» Business Development

Never Forget the Value of Your Firm’s Staff

A sole owner of a small law firm recently hired me to create a strategic plan and a succession plan. During our initial conversations, I asked questions to discern more about the firm and its culture. The owner went out of his way to tell me that he values and respects everyone, including staff—not just the lawyers. I responded, “That’s great!” ... Read More

Be a Joiner: Networking for Success as a Lawyer

Like most attorney business development coaches, I’m a big fan of one-on-one networking. It’s in this setting that you’ll have the best opportunity to develop a genuine relationship—one that will hopefully lead to new business. ... Read More

Should a Solo Join a Bigger Law Firm? Is Bigger Better?

It’s common for the successful solo practitioner to have bigger law firms approach them for recruiting the practitioner and joining forces. It’s also common for those practitioners to seriously consider the offer, often thinking the grass may be greener. But what makes these offers so tempting? There are many reasons, some of which are sensible, but most of which are not. ... Read More

How to Know If & When the Time Is Right to Switch or Tweak Practice Areas

After several years (or perhaps decades!) of practicing in a specific area, it’s no wonder you are considering change. What is prompting your desire for change, though? Boredom? Market changes? A desire to get out completely? Or an internal drive to simply spice things up a bit? ... Read More

What Lawyers Can Learn From Apple When Setting Billing Rates

Last month, Apple unveiled its new iPhone X to much fanfare. Perhaps what created the most fanfare was its price. It starts at $999; hundreds more than the older iPhone 7 and the brand-new iPhone 8. ... Read More

The ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ Marketing Plan

If you’ve searched the web for marketing plans, you’ve likely noticed that most so-called legal marketing experts recommend putting together a formal marketing plan. I suppose I fall into that camp — having a marketing plan is a necessity. But I am a contrarian in one key respect. ... Read More

10 Questions to Answer When Creating Your Law Firm Strategic Marketing Plan

When putting together your law firm’s marketing plan as part of your business development and strategic planning efforts, don’t fall into the trap of simply doing what you did last year. Sure, that may be enough to keep the lights on for another year. But, don’t you want to achieve more for your firm? ... Read More

Revenue v. Profits: Don’t Forget the Bottom Line

This lawyer fell into the trap that all-sized firms frequently do. They mistakenly believe the holy grail finance metric to be revenue. But if you ask anyone working in corporate America what the key finance metric is, you will hear one thing only: profitability. ... Read More

Email Networking Invitations: What Should You Say?

Have you set your New Year’s resolutions for business yet? If yes, I hope that improved networking is on your list. And if no, make 2017 the year that you finally “up” your networking game. ... Read More

Lawyers Must Make Room for the Future

Retirement often goes hand in hand with downsizing your living quarters, whether that means relocating to a warmer climate retirement community or buying the downtown condo in your present area. In either case, most senior attorneys are faced with the issue of finding a place for all of their “stuff.” It can be difficult to throw away items that represent so many sentiments from the past even when you know there is no room for it where you’re going. Welcome to the quandary of downsizing.  To begin, we’ll go over some of the conventional wisdom. Then I’ll throw in my own two cents based on recent personal experience.  (While I’m not quite ready to retire, I did recently downsize since my children are now all launched… ... Read More

Successful Networkers Follow Up

In my last post, I talked about meeting new contacts at large networking events. Just as a quick reminder, if you think that by simply meeting people at these events, it will lead to business, think again. It will not. You need to follow up with the ones who seem to be worth following up with. You have merely started a relationship at the event. Following up develops the type of relationship necessary to bring in new business. Now that you have these new business cards, here are the next steps: Put the names and contact information in some type of system so you know who they are, what they do and how you met them. Doesn’t have to be a fancy software solution. It just has be one where it can be relatively easy to access information about… ... Read More

Put Networking into Perspective

When most attorneys hear the word “networking,” palms start to sweat and inner thoughts turn to “You mean I have to do THAT in order to get new clients?” What is THAT anyway, and how often do you have to do THAT? THAT is attending some type of event (e.g. fundraiser, conference, reception) where there will be a large crowd, anywhere from 50 to 1000. ... Read More

Achieving New Year’s Resolutions and Law Firm Strategic Planning Goals

New Year’s resolutions and strategic planning goals for law firms have a lot in common. They both generate a considerable amount of excitement once placed on paper. But fast forward a few months and most resolutions or goals typically end up entirely abandoned. Here are a few suggestions to improve the chances that you achieve both your personal New Year’s resolutions and your law firm’s strategic planning goals. ... Read More

Is Ohio Gagging Lawyers Speaking at Seminars?

Every few years, state ethics officials issue a questionable decision in the legal marketing ethics area. The ones that make you scratch your head and think, “Really? What planet do they live on?” . . . . . . Today, the spotlight is on Ohio. What? I Can’t Hand Out a Brochure When I’m Speaking? Every good legal marketer knows that speaking at seminars is a tried-and-true method of reaching potential clients and enhancing one’s reputation. A recent opinion issued in Ohio would limit the marketing benefits of speaking engagements . . . Continue reading this post on www.attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

Networking for Job Security

Job security is on the radar screens of most lawyers. Many lawyers, however, perceive that their jobs are very secure, when in reality they are not. Due to a false sense of security, these lawyers often neglect the networking they should be doing. Three scenarios demonstrate this concept of a false sense of job security … Continue reading this post on www.lawyerist.com. ... Read More

Don’t Answer Your Phone!

All time management experts will tell you that it is a huge time waster to let phone calls (and emails) interrupt a work task. But there’s an even better reason: A potential client will instantly think that you are a responsive lawyer. Although this may sound counterintuitive, you will impress potential clients by ignoring their initial phone call and then calling them back promptly (usually within a few hours). This is true whether you answer your own phone or have a receptionist do it for you ... Read More

Strategic Planning Myths for Law Firms

Last year, the Harvard Business Review published a blog post entitled, "3 Myths That Kill Strategic Planning." Like most content that comes out of Harvard and other business schools, the focus is on the application of planning principles to more routine corporations--not professional service firms such as law firms ... Read More

The New Solo: Jack of All Trades, Master of None?

Many new solo practitioners wrestle with the issue of whether to focus their practice in one area of the law to the exclusion of other areas. Some are afraid to walk away from any business and, therefore, think it best to go to market as a generalist. Unless you practice in a very small town, this strategy is usually a mistake. If you practice in a suburban or metro area, limiting yourself to certain practice areas is the best strategy. Here’s why… Continue reading this post on http://solopracticeuniversity.com. ... Read More

How to Know If a Conference Will Be Worth It

Contrary to what some social media pundits would say, conferences where people show up and interact in person have not gone away.  Not only are they around to stay, but most legal marketing pundits (including yours truly) agree that attending conferences can offer valuable business development opportunities. Continue reading this post on www.attorneyatwork.com ... Read More

The Wrong Way To Network

Like most successful legal professionals, I engage in a fair amount of networking. Much of my networking time is devoted to developing my own business, but there are times when I am on the receiving end of a networking exchange. Almost always, I will meet with that person – even when there doesn’t seem to be much in it for me. Continue reading this post on www.lawyerist.com ... Read More
I was previously the general counsel for a Wisconsin corporation and had been out of work for 8 months. I was determined to get another in-house position. I made it through an initial round of interviews for a very attractive position and then hired…" Read the rest
– General Counsel, Omaha, NE corporation

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