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A Coach Reviews The Lawyer's Guide to Professional Coaching

At long last, the ABA has published a book about coaching for lawyers. As an attorney coach for almost a decade, I understand that many lawyers don’t even know that the option of coaching for their profession exists, let alone understand how coaches can help their careers. The publishing of this book by the ABA should enhance the credibility and popularity of lawyer coaching. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

When Networking, Confidence and Enthusiasm Are Essential

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Usually I agree with Woody Allen, who is famous for (among other things) making this remark. But when it comes to networking for purposes of business development, I’ll have to differ from the well-known filmmaker. Continue reading post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

ABA report: No New Rules Needed for Law Firm Rankings

When U.S. News & World Report decided to rank law schools, this ranking – for better or worse — fundamentally changed the law school admissions process. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

LegalZoon: Good or Bad News for the Legal Profession?

In the past ten years, LegalZoom has had more than two million customers. Its revenue in 2011 was $156 million. What does the apparent success of LegalZoom and other online document companies mean for the legal profession as a whole? ... Read More

When is a Lawyer Like a Barber?

When it gets right down to it, what lawyers do is all about clients. Those wonderful, awful, charming, annoying, challenging and gratifying people who actually pay you to do your work. So we are declaring it “This Business of Clients” week here at Attorney at Work. You will receive some new and some of our best encore posts this week, designed to give you and your desk-side manner a quick refocus. Good for you. Good for them. First up? Roy Ginsburg and the guy who cuts his hair. Continue reading this post on attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

Buying a Law Practice Makes Sense

As baby boomers age and start to think about retirement, these lawyers begin to think about selling their legal practices. At the same time, younger lawyers are looking for ways to expand or diversify their practices. They are also thinking about buying a law practice. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

Lawyers: Beware Low Billing Rates

Lawyers bill too little for two reasons. First, they believe that a lower fee will yield more clients. Alternatively, especially when they represent individuals and small business owners, lawyers feel sorry for their clients and end up billing what they think the client can pay — not what the lawyer is worth. Do not fall victim to either of these faulty arguments. Never, ever compete on cost Other lawyers may bill less for their services than you do, and you may fear losing business to these low-cost competitors. Don’t. Chances are good that these lawyers are not making a profit and will soon go out of business. You don’t want to join them. If I had excess capacity in my practice, I wouldn’t waste it by taking on legal work that los… ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Work the Room When Speaking in Public

You’re a lawyer who’s accepted an invitation to speak and the speech is ready to go. It’s now show time. Are you are ready to reap the benefits? The primary benefit of any speaking engagement is not the speech itself. Rather, it is the opportunity to interact in person with members of a select audience of clients, potential clients and referral sources. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

Cold Calls Have Chilling Effect On Many Lawyers

Telephone calls to prospective clients or employers can be “cold,” where the person is not expecting your call. They can also be “warm,” where the prospective client knows something about you and is expecting your call. When coaching lawyers, I am often asked about the effectiveness of cold calling. Lawyers who want to develop more business wonder if this highly popularized sales technique might work for them. Lawyers who are looking for jobs wonder if cold calls ever generate warm informational interviews. Almost always, I counsel my clients to turn a cold shoulder on cold calling. The telephone is a “cold” medium The goal of cold calling is to plant a tiny seed that can grow into a relationship —… ... Read More

Asking For The Business: IMHO, Rarely Ethical or Effective

In a previous post dealing with the ethical traps in networking, I discussed how “asking for business” can run afoul of the ABA Rules of Professional Conduct. In this post, I want to discuss how “asking for business” can be ineffective as well as a business development tactic. Continue reading post on www.solopracticeuniversity.com ... Read More

Surprise! Law Schools Don’t Teach Students How To Be Lawyers

The secret is out. From their first day of legal practice, most lawyers realize that their theoretical legal education is of marginal value when it comes to helping clients solve real-world legal problems. Our clients now know this secret as well — thanks to a comprehensive front page article earlier this month in New York Times. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More
Categories: Legal Careers

Networking Can Be An Ethical Landmine. Be Careful.

Done right, networking is essential for growth; Done wrong, networking can be unethical For solo lawyers in almost all practice areas, success depends on the relationships you develop through personal networking. Many of you already know that and are actively networking. What you may not know is that a lawyer’s networking activities are governed by ethics rules. While my goal is clearly not to inhibit your networking efforts or put a damper on your enthusiasm for interaction with potential clients or referrers of clients, I do want to point out some of the ethics rules so you will be more aware of these tripwires that land unsuspecting lawyers in hot water. Continue reading this post on solopracticeuniversity.com ... Read More

Thinking About a New Solo Practice Area?

When selecting the practice area that will determine how you spend the rest of your career, you can “go deep” or “go shallow.” It is almost always better to “go deep.” “Going deep” means that you select a practice focus that you enjoy, in a healthy market for legal services, and in which you can reasonably obtain the needed skills and experience. How do you proceed? Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

Say "Thank You" to Stand Out

I always emphasize the importance of remaining optimistic when coaching lawyers on the topic of job hunting. And, lawyers being lawyers, I always need to provide some reason why they should remain upbeat. I have a simple answer: The job market is actually much less competitive than you think when you consider that so many other job-seekers make fundamental mistakes. Continue reading this post on attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

ABA rules: No major ethics overhaul needed To address web marketing

In a draft proposal issued last month, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 recommended no new restrictions relating to online marketing. The Commission did offer some useful guidance on how to interpret some web-based marketing tools within the context of existing ethics rules – guidance that I intend to pass along to the solo and small-firm lawyers that I coach. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

The Cost of Switching Law Firms

If you are a partner considering a move to another firm, you probably have two main reasons. The first almost always involves money. The second usually concerns personality factors or firm culture. That’s shorthand for “I’m working with a bunch of jerks.” Continue reading this post on attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

Buying a Law Practice

Even with the best of marketing tactics, the time needed to build a successful law practice is usually measured in years. There is one tactic that—if properly executed—can help you attain an established practice practically overnight. That tactic is buying rather than building a practice. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More

Lawyer Advertising: Louisiana State Regulations and the First Amendment

In the famous 1977 Bates decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that lawyers have First Amendment rights, too; legal advertising is constitutionally protected commercial speech. Prior to that, state’s ethics rules prohibited all advertising — and we never saw any of those amusing (and not so amusing) lawyer commercials on television. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More

Marketing of Legal Services to an Immigrant Population: A Lawyer Coach Answers the Question, "Does It Work?"

Whenever asked by attendees at one of my marketing CLEs or by my lawyer coaching clients whether they should market their services differently because of what they perceive as “unique circumstances,” I am always somewhat amused. Continue reading this post on minncle.org ... Read More

Working with an Attorney Coach

This summer, I had the privilege of meeting lawyer coach Roy Ginsburg at the Minnesota Solo & Small Firm Conference, then seeing him a few days later at the Nebraska Solo & Small Firm Conference. Roy is well known on the CLE speaking circuit; he is a lawyer himself and in as a former in-house counsel, he also has great insights on what corporate clients look for in hiring lawyers. But Roy also coaches lawyers and that is the subject of his guest post below. Continue reading this post on myshingle.com ... Read More
I loved Roy’s enthusiasm, spontaneity, and even his east coast bluntness. I admired the way that he dug in his heels to learn more about my business and practice area niche so that he could converse with me intelligently and thoughtfully abou…" Read the rest
– Owner, small Detroit, MI law firm

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