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July 2009

Law Firm Websites: What Every Law Firm Needs to Know About SEO

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is the art by which people who study the Google algorithms try and trick your website to Page 1.  The fallacy of SEO is that you could ever trick Google for very long.  That is why SEO is a perpetual and endless spend of money trying to stay one step ahead of the algorithm which simply wants the best possible content returned on Page 1 of search results.

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Call to Action: Take Your Talents to the Street

I recently received a comment from a regular reader of the GAL blog who commented on a post from December 23, 2004, just prior to quitting my partnership. 

In rereading the post, I was struck by this inspirational call to action:

My message is simple.  Take your talents to the street.  Become part of the community of non-solo practitioners.  Market yourself within your areas of specialization and experience.  Help your clients find the ‘best’ resource for issues which you are not comfortable handling on their behalf and then stay involved in that problem in a general counsel capacity.  Build relationships with your customers (don’t even think of them as anything else) which will last and generate referrals.  Don’t be shy about telling your clients how different you really are and how lucky they are to have found you as their attorney.  Help non-solos change the way law is practiced and re-build the reputation and esteem which used to define our profession.


Clients Will Do More Research on Their Attorneys Before Retaining Them

Too many clients only learn once into a legal matter that their attorneys really don’t have the insight they purported to on a particular legal issue.  In a recent post entitled “Why in the World Would You give Away Your Expertise for Free?”, I made a pitch that more lawyers should blog for lots of reasons.  I even suggested that this fulfills a pro bono responsibility.

 

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Does Blogging Help Fulfill Your Pro Bono Obligation

In my last post, I briefly touched on the fact that sharing your expertise online for free allows hundreds,  thousands, and even tens of thousands of people (at least in our case) to learn about their legal issue without having to hire an attorney.  As lawyers, we are supposed to provide some level of pro bono advice and representation.  Different lawyers view this obligation differently.  Some devote as much as 30 or 40% of their day helping others at no charge.  Other attorneys barely lift a finger beyond their hourly billing sheet. 

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Legal Zoom Is Alleged to Be Violating North Carolina’s Ethic Statute Governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law

Legal Zoom has been the subject of a lot of commentary concerning its business model and service offering.

In the recent post on the ELawyering Blog titled, "Legal Zoom Challenged By North Carolina Bar", it is reported that Legal Zoom is alleged to be violating the unauthorized practice of law statute in the State of North Carolina. read more here.


Why In the World Would You Give Away Your Expertise For Free?

One of the great mysteries for many lawyers is why attorneys would blog and give away their expertise for free.  Lawyers like to play this game with clients where they play hide the ball.  They spend a lot of time impressing on the client that they have a big problem that requires representation.  They share little information on the solution afraid the client might take that information, strategy or advice elsewhere. 

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The Media Impact of Blogs

One of the more interesting things that happen when you start blogging is that you make yourself visible beyond the place you happen to live.  Obviously, prospective clients can now find you.  Your current clients can learn more about you and the legal issues they face.  Other professionals within your areas of expertise start connecting with you.  And people in the media start contacting you for interviews. 

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How to Work With In-house Counsel: An INTA Survey

International Trademark Association

Our firm’s attorneys are members of the International Trademark Association (INTA), representing the largest companies and law firms in the world on trademark issues.   The INTA recently did a survey of large corporations of in-house attorneys at large corporations asking a variety of questions.  While the article concerning the findings is extremely interesting, here are the summary bullet points which can guide attorneys looking to improve their relationship with in-house counsel, irrespective of practice area.  Let me know if there are other items that should go on the list.  Here are my favorites below:

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Microsoft to Bring a Version of its Office Suite Online...For Free

Jon Fortt of Big Tech blog at money.cnn.com reported yesterday that Microsoft was getting ready to announce that their latest version of Microsoft Office will become available online for free to anyone with a Live account.  It seems that Microsoft didn't really have much choice when it came to pricing given the other free or inexpensive alternatives from Google, Zoho, Apple and Adobe.  Read more about the launch here, here and here.