Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free 3-hour Live Acrobat forums coming to Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, Seattle and San Francisco

You'll see lots of great Acrobat features including PDF Portfolios, forms, redaction, conversion tips, export to Word and Excel, security and lots more! Click here for the complete road show schedule.

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, August 24, 2009

Lawgic Announces Family Law Case Management Software

Lawgic is a nifty legal software company out of Florida. They produce a great roster of state specific software on a wide range of practice specialities. I, for example, am a huge fan of Lawgic's California Marital Settlement Agreement software.

Now the company is spreading its wings and venturing into law practice management software. Dubbed the "Firm Management System," the software is marketed as a complete practice management resource. I took a visit of the marketing materials on the Lawgic website. The program lloks good. It also looks very, very familiar. I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps Lawgic has entered into a co-branding agreement with Clio?

Any way, and product from Lawgic is worth a look. Check out the Firm Management System 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, August 19, 2009

Thoughts on LinkedIn

Social networking is all the rage! Sure I dabble in twitter and Facebook. But I need results, not just ether in the atmosphere. I don't by into the mantra that you have to be actively riding every marketing vehicle out there (I learned that expensive lesson with Yellow Pages advertising). After all, I still need time to practice line in between all my visits to the plethora of social networking sites that are running rampant.

I like LinkedIn. I use it as a research tool (learning about parties in my cases, etc.) I network on it. I have actually landed a client via my LinkedIn profile. It does not immediately knock you over as a new business powerhouse, but I think it is productive and fun.

Here are some thoughts from Joshua Fruchter, Esq.

Came across a case study on MarketingSherpa that offered some useful tips on using LinkedIn for lead generation. While the case study was based on the experience of a marketer at a software company, several of the insights would be applicable to lawyers seeking to use LinkedIn to develop more business. How do you engage in the LinkedIn process?

In a nutshell:

1. Join groups related to your area of expertise (e.g., private equity group for a private equity lawyer), but focus on groups with a highly engaged audience, rather than simply the largest audience. This means looking for groups where the discussions elicit multiple comments from members, rather than just one or two (or none). You can perform this research by reading through recent group discussion posts of groups you have joined both to assess group members’ interest areas, and how much activity new posts tend to generate.

2. Freely share white papers and other resources with your group, but not in a "salesy" manner. For example, in the case study, when promoting a new white paper, the marketer would write a message to the group announcing the new title, sharing a link, and asking group members to provide feedback on the white paper itself.

3. Monitor ongoing conversations to find opportunities to comment on other people’s topics. You may include a link to marketing collateral when appropriate, but often consider just sharing an opinion or giving feedback on other group members’ comments.

4. When providing links to materials on LinkedIn consider creating custom landing pages that specifically address the LinkedIn audience for a more seamless transition.

Please click here for the original article from LawyerCasting.

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


Thursday, August 13, 2009

How many ways do you have to get new clients?

Can we ever have too many clients? Can we ever stop marketing our professional practices? I think not, and so does Dave Lorenzo. His recent articles recounts one of his many experiences as a legal marketing expert. Here's Dave's thoughts:

“I can’t afford too many marketing initiatives. I rely on referrals and word of mouth.”

The folks who offer up this response have three specific problems:

They have made a decision to cap their income. The fewer ways you have of attracting new clients the less opportunity you have to grow your firm’s revenue. Keep in mind, I love referrals. I think you should have a system for nurturing referral relationships. But referrals will generally come from people who know you, like you and trust you. Most of us – even the super-networkers – will have a limited sphere of influence from which we can attract referrals.

They do not know that there are more personal forms of marketing. Networking is a great way for attorneys to make contact with potential clients but the follow-up from networking (which is marketing by the way) is how the relationship grows. Educational events are fantastic ways to introduce the value you provide to potential clients. Writing articles, giving speeches and serving on the board of directors of a charitable organization are all ways to develop new relationships and new potential clients.

They are looking for the magic bullet. They want one way to attract 100new clients. They want the easy money that comes with running ads or mass mailing. The trouble with these forms of marketing is that they are expensive and their effectiveness is often fleeting.

The key to developing new client relationships lies in the diversity of your marketing efforts. I have been developing business strategy for my entire career (22 years) and I say with confidence that I have seen very few individual marketing methodologies that consistently attract hundreds of clients – yet I have seen hundreds of ways to attract one client. The key to growing your law practice lies in improving the diversity of your client attraction tactics.

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.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Return Phone Calls ASAP!

We live in an immediate satisfaction world. Consumers want their product yesterday. That includes consumers of legal services. Tom Kane offers a great article reminding us of the importance of immediacy.

Some years ago at a seminar, I heard a story (likely just anecdotal) about the lawyer whose client called, but because he was busy and “knew” what the client was calling about, he did not return the call. As the story goes, the client eventually called and retained another lawyer after reporting that she was seriously injured by a Coca Cola truck that ran a red light.

Recently, I was sent a copy of Dangerous Law Practice Myths, Lies and Stupidity by Judd Kessler, Gunter Enz, et al. The 94-page book looks like a fun read, although I have only just skimmed parts of it. Myth #34 reminded me of the above story and is sub-titled “Potential clients will wait for a great lawyer to call them back.”

NOT!

In today’s world, it’s about rapid (if not instant) gratification. The book features parables by Arthur Simon, Esq. (a fictional law practice guru). So, what does he have to say about this issue?:

“Simon says: In our fast-paced high-tech society, clients seek instant gratification. If you don't take the opportunity to be the first lawyer to talk with the prospect (or a client), your competitor will, and there's better than a 90% chance that (the) prospect will become his client….”

Every lawyer should put a system in place to ensure that all calls are returned ASAP.

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.



More Good Stuff From Custody X Change

The folks at Custody X Change keep making their timeshare and child visitation software better! They have just released version 2.5. This is a very exciting release that includes the ability to track actual visitation time and keep a log (notes). Click here to check it out.

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, August 11, 2009

Hanging a Part Time Shingle

Carolyn Elefant is someone I admire. She makes a real commitment to our profession. Upcoming from Carolyn is her tele-seminar on part-time lawyering. Here's her tease for the program. Please check it out.
Conventional wisdom says that lawyers can't hang a part time shingle. But then again, we're hardly conventional. Though challenging (and what part of life isn't?!), you can start a practice part time, for a variety of reasons such as not wanting to lose your day job or desire to spend more time with family. We'll discuss the reasons you might want to, pitfalls and how to avoid that feeling of isolation, suspended between the full-time and stay home world.

Julie Tower Pierce, author of Staying at Home, Staying in the Law are teaming up for a 75 minute tele-seminar on a Part Time Shingle on Thursday, August 27. Hope you can join us!
Click here for more.

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

Tech Is Gonna Help You to Know Your Judge

To this day -- 30 years later -- I remember a story my law school civil procedure professor told us about his first attorney job. 20 years...