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June 2009

Small and Solo Firm Resources are Critical to Success


Virtually every solo or small law firm needs a phone system, fax number, email marketing tool, web site and a variety of other services.  The amount of time that it actually takes to research the various options that are available on the web is daunting.

One of our favorite clients is  ChooseWhat has done all the front-end work for you by creating “apples for apples” comparison charts for internet fax services, hosted phone systems, email marketing software, tax software, web hosting, and checking account information for small business by identifying key elements which most businesses are concerned about in signing up for outsourced services, ChooseWhat has done all the heavy lifting already.

Take a moment and check out their various web sites.  I’m sure you will agree that their service analysis provides tremendous value to consumers.

This Saturday: The First Annual M-22 Challenge

Inaugural multi-discipline event, to take place this weekend on June 20th, 2009 in Glen Arbor, invites spectators and athletes to enjoy the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park and compete in the bike-run-paddle challenge.

Traverse City, Michigan June 17th, 2009 –  M-109 near Glen Lake will be closed this Saturday beginning at 8:45am in order for the shot gun start of the 1st Annual M-22 Challenge.  At 9:00am, event participants will cross the start line on M-109 near the event site, Little Glen Lake Picnic Area, on bikes escorted by the Leelanau County Sheriffs Department.  And so begins M-22 Challenge!

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How to Convert Web Visitors into Clients

The whole idea of attorney advertising is novel within the legal profession.  Lawyers aren’t used to advertising.  Leaving personal injury lawyers aside, many businesses have tiptoed into the advertising pond unsure of where to start and what message to send.  The global economic downturn has, of course, changed many lawyers’ thinking concerning advertising.  With massive layoffs spreading like wildfire across the legal landscape, firms are looking for new and innovative ways to obtain new clients.  While most law firms have web sites, they could not tell you how or why those web sites are designed the way they are.  As importantly, they have put little thought into how to convert people who come to their web site into prospects and prospects into clients.

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Law Firm Dresses Down Dress Code Policy: Lawyers and Staff can Wear Jeans

West Coast Law firms such as the Latham & Watkins’ San Francisco office are dressing down their dress code policy by allowing their lawyers and staff members to wear jeans.  Of course, with the exception of client meetings, court room appearances and other related appointments.  More proof that the world is changing. See the full article here.

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What Does Your “About” Page Say about You and Your Law Firm

When it comes to lawyers and marketing, there is an awful lot that falls through the cracks and gets lost in translation.  Too often, lawyers are so busy billing by the hour that they forget that they are in the business of getting business.  If you ask any lawyer in charge of managing their law firm, they will tell you that they welcome additional client prospects.  But when you ask them what they are doing to get those prospects, you will find that the answers tie into everything except the law firm’s website.

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Lawyers Guide to Creating a Marketing Habit In 21 Days

In today’s economic world, marketing is more important than ever. The people who are bringing in business are the ones who are out there courting it. That’s why I am happy to share with you a special opportunity. For the next 48 hours only, my colleague Paula Black is offering a collection of FREE bonus gifts to anyone who purchases her latest book: “The Little Black Book: A Lawyer’s Guide To Creating A Marketing Habit in 21 Days.” Designed to help lawyers integrate marketing into their daily lives, this book is quick, easy and inspirational. And by purchasing it within the next 48 hours you will receive special access to information and resources from more than 30 experts. A compilation of advice from some of the most sought-after experts in the legal arena (including myself!), “The Smart Lawyer’s Toolkit” gives you instant admittance to an incredible collection of tips and information. Click here for details…but do it fast!

The # 1 Client Complaint of All Time

Phone We don’t need statistics to know it’s true.  We’ve heard it since we graduated from law school.  The number one complaint by clients is the failure to return phone calls and lack of information from their lawyer.  When clients don’t know what’s going on, they rightfully get pissed off.  What needs to be a relationship of trust becomes a relationship of mistrust.

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Asking for a Malpractice Suit: Failing to Educate the Client

Over the course of my career, I would say that the vast majority of instances where a client came to a lawyer for advice, the lawyer essentially told the client what to do based on that lawyer’s own experience, expertise and knowledge of the law.  Under the “lawyer knows best” approach, the client is not expected to understand the legal intricacies or practical reality of his or her legal situation.  Even on the holy grail of settlement, where the client has to be informed of the offer and is the only one who can decide whether or not to accept or reject, the emphasis is often on telling the client to accept or reject rather than educating the client and letting them decide for themselves.

Technology allows us to push a lot of information and access to our clients.  Our model is devoted to helping the client understand the key legal principles involved and practical realities of the legal process.

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More Layoffs at One of the Country’s Largest Law Firms

Above the Law reports that one of this country’s largest law firms, Fish & Richardson, recently announced a second round of layoffs.  Although the last round of layoffs included mostly support staff, this round included one-third of its incoming first year associates, who were “cold offered”.  Another third of the associates will start on time, with the last third being deferred until October 2010.  This is seen as a poor move by those who thought they would be moving to another location and had planned on taking state bars this summer.  Now they will have to rethink where they want to locate to practice, and if it is somewhere other than where they had planned, sign up for the next bar exams in February.  Let’s hope that those bright attorneys who received these “pink slips” find a better firm to work with.

Judge Receives Reprimand for His Comments Made on FACEBOOK

As reported at’s Legal Blog Watch, North Carolina Judge recently received this reprimand by the state’s Judicial Standards Commission for posting and exchanging messages on Facebook with a Lawyer in a matter being tried before him. Here are some snippets from the article :

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