Law Firm Management

Ep 98 – Legal Recruiting

We hear advice on legal careers, recruiting, when to move, stay, or switch, and how to move in the lawyer marketplace with confidence.

 

Average Attorney Salary Might Surprise New Lawyers

Today’s Hot Take comes to us from AboveTheLaw.com, “Average Attorney Salary Might Surprise New Lawyers (And Judges’ Average Earnings Are Even Lower)” by Jonathan Wolf. Wolf writes:

“I gave a little presentation to my local bar association a couple weeks ago. Among other things, I talked about attorney salaries and how they differ regionally, and I sifted through a lot of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Turns out the BLS gathers a lot of helpful information about lawyers.

Really, it’s not all bad news. The BLS estimated mean annual wage for lawyers is a respectable $144,230.

Of course, like a lot of averages, this one is inflated by the top end of the market. The median annual wage for lawyers, $120,910, is substantially lower than their mean annual wage. On the Cravath Scale, some benchmark for legal salaries – top wage is $182,490 – bottom is $58,220.” That’s a wide gap with wide expectations. A small percentage of lawyers at the top throw off the numbers – so you may end up making $58k a year?

You can’t really fault the industry here, and as you walk the path there is plenty  of room to repeat the mantra, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We think this idea of introspection and taking stock of oneself is important. If you are searching for greater pay or greater responsibilities or a higher level of satisfaction, start with you.

Honestly though, issues like this aren’t exclusive to lawyers. People talk about the wage gap – and this article illustrates it to a certain extent, but there is also income consolidation, which people look at like a mystical economic theory, but the fact is when there’s less money to go around, people get paid LESS, and they don’t get raises that keep up with the cost of living (which coincidentally goes up because of trade wars, taxes etc)

Being a lawyer ain’t the ticket to easy street it used to be and it takes longer – if you stay in place – to build up that income. Might be time to start thinking about it like those of us in the creative/marketing end of things, where if the fastest way to get better positions and higher wages it to change jobs at regular intervals.

When You Need To Find A Needle In A Haystack

With more than a dozen years of legal recruiting experience, Steven Lynch is the go-to name law firms and companies speak when they need assistance recruiting attorneys whose experiences and abilities match their requirements, culture and objectives.

Keeping the grass green on both sides, Steven also helps high-level legal talent at all ages and stages of their careers, find ideal positions where they can thrive and achieve.

Steven is a frequent writer and media commentator on legal hiring and recruiting issues, has been featured in many industry trade publications, including HR.com, UpJourney, and SmarterCX, and before all that, he served as the Vice President of the American Arbitration Association.

Learn more about Steven Lynch HERE

Get More Information About Recruiting Strategies For Law Firms and Career Satisfaction For Attorneys

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about how to find the right people or BE the right person for your law firm, and how to honestly assess and build on what you personally need to get satisfaction from your next job. If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

 

Ep 95 – Decision Science & Legal Marketing

On the show today we talk about decision science, behavior and legal marketing & advertising with Nika Kabiri from Kabiri Consulting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding and Improving Decision Making Will Decidedly Become a Greater and Greater Priority For Everyone

Today’s Hot Take is “The Mechanics of Choice” by Eric Wargo on Psychological Science .org. He writes:

“Hardly a minute goes by in our lives when we don’t make them. Decisions can be as small as our choices of words or what to have for lunch, and they can be as big as how to plan for retirement or what treatment to choose for a disease. They can balance certainties against risks. They can balance short-term gratification against long-term benefits. They can clearly be right or wrong — but often enough, they involve likelihoods and possibilities that are uncertain, even in the light of all available information.”

This is the heart of it all – marketing, business development, legal tech – understanding how decisions are made is key and I wish more marketers dove into this stuff without the desire to brainwash people – understanding this is to use it concert with nature, not against it for crappy products that will fail. People are more averse to loss than gain.

“In a world ever more awash in choices, people become constant deciders. And the stakes of our decisions — and the consequences of errors — are growing.

“Errors induced by biases in judgment lead decision makers to undersave for retirement, engage in needless conflict, marry the wrong partners, accept the wrong jobs, and wrongly invade countries.”

In a knowledge-based economy . . . a knowledge worker’s primary deliverable is a good decision. In addition, more and more people are being tasked with making decisions that are likely to be biased because of the presence of too much information, time pressure, simultaneous choice, or some other constraint. [And] as the economy becomes increasingly global, each biased decision is likely to have implications for a broader swath of society.

In such a world, understanding and improving decision making will decidedly become a greater and greater priority for everyone.”

Helping Businesses Effectively Influence Consumer Behavior and Make Better Decisions

Nika Kabiri has spent over two decades studying how people make decisions in a variety of contexts, including society, business, and politics. She received her PhD and Masters in Sociology at the University of Washington, a JD from the University of Texas School of Law, has led research projects for clients in the non-profit, retail, tech, and legal sectors, including directoral stops at Avvo and “Ipsos” a market research company.

Now, Nika brings her unique combination of market research expertise, consumer behavior insights and rigorous academic training to Kabiri Consulting, which helps businesses effectively influence consumer behavior and make better decisions on their own – we are very grateful she could find the time to join us today.

Learn more about Nika Kabiri HERE

Get More Information About Decision Science, Legal Consumer Behavior, and Data Based Marketing

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about why people make the choices they do, how to use data to understand decisions and how to apply these principles to everything in your life.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

Ep 92 – The Million Dollar Attorney

We sit down with Wendy Witt, founder of the Million Dollar Attorney, to find out how she helps lawyers change their mindsets, achieve specific goals, and grow their firms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Break $1M In Revenue In A Law Firm Staffed Only By The Owners

Toady’s Hot Take is from Forbes.com, “He Said “No” To Law-Firm Life And Built A Six-Figure Solo Practice Helping Others In Need, ” by Elaine Pofeldt. This is the third post of a three part series that chronicles the journey of a lawyer from solo to joining a larger firm and then back to solo. She writes:

“The number of professionals making decisions like Lima’s is rising. The total tally of small businesses in the U.S.—most of them one-person operations—will rise from about 30 million in 2014 to about 42 million in 2026, according to Intuit’s Future of Small Business report, which dubs solo firms “personal businesses.” Lima is among a growing number of solopreneurs who are figuring out how to generate six-figure revenue while navigating the challenges of operating independently.”

It’s not so far-fetched really – with more tech advances and gig-working lawyers bridging the gap between the capabilities of a small firm and a larger firm, it seems the major barriers left are those created by law firm culture and self doubt.

Making Millionaires out of Lawyers

Wendy Witt spent 15 years as a Trusts and Estates Attorney before moving to the business side becoming a Master Law Firm Business Strategist and Attorney Success Consultant and launching “Million Dollar Attorney” where she’s helped over 8000 lawyers step on the gas, accelerate their firms financial growth, and achieve the success and freedom they crave. Wendy got her JD from the Dickinson School of Law, she’s got a degree in psychology, she’s an ABA published author, she’s been quoted and noted everywhere, and now, after all that, her career takes a stunning turn with an appearance on the LAWsome podcast

Learn more about Wendy Witt HERE

Get More Information About Achieving Measurable Financial Success and Personal Freedom for Lawyers

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about how to build a system for success, earn the money you want and still have the time to do what you enjoy.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

 

Ep 87 – The Paralegal Episode!

On the show today we discuss the added value Paralegals provide to your firm, and then we talk to Lawyer, Podcaster, and Jedi Master Paralegal Instructor, Keith Shannon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Things to Keep In Mind

Our Hot Take today comes from the treasure trove of legal musings, the American Bar Association discussing the added value Paralegals can provide to your firm, “No, a paralegal is not a lawyer” By Frances P. Kao. This is a very well written piece, and in it you will learn about how to best utilize your paralegals, and what pitfalls you need to avoid, primarily:

Ethical problems –
Unauthorized Practice of Law
Advice
Fee Splitting
Establishing a legal relationship

After all, it is the lawyer’s obligation to ensure that the paralegal is properly screened, adequately trained, performs appropriate tasks, maintains high ethical standards and produces a competent work product.

The Paralegal Whisperer

Keith Shannon is an instructor in the paralegal technology training program at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina. He got his BA and Masters in journalism, his JD from University of Kentucky, and he’s a member of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina State Bars. In addition to teaching paralegal studies, Keith is also an expert in law firm management and technology. When he isn’t sniffing chalk and griping about term papers, Keith is hilarious, creative, an amazing voice on Twitter, as well as on his own musical theater podcast he runs with his daughter, and we are grateful he could join us today on the the show.

Learn More About Keith Shannon HERE

Get More Information About Paralegals, Law Firm Management, Organization & More

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about finding, training and utilizing paralegals as well as thoughts on legal tech, organizational skills and more.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

Ep 86 – From Lawyer to Law Firm Owner

 

We talk about how NOT to start a law firm, and then we talk to lawyer and law firm owner, Brit Malpiede, about how TO start a law firm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is This What You Need To Start A Law Firm?

Today’s Hot Take is from Designhill.com “8 Tips On How To Start A Solo Law Practice,” by Henny Kel. This article is really not a good guide to anything, but we chose to discuss it as an example of the type of advice that’s floating around the internet. Much of it is general, unhelpful and straight-up wrong. And we found this on page one of the search results, so it’s either very popular, or there aren’t many lawyers looking for advice on how to start a law firm online.

It’s another chapter in his “How to start a law firm” series – which the designer/blogger writes, for a site that designs logos. This was the FOURTH link for “starting a law firm” – how in the hell are lawyers supposed to know what’s important when all they hear is the loudest voices? Later on, Brit talks about hanging up on numerous marketing and ad agencies – we can see why if this is the type of “information” they are pushing.

How To REALLY Start A Law Firm – From An Actual Lawyer

Brit Malpiede is a lawyer and law firm owner, focusing on family law and divorce in the state of California – Brit got her JD from California Western Law – and she’s on every bar imaginable in San Diego plus she received the State Bar of California’s Pro Bono Service award three times. And after all this, Brit has been gracious enough to come on the show and talk about how amazing she is.

Get More Information About Law Firm Management, Marketing & More

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about heading out on your own, using the connections you have and building on them as well as how to deal with those pesky marketing services salespeople and more.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

Ep 85 – Case Management & Law Firm Marketing

How lawyers are failing with technology, and then a discussion with Darren Fancher & Gabriela Cubeiro from CasePeer about case management, marketing, & how lawyers can succeed with technology.

 

 

 

 

 

How Lawyers Are Failing With Technology

Today’s Hot Take is from OnDemandLawOffice.com “Two Ways Lawyers Fail With Technology” by Brandon Osterbind. When it comes to law practice technology, there are generally two types of failures. Lawyer who resists tech, and the lawyer who loves technology so much that all she does is play with the latest new toy and doesn’t get any work done.

Opposite ends of the line, and we think most law firms fall somewhere in between – might use some tech but not fully integrated in one central system. Everyone uses email, so you can’t be a total Luddite, but – is there going to be a point in the future (maybe sooner than we think) where not being full integrated with collaborative case management software will be viewed the same as a flip phone and AOL IM?

For solo and small firm lawyers, there are those who stick their heads in the sand when it comes to law practice technology. This puts them at a competitive disadvantage. For those solos and small firm lawyers who want to survive, there are a few pieces of technology that they must implement in their law practice today:

1. Case Management System

2. Paperless Office

3. Document Automation

When it comes to implementing law practice technology, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
Will this increase my efficiency if I use it as intended?
Will I use it as it is intended?
Can I train my staff to use this program religiously?
Will this program provide an added value to my clients?

Standout Case Management For Law Firms

CasePeer is a case management solution for plaintiff attorneys that streamlines their practice from intake to settlement. We are joined today by Darren Fancher, and Gabriela Cubeiro who are the CEO and Director of CasePeer, respectively.

Darren got his J.D. from UC Hastings College of Law, and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, he’s also a member of the California Bar. His diverse skills and resources developed as an attorney, finance professional, and entrepreneur help him understand and address the many needs of the modern law firm.

Prior to joining forces with CASEpeer, Gabriela spent six years as the marketing manager at a personal injury law firm. This unique perspective and insight into the needs of attorneys and staff combined with her extensive experience in marketing, customer reach, and product development, makes CASEpeer the standout among case management software that it is.

Learn more about CASEpeer HERE.

Get More Information About Case Management for Law Firms & Creative Marketing

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about case management systems, effective client side and admin side workflows, creative marketing tactics and more.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

 

Ep 80 – How The Modern Lawyer Gets Paid (or not)

We talk accounts receivables and how modern lawyers are getting paid, how they’re getting stiffed, and what to do about it with lawyer, entreprepreneur, and CEO of Headnote, Sarah Schaaf.

 

 

 

 

How Should A Law Firm Handle Accounts Receivable?

Today’s Hot Take is from lawyerist.com “Collect Call: The Best Way to Handle Accounts Receivable is to Eliminate Them,” By Jared Correia.  This is a  Q&A  session on Lawyerist, where Jared answers law firm marketing or management questions from actually attorneys. In particular, the question this time is about billing, and is summed up with this quote:

“I run my own firm, I feel like I never have money, and then I realize I haven’t billed anyone for 3 months.”

It’s an in-depth article by a lawyer who has faced these issues, and he offers advice, including get it upfront, eCommerce – make it super easy! – and don’t get lost in the work for a non-paying clients. It’s awkward asking for things, no getting past that, and unfortunately you can find yourself in an adversarial situation with a client you were just recently working side by side with, which can make it even more awkward. As we find out later with Sarah, the best way to handle these situations is to head them off at the pass, and there are solutions available to assist. As Jared closes with:

“If you want to take home the money you’re making, it’s time to start paying attention to your accounts receivable, and to act to reduce that figure simultaneously. Get paid early, and often; and, maybe you’ll finally be able to afford that Plymouth Superbird.”

Providing Real Solutions For Billing and Accounts Receivable for Law Firms

Sarah Schauff holds a JD degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She has worked for various companies Including a stop at the legal department of Google before leaving the practice of law become the founder and CEO of Headnote, the leading provider of legal billing software dedicated to helping lawyers get paid faster and more efficiently. It is this endeavor that has brought her to the LAWsome studios today and we are so grateful she could join us.

Learn more about Sarah Schaaf  and HeadNote HERE

Get More Information About Law Firm Billing, Accounts Receivable for Lawyers

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about dealing with getting paid, accounts receivable and billing solutions for law firms.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ep 76 – Positivity in Your Law Firm

We discuss an article from AboveTheLaw.com on how lawyers can cultivate a positive outlook, and we interview divorce lawyer and positivity guru Leigh Daniel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maintaining A Positive Outlook for Lawyers – Is This A Joke?

Today’s HotTake comes to us from one of our favorite sources – AboveTheLaw.com, “6 Tips For Lawyers On Maintaining A Positive Outlook,” by Gary J. Ross. At first I thought this was written as sarcasm, but then I realized that NOT taking itself so seriously was part of what it was trying to teach, and then I understood just how intentional this article was.

For lawyers especially, there are a lot of reasons to complain. Overwork, underwork, partner snubs, too much client contact or not enough. These are all well documented as well as the higher incidences of depression, suicide and substance abuse. Seems like a little positivity is hard to come by in law firms.

The author, a lawyer himself, is advocating the following:

Positive mantras, sing to yourself, encourage others to be positive, be happy, be physical.

You can’t disagree with the list – these things may help, singularly or all together, although singing and doing pushups while you’re cheering on your clients to look on the bright side while in a deposition may seem a little manic. It brings to mind the question of “positivity” and “faking it” and is there a difference? Does it matter? If it works,  it works, and he closes with this:

“If you’re in SmallLaw, there’s a lot against you… If you stop to think about it, it can seem overwhelming. So don’t stop and think about it. Chant your mantras. Sing your songs. Be happy, smile at the pain, lighten your step, and thank [insert applicable deity] for making you who you are.”

A Whirlwind of Positive Possibilities

With over 25 years experience as an attorney, Leigh Daniel doesn’t just practice family law in Huntsville, Alabama – Leigh is a swiss army knife of positivity – She is a certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer, a published author, and she’s also the founder of Project Positive Change – an organization of healers, artists, and business professionals, connecting its members with resources and empowerment that allow positive change to occur in their lives and communities.

Leigh also hosts her own Podcast “This Is Not Legal Advice,” featuring various professionals discussing how to live through a divorce and highlights ways to navigate family law in their life. Along with starting her own non-profit retreat center Leigh Acres, auditioning for a reality TV show, and raising 4 dogs 4 pigs and a duck, Leigh has been gracious enough to lend us some of her time today on the LAWsome podcast.

Learn more about Leigh Daniel

Get More Information About Positivity, Leadership and Building the Law Firm You Love

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about positive thinking, law firm leadership and how to make the law firm you want a reality.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

Ep 75 – Networking For Lawyers

We bust up some myths around networking and then we interview Stephanie Hanna from the Other 85 to learn what non-technical skills lawyers need to focus on to succeed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Not Fail At Networking

Today’s Hot Take is from one of our favorites, lawyerist.com “How to Network: Get Out and Do Things. With People.” by Sam Glover. It’s a humorous but very real take on what networking really is and how to not suck at it. Sam writes:

“Eventually, I figured out what most people who are successful at networking eventually figure out: Whatever Networking may be, real networking is just getting out and doing things with people. It doesn’t necessarily require an appointment or a suit or a stack of business cards. In fact, it is usually better without those things.”

In short – how to fail is by trying too hard. Have real, non-sales related interactions. Change your perspective from “What can you do for me,” to “What can I offer to them.” A little empathy goes a long way. Skip the gurus; learn to make friends. In closing:

“I know networking scares the heck out of the introverts, who would much rather sit and home and bang out LinkedIn updates. But no matter how effective your social media campaign (and I have my doubts), getting out and doing things with people is the most effective way to generate referrals, find mentors, and discover resources.”

The Other 85%

Stephanie Hanna has been coaching law students and attorneys for the past decade through her consulting firm, The Other 85, which believes that 85% of attorney success comes from mastering non-technical skills. Stephanie helps lawyers strengthen their networking, build their reputation, and develop their careers. Having been a prosecutor, judicial staff attorney, solo practitioner, magistrate, and law firm associate, Stephanie understands the dynamics at play in each environment and brings that experience to her work, and to the LAWsome podcast today to talk about The Other 85

Learn More About Stephanie Hanna

Get More Information About Networking, Leadership and Non-technical Skills for Law Firms

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about effective networking, law firm leadership and how to build effective relationships both inside and outside your firm.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—

Ep 74 – Leadership In Your Law Firm

We talk about law firm leadership and then discuss emotional intelligence, leadership, and business development for law firms with Natalie and Gordon Loeb from Loeb Leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Successful Law Firm Needs Both Leadership and Management

Today’s Hot Take is from lawpracticetoday.org, “Law Firm Leadership: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way,” by Josh Kalish. In it, he writes:

“Law firms need leadership, and not everyone at the firm is going to contribute. We know that. But every successful law firm needs inspiring leadership to be the voice of the vision and guide others to move forward into an uncertain future.”

To break it down, you need to understand:

– Know the difference between manager and leader
– Think of law firm as business
– Benchmark other businesses
– Clients validate journey
– Develop leadership
– Succession Planning

” Today’s law firm leaders get to decide how they develop, shape and socialize their vision to attorneys who are working heads-down on cases, as well as their openness for input into the vision, and ultimately, whether to weed out those that are not fully aligned with the firm’s vision. It’s a choice.
So lead, follow or get out of the way.”

The Law Firm Leadership Experts

Natalie and Gordon Loeb have been at the heart of legal leadership development for over 20 years, and have crystallized their experiences into Loeb Leadership, a law firm development agency that creates extraordinary leaders which positively impact morale, productivity, and profit. Prior to founding Loeb Leadership, Natalie was in charge of organizational development solutions at Skadden, Arps, Slate, MAher & Flom, and Gordon worked in several corporate and entrepreneurial roles before growing Loeb Leadership into what it is today – And now, their careers take a stunning turn with an appearance on the LAWsome podcast

Learn more about LOEB LEADERSHIP here

Get More Information About Marketing, Management and Leadership for Law Firms

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about law firm management, law firm leadership and how to create a culture of success in your firm.  If you want more LAWsome subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, and for the latest in legal marketing insights and information be sure to subscribe to the Consultwebs Newsletter here –>SUBSCRIBE<—