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September 2013: Law Firm Marketing and Technology Recap

During the month of September, we had the opportunity to post a few blogs we hope you enjoyed. Using our own editorial calendar, we began systematically tackling law firm technology and legal marketing topics that our friends and clients have brought to our attention. Here is a look back at our month in blogs: Law Firm Video Marketing: Google is the second most used search engine online, so if your firm doesn’t have video content up, you are missing out on a lot of potential... [MORE]

Simple Law Firm Procedures to Increase Workflow: Organizing Your Mail

Attorneys and legal staff devote time and effort to organizing their email inboxes, but how often is paper mail organized?  The paper that stacks up on your desk is just as distracting as having 1,000 emails in your digital inbox. Your desktop mail inbox pile likely contains a number of extremely important items.  Law firms can implement the following procedure to help their personnel overcome the paper: 1.  Scan, scan, scan From the moment the postman drops off the mail, the... [MORE]

Reading Your Google Analytics – the Basics

Google Analytics is a powerful website and social media analytical tool for your law firm.  Even if your law firm’s website is currently connected to another analytics system, adding Google Analytics is a must.  This post will be the first in a series covering the most basic metrics captured in Google Analytics.  Bounce Rate Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after only viewing one page.  The greater the number of web visitors viewing your site and... [MORE]

Three Technology Practices To Use In 2014

No doubt you have already read dozens of blog posts discussing new habits to adopt in the New Year.  This post will focus on four activities that will bolster the productivity of your attorneys and staff and create a better technological experience for your firm in 2014. Clean Up Your Database Your law firm’s database is only as helpful as the information it contains.  In the first quarter of 2014, undertake the following tasks to ensure your law firm information is being... [MORE]

Law Firm Document Management Software

Law firms invest time and money in case management software, often considering document management after the fact.  Case management keeps a busy law firm on track by organizing data and moving cases along.  Document management is one very significant component of case management. Creating, saving, and accessing the appropriate case-related items (such as pleadings, medical records, and contacts) will make or break your ability to get the best result for your client in the most... [MORE]

Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics Guide: Post 1

Law firms are busy places with many moving parts, and it can be hard to get a comprehensive view of everything taking place in the office.  This blog post will be first in a series of three discussing three different monthly reports firms should use to get a good overview of company activity.  The three posts will cover three sets of reports – Marketing Metrics, Database Activity, and Staff Auditing. Marketing Metrics Create a report that tracks your firm’s marketing goals.  This... [MORE]

Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics Guide: Post 2

This is the second post in a series discussing reports and metrics that law firms should look at every month in order to increase and/or maintain the efficiency of their offices.  In last week’s post, I discussed Marketing Metrics that firms should review every month.  This week I’ll be discussing Database Activity.  Database Activity Databases are only as useful as the information in them.  Every month, law firms should run the following audit reports in order to confirm the... [MORE]

Your Monthly Law Firm Efficiency Metrics: Post 3

The third installment in my blog series on law firm efficiency will include a discussion of Staff Audit Reports. My blog series discusses reports law firms should run every month to keep their law firms running effectively and efficiently. The first two posts discussed Marketing Metrics and Reports to Keep Your Database Healthy. Staff Audit Reports are management-level reports that a law firm runs to measure the speed, effectiveness, and quality of support staff work. While this... [MORE]

Legal Industry Standards for Website Activity

Most law firms have websites, and most track their website analytics.  If you do not, stop reading right now, and have the person in charge of your website immediately add Google Analytics. It is hard to measure the effectiveness of your law firm website without set benchmarks to compare it against in your industry. So, what are the legal industry standards for good website activity?  Bounce Rates Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after only viewing... [MORE]

Capture Your Time, Increase Productivity

The first step to increasing personal productivity is to understand how you spend your time.  Tracking and reviewing your time on a regular basis will provide insight as to what you spend too much time on, where you should be focusing more effort, and how you can adjust your schedule to be more productive.  Time Tracking Software Whether you bill clients by the hour or through another fee arrangement, track your time at work - all of your time, not just casework.  There are... [MORE]

Law Firm Software Assessments and Best Practices

No singular piece of software is the silver bullet that solves all of your law firm technology problems.  Assessing and managing employee wants, needs, and expectations can make all the difference in whether or not new technology is well-received by your firm.  Often the success of a product in an office is largely dependent upon the attitude of its employees.  Know what you need. When looking for software for your law firm, create an internal wish list based on a survey of... [MORE]

Needles Case Management

Last week I attended a two-day, advanced Needles training in New Orleans.  Needles is a law firm case management software that has been on the market for 30 years, and is used by thousands of firms around the country.  If you’ve never heard of Needles, here are four important things Needles can (or cannot) do for your law firm. Customization Needles is one of the most customizable case management solutions available in today’s legal software marketplace. Almost every screen can be... [MORE]

What Will a Document Management System Do for My Law Firm?

In January of this year, I wrote a blog post describing what law firm document management software is, how it differs from case management software, and examples of document management software in the legal market today.  Building upon that previous post, it is important to also discuss the advantages of having a document management system and what it can do for your law firm.  Manage Your Documents This may seem intuitive, considering it’s called “document management software,”... [MORE]

Websites & Online Tools to Keep Lawyers In The Know

Every week, I commit two to three total hours to reading, learning, and cataloguing new websites, apps, and other legal technology.  The exercise of learning new skills, retaining new information, and stretching your mental capabilities keeps your brain sharp, and can decrease your risk of mental fatigue and “aging brain.” Today, I’ll share with you some of my favorite online legal resources and tools that can keep you focused and learning. Legal Technology LTN: Law Technology... [MORE]

Continuing Legal Education and Technology

In August 2013, the American Bar Association added a new resolution to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct meant to keep lawyers out of the technological brambles.  Luddites no more!  The ABA addressed a problem arising in the legal field: when lawyers don’t understand technology, they risk inadvertently failing to adequately represent their clients.  You’ve heard the horror stories of documents being erroneously produced because an attorney didn’t understand how to lock down... [MORE]

Customer Relationship Management: CRM and the Law Firm

This week, on May 21, 2014, I had the pleasure of speaking to a packed house at the Kentucky Justice Association’s ‘Marketing Your Practice’ CLE. The event organizers asked me to come up with “something different” to talk about. I wanted to prepare an article, paper, or presentation on the utilization of the CRM process within a law firm, so I decided to begin my work toward that goal with this speech. What is a CRM?  CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and the acronym... [MORE]

Reasons to Undertake a Law Firm Audit

Jun 12, 2014 | by Stacey Burke | Law Firm Audit
One of the components of my project-based work that I really enjoy is performing business audits for law firms. Some lawyers have called me thinking this means I am like a forensic accountant and will come in and scope out their books and give tax advice. Instead, what I mean by audit in this context is ripping off the Band-Aids, opening the curtains, and exposing everything that goes on in your law firm to a neutral third party for evaluation. As an almost 13-year lawyer, I... [MORE]

Using Holiday Downtime for Law Firm Marketing Reflection

From the week of Thanksgiving through the end of the year, many lawyers begin thinking more about holidays and family time than work or litigation. The same holds true for potential clients. So – do we wait until mid-January to resume our business development? Or, do we take advantage of the holiday season downtime to evaluate, plan, and budget so that we can crush it in 2015? Making a List and Checking it Twice You could take the end of the year to relax, but when your... [MORE]

Hiring The Right Law Firm Employees

Many may think that hiring quality law firm employees during the holiday season is impossible. Job seekers often give up looking toward the end of the year, assuming that no new postings or quality positions will become available. I used to believe the same; but, now I am finding that since the end of the year is a time business owners reflect upon the year’s progresses and failures, that many employers do decide to list new positions in November and December. The most commonly... [MORE]

How Do I Take It To The Next Level?

I am fortunate to speak to at least 20 or 30 lawyers each week, if not more, and many of them ask how they can take their practice “to the next level.” Often, this means that the voice on the other end of the telephone is a solo practitioner or a small firm partner looking to grow their practice in a financially healthy way. Other times, the caller may work at a firm with a good book of institutional business, but has never undertaken digital marketing. Many lawyers want to know if... [MORE]

The Stages of New Case Intake

Every law firm has clients, and every law firm gets its clients from somewhere. The clients can arrive either as leads or as already signed clients. Either way, formal processes and procedures should be set in place for the handling of inbound leads and clients so that no potential business falls through the cracks. Regardless of whether or not you take the case, intake plays a large part in how your firm represents itself publicly, and each potential client must be treated with the... [MORE]

Is Your Law Firm Website Mobile-Friendly?

A mobile-friendly website is no longer an extravagance or supplemental option for law firms these days. A website that is compatible with smart phones is an absolute necessity if you want to keep generating business and attention from new clients. Today, more than 200 million adults in the United States own a smart phone and are accessing the Internet via phone more often than desktop computers. If your law firm’s website is not yet mobile-friendly, we illustrate below why you... [MORE]

Competitor Analysis: Is Your Law Firm Marketing Keeping You Ahead of the Curve?

When it comes to marketing a business, it’s important to know what you’re up against. While it would be nice to solely rely on your firm’s strong lawyers to bring in the business, that’s simply not enough. How do you know your firm is taking the right steps toward an effective marketing strategy? Understanding what other law firms are doing and how yours is stacking up against their efforts is one way to find out. A competitor analysis will help your firm establish what’s already... [MORE]