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Automation 101: Increasing Law Firm Efficiency

As computers have proliferated our society over the last 60 years, one main fear has remained prevalent: computers will one day take our jobs. We fear that there will no longer be a “personal touch” to our business transactions, and that we will all just be talking to machines.  In the professional services space, automation and computerization are all the more scary, as customer relationships are paramount. As professional service providers, lawyers pride themselves on giving... [MORE]

Going Viral: Our Five Most Socially Shared Posts of 2013

Google Authorship for Lawyers Back in August, I wrote about a relatively new (then) digital marketing feature, Google Authorship. I surmised that this tool would prove most valuable for (1) spotting authors in search results by their photos showing up next to their posts, (2) showcasing an author’s connectedness in search results (number of circles), and (3) search engine optimization. Google Authorship and Google Author Rank have surpassed all conservative estimates of their value... [MORE]

Choosing a Database for your Law Firm

The largest technological investment many law firms will make is in a database.  Not only are databases expensive, but they also require untold man-hours to set up, implement, and maintain.  A law firm’s existing corporate culture will change surrounding the initial implementation of a database or the transition to a new database. Take time to consider the following before making this important purchase. Cloud or Server Based How many days in a week, month, or year do your... [MORE]

How to Hire a Law Firm Marketing Director

This blog post will be the first in a series of three posts covering: (1) How to hire a law firm marketing director (directed to law firm partners), (2) How to train your law firm marketing director (directed to law firm administrators), and (3) How to be a good law firm marketing director (directed to the actual marketer). What is a law firm marketing director? During my 15+ years in the legal industry, I have had the opportunity to observe what law firm marketing means to... [MORE]

How to Train Your Law Firm Marketing Director

This blog post will be the second in a series of three posts covering: (1) How to hire a law firm marketing director (directed to law firm partners), (2) How to train your law firm marketing director (directed to law firm administrators), and (3) How to be a good law firm marketing director (directed to the actual marketer). Now that you have hired a law firm marketing director, you will need to (1) prepare for their arrival and (2) train them. Below, I will suggest steps that... [MORE]

The Road Less Traveled: Alternative Careers for Lawyers

Due to high tuition and a lack of jobs, law school enrollment continues to decline. While the overall job market in America has improved, employment for lawyers is still low, due in part to an increasing demand for low-cost legal services juxtaposed against an overabundant supply of highly educated, costly lawyers. The job market for new lawyers remains extremely competitive, and many qualified job seekers cannot find full-time legal positions. An article recently discussed the New... [MORE]

Our First Anniversary

I am proud to announce that April 2014 marks Stacey E. Burke, P.C.’s first year in business as a full-time operation. I look back across my career path with gratitude, pride, and happiness. I have been fortunate to work for some of the most supportive and successful lawyers in Texas. Now, in my consulting practice, I am thrilled to work with the same caliber of law firms (and a few other entities) on a national and international level.  Gratitude for my Experience I began my legal... [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]

Convert Your Prospects: Improve Your Intake Process

I am fortunate in that my days involve speaking to new prospects around the country, almost all of which are law firms. Any law firm that contacts me seeking to spend a significant budget on marketing is first asked questions about their existing infrastructure. One of my biggest Stacey-isms (if there is such a thing) is “do not spend money on marketing unless and until you have the internal systems set up to handle the increased intake.” Most marketing agencies and vendors only... [MORE]

Checklist for Starting Your Own Law Firm

Well, you’ve done it.  You’ve left your law firm and decided to open your own firm.  And that idea that sounded so tantalizing while still a fantasy in your mind is now much more stressful when facing the real life decision making process that is staring you in the face. Deciding to go solo doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Organizing your expenditures and tasks around a budget and timeline will help you to create the most secure foundation for a successful future.  Entity... [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]

How To Welcome Your New Client

No matter what type of practice you have or the size of your law firm, welcoming a new client in a meaningful way remains important. Kicking off someone’s first experience with your business provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your customer service and start things off on the right foot. The initial welcome can help keep client expectations reasonable and build the trust and confidence that you need to succeed.  The welcome message is critical — it is one of the single... [MORE]

How To Tackle The First Quarter Of 2017

The first quarter is important because it sets the pace and tone for the year.  This quarter is the foundation from which the rest of 2017 will be built. Do not rest on your laurels thinking you have plenty of time left to get it right this year. If you do, you will find yourself scrambling in the fall and dismayed by the end of the year. Law Firm To-Do List For Q1  Review performance goals and see where you are. What did you learn from your 2016 successes that you can repeat... [MORE]

Hurricane Harvey: Law Firms In The Aftermath

With hurricane season underway, at-risk small businesses need to make sure they have a response plan in place to mitigate potential damages. Unfortunately, many small companies, especially law firms, don’t come close to being hurricane-ready. And this lack of preparedness can come at a significant cost. The Gulf Coast is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, as Hurricane Irma is set to barrel down on Florida. While well over one hundred thousand Texas homes are just beginning to... [MORE]

What To Ask Job Applicants in a Law Firm Job Interview

Everyone working at a law firm knows the pain that comes with employee turnover – the struggle is real. I have interviewed, hired, and fired law firm employees for over 15 years across a variety of firms and practice areas. While there are many factors that contribute to employee retention, the initial interview process can start the employer-employee relationship off on the right foot by ensuring you hire the right people to suit your business. While you will have some law firm... [MORE]

New Year, New Hires: Best Hiring Practices for Law Firms

Hiring a new employee can be incredibly daunting. At least one person at your law firm will have their work hours reallocated to combing through potentially hundreds of resumes, enduring back-to-back phone interviews, and finally selecting someone with no guarantee about how he or she will work out. While the process can seem overwhelming, keep in mind this can be a great opportunity to define your firm’s corporate culture, inject new energy and ideas into the firm, and ultimately... [MORE]

Demonstrating Your Value To Your Law Firm

As more potential job candidates flood the workforce, law firms have ample opportunity to hire more economical employees… potentially replacing higher paid existing employees. In order to maintain a semblance of job security, you have to work that much harder to both understand what “value” your law firm needs from you and how you can demonstrate you are fulfilling their needs and more. Employees who know how to promote themselves and their contributions in the right way generally... [MORE]