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, August 11, 2015

Which Social Media Platforms Are Important For Lawyers?

"Conversationprism" by Brian Solis and JESS3 - http://www.theconversationprism.com/. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Conversationprism.jpeg#/media/File:Conversationprism.jpeg
I sat down with my 18 year old daughter this weekend to discuss social media.  The options left me dizzy: Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, the list goes on and on. Those are just the ones that are hot for teenagers and twenty-somethings.  I decided to investigate further.

I installed the Instagram app on my iPhone, created an account, and within two minutes I had four followers!  Pretty impressive. I went deeper and learned that the function of the app is to communicate with others by posting photos. I posted a photo of my dog. I got no responses, replies, whatever? I decided posting photos of my dog was not a productive means of marketing my family law practice. I deleted the app from my phone.

My experiment begged the question: which social media options are relevant to me and the marketing of my law practice?  The consensus among law firm marketing experts is that LinkedIn is the best.  Attorneyatwork.com asked the experts at the Legal Marketing Association. Each of the three experts said that LinkedIn wins. Facebook was also popular. So too was SlideShare, a service that allows you to uploads presentations, PowerPoints, etc., for the world to view. You can view the discussion by clicking here.

I had another question.  Before we get to which social media platform is best, I must ask if socia media works at all as an effective tool for marketing a law practice. The experts seem to think so.  I am not so sure, but because there is a chance it might work, I am going to do it.

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

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Monday, August 10, 2015

It's A Small World After All!

A fun war story about practicing family law in the internet age.  Today I went around the world to negotiate a settlement.

This past Friday opposing counsel sent me a settlement proposal by email from her San Francisco office before leaving to spend a month in Asia.  I then forwarded that proposal to my client who is vacationing in Maui.  This morning my client and I used the collaborative tools in Adobe Acrobat to dissect the proposals and to develop our counter points. Next I drafted a response letter in Microsoft Word and sent the Word file to my client for review. He used the collaborative/track changes tools in Word to make his desired modifications to the letter, and sent the file back to me. We also talked on the phone (the weather was quite nice in Maui!).  After reviewing and approving the modifications from my client I converted the letter into a pdf document, affixed my electronic signature, and sent the letter via email to opposing counsel, so that she can download it, and work on it while in Asia.  I cc'ed my client on the email, and also uploaded a copy of the letter to his online document repository so that he could always find a copy of it.

Ten years ago things were not this easy. Shows you how technology can improve the practice of law. Also reminds us though that if we are not careful with how we manage technology it can take over our lives, and make the office inescapable.

To avoid having worldwide 24/7 availability eat me alive I have attorney-client communication rules that I educate my clients to before they hire me. I also explain these same rules to opposing counsel, for whom they have equal application.

  1. I communicate during office hours. That scope extends to phone calls and emails. 
  2. I only work on weekends in emergencies. 
  3. My client or opposing counsel going on vacation is not an emergency (I do relax this rule a bit if I am going on, or coming back from a trip).

These rules help maintain peace and order. They only work if you lay them out at the get go, and they only retain their efficacy if you have the discipline to stick with them.

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

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 Best Apps List

The Cyber Advocate has released its list of the best apps for 2015. Complete with iOS and Android app reviews, the Cyber Advocate list brings a lot of solid info for those of us looking to expand our app collections. The list is not focused on lawyers, but then again sometimes it is good to stray beyond the lines and have a little fun.  The new Star Wars app for instance? It is 4th on the Cyber Advocate list.

Check out the complete list by clicking here.

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

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