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!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Found Another Great Marketing Blog

I am always on the prowl for new marketing resources. My favorites are listed on the right side of this page. I have a new one I am adding to the list. Rainmaker Lawyer Blog is published by Dave Lorenzo. I am just getting into it but I can tell you right off the bat that it is loaded with marketing gold nuggets!

As taken from the blog:

Our Mission

This website is a resource center developed specifically to help attorneys, law firms and independent professionals build their businesses.

Our mission is to deliver innovative ideas and commonsense advice that will help our clients unlock the limitless opportunity hidden within themselves and their firm.

We believe that the promise of financial prosperity and lifestyle freedom a private practice offers is immeasurable.

We help attorneys and independent professionals make more money with less effort.

You should make a great living and live a great life.

We want to help you get everything you deserve.

Our company is dedicated to providing guidance and support in the areas of Business Strategy, Practice Management, Business Development and Sales and Marketing.

Who We Are

RainmakerLawyer.com is a resource provided David V. Lorenzo and his team at DLorenzo Business Advisors. We have significant experience helping attorneys, law firms and independent professionals improve their businesses. We have worked with, mentored and lead some of the most successful businesses leaders in the world to phenomenal financial and lifestyle success.

Click here for a visit. It's good stuff.


Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free PR To Market Your Practice

Newspaper, magazine, electronic media quotes are a great way to draw attention to you and your practice? But how do the journalists find you. Luck is one way. Another way is by making yourself available to them when they need you. Peter Shankman has created Help A Reporter Out ("HARO") Each day, you'll receive up to three emails, each with anywhere from 15-30 queries per email. They'll all be labeled with [shankman.com] in the subject line, for easy filtering. If you see a query you can answer, go for it! HelpAReporter.com really is that simple.

Click here to check it out, and to sign up.

Please click here to visit the website for Harding & Associates, California Family Law.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Include Exhibit Stamps In Your PDF Documents

Pre-marking of exhibits is a chore for any litigator. Dealing with stickers, using a typewriter... I have often thought, "there must be an easier way?" Guess what, there is! Thanks to the great work of Rick Borstein on his blog Acrobat for Legal Professionals, there is now an easy to use Exhibit stamp for Adobe Acrobat 9.0. I installed it, I used it. It works great! You can get it too by clicking here.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lee Rosen on LinkedIn

Those of you who regularly follow this blog have no doubt noticed that I mention Lee Rosen a lot. If you are a family law lawyer trying to improve your marketing or technology, you need to know who Lee is. Lee owns the Rosen Law Firm in North Carolina. His firm pioneered law firm websites; and his web presence continues to be cutting edge. For years he has also been a prolific writer on legal technology and legal marketing for the family law firm. His divorcediscourse blog is an absolute gem. If you were to follow his tweets (@leerosen) you would also learn that he eats out a lot (as a true food lover I am very envious of this). He devotes an inordinate amount of time helping others to practice law better!

Today on divorce discourse Lee has a great article about LinkedIn. His insight help novice users to understand what it does, and how you can utilize it in your marketing efforts. Click here to take a look.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Search Engine Optimization Gets Complicated

Remember when the internet was simple. You created a two or three page website. Published the url on Google's registration page, then site back and watched the hit counter turn. Things are not so simple anymore. To keep those hungry search engines happy, you have to feed them much, much more than in days gone by. From his Duct Tape Marketing blog the ever insightful and intuitive John Jantsch offers valuable tips to get you hits in these changing times for search engine optimization. Here's what he has to say.

Search engine optimization has changed dramatically over the past few years.

The shift is from one of web page optimization and link hounding to content and engagement optimization. In short, search engine optimization and social media are now undeniably intertwined. It has become extremely difficult to achieve any measure of success for important keyword phrases without the use of social media. (Of course the flip side to that is organizations that take advantage of social media can dominate, particularly within industries slow to adapt.)

content optimization

Click on the image to enlarge

I’m not suggesting that web page optimization and inbound links are no longer important, they are, they just might not be enough anymore. It is rare these days to do any kind of normal search that does not return results from social media sites. Blog content dominates many question related searches and videos, audios, and images are routinely mixed in on page one searches on both Google and Yahoo.

What this means for the typical small business is that you must add a blog and podcast to the mix, upload, tag, and thoroughly describe images on sites like Flickr, create customer testimonial videos housed on YouTube, write articles and press releases to submit to EzineArticles and PitchEngine, create and brand optimize profiles on FaceBook, LinkedIn, twitter, Google Maps and industry related social networking sites and get very proactive about generating positive reviews on sites like Yelp!, Google Maps, and Insider Pages or you’re not really online anymore.

Any attempt to garner positive search results for your primary web site must be accompanied by a strategy to optimize your entire web presence through the effective use of social media. We can have another conversation altogether about the effective use of social media for engagement, but the first step is getting immersed in the content creation and optimization game.

Please click here for John's original article.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.


Need Some Free Case Law?

Thanks to the internet the expensive paper law library is giving way to the more affordable, and in certain instances free, internet library. Case in point: case law. At lawtechnews.com Robert Ambrogi provides a review of ten websites providing free case law. Click here to take a look! You may just save yourself some money, or frustration.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Anti-Spam Products Are More Than the Sum of Their Parts

I hate spam! It clutters my inbox. It distracts from important task. Much of it is in poor taste. It's just plain frustrating. Getting rid of it can be a challenge. ISP claim to have built-in spam filters, but it still finds me. I pay for a spam filtering service. The spam still gets to me. I keep hitting the this is spam button in Outlook. The spam still gets to me. Perhaps one of the reasons spam gets to me is because I don't know enough about it? AllSpammedUp.com tries to help with an informative spamology.
When you boil the spam problem down it becomes quite simple - someone is sending you emails that you don’t want to receive. This makes the anti-spam solution a simple one too - stop unwanted emails from arriving in someone’s email account. However, actually achieving this is a very complex task.

Any anti-spam system that is worth using will contain a range of preventative measures and features that are used to determine whether an email is likely to be spam or not. As a complete solution they can be very effective, but taken individually and their weaknesses become more apparent. Here are some examples.

Source IP Filtering

Also known as Connection Filtering, DNSBL, or RBL, this technique compares the source IP of an incoming SMTP connection to a list of suspected spam sources. The list can be either a manually generated list that the email administrator creates, or can be a subscribed list by a third party provider (such as SpamHAUS). If the IP address is on the list then the email is considered likely to be spam and the server will drop or reject it.

The weakness of this technique is when IP addresses are mistakenly included in the list. A legitimate email server may find itself blocked by other systems that are subscribed to a particular IP list, which prevents important business email from being sent to those systems. Similarly, some regular sources of spam emails such as free web-based email services cannot be blocked by IP address because that would certainly block a lot of legitimate email as well.

Content Filtering

Early anti-spam products made decisions about spam emails using single word matches such as “Viagra” or foul language. This quickly proved fruitless because spammers would simply vary the word slightly in each email, for example “v1agra” and “via.gra”. Content filtering then improved to include databases of spam phrases and patterns and would assess more of the content in an email to determine if it was spam.

The weakness of this technique is the constant game of “catch up” that is being played as spammers adapt new strategies to sneak their content past anti-spam systems. For example, when content filtering was getting very effective spammers suddenly switched to putting all of the email text into an image file instead that the anti-spam system could not read.

Sender Verification

There are several “sender verification” standards such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and SenderID, each varying slightly but based on the same principle of using DNS records to verify that the sender of an email is authorized to send email for that domain name.

There are a few reasons why this technique does not perform well on its own. Firstly, uptake of the systems among email administrators is minimal. Without everyone participating in such a scheme the effectiveness of it is diminished. Secondly, it only verifies that the source of the email is authorised to send for a given domain name. Email systems that are inherently insecure and often exploited by spammers (such as web-based email services mentioned earlier) make it nearly pointless performing sender verification.

Likely Spam vs Definitely Spam

As you can see above no single anti-spam technique performs very well on its own. However, when you combine a number of different techniques into a single system, with each technique applying a “likelihood” score to each email that is checked, the system can be quite effective.

For example, if an email is from an IP address that is not considered a likely spam source (no score increase), but contains spam-like content (score increased according to severity), and fails sender verification (increases score again) , the combined “likelihood” score may reach the configured threshold for the system and cause the email to be treated as spam.

Choosing an Anti-Spam Solution

Keep all of the above in mind when you are considering an anti-spam solution for your organization. It can be tempting to look at a “home brew” solution made up of individual system dedicated to each technique, as these associates of mine did recently. Aside from the administrative overhead the overall effectiveness of the system is going to be far lower than a proper multi-featured anti-spam solution.

Please click here for the original article.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Monday, May 4, 2009

SEO and Email Better for Law Firm Marketing than Social Networking

On his LawMarketing Blog Larry Bodine forwards research data from Marketing Sherpa suggesting that Social Networking has its limits.
This just in from Marketing Sherpa, which just published MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Ecommerce Benchmark Report:

There's no doubt that social media is an immensely important trend or perhaps even a sea change in how we buy, sell and communicate. Still, the chart below (scroll down) puts the role of social and Web 2.0 tactics in some kind of perspective when compared to search engine optimization and tried-but-true house email. For the time being, the main drivers of website traffic are the known quantities of SEM (free and paid), email and display.

Still, companies that dismiss social tactics on this basis will be left behind. Social media is essentially a set of technologies and practices that enable the oldest and most powerful marketing there is – word of mouth. In the long term, social media may have a positive effect on margins by rewarding sellers for qualities beyond price, such as customer service, on-time delivery, social awareness and the like. In the short term, it makes sense for companies to build an expertise and social presence while consumers and business people are still in the process of building their networks. Like the early days of email, it's probably a lot easier to make a name on Twitter or Facebook today than it will be in five years.
Click here for Larry's original article.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.