Law Firm Management

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<—

 

Ep 73 – Sales & Intake for Law Firms

On the show we talk about law firm sales strategies with an article from AttorneyAtWork.com and then Paul speaks with intake guru Chris Mullins about her new book “Law Firm Conversions”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Role of Law Firm Sales Professional

Today’s Hot Take is from AttorneyAtWork.com “Serving up Strategy? Save Law Firm Sales Pros a Seat at the Table” by Beth Cuzzone and John Hellerman. In it they cover the evolving role of the law firm sales professional, hitting on four key points:

“Results from the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) survey, released in November 2018, confirms that the role of law firm sales professional is becoming commonplace in the profession. But, despite the critical role sales professionals now play in driving bottom-line growth, the report reveals a disconnect in the way these professionals are valued and given a voice within their firms.”

The Pay Is Good, but the Stress Is High, and Responsibilities Vary Widely Firm-to-Firm
No consistent measurements, no clearly defined roles, responsibilities, no seat at the strategy table.

Rethink Titles – Law firms are serving an increasingly sophisticated client base. Firms need true sales professionals to help anticipate those clients’ needs and be proactive in their approach to service.

Find reasons to attend management meetings – Strategy from the top will be enacted by those downstream, a seat at the strategic table that includes top sales and marketing staff is key.

Align goals and sales objectives with firm revenue

WHAT CAN LAW FIRMS DO? – Law firms are serving an increasingly sophisticated client base. Firms need true sales professionals to help anticipate those clients’ needs and be proactive in their approach to service.
If you’re committed to “serving sales” — to your clients and prospects — to facilitate relationships, then you have to reserve your senior sales and marketing professionals a seat at the table.

Sales, Marketing and Intake Expert

Chris Mullins is a sales and marketing expert and the founder of Conversions, The Intake Academy, and Mullins Media Group. For more than 30 years through her proprietary and guided training programs, Chris, along with her team, have helped hundreds of law firms around the country convert more prospects into profitable clients
In her latest book, “Law Firm Conversions,” she covers every aspect of what any lawyer needs to do to ensure that phone calls – the first touchpoint with clients – convert to become profitable clients, and we are so grateful Chris could join us today on the show.

More ABOUT CHRIS

BUY THE BOOK “Law Firm Conversions” HERE

Get More Information About Marketing, Sales And Law Firm Intake

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for information and conversation about marketing, law firm management, optimizing your intake process 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 72 – Launching A Successful Law Firm

What does it take to start a law firm right out of law school? We dig into an article from Business Insider and then we talk to Sasha Kamfiroozie of Kam Law about her journey from law school to law firm founder.

 

 

 

 

How I Started My Own Law Firm Right After Law School

Today’s Hot Take is from businessinsider.com “How I Started My Own Law Firm Right After Law School” by Branigan Robertson. Great advice in this one, and it is sort of a primer to what we discuss in-depth with Sasha.  Branigan makes eight points:

1 – Ignore the haters
2 – Plan ahead – detailed business and marketing plan, submitted to mentors for review
3 – Pick only one area of law
4 – Pick the right area? Some areas are harder to get into than others –
5 – Build referral network
6 – Build a website immediately
7 – Join organizations and Listservs
8 – Remember clients don’t care about your GPA, degree, or age

Starting A Law Firm The Right Way

Sasha Kamfiroozie is the founder and principal attorney at Kam Law where she advises business leaders regarding corporate governance, entity selection, conflict resolution, and other legal business stuff Sasha got her BA from the University of San Diego, her JD from California Western and has worked as a litigator, project manager, and content marketer and now she brings her unique set of skills to the LAWsome podcast.

Learn more about Sasha Kamfiroozie

“Work with a company that takes the time to do a real in-depth analysis of your business.”

In this excerpt from the podcast Jake and Paul talk with Sasha about her experiences with digital marketing – what works, what doesn’t and what to look for when choosing an agency to work with:

Jake: Well, so specific to digital marketing for your law firm, like, what factors did you consider when you were evaluating agencies to work with? You know, when you’re saying you set your budget low, what else were some of the problems that you experienced, you know, getting your digital marketing program together? And then, how is it rocking now?

Sasha: Well, I think when I did it early on in practice, I didn’t really know what they were doing. I didn’t fully understand what they were doing. It was a small company. It was just two guys that did it. And I don’t feel like I ever got, like, a really good audit of my site or a recommendation of how they were going to solve it. It was just, “Yep, this is what we’re gonna do,” and it seemed like it was just very cookie cutter.

So I think it’s really important to work with a company that takes the time to do a real in-depth analysis of your business, who tells you what they think is wrong, and how they’re going to fix it. So I think choosing the company that seems to care the most and whose recommendations make the most sense is who you should go with. So for me, a big factor was also having a company that can explain what SEO is in plain English because it took me so long to really understand how it all works.

Jake: Yeah. And you’re not sure if you’re investing in the right part of the content spectrum, or do you have it? Is it optimized enough? We had Neil on the show and that was one of the questions is, like, a lot of lawyers are wondering…  search engine optimization is, like, an end goal. Like, “It’s done now. We’ve optimized everything.” That’s not how it goes. It keeps going and changing and you don’t know what you’re supposed to be investing in.

You know what? But there’s something about the humbleness that you mentioned earlier. I think a lot of people aren’t willing to admit that they don’t know those numbers or they’ll just be like, “Oh, that looks good. And I like what I see there, you know, it’s up and to the right,” but I think there’s a humbleness to you – that sort , “Do you wanna tell me what this is or how can I…?”

Do you think humbleness helped you listen to the recommendations? Because there’s a lot of people out there giving great recommendations for digital marketing. Neil Patel is one of them.

Sasha: Well, I think one of the things that I like about NPD is that there’s a team assigned to me that’s in contact with me kind of regularly. And, you know, I kind of adjust that when I’m really busy and pull back on the number of meetings that I have with them, but they’re always working on evolving the strategy as we see the results. And I think that’s really important. For example, we started with estate planning as my target because I’ve been in that space for many years and it was just an easy space. It was sort of the lowest cost to really rank high there. It’s not very competitive here in San Diego.

And now that we’ve made traction in that space for the past, I guess, about a year, we’re shifting over to the corporate work, which is, the work that I’m really, really enjoying and I’m really looking to build up. But that space is much more competitive and more expensive. So I guess you would want to work with a company that takes a full look at your site.

So now, we’ve been evolving my site to make it a little bit friendlier for potential clients, to include a lot more of the business work that I do since as I mentioned, I was much more heavy in trusts and estates until a couple of years ago. So I think setting things up, constantly being open to their recommendations, and also pushing back.

I have a team that if I push back will come back to me with other strategies and start to understand, you know, what are the things that I’m comfortable with and not comfortable with. As an attorney, ethics are really, really important to us. And so having that evolving strategy has worked really well for my site and now we’re looking at other strategies like shifting from SEO. We’re not taking away from the SEO but now adding the PPC. So I’m also much more comfortable I think spending more and more money as I’m seeing the company have good results.

Get More Information About Marketing and The Business of  Running A Law Firm

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for more information and conversation about online marketing, law firm management, growing your business 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 70 – Time Tracking & Practice Management for Law Firms

We talk about legal practice management and then interview Patrick Vernallis from the law firm management software company Bill4Time, to discover how lawyers are running the practice of tomorrow, today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Law Firm Disruption & Technology

Today’s Hot Take comes to us from Knowledge@Wharton, called,”What’s Really Driving Disruption (It’s Not Technology), ” by Harvard professor Thales Teixeira.  In this article, which is actually a podcast transcription, they explain why customer behavior, not technology, ultimately drives disruption.

“The emergence of a new technology is often cited as what drives the disruption of an industry or business. But that’s not true in most cases. Instead, startups disrupt established companies by decoupling the customer value chain — picking one aspect of the business and doing it better than the incumbent.”

When you get down to the root of it, it’s customers that drive change and create opportunities to innovate; and if your innovations or tech fixes don’t come from the client-centric model, your putting a fancy band-aid on a hemorrhaging flesh wound. Efficiency is nice, and we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t strive to work smarter and not harder, but if you don’t weave those efficiencies into your tapestry of client experience, when they step back to look at the finished work  it will be an uninspiring piece that doesn’t differentiate you from the same service they could have received anywhere else.

Most business owners want it to be easier for them – which is good, it should be easy to get with – but most folks are disillusioned with trying to fix their businesses, indeed they are NOT embracing tech or change or anything because “What’s the ROI there?”

So in reality, failing to adapt your law firm to customer behaviors and expectations will be what disrupts your business model, and the whole enchilada is headed there. Who will make it in the future?  – lawyers seeking to find where they can drive value for clients within their processes. Understand yourself – Get the tech, then staff and measure appropriately.

Innovating and Working to Help Law Firms Be More Efficient, Productive, and Growth Driven.

Patrick Vernallis is Product Manager at Bill4Time – the go-to-choice for lawyers looking for an affordable, efficient, and easy-to-use legal practice management software. Patrick got his BA from St. Lawrence University, worked in the Pennsylvania court system as a docket assistant clerk and audio technologist, and now he brings his special suite of skills to the LAWsome podcast to talk about managing law firms and Bill4Time

Bill4Time

“What gets measured gets managed.”

In this excerpt from the podcast Jake and Paul talk with Patrick about setting goals, measuring results and how you can use tech to get a handle on both of them: 

Patrick: I think one of the coolest features that we worked on this year was our performance targets. Now, backing up a little bit. When planning our dashboard, we were thinking about the personas and the types of users who would use the dashboard, whether organizationally, tactically, what have you. And every persona that we came up with has a competitive value to them. So, with these performance targets, we looked at billable and resource utilization rates across attorneys and determined that attorneys are competing with each other in the courtroom, maybe with each other within their firm and most definitely with themselves, making sure that they’re beating their goals that they’ve set.

So, we created this performance targets feature where a user can set how many hours they expect to work each month, both as a resource for their firm and then straight billable hours. And they can track that in real time on their dashboard as they get closer and closer to surpassing their goal. And this feature has been out for about two or three months now. And in the tracking that we have, we’ve seen that users who adopt this feature bill more hours the next month. I mean, that just is your bottom line growing.

You know, if you’re setting a goal, “I’m gonna bill this many hours,” and then you do it, and the next month, you set a higher goal, this is Bill4Time encouraging you to bill more hours and to make more money in a way that the user is not even aware necessarily that they’re competing with themselves, they’re just trying to meet their goals. But at the end of the day, they’re making more money and this is the kind of feature we want to give our users.

Jake: And it’s weird because you wouldn’t know if you were making more money if you didn’t know where you were. Like, you need to know these things. But I’m still wondering – because this sounds amazing that you have all these things – but are there are still people who have Bill4Time that are like, “It just didn’t help me. I just didn’t know, just feels too much.”

Or they don’t know how to apply the dashboard to the sensibility of the revenue generation of growing a business. Maybe they’re just… I mean, do you think people will adopt this because they like technology or is it because you know you need to grow your business? I think there’s something that is hidden in all of those metrics where you’re like, “If you get into this, you can measure yourself and then you can grow and expand because you’re measuring things.” But if you’re not measuring things, if you’re not even thinking like that, no dashboard could help you. Because some people are like, “This tech stuff just doesn’t work.” We hear it all the time. “Marketing and advertising, it just doesn’t work.” And you’re like, “Mmh, is that true?”

Patrick: Yeah. Well, I mean, as you know how the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” And another one of our core competencies in Bill4Time is really strong, strong reporting features. And so we wanted to bring that analytics from kind of like, boring-looking Excel table style reports to a beautiful visualized dashboard. And when we kicked off this dashboard project, we did have a legacy dashboard from before, that was admittedly a little beige, a little dated. And so we didn’t just bring forward the design, but we actually brought forward all of the existing analytics and data entry tools that we had before. So, for a lot of our users, visually, it’s been an adjustment, but the same functionality that they’ve already become accustomed to is available in this new version. And so, once they can adjust to the new style, they can then grow into this dashboard and build out. You know, if they’re a manager, maybe monitoring fits the different teams that they have. Or if they’re an accounting persona type user, build out collections and realization tables right on their dashboard, they can see the information in real time without having to generate a clunky report.

So, it is something that we expect users to adopt over time. You know, I don’t think anybody is setting a performance target for themselves on the first day they sign up for Bill4Time, but once they get comfortable with the system, they can really maximize the effectiveness of the tools that we’ve got. And it really circles back to what I said before. Our customer support team is half the product and we can train you up on how to use these users, how to make the most of the system, quick tips, tricks, and things that ultimately help you save money. So, with the strong relationships our agents have with the customers who’ve come to us, you know, it’s something that starts with the foundation of our core competencies, timekeeping, reporting, but builds. And that human touch gives our customers a way to trust that what we’re giving them is gonna help them grow and practice better, ultimately.

Get More Information About Time Tracking, Practice Management and Bill4Time

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for more information and conversation about setting goals, measuring your results, improving your law firm’s income with Bill4Time 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 69 – Client Service Is Your Practice

We talk about client development and relations – and then we interview author, lawyer, and mediocre runner, David Kempston, about his book “That’s Why They Call It Practicing The Law”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Client Development for Law Firms – What Is This?

The article in today’s Hot Take is from AboveTheLaw.com “Lawyers: Don’t Make These Client Development Mistakes In 2019” by Cordell Parvin. Full disclosure, he works for a recruiting company called Lateral Link, so it is not unbiased, but he does have many years of experience from which to draw upon and offers a list of “how not to mess up” points that are:

Just do good work
Don’t be a generalist
Don’t try to be a salesman
Don’t just focus on attracting new clients
Don’t focus your attention on the wrong clients
Don’t fail to differentiate yourself
Don’t fail to prepare a business plan
Don’t fail to operate as a team

These are all good points, but unfortunately there isn’t a lot of depth and definition to most of them. Each one of these could probably stand on its own as the topic of an article, but I guess as a summary it’s not bad. He does have a great quote:

“ It quickly became apparent that client development is about relationship building and client management.” This is a great point, and fortunately we were able to discuss in depth with David in the interview.

That’s Why They Call It Practicing The Law

David Kempston was born and educated on the West Coast. He moved to Minnesota to attend law school over 29 years ago. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1992 (Magna Cum Laude and Order of the Coif), He has spent over 26 years as a litigator—primarily handling workers compensation claims. David believes focusing on the attorney-client relationship will lead to excellent lawyering—and his book, That’s Why They Call It Practicing Law, demonstrates how. This practical book encourages lawyers to do the ordinary tasks better. After arranging our stars, we’re lucky enough to get David on the show today to talk about this gem

@attorneydbk

“We All Have Time To Do That Which We Think Is Important.”

In this excerpt from the podcast Jake and Paul talk with David about mistakes lawyers make with client communications, how to demonstrate care and set expectations to your advantage: 

Paul: I think you make an excellent point that you may not be…not you personally, but I’m saying in general, someone may not be the most affable person but, you know, good people skills can just be a timely response to an e-mail, maybe an e-mail response that’s more than one sentence. Something like that. Just throwing these things out there. But I’m curious, like, what’s the one most common error or area that you think lawyers fail at when it comes to customer service?

David: Great question and my answer, my pet peeve is lawyers who don’t return phone calls or in this era who don’t respond. You know, lawyers love to talk about how busy they are, “I’m so busy. I’m so busy. I’m so busy.” Sure, great, you know what, we’re all busy. But I will tell you a little secret, we all have time to do that which we think is important. In fact, we all do that which we think is important typically. And I hear more gripes from clients that are out kicking tires, you know, maybe clients are coming in…not my client, but someone saying, “Hey, I’ve got this lawyer, I’ve got this case, I never hear back from my lawyer, what’s going on?” So I try to get clients…actually and in my book, I talk about that. I say, one way to demonstrate care or to improve the relationship is to be timely, you know, and give a client expectation ahead of time.

So when I meet with what I call a potential client, and I’m giving them that, and I’m learning their story, and I’m explaining the law to them. I may or may not end up representing them, but one of the things that I tell them is if they do have questions they can follow up and that they will hear back from me within 24 hours, unless I’m dead, out of town, or something bad happened. And so I give a client [an expectation]…and then as I move into the relationship, the client has an expectation, you know, “I’m gonna hear back from Dave within 24 hours.” And usually it’s sooner than that. But that’s the outside. And sometimes it’s as simple as me coming up for air after trying a case and saying, “Hey, I’m buried, got your e-mail I’m going to follow up with you in another day.” But at least that way the client knows that I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet, and I haven’t forgotten about them. And what I found if I establish the 24 hour rule, you don’t get the three e-mails. You know, first e-mail, “Hey, here’s my question.” Second e-mail, “Hey, did you get my first e-mail?” … Third e-mail, irritated all in caps, you know, “WHERE ARE YOU?” You avoid that kind of stuff.

Get More Information About Building The Practice You Want With Good Client Service

Be sure to listen to the entire podcast episode for more information and conversation about client service, building good client relationship habits, David’s book 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<—

David’s latest book That’s Why They Call It Practicing Law is available on Amazon HERE