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Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?

Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.

Can you do the same?  The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm.  Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:

  • Reduces malpractice risk
  • Enables you to gather the best attorneys to fit the firm, regardless of each person’s geographic location
  • Leverages mobile devices and cloud technology to enable on-the-spot client and prospect communication

Download your free PDF copy of Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design to learn more about best practices for operating a partial or fully virtual practice.

How Do You Social?

Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.

Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.

Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.

How do you monitor your competition or clients on Twitter?
Do you know who the Thought Leaders are in your LinkedIn Groups?
Do you know how to research who those folks are?
How are you using Google+ pages to enhance your search engine ranking?
Did you know YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine?
Do you know what visual storytelling is and why its important?

Whether you are a marketing professional at a large firm, or a 3rd year associate at a boutique firm, social media can help you gain a competitive advantage and help you become a better business person, that is focused on your clients.

Let us show you how. We can teach you to use Social Media in a few hours and help train attorneys at all levels of seniority and experience. We are Good2bSocial, Where Social Means Business.™ Please call us at (973) 903-5152 or email us at guy@Good2bSocial.com or linda@Good2bSocial.com to find out how we can help you today.

  • 08 Apr 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • Uncategorized

About Practical Law

Practical Law provides legal know-how that gives lawyers a better starting point. Our team of attorney editors creates and maintains thousands of up-to-date, practical resources that go beyond primary law and traditional legal research to give lawyers the resources needed to practice more efficiently, improve client service and add more value. To learn more, take a free trial.


No, this isn’t a pre-party before we come back next fall for the real thing. This IS the real thing. Quinn Emanuel is pushing the envelope on recruiting. The party is now. This is when you meet the partners and associates face to face. This is when we begin the dance that could land you an offer for your second summer BEFORE school starts in the fall.

First: You come to the party.
Second: If you like us, you send your resume after June 1, 2014.
Third: If we like each other, you get an offer.

We’re not waiting for fall. We’re not doing the twenty minute thing. This party is the real thing!

We hope you’ll join us, and look forward to meeting you.

RSVP: stephaniemorris@quinnemanuel.com

Michigan 1L Spring Reception
Date: Thursday, March 13th

Berkeley 1L Spring Reception
Date: Tuesday, March 18th

University of Virginia 1L Spring Reception
Date: Wednesday, March 19th

Georgetown 1L Spring Reception
Date: Thursday, March 20th

University of Texas 1L Spring Reception
Date: Tuesday, March 25th

Columbia 1L Spring Reception
Date: Tuesday, March 26th

Yale 1L Spring Reception
Date: Wednesday, April 2nd

Harvard 1L Spring Reception
Date: Wednesday, April 3rd

NYU 1L Spring Reception
Date: Tuesday, April 8th

University of Chicago 1L Spring Reception
Date: Wednesday, April 9th

Northwestern 1L Spring Reception
Date: Thursday, April 10th

UCLA 1L Spring Reception
Date: Wednesday, April 16th

Stanford 1L Spring Reception
Date: Thursday, April 24th

Presented By Practical Law


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Courts have taken a variety of approaches to determining who owns the pre-transaction attorney-client privilege after a merger, asset sale or other similar corporate transaction.  Given the lack of a bright-line rule as to which entities will control the privilege, companies should understand and account for what will happen to attorney-client communications post-closing.  The failure to do so may result not only in confusion, but in litigation between the parties and potentially having to relinquish privileged material.

This Seller Beware: Protecting Privileged Communications After a Corporate Transaction Article from Practical Law examines the judicial approaches to pre-transaction communications protected by the attorney-client privilege and issues companies entering into corporate transactions should consider to preserve the privilege, including:

  • Privileged pre-transaction communications under Delaware and New York Law.
  • The practical consequences approach to privileged pre-transaction communications.
  • What companies involved in a transaction should do to protect attorney-client communications, such as:
    • Determine under which state law the agreement is governed and whether there is an applicable statute.
    • Consider which categories of communications are particularly sensitive to disclosure.
    • Specify in the agreement which entity will retain control of which types of privileged communications post-closing, to the extent allowed under applicable law.

Proactively accounting for these communications will ensure that the transacting parties, rather than a court, will be the final arbiter of who owns the privilege.

To read the full Practical Law Article, see Seller Beware: Protecting Privileged Communications After a Corporate Transaction.

Additional related resources such as Attorney-Client Privilege Checklist: Scope of Protection Attorney-Client Privilege Checklist: Scope of Protection and more are available now with a free, no-obligation trial to Practical Law.


Once upon a time, a client-in-need would flip through the Yellow Pages in search of a lawyer that gave off a competent appearance – with “appearance” being the operative word. These days, a lawyer’s business card is their website, which is precisely why your online presence should be at the forefront of your client strategy. Discover how small/medium law firms and solo practitioners can play the online ‘court’, and win.

How to Build an Online Presence in a Day

In 2012, the legal research firm LexisNexis released a study in which they showed that 76% of Americans use online resources to find an attorney, with 53% using online resources to validate a lawyer’s credentials following referrals from friends and colleagues. In order for a law firm or solo practice’s online practice to succeed, several different online presences must collaborate and corroborate each other: A firm’s website will under-perform if it has no search engine presence or legal database it is attached to, just as a lawyer’s social media presence is moot without a professional website to lead prospective clients to.

  • Your Website: The prospect of spending thousands of dollars and countless hours building a website is unpalatable for many new firms. Thankfully, free alternatives abound. IM Creator offers dozens of professional, user-friendly website templates that can be used to build your firm’s website in a few hours, for free, and with no web designer or programmer needed. Its simple “drag & drop” editor lets you add your own content instantly, and websites built using our service are search-engine friendly.
  • Legal Directories: After search engine queries, legal directories are (according to LexisNexis) the second most popular way clients search for, validate, and select a lawyer. Once your website is up and running, make sure to link it to all directories you are registered with, as well as others that are relevant to your practice. Properly completed directory profiles also help boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), as they create connecting threads to validate your online presence.
  • Social Media: Many lawyers (and especially those who have worked in highly competitive “big” firms) maintain a love-hate relationship with social sites like LinkedIn. Nevertheless, LinkedIn provides further credibility to your online presence by linking your work to past clients and legal contacts. Creating a link between your firm’s website and these social media sites also allows future clients to search for personal and professional connections you may share.

Design for Legal Practices

On average, internet users spend about 5 seconds on a website before they decide to read on or “bounce” (online marketing terminology for a user who leaves the page before engaging with it). The “visual language” of a website conveys the tone of the practice it serves, and forms a significant part of a visitor’s first impressions.

  • Branding Basics: If you invest in any aspect of your firm’s branding, make it your logo. As we’ve seen, spending money on building your website is rendered unnecessary with a free online website builder, but you may still benefit from paying a designer to help you create a basic visual language that can be used as the aesthetic basis for your overall web design.
  • The Language of Colors: Much has been written about the branding message that colors portray in design. Law firms too must look the part they play, as clients tend to prefer sober, monochrome color-schemes in grayscale and navy blue that yield images of a business suit, not a hawaiian shirt. Context is important, though: In specialized legal fields such as family law, a website’s color scheme should reflect the kind of problems it is dealing with. In this case, a more muted palette of pale greens or blues softens the aesthetic tone of the site, and gives the impression that the firm is sensitive to the personal issues at hand.
  • Just Put Down the Stock Photography: Clients tend to want to put a face to a name when they are selecting a lawyer to work with. Instead of scouring the web for stock imagery, consider using a professional headshot or photo of your office. If you do need some stock photography to add further visual interest to your page, though, IM Creator have created IM Free, a tightly-curated database of relevant images that are free for commercial use.
  • Don’t Overcrowd: The best websites don’t overwhelm visitors with content. Website templates from site builders help effortlessly manage the organization of your website’s content, but it’s still important to continuously recite the “simplicity is key” mantra as you add content to your website.
  • How to Organize Your Site: With such a short initial time-frame to grab a user’s attention, it’s important to know what information should be relayed to prospective clients first. Web users from Western countries tend to start at the top left of a page then read left to right and down, meaning that the upper two-thirds of your page should contain basic information such as what you specialize in, a “call to action”, and a reason for users to explore further.
  • Where to Place Your Call to Action: Your “call to action” is your first point of contact, and a crucial piece of content on your site. For most law firms, this may simply be a phone number and email, but contact forms are also easily implemented and increasingly popular. Your call to action is best placed prominently on your site, either in the top right corner or about a third of the way down the page on the right, where visitors’ gaze naturally flows to.

 Web Essentials

  • The Importance Information Curation: Just like your LinkedIn page, clients want to know that you are active in the legal community. The front page of your website should contain links or summaries to any legal articles you have published, as well as relevant news about your firm that will lend further credibility. This includes membership to legal societies, presence on legal directories, and any other professional markers.

But beware: nothing degrades a website’s credibility more than out-of-date information. Social media widgets help to relieve the task of manual updating; with IM Creator, you can drag and drop live social feeds anywhere on your site, so that anything you post to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, or Twitter will echo on your own site.

  • Testimonials: According to LexisNexus, 57% of people who used the internet to search for a lawyer checked a lawyer’s ratings and reviews, and 65% of those who did found them to be moderately to extremely influential in their decision. Encouraging existing clients to add reviews to legal directories and social sites LinkedIn is important, but many clients also look for testimonials on your website.
  • Geolocation: Adding a Google Maps widget to your website increases your SEO, but also helps prospective clients search for you locally. Google’s Places for Business automatically syncs all your key information – including your address, contact details, office hours, description, and ratings – onto one Google-synchronized page that will appear as soon as your name is searched for, or when a query like “law firms in my area” is inputted.
  • A Note on Costs: Few lawyers speak about the costs involved in legal advice upfront, but it can be helpful to add a page on your website describing how legal fees are determined, and whether or not you offer any free initial consultation.

 Free Tools to Track Your Progress Online

Once you’ve synchronised your website with your social profiles and membership to legal directories and societies, there are a number of ways to track how your online presence is affecting the growth of your law practice:

  • Google Analytics: Perhaps the most comprehensive yet straightforward of data analytics tools on the market, Google Analytics is free to use, and comes with real-time tools to track the number of visitors to your website, where they are coming from, how long they spend on your site, and what they are clicking on while there.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite aggregates all your social media profiles into one account, so that you can synchronise and keep track of your social media presence. Instead of updating news to LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook one by one, Hootsuite also lets you schedule news that will be sent out to all your social media profiles at once.
  • WooRank: WooRank instantly reviews your website for its SEO ranking, then provides you with a list of recommendations to help you figure out how you can improve. WooRank also offers visitor data and social media tracking, but it also helps you to figure out things like SEO keywords and backlinks, as well as any inconsistencies in setup of your site.

 The Internet Doesn’t Care about Size

The internet carries with it a powerful message: No matter how big or small your business is, a successful web presence leads to professional success. Creating a name for yourself has never been so straightforward – and inexpensive – even as competition is steep. Small firms and solo-practitioners don’t need a fancy office or a team of management and branding gurus in their trail. All they need is a well-designed website, and their name in all the right (online) places.

Image Credits:

Toshiba Laptop by Garryknight.

Getting The Edge in Recruiting

When I was a semi-professional card-counting blackjack player, I legally exploited casinos through an inherent mathematical defect in the game and placed my bets in direct proportion to my advantage.  I kept track of ratios between cards to determine the size of this advantage, known as the “count.”  If I did not have an advantage, I would sit out a few hands until the “count” was high enough for me to come back in to the game. I would spend hours counting cards just to get a one percent edge over the house.

An edge, even a small edge of just one percent, is all you need to get ahead of your competitors. If you are slightly ahead of them, you are still ahead and you hold an advantage over them. In the lateral game of recruiting partners with loyal clients, minor changes in major areas will also pay big dividends. Here are three ideas that your firm can use to increase the odds of potential laterals moving to your firm:

1. The Message. What is the story of your firm that is going to attract that lateral partner sitting on the fence?  You need to spend time discussing this with those colleagues who are involved in the lateral recruiting process.  This needs to be a consistent message but must not seem contrived. The story needs to be authentic, congruent and compelling.

2. The Difference.  The story also must extend beyond “a collegial culture and a robust platform.”  That phrase is plain vanilla and is what everyone says.  You need to say things that no other law firm can say. Most law firms do the same type of work for the same types of clients and employ the same type of people who do it.

You have to dig deep to find points of differentiation.  Sometimes they might seem minor to you, but what might hold little relevance to you could be the main reason a partner moves to your firm. Don’t make judgments based on your world view but from the perspective of your prospects.

Some points of differentiation are visible on your website, such as the number of offices and the number of attorneys that are part of your firm.  Other subtle but powerful points of differentiation I have come across in the past include:

• the high retention rate of partners.
• a commitment to marketing through a large and tenured marketing department.
• the process and protocols you follow to thoroughly integrate new partners.
• the structured social gatherings of your firm which makes client sharing and introductions flow easier. Do you have ‘fine wine’ and ‘craft beer’ committees to facilitate this?
• ways that make it easier for partners to communicate to each other so it is easier for them to help each other.
• technology tools that assist in collaboration on projects.
• leadership development training so that the partners are better equipped with skills required to lead teams.
• sales advisors who are adept at sniffing out pockets of opportunities.  They can advise partners on how to orchestrate ways to get more business from existing clients and see patterns that are veins of gold for new vertical niches.
• the number of speaking engagements that are delivered each year at business conferences and trade association meetings.
• the amount of publishing from the partnership, including textbooks, trade journals, blogs, articles, regular columns and business books.
• the tenure of the administrative and support staff.

3. The Tools.  Prepare simple communication tools that make it easy for recruiters and others to tell your story. Don’t ever say to a prospective lateral, “Just look on our website to learn more about us. It’s all on there.”  Visiting a website takes work.  Make it easy on them.  Make readily available the information they will use to choose your firm.

Put together several one sheets and put them in pdf format so that they are easy to read.  Put together three types of one-sheets:

1) a firm summary one-sheet that gives an overview of your firm including key rankings.

2) an FAQ sheet that answers the most-often asked questions of prospective laterals.

3) a one-sheet for each practice group that you are trying to expand.  Have it hyperlinked to biography pages of key partners and recent hires in the group.

If you implement just one of these three ideas, I am confident that it is enough to give you a significant edge in your effectiveness to recruit partners.  I know this because I spend all day talking to partners who are curious about other opportunities and I know what motivates them to move.  When I have a client who actively works with me in building the story based on what I have written above, then I know it’s just a matter of time before we find a star partner who will move to their firm.  And just like counting cards in blackjack, a slight edge in this game always pays big dividends.

Copyright © 2014 Scott Love

Scott Love grows law firms and accelerates attorney careers by conducting partner-level and group searches for law firms and facilitating law firm mergers. He has been a career ‘headhunter’ since 1995 and is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. Scott lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, two children, and a toothless rescue dog named Smoky. He can be reached at 202-737-5555. To learn more, please visit www.attorneysearchgroup.com or email him at scott@attorneysearchgroup.com.


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You invest in technology on the premise that it will enable greater profitability in the end.  For example: an e-discovery subscription cost of $1000 can save you $10,000 in fees to bring temporary attorneys on board for document review.

But most ROI is not so easy to measure. How can you tell whether you will see a return on, say, case analysis software, or a legal drafting tool? You need real value in return for your investment in litigation technology.

In Tracking ROI: The Bottom Line on Technology Solutions for Small Law Firms, Mick Lavelle, Senior Director of small law firm Inside Sales and Account Management at Thomson Reuters, walks through two ways to measure the return on litigation software.

  • Case analysis/case management: software that organizes case files, facts and exhibits, allows searching even across image or PDF files, and even surfaces important facts that can impact case strategy.
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Tracking ROI is the next in the company’s Independent Thinking series, offering business and trend insights for small law firms. Download the free article to delve into value of litigation technology.

For some law students, taking classes during the summer is the right choice. In this infographic, the folks at the UC Hastings Summer Legal Institute make their case for a summer spent studying in San Francisco. Registration for summer 2014 classes will open March 24, 2014, for current UC Hastings students, and April 1, 2014, for all other students. Applications will be accepted until May 7, 2014. Full program details are here….

So you spent a considerable amount of time courting, selling and maybe even doing some friendly stalking of that attractive lateral partner candidate with a sizable book. After he or she ignored your emails and didn’t return your calls, a few weeks go by and you read a press release in the legal media announcing the recent move to a competing firm.

Rats. Another one got away from you. You cringe when you consider how much time was spent in meetings that did not bear fruit. Your heart aches when recall how you were led to believe this was a marriage made in heaven.

You have been rejected.

The sting of rejection is painful, even for fancy law firms. But you need to find a way that you can turn this disappointment into a legitimate learning experience.

I’ve seen hundreds of scenarios like this, as this is my nineteenth year as a ‘headhunter.’ Twelve years ago, I started training and consulting to other search firms on the side. I developed processes that improved their recruiting and placement skills. This little project eventually grew into an international training company for recruiters, with over 4,000 search firms investing in my books, training tools and attending my seminars. When it came to failed placements, I introduced to the executive search industry a comprehensive model that I developed on how they can conduct “deal autopsies.” This became a regular part of many search firm’s training meetings each week.

I told my industry colleagues, as I would share with you, that the lessons you need to learn are hidden in the disappointment of failed placements. These failed placements are like the Land of Misfit Toys. You are always surprised to find such magical treasures when you go there. When things go well you are too busy daydreaming about the prospects and counting the dollar signs spinning around in your head; but when the deals fall apart, you start paying attention to how you need to improve.

Here are three ideas to consider as you conduct a mini version of a “deal autopsy” to make positive changes to your law firm’s recruiting process:

1. Review your internal process. Who is the quarterback? Who is the sponsor? These are important roles that you need to clarify.  The quarterback is the partner (usually the office managing partner, practice group leader, or hiring partner) who is taking the lead in managing this process of each placement from start to finish.  Sometimes it is a capable internal recruiter who has enough firm-wide political capital to snap fingers and get partners to make recruiting a priority and execute.

The sponsor is that peer level partner (or could be the same quarterback) who serves as the candidate’s internal advocate and can rally support to get the rest of the partnership interested in bringing the candidate over.  The sponsor usually continues the relationship into assimilation into the firm.

It may be worth your time to flow out your process in a visual format.  For ideas, read one of my previous Above The Law articles here, and download the pdf in the article as a guide to help you create your own visual process flow chart:

2. How much time passed between steps? There is a saying in my profession of recruiting that “Time Kills All Deals.” More time between steps means that your deal is more likely to fall apart.

I recommend a 24-hour response time to each action item. Even if scheduling that next meeting is a week away, get it on the calendar within 24 hours of the previous step.

Each placement develops a rhythm, and extended time between steps allows other potential deal-killing variables to insert themselves into the process. Examples of this include another recruiter trying to place your lateral prospect with another firm; or the prospective lateral referring a large piece of a matter to an internal partner in his current firm, thereby hand-cuffing him for another year. If only you had returned that call earlier or scheduled that meeting sooner, you would have built enough momentum in the candidate’s mind to overcome those opposing forces.

3. Did the candidate not feel very important? If you are interested in this prospect, then you need to make it very clear that he or she is a big deal to your firm. Be specific.

Here is some verbiage you can use. Please do not let its simplicity keep you from using it:

“We see the potential for us to achieve mutual goals because of your experience in_______________ and because of our need for _________________. That will help us to ______________ and will give us the benefit of _______________. And we see that it can help you to achieve ________________ because of _____________.”

Specificity builds credibility. People want to know that they are important, and why they are important. I usually need to draw this out from my clients in the messaging of the opportunity, because as people, it is sometimes hard for us to see the nuance of important opportunities when we are so close to them.

I believe it’s best to spend some time with your fellow partners involved in recruiting to discuss the placements that do not happen. Use this article as a structured dialogue for your meetings about the ones who got away. Use this as a learning tool, and when you do, you’ll be excited when you start seeing more acceptances and more partners moving to your firm. And the sting of rejection will only be a fading and distant memory from the past.

Copyright © 2014 Scott Love

Scott Love grows law firms and accelerates attorney careers by conducting partner-level and group searches for law firms and facilitating law firm mergers. He has been a career ‘headhunter’ since 1995 and is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. Scott lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, two children, and a toothless rescue dog named Smoky. He can be reached at 202-737-5555. To learn more, please visit www.attorneysearchgroup.com or email him at scott@attorneysearchgroup.com.

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