» Practice Management

Is Strategic Planning Relevant in the Covid-19 Age?

Strategic planning provides a framework to make choices about how your law firm allocates its resources to maintain and improve upon its success. Yes, I know many of you are probably thinking, “We’re still fine-tuning how to get work done from home and the best ways to interact with clients. I can’t plan beyond a few days ahead, let alone a few years.” ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

COVID-19 Impacts for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers: Beyond Remote Work

If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of getting email blasts about how to best work remotely. There is much more to this COVID-19 situation, from your law practice perspective, than remote work. If you practice in the solo and small firm world, here’s my take on a few other important things to consider in the pandemic age. ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Underbilling? Not Recording Time? There’s No Excuse!

Over the years, I’ve heard my share of stories about attorneys who have failed to properly record their time. You know what I mean. Finishing a task and then intentionally recording less time than what you actually spent on the task. Or, alternatively, simply forgetting to enter your time (e.g., phone conversations in the car). ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Strategic Planning in Times of Crises: You’re Doing It Wrong, but Does It Matter?

Most definitions of strategic planning focus on the idea that an organization needs to step back to look forward so it can determine its future goals for success. According to one definition, strategic planning involves “envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them.” Another definition is “the development of an organization's purpose and goals, beyond the immediate future, and actions to achieve those goals.” ... Read More

Superb Client Experience: The Simplest Details Count the Most

How many times have you been at a restaurant and forgot to bring your pair of reading glasses? If you’re like me, more times than you can remember. And when you ask if there are any extra pairs around, few restaurants have any. But for those that do, what a difference that pair can make at the end of a meal, capping off the whole experience on a high note. ... Read More

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

Debunking the Biggest Rainmaking Myth

“I can never be successful at rainmaking because I’m an introvert.” Does this sound like you? I have one word in response to this common refrain from lawyers: Bulls***. Quite frankly, this is a myth that provides an easy excuse to avoid doing what all attorneys know they need to do: get out of the office to create and develop relationships with potential client and referral sources. So, simply put, you can be successful at rainmaking even if you’re an introvert. Here’s how. ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

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

Ethical Billing Practices to Keep Your Clients Happy

You’ve heard it from me and others; the key to satisfied clients is managing client expectations. And fees are perhaps the single client service area where lawyers fall short the most when managing expectations. Failure to manage fee expectations will not only lead to an unhappy client, it could also subject you to possible discipline. Remember, Rule 1.5 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Fees and Division of Fees), states in relevant part: ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

Compensating Retiring Lawyers for Client Transition Efforts

A key aspect of any law firm succession plan is keeping the firm’s best clients when the rainmakers are gone. As more Boomers retire or start their winding down efforts, concerns about client retention and proper compensation are at the forefront of succession plan conversations. ... 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

So, You Want to Be a Managing Partner? Make Sure You Embody These Qualities First.

Whenever someone I know becomes a firm’s managing partner, I always express my congratulations and condolences. Yes, it certainly is a feather in one’s cap to be the Big Cheese at a law firm. But, let’s be frank; it’s a tough job. Ask any managing partner and they’ll often tell you that practicing law is far easier than managing a law firm. ... Read More
Categories: Practice Management

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

How to Retain Clients When a Lawyer Retires: Plan for the Skill Gap

A critical component of a law firm’s succession plan is to figure out how to retain the firm’s best clients when senior lawyers retire. Most law firms quickly jump to determine who in the firm is either ready to step up or ready to undertake proper mentoring and training to step up in the future. Before making this determination, however, it is important to ask several questions. ... 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

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. The Lawyer In Denial The lawyer with no clients of his or her own is very vulnerable. It does not matter if you work for a behemoth on Wall Street or a three-person firm in the boonies. If you do not have your own clients, you will never have genuine job security. I have met many minders and grinders who delude themselves regarding job security since a paycheck keeps coming. Of course, the paycheck keeps coming only because… ... Read More
When I worked with Roy, I was tired of practicing employment law and wanted to move into an HR position at a local company. Roy thoroughly vented my desire to stop practicing to be extra sure that I fully understood the consequences of leaving the la…" Read the rest
– Vice-President, Human Resources, Minneapolis, MN corporation

For More Information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.