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June 2011

Michigan Supreme Court Adopts New Rules that Allow Jurors to Ask Questions

As reported by the ABAJournal, new court rules in Michigan will allow jurors to submit questions for the witnesses to the trial judge.  The Michigan Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that jurors are being invited to take a more active role in criminal and civil lawsuits as the new rules would encourage note-taking, juror questions of the witnesses and, in some civil lawsuit trials, to discuss evidence and testimony.

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Dean Robb: An Unlikely Radical Interview Part 5

Welcome to GAL Radio brought to you by the Greatest American Lawyer Blog.  Changing the way law is practiced through technology, innovation, and creativity.  Turning the business of law on its head and shaking things up to the betterment of clients, lawyers, law firms and society.  This is one in a series of shows featuring Dean Robb, activist lawyer and a leader in the legal arm of the civil rights movement.  Dean is the subject of the book: “DEAN ROBB: An Unlikely Radical.”  Now here’s your host, Steve Quick.

Steve Quick:  Hi.  We’re back with Dean Robb, lawyer and activist, and subject of the book: “An Unlikely Radical.”  We’ll pick up our conversation.  Dean, you mentioned the phrase a new McCarthyism.  Do you think there’s going to be some sort of a backlash from possibly conservative leaders overstepping their bounds? 

Continue reading "Dean Robb: An Unlikely Radical Interview Part 5" »


SEO for Lawyers

Our law firm has always lived on great organic search results driven by great content.  We’ve never really paid a lot of attention to SEO, although we know what keywords drive the most traffic and we try and use those keywords in our titles and text.  Several months ago, we decided to experiment with a SEO firm to find out what they did and how much value they could bring to the table. 
Most SEO firms really do keyword advertising.  The drive business to the web site on your back and you pay for Google Adwords.  They optimize those campaigns.  Hopefully, there’s a return on investment per Adwords dollar spent.

But what does a traditional SEO firm do when it comes to optimizing your web site organic search results?  The answer so far is they work on issues such as keyword density in your web site content. Surprisingly, simple?

Continue reading "SEO for Lawyers" »


Dean Robb: An Unlikely Radical Interview Part 4

Dean Robb Welcome to GAL Radio brought to you by the Greatest American Lawyer Blog.  Changing the way law is practiced through technology, innovation, and creativity.  Turning the business of law on its head and shaking things up to the betterment of clients, lawyers, law firms and society.  This is one in a series of shows featuring Dean Robb, activist lawyer and a leader in the legal arm of the civil rights movement.  Dean is the subject of the book: “DEAN ROBB: An Unlikely Radical.”  Now here’s your host, Steve Quick.

Steve Quick:  Hi, this is Steve Quick.  I’m speaking with Dean Robb, lawyer and subject of the book:  “An Unlikely Radical”.  Dean, what’s it been like promoting the book?

Continue reading "Dean Robb: An Unlikely Radical Interview Part 4" »


SEO for Lawyers 101

Our law firm was built on the internet.  We live in a small town in Northern Michigan, yet we service clients from around the world.  We speak with over 200 new prospective clients per month, just off of our internet traffic.  Of those 200 prospects, we are retained by between 6-12 new clients every single month.  Between 10-15% of our monthly revenue is comprised of the first project for new client sign-ups. 

I'm often asked by other attorneys how they can improve their web sites. A good law firm web site is a blend of great content, usability and design.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. There are two ways clients will see your web site.  Clients who already know exist will do a Google Search for your firm name and review your web site to check you out. Prospective clients who have no idea you exist are more likely to search for their problem on Google and, if you have great content about their problem, read a web page, blog post or article that you have written addressing their problem. 
  2. For prospective clients, clients and adversaries who are simply "checking you out," your web site is an important indicator of your status and representation as an attorney.  If you are on a third-rate web site, these people will wonder whether or not you're a third-rate lawyer. 
  3. For all website visitors, people want to see whether or not you've written an article or are recognized on the specific issue they are concerned about.  If you have no content, they will be left to believe your bullet list of practice areas.  There is not much legitimacy in a self-generated list of areas of specialization. 
  4. Your web site needs to be simple and easy to navigate.  Usability is important.  Most web visitors will visit your home page, about page, and contact page more than any other pages on your web site.  Make sure these pages are well designed and project the message you wish to project. 
  5. Don't be afraid to highlight the "contact" button on your web site.  If you don't ask people to contact you, they are much more likely to drift away to the next Google result or next law firm website.  The contact button should be the most prominent button on every one of your web pages.  
  6. Pictures are important.  Clients and prospective clients want to see what you look like. 

What else would you put on the list? 


Best iPad Apps for Lawyers

In some sense, every lawyer is an internet lawyer.  Attorneys who don't use the internet to gather information, learn about their adversary or research their own client are living in a cave.  Lawyers who don't use internet applications in order to increase their productivity are overbilling their clients, no different than if they were using embers to scratch out documents on a flat rock. 

Ever wondering about what the best iPad apps are for lawyers?  Here's a solid list of applications which will make you a better lawyer for your client. 

Apps for Attorneys:


What Does Your Website Say About Your Law Firm?

Many of you know that we take our websites very seriously.  There are few law firms in the world who devote as much time, energy and money to our websites. 

I specialize as an internet law attorney.  We’ve been through a variety of redesigns through the years.  Since hiring a full-time web developer, we’ve been able accelerate the iteration process.

Right now, we are focused on a single issue.  What is it that the end user sees when they look at our home page?  We want them to see a professional law firm specializing in the issues relevant to them.  Notice the orange contact buttons and 800 numbers are prominent.  It is hard to get onto the first page of Google results on search terms relevant to your law firm’s areas of practice.  It is even harder to get people to stay on your website once they arrive.  The browser back button is your greatest enemy. 

How will you get people to stay on your site once they arrive?  What are they seeing when they get there? 

Let me know your thoughts…