'The Greatest' Philosophy

How to Be a Resource

Too often, the hourly billing model puts lawyers and staff in their own little world.  Bill hours. Focus on hours.  More hours.  

Even flat and alternative fee billing models can create tunnel vision for law firms which focuses on time, rather than collaboration, efficiency and teamwork.  Strong teams work together.  Building culture and environment where people are grabbing opportunities, rather than running from them, is always a challenge.  Lawyers and staff need an environment where they can be a resource rather than a task slave.

Building an ‘I want to be a resource” as part of the culture for your law firm is simple.  Instead of asking people whether they are too busy to help, make incentives for people to help regardless of how busy they are.  Creative incentives and an upside for people to jump in and 'be a resource' for other staff. We will be discussing the ‘how to’ of creating a culture where people want to be a resource in upcoming posts.  

Stay tuned and post your own ideas and comments below. 


Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers by Ernie Svenson

For someone that has been blogging actively since 2004 and driven more web content than probably any lawyer or law firm in the world, I love the following series of posts by Ernie the Attorney where some of the top bloggers on the internet answer 5 questions as to why they blog.

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Stand Up and Be Heard: One Lawyer’s Thoughts on Stand Up Desks

Two years ago, I went from a kneeling chair to stand up desk.  It has literally changed my life.  There is no question that a stand up desk is great for your health, your back, your stamina, your engagement and your overall awareness.  Sure it takes about two weeks to gain the strength to be able to stand comfortably.  Put restaurant mat under your feet and some tennis shoes to provide support is all you need to get to the point where the stand up desk feels great.

We now have three members of our office who are using a stand up desk.  Check out the Anderlyn Desk here for more information. 

New Blog Launched - UnIntellectualProperty.com

My law partner, Brian A. Hall, has launched a new blog: UnIntellectualProperty.com.  This blog highlights instances where an owner attempted to claim exclusive intellectual property rights in a trademark, copyright, or trade secret (and to a lesser extent patents) only to have a court of law or other authority declare no intellectual property right exists.  

This blog not only is informative to Internet and IP lawyers, but it also contains Brian's humor and insights in a way that makes sense to non-lawyers.  Check out one of the unintellectual property posts, and you will see how he is trying to provide a resource for those interested in identifying instances of overzealous IP owners.

Know Your Business and Mind Your Business

It is important to know what kind of law firm you are.  If you are a firm that drives business off your reputation and referrals, then those are the people you need to make sure you are attending to.  If you get your business off the internet, you need to pay attention to your internet web presence and make sure your search engine rankings do not decrease.  If your business model is dependent on getting your initial customers to sign up for a second and third project, then you better make sure you are showing those projects as part of your process. 

Every law firm is different.  You need to fully understand what kind of law firm you are and make sure you are attending to those things that really count. 

Larry Bodine Named Editor-in-Chief of Lawyers.com and Martindale.com

Larry Bodine is now the editor-in-chief of two of the largest and most prestigious services and websites in the world, www.lawyer.com and www.martindale.com.  I’ve known Larry for many years, as we have both been active bloggers for some time.  Lawyers.com has grown tremendously over the years in terms of content and attorney bio databases.  If you’re looking to find a lawyer, lawyers.com is a great place to start. 

Congratulations to Larry, lawyers.com and martindale.com on their efforts moving forward.

Read the full article.

Growing Your Law Firm in 2012

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

Welcome to GAL Radio.  My name is Attorney Enrico Schaefer.  I’m an internet and technology lawyer, founding partner of the law firm Traverse Legal.  We have developed a number of innovative ways to provide client service, to bill clients, to provide flat fee defined deliverable projects with a price guarantee, and a variety of other methodologies all designed to improve the business model of law.  We did actually turn the business of law on its head, we shook it up, and we started from scratch doing only those things that made sense from a business point of view.  And let’s face it, law firms and lawyers typically are very poor business people.  Why?  Well, in an hourly business environment, it doesn’t take much creativity or any intelligence to be able to develop a system which spits out hours and bills them back to the client, and, if you’re lucky, that bill gets paid at the end of the month.  That does not require any innovation, creativity or foresight.

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Why Are So Few Managing Partners Great Leaders

I was lucky.  My first law firm was Bowman and Brooke, a niche firm providing automotive product liability defense to the automobile industry.  The founder and managing partner of the firm was Richard Bowman.  By in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he was one of the most out-of-the-box and innovative managing partners of any hourly billing firm in the world.  Dick Bowman never did anything because it was the way other law firms were doing it.  Bowman and Brooke became an innovator and stood out from the crowd in many ways. 

I have often wondered why so few law firm managing partners are like Dick Bowman.  They seem to inspire nothing except hourly minimums.  They innovate little beyond new billing techniques and policies. 

In the video below, Simon Sinek talks about how great leaders inspire action at a September 2009 TEDX Talk.   He points out that great companies always start with the question "Why?" as they pursue greatness. Think about whether or not you know any managing partners who come to mind as you watch the video…

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