Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Branding and Letterhead

Think of traditional law firm letterhead...  Black on white.  Solid blocks of text.  Engraved printing.  Rich, traditional, and strong.  Nothing wrong with it.  Some would say it ain't broke so don't fix it.  I sorta followed this model for a long time -- although long ago I broke away from commercially printed letterhead, and started printing my own through our word processors.

My one adventurous design deviation was to go with three columns in the header.  As you can see in the exemplar below, the first column advertised my personal credentials.  The second gave the law firm name and address block.  The third gave information on satellite offices and internet.  I believe this information is important for marketing purposes, and to demonstrate my credibility to recipients of writings from me (no I don't know why the jpeg below turned the paper gray?).

Recently I began to rethink the importance of letterhead as a marketing tool, and I reassessed the look and impact of our letterhead.  I was motivated initially by Matthew Butterick's book Typography For Lawyers.

Matthew thinks long and hard about how lawyer writings should look. He got me thinking just as hard.  His book also steered me to his website, Typography For Lawyers.  At the website I studied Matthew's letterhead section, and started formulating a new layout for our letterhead.

Next I did a Google search on "typography for lawyers."  That steered me to a fantastic article at (a website that all tech-geek lawyers should love!) entitled DIY Law Firm Letterhead Using Microsoft Word.  Using the step-by-step techniques from the article, and being inspired by samples from other law firms included in the article, I went to work.  Here is what came to life (again, I don't know why the jpeg gray's the paper as we print on clean white paper):

The new design incorporates the logo that is so important to our branding. The logo adds color. The left column includes all the personal bio info for me, and all of the law firm info.  Following Matthew Butterick's rules the left column's gray print makes it less conspicuous than the body of the letter.  At the same time there is contrast with the smoother font of the left column and the traditional font of the main body.  What's really cool is that it is all done in Microsoft Word.  I'm thrilled with the new design.  It has pop while still being classy.  It is a letter and also a marketing tool.  Our letters look great when they are sent via email as pdf's, and they look just as good rolling out of our ink jet printers.  They also sell me and the firm.  I am never afraid to admit that it is always about marketing, and letterhead like this fills the bill.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

To All Our Friends and Followers 

We Wish You A Very Merry, Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Do You Need A Conference Room?

Office space is expensive.  The more square feet under your feet, the more money you are paying to the landlord.  Conference room space should be considered optional when you are laying out your
law firm.  A luxury yes.  Mandatory, no.

I have a conference room at my firm.  It has become an extra file room.  Client meetings are held in the attorney's office.  That is a more personal, intimate space.  It is more comfortable for the lawyer.  I believe it also more fruitful for the client.  The client gets a feel for the personality and character of the lawyer.  It is the lawyer sharing a bit if himself or herself.  It is the lawyer letting the client into the inner sanctum. That helps to endear trust and confidence.

What else might a lawyer use a conference room for?  Settlement meetings of course.  But I have never been put out by having a settlement meeting in a lawyer's personal office because a conference room was not available.  Depositions?  Not a problem.  I take them at the court reporter's office -- after selecting a court reporter that provides free conference rooms.

Is a conference room a nice luxury to have?  You bet it is.  Is it essential to your success as a lawyer, or to your credibility?  Absolutely not.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Massive Password Hack

Yet another massive password hack has befallen the social media world.  More than 2,000,000 user passwords were stolen from Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Google.  The huge hack was the product of a virus attacking the sites for the last several months.  More details are provided in a very informative article from CNN.

The obvious response is that you, me, and everyone else should be changing our passwords for all sites.  Have fun!

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Solo nets Supreme Court win!

I know this has nothing to do with technology, but I think it is pretty cool. Andrew Simpson is a sole practitioner in the U.S. Virgin Is...