Susan Liebel over at the Build A Solo Practice blog poses a very interesting question in her recent post titled “Is Now The Perfect Time To Start Your Solo Practice?". I agree with Susan that it is time for lawyers to start a solo practice and/or small practice groups. Solo practitioners and/or small practice groups will have a far better chance of survival in the coming months, as I previously posted here. Here’s a excerpt from Susan’s post:
As Companies Start To Feel the Economic Downturn, Law Firms Are Beginning To Offer Alternative Billing Arrangements to Their Clients
Law.com recently published the article called “Billing Gets Creative in Souring Economy”. Julie Kay, a staff reporter for The National Law Journal, discusses how the current economic downturn has led many law firms to start offering their clients creative and alternative billing methods for the legal services they provide during these difficult economic times.
Here is an excerpt from her article detailing some of the alternative billing methods law firms and attorneys are turning to:
For those of you who are regular readers, feel free to add a comment to this thread requesting to get on our Blawg Roll. We would be happy add you and create a little link juice love for ya. Make sure you include the URL. Do not forget to tell your friends about the Greatest American Lawyer Blog. Our time is coming…
In the previous post “Do Small Companies Look More Attractive To Investors in the Current Economic Climate?”, I was wondering aloud about whether people with money to invest will start looking at non-publicly traded companies as a better potential return on investment. Today, I want to tell you that there are tens of thousands of great ideas out there in need of capital. We are becoming an idea-based economy. Our law firm was built on the premise that there was a different way to practice law. We had an idea and we executed it. I’ll say it again. Look around your town, your friends and neighbors. Think about how many great ideas are laying dormant waiting for funding.
Essentially, big law operates on the fundamental premise of ever-increasing billable hours. In order to support the salaries at the top, they must continually add increasing number of associates at the bottom. Graphically, the model appears as a pyramid where each year a new base is added which includes more associates than the year before.
As the vast majority of big law suffers under this tough economic environment, the pyramid model is suffering. Not only are they failing to add increasing numbers of associates at the bottom of the pyramid, but also big law is putting on hiring freezes and terminating large numbers of lawyers and staff.
No doubt, many of you will have heard of Fred Baron, one of the most prolific, controversial and wealthy plaintiffs’ asbestos lawyers in history. Somewhere in my reading yesterday, I came across an article that Fred had died. "Texas lawyer Frederick M. 'Fred' Baron dies at 61"
Fred Baron is the guy who paid the money to fly John Edward’s girlfriend to California just prior to the affair making headlines. He’s the one that stood up against all the other plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country and took two cases to the U.S. Supreme Court which attempted to put asbestos victims into class actions, where they would be slotted for set damages based upon a predetermined schedule, effectively denying them their right to a jury trial.
I know an awful lot about the internet, search engine optimization, web page development, directory listing, on-line professional networking, and a host of other skills which help propel us to page one Google results. I’ll be the first to admit that understanding all of the necessary base concepts is daunting for most lawyers…hell, it’d be daunting for anyone. I think many lawyers figure it’s just too much, too complicated to get their brain around. They take their Yellow Page online listings, develop a website, and call it a day.
You may have noticed a recent post titled "All Client Value Should Be Visible: GAL Radio Spotlight", we premiered GAL Radio which allows you to not only read the commentary and insights of GAL authors, but listen to them in a radio format (yes, we know it’s the same technology as podcasting but who knows what that is, right?).
Look forward to a regular broadcasting schedule and interesting guests over the coming weeks. And remember, never pick a fight with a person who owns his own radio station.:-)
Some lawyers are extremely good at giving clients advice. The client needs a definitive answer. The lawyer gives the client a straight up yes or no. The strength of that advice is found in the details of the information gathering and an analysis of that information. Too many lawyers who are really good at giving strong advice are simply speaking “off the cuff”.
Some lawyers will tell you that clients really don’t have time to be bothered with the details or analytical thinking behind their lawyer’s recommendations. If you think this sounds like self-rationalization, you are probably right. Many clients accept the undocumented and unexplained advice they receive from their attorneys simply because they don’t know there is a better way.