» Legal Careers

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

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

Why You May Want to be a Family Law Attorney When You Grow Up

As an attorney coach, I often counsel lawyers who are considering a move to a new practice area – helping them balance the pros and cons of such career choices. One overlooked area I often recommend is family law. Continue reading post on myshingle.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. The article is What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering” and subtitled “Schools Leave Practical Training to Firms by David Segal. There were a few points made in the article that surprised me as an experienced lawyer, and might surprise you as well. Things You May Not Have Known I am well-aware that many law professors have little practice experience, but I didn’t realize that nearly half of the nati… ... Read More
Categories: Legal Careers

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

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

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

Lawyer Rankings: What's the Ranting Now?

It’s been a few years since lawyer rankings and ratings have been prominently featured in legal media circles. Four years ago, regulatory officials in New Jersey determined that it was “false and misleading” for lawyers in that state to advertise their selection by Best Lawyers or Super Lawyers. After a long legal battle over what was referred to as Opinion 39, (I helped defend Super Lawyers), the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that the selection processes for both publications were bona fide and that lawyers have a First Amendment right to promote the accolade. Since then, things have been pretty quiet other than the usual debate among legal marketers about the degree to which any of the rating services matter from a marketer’… ... Read More

Take Care of Your Referral Sources

I recently had an experience with a professional service provider that reminded me that there are certain things that lawyers should never forget when receiving referral business. We all love to receive referrals; after all, you have a brand new client that took no time and effort to obtain. What can be better? In most instances, nothing. However, here are some basic guidelines for lawyers about referrals that at times they forget. How to Treat Your Referral Sources Very nicely. You would think that would be obvious, but for some, it is not. You should always promptly thank your referral sources. As a coach, there are times when I refer my clients to other service providers for expertise that I do not have. It never ceases to amaze me how m… ... Read More

Should You Make Resolutions for Next Year?

The new year is just around the corner. Are you going to make any resolutions for your practice? The good; they can keep you focused. The bad; they may discourage you if you cannot keep them. When I coach attorneys, I take a middle-of-the-road approach. I ask clients to think about two to four goals for the year. Keep them broad and forego a very detailed action plan. Also, be realistic. Keep them simple Goal setting in and of itself is always a good idea. It forces you to take a “time out” from the your daily routines. Think about some things you would like to change next year. I am not a big fan of spending lots of time writing down the nitty gritty for two reasons. First, it can be time consuming. Should you spend days to determine t… ... Read More

Networking—It’s Not That Bad!

When coaching or speaking to lawyers about the importance of networking, the knee-jerk reaction of many is “you gotta be kidding me; I would rather take the bar exam again than network!” I was recently reminded of this mentality when one of my clients commented to me after two months of aggressively networking for a job, “it really doesn’t suck like I thought it would.” Why the change? Simply a misperception of what networking is and is not. Many attorneys assume that networking is outside of their comfort zone. They equate it with handing out business cards at receptions or cold calling complete strangers. I would not feel comfortable doing that and do not expect my clients to either. But when I think of networking as developing… ... Read More

Good News for Lawyers: Your Competition Stinks!

Lawyers must market because the competition for business can be brutal in virtually all practice areas and localities. That is the bad news. The good news is that the vast majority of the competition stinks. Here are two stories to illustrate my point; both of them told to me by attendees at one of my recent CLEs. Both are general counsel at mid sized corporations. Continue reading this post at www.lawyerist.com ... Read More
I am the general counsel for a high tech company in the Twin Cities. I’ve learned that in order to be successful as an in-house attorney, it takes more than simply doing quality legal work. Oftentimes, my biggest challenges are managing the rel…" Read the rest
– General Counsel, Minneapolis, MN corporation

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