Project Management (Part 8): McDermott’s Deal Dashboard

If you believe what's been written on the web lately, you'd think that the idea of applying project management principles to legal matters was brand new. In fact, however, some lawyers have been focused on these ideas for years, developing new tactics and tools, often under the radar. For...

A Radical Future For The Legal Industry?

Rory Webber, Martindale-Hubbell Connected's Marketing & Community Development Manager interviews legal journalist and MH Connected member, Richard Parnham. In today's difficult economy, many law firms are focusing on how to survive over the next few months. But good times will - hopefully...

More On The Reality of Alternative Fees

During Jackson Lewis ' annual corporate counsel conference, as reported in The National Law Journal and on Law.com's Small Firm Business , alternative fees are "putting down deep roots." This got my attention, because although there has been much written about the subject including...

LexisNexis Business Solution Webinar: Tools and Techniques for a Successful Business Development Culture Part 1: Client Teams, June 8, 11 AM EST

If your firm needs fresh approaches for how to effectively impact your business development culture to drive profitability, then you should attend this free 60-minute webinar: Tools and Techniques for Developing a Business Development Culture. Discussion topics will include: Strengthening client...

Three lessons

On Monday 14 June 2010, I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion about the adoption of a business approach to law firm strategy. This was part of the very successful Managing a Modern Law Firm conference, organized by the Law Firm Management Committee and the Latin American Forum of the International...

How to Write a Blog Post: content ideas for lawyers who blog.

Setting up a blog is easy. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it will probably be the last easy thing you do in your life as a lawyer who blogs. The rest of your life as a lawyer who blogs will revolve around an empty white box-a box longing to be filled with your nifty ideas...

5 Business Development Tips For These Economic Times

It certainly is no secret that the buyers of legal services are closely scrutinizing the costs associated with outside law firms, especially during this economic downturn. There are two things that some firms recognize in that climate: first, there is a need to re-think their approach to developing business;...

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...