Welcome

Thank you for visiting the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog. My name is John Harding. I am a family law lawyer practicing in northern California. Long ago I realized that I could practice law more effectively and more efficiently (i.e., better and easier) by availing myself of the technological tools that are out there. I also learned that a successful law practice requires successful marketing. Hardware and software working together make me a better lawyer, and make my life easier. Marketing helps to bring in the business necessary for professional survival. By this blog I hope to share the tips, tricks, and technology that I have learned about so that others may benefit!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Create A Facebook Page For Your Law Firm

We all know that Facebook started as a place for people to create personal pages so that they could share information about themselves. It has become so much more than that.  Facebook is now also essential for corporate marketing. For us lawyers that means going beyond a page about you, and onward to a Facebook page for your law firm.

I have confessed many times that I am not a Facebook expert. Fortunately there are other folks who are. Case in point, my trusted advisers at Social Media Examiner. The SME blog is an invaluable resource when if comes to social media (and a lot of other stuff). I love it! I check it weekly, and always come away with some new lesson or trick to help me with the social media marketing of my law practice and my law firm.
Social Media Examiner has published another gold nugget, entitled How To Set Up A Facebook Page For Business. This articles gives you all the 411 to go beyond a personal mugshot page, and start creating some real online visibility for your law office. There's audio, there's text, there's pictures. The article couldn't make it any easier unless they were doing it for you (which they practically are).

For some folks (Me, me, me....) the technology behind Facebook can be very challenging.  The folks at Social Media Examiner get that.  This article is an example of the step-by-step help you can expect.  It also interacts with Facebook's own help screen, that are really becoming more user friendly.  With time my Facebook angst is starting to come down.  Yours will too.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#facebook #socialmediaexaminer #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Free Legal Project Management Webinar



Attorneyatwork.com and MyCase are sponsoring a free webinar on legal project management.
Mark Lassiter, attorney and legal technologist, will be presenting "Introduction to Legal Project Management – Why It Matters for Solos and Small Firms" on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 11am PT / 12pm MT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET.

Learn about:
  • What is Legal Project Management
  • How LPM increases efficiency
  • How to integrate LPM into your firm
  • What clients think
  • Risks and benefits
You can register here.
Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law
#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How's Your Profile Pic Looking?

Do you have a picture of yourself on your website? On your blog? On your Facebook, LinkedIn, and twitter pages?  Sure you do (or sure you should). Are you happy with it?  Does it catch the eye of your readers?

Of course I have a headshot of me on my website bio page (www.johnharding.lawyer). It's a nice color shot of me in a suit.  It's boring, but it lets people see me.  It goes along with the other headshots on the website, so some degree of uniformity is required.  For my other marketing avenues though I was looking for something different.

That search took me to a website called Fiverr. Fiverr deserves special mention.  On the site you can find artist, writers, programmers, virtual assistants, models, all ready, willing, and able to do odd little jobs for you with a starting price of $5.  It really is pretty cool.  I found it by chance, and while surfing around in the site a find a guy in Turkey who runs a little business called photoenhance.

I created a Fiverr account, uploaded my photo to photoenhance, and for $21 I got these pretty cool stippled portraits.






















I know it didn't take the guy a long time to create them, but it certainly would have taken more than $21 of my time for me to make them myself. Now I have two new options for advertising me.  I think the black and white one makes me look very Wall Street Journalish, don't you?

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Monday, May 11, 2015

Paid Content Distribution - You Call it Blogging, I Call it a Spammy Waste of Time.

I was at a CLE conference recently, standing in the hallway talking to some colleagues.  One of those folks flatteringly commented on my blogging, and asked me how I do it? I responded as I always do:  I do it very easily.  It's fun, and it only takes a few minutes per day. Her response was a firm No Way. I found a company that will write the posts for me, and it only costs $40 per post.

What she was talking about was a ghostwriter, or in modern day social media parlance paid content distribution.  PCD is not a new idea, but is it a good idea?  Remember how the conversation started?  My friend commended me on my blogging!  She knew me, in part, because of the blog posts that I write! That's important.  Hell's bells, that's why you blog, to draw attention to yourself.  People appreciate my blogs because they know that I write the content.

PCD is not personal. It tells the reader nothing about the writer.  Sure the posts take up bandwidth on the internet, but that's all they do.  Readers can detect canned content.  There is so much PCD these days that I would offer it is not worth the cost. The internet is now overrun with blogs -- and that includes lawyer blogs. PDC just adds to the dilution of blogging efficacy.  LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google are all re-writing their algorithms and filters to block commercial, PCD, advertisements.  If the site filters don't catch the canned content, site/group administrators will.

I know because I am a LinkedIn group moderator and I send PCD posts to the dumpster every day. After all, all a $40 paid blog post is is Spam. Let me give you an example.  You pay a PCD company to write posts for you relating to New Jersey family law.  They write the posts and then post them to every LinkedIn group that you are a member of. I am the moderator of the AAML group on LinkedIn.  An article with the title New Jersey Women With Cheating Husbands Need to Visit My Website To Protect Themselves hits my moderation queue. Appreciating that I am acting as the gatekeeper for a national group, and figuring out in a nanosecond that the post is a blatant solicitation rather than actual information that an AAML member can actually use, I send the post straight to the spam folder (if LinkedIn has not already done that for me). What have you gotten for your $40?  Not much except for an irritated group moderator who does not appreciate having to take the time to insulate other group members from your annoying advertisements; and a report to LinkedIn that you are a spammer so that it can start blocking all of your posts to all of your groups.

I have said this before, and I will say it again:  If you want social media to work, you have to work at it. Is PCD working at it?  No. It is a good way to get rid of your extra cash though...

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Facebook Gaining Power. Will Soon Dominate The World.

I post to Facebook.  I do it because I am told I must do it as part of a social media marketing plan. I also take to it to gather evidence to assist me in representing my clients in their divorces. I must confess though I don't get Facebook?  I have no interest in telling burglars that I am on vacation in Europe. I don't appreciate other people splashing photos on the internet of me enjoying my private life.  I don't need to know that someone really loved the bagel that they had for breakfast. The stuff people put out there, and the success I have realized using it against them in court is stunning!

Apparently I am alone in my need to keep my bizness my own. Facebook is gaining strength and taking control of the internet in ways that are hard to fathom.  In fact market reports just this week indicate that while other social media sites like LinkedIn are losing steam, Facebook is on a dramatic uptick.

An article by Adrienne La France in The Atlantic supports the fact that Facebook has you, and you, and you hooked tighter than a size 1 corset on Kate Upton.

Consider these facts (thank you Kevin O'Keefe for culling the article down):

  • Roughly half of the adults who use the Internet report getting their news from Facebook alone.
  • Media companies are already hugely dependent on Facebook for traffic. Vox, for instance, gets 40 percent of visits through the site. Other leading news organizations get something like a quarter of site visits from Facebook.
  • Facebook more than doubled digital ad revenue over the course of two years. The $5 billion in ad money Facebook made last year represents 10 percent of all digital ad revenue.
  • The average American smartphone owner spends more than 42 minutes a day on Facebook. Facebook accounts for one out of every five minutes spent on a smartphone.
  • Facebook has succeeded in thriving financially on mobile while leaving desktop behind. Facebook is getting a quarter of all display ad revenue and more than a third (37 percent) of display ads on mobile. Facebook’s share of revenue on desktop dropped 20 percentage points last year, while its share of mobile revenue went up 20 percentage points.

Those are some stunning statististics! The message is clear, if you want to succeed with internet advertising, you have got to be on Facebook!  Ughh.....

Please visit hardinglaw.comwww.hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#facebook #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Latest Adobe Acrobat Has Been Released

Wow! Seems that just about the time I get comfortable with one version of Acrobat, Adobe starts selling a new version.  XI Pro is no exception.  Now Adobe is selling the upgrade to Adobe DC. What is Adobe DC you ask?  Good question, and one that I as yet cannot answer.  Of course our friend Rick Borstein over at the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog can.

My big takeaway is that Adobe is trying to move use all to a cloud based, subscription based product. I am not sure I need that? We use Acrobat to convert everything to pdf that we store in-house. I also use it to affix my signature to letters, pleadings, etc., which I then transmit over the internet (typically as a .pdf attachment to an email). I don't do a lot of document collaboration with Acrobat.  Heck, I don't do any...

While the cloud is great, I don't see it as the solve-all of solve-alls (especially with my Comcast internet service constantly failing). What I do see with a switch to DC is a recurring monthly subscription charge for features that I probably would not use. I have accessed the Bat Phone and sent a message to Ernie Svenson (the law world's other Acrobat acrobat) for his thoughts.  I will be sure to share when Ernie gets back to me.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#adobeacrobatdc #rickborstein #erniesvenson #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Do You Really Need Full Time Office Space for Your Solo Practice?

After personnel costs, office space is usually a law firm's biggest expense.  If you are practicing in New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles rent can be HUGE!  For family law firms, of which most are the smaller solo, one, two, or three lawyer variety, rent can be a real problem.  But does it have to be that way?

Particularly if you are a sole practitioner you have some real options to full-time rent. Over at Solo Practice University (Great site that everyone should know about) Paul McGuire has an insightful post on office options.
"One option for office space is what I like to call the virtual office setup. You have a receptionist who answers the phones and a mailing address and have access to offices where you can meet with clients but not full time. In my current setup I get about 18 hours per month of office use and 4 hours a month of conference room use, which ends up just about 10 meetings per month because they require me to book in 2 hour blocks."
What Paul is talking about here is facilities like Regus, Pacific Business Centers, and other executive suite providers.  These are a great options. In fact my Walnut Creek satellite office is housed in a PBC facility.

Other options Paul explains include the paperless/remote offices and space sharing.  Bigger law firms, accounting firms, real estate agencies, etc., often have extra office space going unused. Those firm managers are all too happy to create revenue by sub-letting that unused space, even if it is just a private office.

Paul's article really gets you thinking about alternatives to blowing a ton of money on you own full-time space.  Check it out here.


Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law

#officespace #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers