The legal profession is constantly changing, and there’s a lot attorneys need to know these days in order to ensure their firms have a chance to be successful. In this guide we’ll help prepare lawyers for everything that may come their way in 2022. We’ll be discussing COVID-19, leadership, lawyer wellness, legal tech adoption, hiring new staff, marketing, media relations, the business of law and much more! Along the way you’ll get to hear from our writing staff and company CEO. Additionally, you’ll receive invaluable insight from our friends at leahpresser.com, Nanato Media, OnTrac Coaching, Reputation Ink, and The Legal Burnout Solution. We hope the information below helps lead you to tremendous success in the new year.
Stories Featured In This Guide:
- A Closer Look At How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Legal World
- Tips From Dr. Monica Delgado On Navigating COVID-19
- 5 Tips For Law Firm Leaders In 2022
- Must-Read Books For Law Firm Leaders In 2022
- Embracing The Ultimate Mindset For Success In 2022
- Tips From Lawyer Coach Doug Brown On Better Managing Your Work Days
- Checking In On The State Of Lawyer Mental Health
- 5 Tips For Avoiding Occupational Burnout In 2022
- Attorney Benjamin Luftman Shares The Story Of How Legal Tech Helped Elevate His Firm
- Survey Says!
- The Great Resignation- Law Firm HR for 2022
- Tips From Lawyer Coach Alay Yajnik On Hiring New Staff
- 5 Tips For Marketing To Hispanic Clients In 2022
- Explore Our Let’s Talk Legal Marketing Communities
- 5 Tips to Ensure Your Law Firm Blog Evolves with the Times & Attracts the Right Readers
- Tips From Jason Hennessey On Simplifying Law Firm SEO
- 5 Ways To Get More Media Coverage For Your Firm In 2022
- The Everything Except The Law Podcast Will Be Returning For A Third Year
- Why Most Lawyers Are Not Prone To The Business Of Law
- 2022 Legal Conference Schedule
- 5 Reasons To Invest In An Answering Service For 2022
- Real Lawyers Share Their Answering Legal Stories
A Closer Look At How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Legal World
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in massive changes for the legal industry, many of which are highlighted in resources such as the 2021 Clio Legal Trends Report. Here are some of the biggest changes to make note of.
In-Person Interaction No Longer Drives Client Experiences
One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen over the past few years is a massive increase in the use of virtual communications. If you didn’t know how to use video chat software before the pandemic began, you almost certainly do now.
Consumers’ affinity for communicating remotely via virtual methods is quite apparent in the Clio trends report data. In the 2018 edition of the report, only 23% of consumers were open to the idea of working with a lawyer remotely. In the 2021 edition, 79% of survey respondents saw the option to work remotely as an important factor that would have a positive influence on their decision to hire a lawyer. A truly incredible increase for just a three year period of time.
So how should lawyers respond to this news? The best thing law firms can do for their clients is offer as many communication avenues as possible. According to the 2021 Clio Legal Trends Report, 67% of consumers said they would look for a lawyer offering both remote and in-person options when searching for an attorney. This figure increased to 79% among consumers who had hired a lawyer in the past.
Giving your clients the ability to communicate either via video conference or a secure client portal all throughout the legal process appears to be an absolute must these days. Some clients may still want to come by your office and talk, but others will quickly grow frustrated by a lack of virtual communication options. Not to mention, adopting new virtual communication technology may open up new opportunities for firms looking to work with clients outside of their local area.
Legal Consumers Want More Payment Options
Attorneys need to be open to adopting new technology for their firm, and this is especially true when it comes to adopting legal payment technology. Data from the most recent legal trends report shows that today’s consumers have a strong preference for paying online. When asked for their preferred payment method, consumers selected online payments (66%) as their top choice, followed by automated payments (61%) and payments via mobile app (61%). In-person payments (59%) sat near the bottom of that list.
With the help of companies like LawPay, getting your firm equipped to handle online payments and payments via credit card is incredibly simple, and can be done with little effort on the managing attorney’s part. And during a time in which consumers may be hesitant to make an in-office visit due to health concerns, or feel that making such a trip just to hand in a check is too much of a chore, offering online payment options can actually be the difference between winning over or losing out on a client.
“It should be easy for clients to give you money,” said attorney Ruth Carter in our recent Law Office Management Survey Series post. “And don’t charge clients who use credit cards extra. The percentage that the credit card processor gets is the cost of doing business. Assume every client will be paying with a credit card and factor in the cost when you set your hourly rate.”
Jan Sander of PerformLaw had similar thoughts to Ruth. “For consumer-oriented practices, accepting these forms of payments is critical to client experience,” Sander said in our survey series post this past December. “Individual clients are used to credit card and online payments in their daily lives, and not accepting them is becoming increasingly inconvenient.”
Letting Employees Work From Home Could Be The New Norm
The early days of the pandemic forced just about every law firm to have their staff work virtually from home. And while at the time it may have felt like a major inconvenience, those running law firms are now starting to think differently about having their employees work out of office. This was certainly the case for attorney Benjamin Luftman, who you’ll hear more about later in this guide. Luftman, a partner at Luftman, Heck & Associates, saw his staff end up thriving under remote working conditions.
“All of our attorneys and staff had everything they needed at home,” Luftman told our podcast this past fall. “We have an office manager who made sure that got done, and we have a technology company that services us, so it was all done very quickly. And quite frankly, because of how successful it’s been, and because our productivity didn’t go and lapse… we actually put out a draft to our company in September that we’re going to keep working remote for the time being.”
Many industry experts, such as lawyer coach Gary Mitchell, believe that offering the employees the opportunity to work remotely, could make it easier for attorneys to bring in top talent to their practice.
“This pandemic was a real kick in the shorts for the legal industry,” Mitchell said in our Future of Law Survey Series blog post. “It forced firms out of the dark ages when it comes to working virtually. That opens up the talent pool to previously ignored talent. Single Moms, veteran lawyers who aren’t ready to retire but don’t want to be in the office 60 hours a week, others that would prefer to work from home part time but have immense talent and experience. It has caused many people to reflect on their lives and careers by taking inventory and taking action to improve conditions.”
Keep up with all of the most recent COVID-19 developments in the legal world by regularly visiting the four sites linked below.
The 2021 Clio Legal Trends report revealed that Gen X has the highest preference (72%) for working remotely with a lawyer. Baby Boomers are the least likely to expect remote options, yet still 59% of them want to work remotely with their lawyer.
Tips From Dr. Monica Delgado On Navigating COVID-19
While COVID-19 still casts a big shadow over the legal community, law firms seem to be getting better at operating under pandemic conditions. One of the biggest reasons for this has been because of the guidance they’ve received from medical professionals. This past August, our podcast got to have an in-depth sitdown with one of those professionals.
Dr. Monica Delgado was kind enough to join us on our “Everything Except The Law” podcast, and share some advice on how lawyers can best go about transitioning into a post-COVID state. Delgado is a Doctor of Psychology and an executive coach with the law firm Harris St. Laurent & Wechsler LLP in New York City. She has 20 years of experience working with individuals involved in high-stakes legal cases.
Here are a few of the top tips Dr. Delgado shared during our conversation.
The Way You Start Your Day Matters A Great Deal
Many of us are guilty of reaching for our smartphones or running to our laptops the second we wake up in the morning. According to Dr. Delgado, this may not be the best habit.
“My recommendation would be from the minute you open your eyes (in the morning) to give yourself a moment to get in the zone,” Dr. Delgado said.
Oddly enough, it was watching Formula One racing that inspired this recommendation.
“I was watching the mannerisms of the drivers, and as they go to get into the car, there’s a lot about their composure that starts to change,” Dr. Delgado noted. “They’re really getting ready, because in a few seconds the light is gonna go off and it’s on. It was amazing just to see the calmness come over them, and I thought to myself ‘what do I do to be in the zone’. If opening the door and going outside is the green light to go deal with business, what do I do to make sure that I’m prepared?… How can I focus so that by the time I walk out of here I’ve at least given myself a nice amount of time to present the best self that I can?”
Lawyers may be wise to start thinking about this question more carefully in 2022 and dedicating more of their morning towards mental preparation.
Don’t Just Assume Your Employees Are Doing Fine
The COVID-19 has impacted all of us differently. For some, dealing with isolation from others and a ton of uncertainty about the future has been tough to handle. During these unprecedented times, it’s important for those running law firms to be in active communication with all of their staff members, even those who outwardly seem to be doing fine.
“Like any management 101 book would tell you, check in with your staff frequently,” Dr. Delgado said. “Even prior to COVID, that’s a skill that’s really very necessary I think. When you have a life or death experience like what we’ve gone through, that just raises the ante a little bit more.”
During our discussion with Dr. Delgado, she noted that pandemic conditions created a drastic shift in how those in charge went about interacting with their employees. Conversations about personal matters and individual well-being seemed to increase, something that Dr. Delado hopes to see continue moving forward.
“The one thing we saw about the pandemic is that boundaries got blurred to some degree,” Dr. Delgado said. “When boundaries get blurred, what happens is the guy that was just your boss and didn’t really ask you much, is now asking a little bit more. And that was very appropriate considering the circumstances. I think during COVID, a lot of people showed that they were able to continue to have this dialogue with their staff about ‘how are you doing’, ‘what’s going on at home’… I think it was really important for (those running firms) to really know where everybody was at emotionally.”
With COVID-19 still playing an active role in our daily lives, law firm employers should still be heeding Dr. Delgado’s advice, and checking in with everyone at their practice throughout 2022.
Maintaining The Trust Of Clients Requires Hard Work And Follow-Up
Building relationships with legal consumers has always been challenging. Since the spring of 2020, it’s become even more difficult, as mistrust has generally increased amongst all of us.
“2020 highlighted suspiciousness to a degree that I think most of us had never really collectively all come together about,” Dr. Delgado said. “In the legal field, you’re always suspicious about the otherside. You always have that aspect present in your work. Take that into a huge global scale, and now we don’t know what to believe at all. I felt suspicious about so many things… Everybody was just feeling doubtful, and doubting the credibility of what was coming at them.”
So what must lawyers do to maintain the trust of their clients? According to Dr. Delgado, being highly communicative and accountable is a good start, especially when attorneys fail to get something done for a client they’re serving.
“If I say to a client, ‘I’ll call you later today, and I’ll make sure I have all of that discovery for you reviewed and ready to go’, and then it comes 2 o’clock and I realize I’m not going to be able to meet that promise, I need to get on the phone and call them,” Dr. Delgado said. “Let the client know, there’s been an adjustment to what it is that I promised and I need to basically renegotiate it with them.”
The bottom line: making sure your clients know that you care about them and their case. And when in doubt, reach out!
“Being in the pandemic, I think people started looking at the things that they were taking for granted and weren’t acknowledging,” Dr. Delgado said. “This is a way to demonstrate to the people in this relationship that you’re committed to it.”
Want more tips from Dr. Delgado?
Watch her full appearance on our “Everything Except The Law” podcast below.
5 Tips For Law Firm Leaders In 2022
Written By Brooke Shatles – CEO of Answering Legal
A new year can mark the start of a new beginning. We can reinvent ourselves at any time, but it always feels appropriate to evaluate and get introspective at the start of the new calendar. If you’re feeling as though you need some new direction for the start of 2022, check out my top five recommendations for law firm leaders right now.
1- Adopt A New Technology For Your Firm
Chances are, your firm is not using technology to its full potential. Even if you’re already using a Case Management Software (CMS), a legally compliant payment platform, document automation, or some other legal technology, make it your focus to adopt a technology for your firm that will allow you to automate a process and make your firm more accessible to clients.
Here are some of our favorites that we recommend you take a look at!
2- Streamline Processes
You might be reading this thinking to yourself, “Sure, I have a process for the way we do everything at my firm!” I charge you to reevaluate that statement. Firstly, if you don’t have a written process for the way things happen at your firm, referring to abstractions like legal intake, billing, filing, customer service, etc, write it out. When you are hiring new people and attempting to train them, these materials become invaluable tools for your new hires.
Secondly, if you ask your staff what the process is for a certain function at your firm and you receive anything other than identical answers from them, it’s time to solidify that process. By establishing a protocol in your firm, you cut down on potential mistakes, speed up each of these processes, and lessen the amount of circumstances where you need to troubleshoot and intervene with your staff, so that you can focus more on growing your firm.
3- Analyze Your Performance
Hey! This one goes along really well with “Adopt a new technology for your firm,” because if you don’t have a tool that provides you with business intelligence, you can use that as your adoption of a new technology!
If you aren’t analyzing your firm’s performance, you won’t be able to make objective decisions and changes about where to improve. For example: if you are getting a lot of callers to your law firm, but those callers are only becoming paying clients five percent of the time, you’ll want to find out why the conversion rate is so low. Taking a look at your processes like legal intake, customer service, following up with your callers, and the process of getting them to agree to hire you could lead to an increase in conversions. Get an understanding of your current performance so that you can compare it in the future!
4- Revisit Your Intake Process
Again, this goes along with everything else we’ve been talking about so far, but your intake process deserves its own section. Why? Because new clients are the lifeblood of your business, and having a process that helps convert potential clients into paying customers is part of what keeps your business afloat! Here are some tips for your legal intake process:
Have A Script
Sounds obvious, right? But having a script in place will make your business sound more professional to callers. Make sure to train your team to answer the phone the same professional and polite way each time.
Have A Set Of Guidelines
Arm your answering team with the information about how you want them to answer the phones and represent your business. Give them the standard operating procedure on things like when the caller can expect to hear back from the attorney, how billing works, where they can access documents, etc. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what happens when you empower your employees.
Develop 4-5 Qualifying Questions
It’s tempting to ask your callers a ton of questions to get the right information from them instantly, so that you can begin working on their case, but asking too many questions sends the wrong message to people who might be reaching out to you not having already made a decision about whether or not to hire you. By asking 4-5 targeted questions that give you some important insights about the caller’s potential case, you can have a conversation with the caller wherein you can provide answers to their questions, explain your process to them, and how they’ll move forward with you when they’re ready to hire you.
Create Actionable Next Steps
This is arguably the most important part of the legal intake process. When you define the next steps with your callers, you are silently starting to build an agreement with them. The modern consumer wants to participate in the process, and know the details of what’s happening. So, bring them along! Here are some easy, actionable next steps you can give your callers:
- Sign and return a retainer agreement
- Schedule a zoom/in-person consultation
- Receive some literature about the process that can empower them to make the right decision for them
5- Upgrade One Part Of Your Client’s Journey
Here’s my personal favorite of the recommendations I’m making for law firms in 2022. A lot of law firms that I deal with are blissfully unaware of their client journey, so let’s explain what the client journey is.
The client journey is the process in which a client starts their case with your firm, all the way through to the resolution. This includes anything and everything in between. Here are some examples:
- Getting started with your firm
- Signing agreements/documents
- Getting updates on where there case is
- Billing/payment plans
- Doctors’ visits
- Interviews, hearings, court appearances, etc.
- Communicating with your firm
- Medium of communication (email, text message, phone call, mail, etc.)
The truth is, the happier you can keep your clients, the more clients you will keep. The more clients you keep, the more referrals and positive reviews you will receive! Upgrading just one part of your client’s journey could lead to massive indirect returns this year for your firm.
What are you waiting for? 2022 is underway!
About The Author Brooke Shatles is the CEO of Answering Legal, a premier answering service that caters exclusively to attorneys. Brooke founded the company in 2012 and quickly established the company in the answering service industry. Brooke’s ability to inspire, motivate, and make others feel welcome allowed her to grow the company rapidly, and establish a work culture that invites all to do good work, make good money, and enjoy their time in the workplace.
Must-Read Books For Law Firm Leaders In 2022
There was a lot going on in 2021, so we won’t blame you if you haven’t done much reading over the past year. But, let’s make 2022 the year we get back to educational reading. For those running firms that are looking to improve upon the way they currently do business, and educate themselves on the latest trends of the legal world, the following four books are absolute must-reads.
The Hispanic community is one of the fastest-growing legal markets in the country. Unfortunately, most lawyers struggle to approach it, clinging to stereotypes of cultural clichés, language barriers, and outdated technology. “Beyond Se Habla Español” offers education on how to make your firm the best, most relevant choice for the Hispanic community. Discover the most effective digital strategies for reaching this target audience while avoiding your competitors’ mistakes. Check out the clip below to get a preview of the book from co-author Liel Levy.
Jason Hennessey has spent the past two decades reverse-engineering the Google algorithm, and now he’s sharing the SEO secrets that have helped him earn more than $500 million in new cases for his clients. In his new book, Hennessey helps simplify SEO for attorneys, offering practical tools and techniques that won’t leave lawyers feeling overwhelmed by technical complexity. After reading this book, those running law firms will know exactly what to look for when hiring an SEO expert or agency. Check out the clip below to hear Jason talk about his inspiration for writing this book.
Long-time business advisor Alay Yajnik has put together a proven system for hiring high quality people for any role in your law firm, and shares it in his 2019 release “Staffing Up”. This book is simple, practical, and fast so that it’s easy to use, effective to apply, and saves lawyers time. Topics covered include how to position your firm for hiring success, how to prevent costly hiring mistakes and how to retain your best employees for years. Check out the clip below to see Alay share tips for building your law office dream team.
If you’re a lawyer struggling to manage time, earn money and live a fulfilling legal life, there’s no need to abandon your dreams. In this book, Ali Katz shows you how to use your most valuable asset—your law degree—for the good of families, small businesses, and most importantly, your well-being. Pulling from her own journey, Ali shares the roadmap she followed and insights she found that made her success possible. The old law business model is broken. It’s time to replace it with one that works for you, your family, and your clients. Check out the clip below to see Ali discuss the biggest issues with the current law firm business model.
Have You Heard About Our Book Club?
At Answering Legal we’re always tracking the latest and greatest legal reads for attorneys and interviewing top legal authors. The best way for busy attorneys to stay up to date on the books they need to be reading, is by following along with our book club. On this page we share info on all of our top book recommendations. You can also follow the Answering Legal Book Club on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Embracing The Ultimate Mindset For Success In 2022
Story Written By Gary Mitchell – Business Coach at OnTrac Coaching
It’s 2022 and this pandemic is still with us. It’s created many challenges for all of us and lawyers are not exempt. But it has also provided new opportunities to look at the way you grow your practice or firm. The first and most important 1st step, in my humble opinion, is to get and maintain an ultimate mindset.
I truly believe that attitude is 90% of everything. When you have a positive attitude, you will learn what you need to, you will work as hard as you have to, and you will get it done! My most successful clients have proven this to be true over and over again.
You have been trained to learn. So, with the right attitude, and when you are given the right tools and approaches and turned in the right direction, you learn fast, and see results quickly.
Here are some proven tips my clients have embraced to create that ultimate mindset.
Tip #1: It’s not a weakness to ask for help
Do you honestly believe that an Olympian reaches the podium without guidance, support, and coaching? No. If not an athlete, what about your favorite singer, or actor? Do they rise to the top all on their own? No.
Tip #2: Get to the start line
Half the battle is just showing up. Just getting started. It’s all mindset. So just start.
Tip #3: Small chunks
For anything in life, if we look at the big picture all at once, it’s overwhelming. Break it down into small steps, or chunks. When you take too much on, for most of us humans, it’s overwhelming. So, you put off getting started, you procrastinate. You become stalled.
Tip #4: Nike
When you read or hear that word, Nike, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Nike = Just do it! Don’t overthink it. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t spend all of your time and energy focused on why or how it can’t happen. Just make it happen.
Tip #5: Think entrepreneurial
Unfortunately, the most entrepreneurial lawyers I’ve known or heard about often leave the practice of law and go into another business. Under normal circumstances, being entrepreneurial is imperative to being successful at The Business of Law. With the added challenges of Covid-19, this is even more critical.
Tip #6: Come out stronger
I want you to imagine for a moment coming out of this pandemic stronger than where you were before it hit. What does that look like for you? What would you change if there was nothing holding you back?
There are three predominant pitfalls I see lawyers falling prey to.
Pitfall #1: Complacency
The first one, and it’s known to be right up there as a top business-killing state of mind, is complacency.
When things are good, when you are busy, when you are not too concerned about where your next client or file is coming from, you will tend to rest on your laurels. Don’t! You never know what is right around the corner. If Covid-19 has taught us nothing else, let it teach us this!
Some of the most successful businesses in history have fallen into this trap. Remember Blackberry? There was a time when nearly every lawyer on the planet used Blackberry. What happened? The CEO of Blackberry became distracted with trying to bring an NHL team to Hamilton, Ontario. He rested on his laurels and became complacent. As a result, the company halted its pursuit of innovation and excellence. They didn’t keep an eye on their competition and took their success for granted.
And then one day, seemingly out of the blue, Apple came out with the iPhone and almost put the Blackberry out of business. Today, the company is a mere fraction of what it once was. Don’t be a Blackberry!
Pitfall #2: Reaching for the easy button
Another major pitfall I see lawyers falling prey to is that constant desire to find the ‘easy button’. There is no easy way to succeed. There is no magic pill. No magic formula. Have a plan. Execute your plan. Work hard. Make revisions as needed. And never let up!
Pitfall #3: Don’t be afraid to be first
It’s classic for lawyers to wait until your competitor tries something before trying it yourself. This is a result of being highly risk-averse. Your 1st fear is that it fails. Your 2nd fear is that if you are successful in introducing something new to the legal marketplace, then it wouldn’t be too long before your competitors catch up. If you get there first and do it well, there are steps you can take to stay first and way out in front of your competition! I suggest you read “Blue Ocean Strategy”, by W. Chan Kim, and Renee A. Mauborgne.
Success starts with a positive attitude and ultimate mindset. Start your 2022 off on the right track.
About The Author: Gary Mitchell is a Business Coach to Attorneys. Author and Speaker at OnTrac® Coach. He is also the creator of the OnTrac® Practice Builder App for lawyers. He can be reached at [email protected] or 604-669-5235.
According to data from Clio, full-time lawyers work an average of 49.6 hours each week. 77% of lawyers work beyond regular business hours to catch up on work that didn’t get completed during the day.
Tips From Lawyer Coach Doug Brown On Better Managing Your Work Days
Back in January of 2021, we welcomed long-time attorney coach Doug Brown on to our “Everything Except The Law” podcast to offer guidance on an issue that has long plagued the lawyer community: time management.
While on our show, Brown was not shy about discussing the not so healthy relationship that exists between attorneys and time. “The lawyer’s relationship with time has been messed up for maybe all-time,” Brown said. “The truth is we can’t manage time. The clock happens and there’s nothing we can do to make it go faster or slow it down. But we can manage our relationship with time, the decisions we’re making about our time and how we manage our energy around time.”
Here are a few of the top tips Brown shared during our conversation.
Give Your Full Attention To The Task At Hand
These days while sitting in an office, it’s all too easy to find things to get distracted by. Our various devices are always presenting us with new notifications and clamoring for our attention. New emails never stop coming in. Phones are always ringing. Employees always have questions. It’s no wonder lawyers struggle to get important billable tasks done in a timely fashion.
While on our podcast, Brown sympathized with attorneys and their struggles with information overload. His best advice to overcoming this problem was for lawyers to be more intentional about how they go about working throughout the day.
“I have a very specific objective for the next 45 minutes and I’m going to shut myself down,” Brown said when describing the mindset lawyer’s should carry when trying to complete important tasks. “I don’t have any notifications on any device except for just a couple, but definitely not on my computer. And I’m going to sprint and get this done. And then I’m going to pop up for air and check my email and other things. And then I’m going to go sprint again.”
Avoiding distractions and going into a full sprint on a task will of course be much easier if lawyers are able to delegate certain tasks like checking emails or answering basic client questions to trusted colleagues. If you need tips for hiring new reliable team members, we’ll be covering that later in this guide.
Make The Most Of Your High-Energy Hours
Throughout the course of a work day, there are going to be times where our energy levels are quite high and times when we’re feeling extremely sluggish. Lawyers often don’t give this much consideration when mapping out a game plan for their work days. In fact, many attorneys don’t even come up with a game plan for their days at all.
According to Brown, a major key to improving work day efficiency is aligning the tasks that require high energy with the times of day when your energy is highest. Low-energy tasks like checking email or social media can be pushed for those times of day when your energy dips.
“I’m a morning person, so the very last thing I should do is check email in the morning,” Brown said. “I’m deciding the night before, what are the top three things (I need to get done) and I’m doing them first, because that’s when my energy’s best. And oftentimes, we’re wasting those hours on the menial stuff, and we’re saving our thinking work for 2 o’clock in the afternoon when there’s no brain cells left.”
Of course not everyone will find that they have their highest energy in the morning like Brown does. You’ll need to do some self-evaluation work on your own to figure out when it is you’re at your most productive.
It’s Okay To Have An Off Day
Trying to become more efficient and better manage our work days isn’t easy work, and according to Brown, it’s crucial to remember that time mastery is an always on-going process. Even once lawyers begin adopting better work habits, they are still likely to have the occasional messy day. And that’s okay.
“We say things about ourselves that we would never even imagine thinking about another person,” Brown said. “And when we screw up, and have a day where we don’t manage our time well, we get so brutal with ourselves that it’s very difficult to recover. So part of the whole mastery of time, you have to get that you’re going to have great days and moments, and you’re going to have moments that stink, and that’s just all part of the process. Give yourself a break. The more you beat yourself up, the more you freeze up and the worse it gets.”
So while you continue to push yourself to grow and be better at your craft in 2022, also remember to be kind to yourself.
Want more tips from Doug Brown?
Last November, we teamed up with Doug for a special webinar presentation called “How To Grow Your Practice And Avoid Burnout Too”. The event covered five essential disciplines for managing your law firm, which can lead to more clients for your practice, and a more enjoyable legal life. Click here to watch it in full!
Checking In On The State Of Lawyer Wellness
When you combine one of the world’s most stress-inducing professions with a global pandemic, you’re bound to see a rise in wellness related issues. Here is some recent data to be aware of about the overall health of the legal community.
Attorney Stress Has Only Increased During The Pandemic
According to a 2021 ABA study, more than a third of lawyers (40%) reported that their overall work-related stress levels had increased during the pandemic. No one will be surprised by this news, but it’s still an alarming trend.
A 2021 survey from The American Lawyer highlighted this problem further, with 70.35% of attorneys saying that the COVID pandemic made their mental health worse. The survey revealed that isolation was the biggest contributor to worsening mental health during COVID. Working remotely, disruption in routine and fear of job loss were also answers shared by many.
This stress can of course be a contributing factor to more concerning attorney health issues. According to recent data from Law.com, 64% of attorneys suffer from anxiety, 31.2% feel depressed, 10.1% feel they have an alcohol problem, and 2.8% feel they have a drug problem.
Lawyers Are Having Trouble Escaping Their Work
Working from home has blurred the lines between work and personal time for many of us. According to recent data from Clio, 75% of lawyers report frequently or always working outside of regular business hours, and 39% of lawyers say these long hours negatively affect their personal lives.
In 2021, the ABA revealed that 25% of lawyers said they failed to take adequate breaks during the workday and 32% said they feel pressure to not take vacation time.
The Industry Still Has A Long Way To Go
According to the ABA, only 56% of lawyers surveyed agreed that their employers supported their mental health needs. The American Lawyer’s survey came back with very similar results, with just 53.83% of attorneys feeling their firm has made a large commitment to employee health due to COVID. So while it has been encouraging to see a major increase in wellness discussions in the legal community in recent years, clearly there is a lot more that needs to be done by those running firms to assist those who may be struggling with wellness issues.
Where lawyers can turn to for help with wellness issues:
- American Bar Association
- ABA Journal
- Lawyers Depression Project
- Lawyers With Depression
- Lights Camera Kale
- National Task Force On Lawyer Well-Being
- Stress & Resilience Institute
- The Lawyer, The Lion & The Laundry
- The Legal Burnout Solution
- The Mindful Law Group
- Thriving Lawyers Wellbeing Services
- Wellworks Consulting
Also be sure to check out Answering Legal’s Guide To Lawyer Wellness.
5 Tips For Avoiding Occupational Burnout In 2022
Story Written By Rebecca Howlett, Esq. and Cynthia Sharp, Esq. – Co-Founders of The Legal Burnout Solution
Even now, working under pressure for excessive hours without a break is viewed as a badge of honor in many sectors of the legal profession. Unfortunately, this well-entrenched culture has resulted in many lawyers becoming victims of burnout, as well as other mental health concerns.
Lawyer burnout, however, is neither a requirement nor a rite of passage. It can be prevented or managed provided that the individual attorney is willing to shift behaviors and take charge of their own well-being. Consider implementing even one of the following proactive steps to safeguard your health and legal practice:
Prioritize Your Physical Health
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn left us with this thought-provoking question: “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” As tempting as it may seem when we are “short on time,” don’t slack on taking care of your daily physiological needs:
- Eat a balanced diet. Nourishing our body with healthful foods is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. While food is a source of pleasure for most of us, keep in mind that it provides the fuel that keeps us running efficiently. Choose wisely. Planning your meals and shopping in advance will help you stick to your resolve.
- Establish a regular exercise program. Exercising for even 10 minutes per day supports both your physical and mental health, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and increasing energy levels.
- Practice good bedtime hygiene. Implement a routine that will help you get sufficient, quality sleep. Retire each evening at a set time, making sure to detox from screens for an hour or so before bed.
Be Intentional With Work-Life Balance
It’s all-too-easy to fall into the routine of working day and night. Many lost track of what day it was while practicing law at home during the pandemic and fell into the habit of working seven days a week. Such a trajectory is unsustainable and a recipe for burnout.
Nip this bad habit in the bud and actively implement (and enforce!) healthy work-life boundaries. Make a specific plan as to when you will be available to serve clients and respond to inquiries from colleagues, clients, and others. For example, we plan our schedules one year in advance, designating vacation days on the calendar in order to protect that valuable time. We also recommend mapping out your week in advance and scheduling in time for lunch, workouts, hobbies, and time with family and friends.
Set yourself up for success and be conscious about when and where you work. Commit to working a set number of hours each day and try to take weekends off. Be sure to “unplug” each day and do not check your emails once your workday ends. Finally, designate a work space or area instead of working at your dining room table, on the couch, or in bed.
Just Say No
To avoid burnout, you need to know (and respect) your limits, learn to say no and release the belief that you must prove yourself by working an inordinate number of hours. Learn to establish healthy boundaries and set realistic expectations with yourself and others. For example, don’t feel guilty about turning down work that is not a good fit. Step back and consider how you can lighten your load by delegating to colleagues and support staff.
Take A Break
Rest is not a reward, it’s a requirement. Build in time each day to relax and recharge. Don’t eat at your desk in front of your computer—actually take a lunch break! Get into nature—take a mid-day walk or “feed two birds with one scone” and eat your lunch outside. Plan and take vacations! Untether yourself from your phone and computer for the day when it’s a federal holiday or the weekend.
Find Healthy Ways To Relieve Stress
Contemplative practices can alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. These science-based practices help us be present in the moment and develop mindful awareness of our thoughts, which can promote our overall well-being. Find an activity that resonates with you personally, such as journaling, yoga, dance, contemplative reading, playing music, singing, walking, volunteering, or meditation. There are countless forms of mindfulness meditation practices so have an open mind and explore different methods until you find what works for you—e.g. loving kindness, grounding, or breathwork.
Moving toward positive change to curb burnout is possible once you make the decision to be the author of your life. Are you ready to take the first step toward preserving your personal well-being?
About the Authors: As practicing attorneys, Becky Howlett and Cynthia Sharp each experienced and overcame some of the all-too-common ills of the legal profession, including mental health concerns, addiction, and lawyer burnout. By sharing their stories, they hope to inspire individuals and organizations to take the necessary steps to protect and prioritize their health and well-being. Together they’ve founded the organization The Legal Burnout Solution, which you can learn more about here.
59% of lawyers who participated in the 2020 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report said that they used web-based software services or solutions. The report also revealed that 62% of law firms budget for technology.
Attorney Benjamin Luftman Shares The Story Of How Legal Tech Helped Elevate His Firm
We’ve had a lot of great legal tech conversations on our “Everything Except The Law” podcast, some of which have featured invaluable insight from CEOs of top legal software companies. But, one of our favorite legal tech episodes on the show to date, is when we got to sit down with an actual attorney and hear about his firm’s journey with adopting and integrating new technology.
Benjamin Luftman, is a founding partner at the Columbus based law firm Luftman, Heck & Associates. Over the course of the last two decades, he’s built one of the top practices in all of Ohio. And as we quickly learned during our discussion with Luftman, adopting new legal tech has played a significant role in his firm’s growth.
Of course this did not happen all overnight. In fact, the early days of Luftman’s firm took place during a time long before we all became reliant on the internet and various softwares.
“When I started out, the Yellow Pages were still in vogue,” Luftman said. “People would literally go to the Yellow Pages and go and try to pick out an attorney… It’s definitely been interesting sort of adapting to the technological changes.”
As the years went on, and interest in the Yellow Pages began to fade, some of Luftman’s key advisors began to push him to start adopting new technology to increase the overall efficiency of his firm. Fortunately, he decided to listen.
“I’m not the most savvy when it comes to technology, but I’ve had good people around me to go and teach me and explain to me and take me through how it could make our practice better,” Luftman said. “So we were early adopters of being online with respect to marketing and fairly early adopters of using legal technology to go and help our firm.”
According to Luftman, adopting customer relationship management software has been the biggest game-changer for his practice. As his practice grew and expanded, and started increasing the number of clients it served, it’s been essential for keeping his team organized and on track.
“That’s been a huge boon for us,” Luftman said. “They have apps that are associated with the software that can do things with auto-populating. When we go and put all of our clients’ information into our system, we have filings for every type of case… Once it goes in and you say okay what court is it in, we have a whole packet for every type of filing that we have. It’s all auto populated so you can literally do it in 25 seconds and it’s done. You print it out, it has the fax cover with whoever it needs to be faxed with and all the information and it’s basically automated. That’s huge, because at the end of the day, especially for my firm, efficiency is the most important thing. I mean there’s literally just only so much time in the day.”
Using customer relationship management software has not only saved the attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates a ton of time, but the paralegals as well. Instead of spending hours inputting data, the firm’s paralegals can now be more active on the phones communicating with clients.
“I think it’s all about efficiency,” Luftman said. “And that efficiency enables us to communicate more readily with our clients, which ultimately makes them happier.”
So what’s Luftman’s message for those attorneys that are still resistant towards adopting new legal tech solutions for their firm.
“They’re making a huge mistake,” Luftman said. “Whatever your goals are, whether it’s to try to be more efficient, or you want more time, going and adopting these things will help you… You can be the greatest attorney in the world, and if you’re not communicating with your clients in the manner that this day and age dictates, you’re not going to be as successful as you want to be. And so all of those things are so tied into legal technology. I would not be in the position that I am at this point in time, no question about it, had we not gone and adopted it.”
We hope that hearing Luftman’s story will inspire even the most tech-resistant of attorneys to change their ways in 2022.
“You know I will never fault somebody for saying I’m not good with technology, because there’s things that come out that I’m not good with either,” Luftman said. “It really boils down to your willingness to embrace change.”
If you want to hear more about Luftman’s story, you can check out his full appearance on our podcast below.
So which legal softwares offer the solutions you’re looking for?
There are countless great options available to attorneys today, but here are a few of our favorites.
Best softwares for overall practice management: Clio Manage, Filevine, Zola Suite, CosmoLex, PracticePanther
Best software for legal payment management: LawPay
Best software for business banking solutions: Nota
Best software for personal injury attorneys: CASEpeer
Best softwares for legal intake management: Clio Grow, Filevine
Best software for attorney-client relationship management: Lawmatics
Best software for appointment scheduling: 10to8
Best software for task management: Todoist, finilize
Best software for time tracking: Toggl
Best software for internal communication: Slack
Best software for text messaging clients: Zipwhip
Best software for handling website leads: Gideon
Keep up with the latest legal tech news and developments by regularly visiting the sites linked below.
This past fall, Answering Legal checked in with some of its expert friends from around the legal community. These friends were nice enough to fill out a survey questionnaire for us, in which they gave their thoughts on matters related to legal marketing, law office management and the future of law.
The full results of this survey are available on the Answering Legal blog, but in this guide we wanted to share some of the biggest takeaways we gathered from reading our expert panel’s survey answers.
Takeaway #1: It’s essential for lawyers to be creating videos for their practice.
Michelle Calcote King (Reputation Ink): Video was important before COVID, but it’s absolutely critical now. One study found that total video creation in 2020 increased 135% over 2019. People are watching, too. Another study found that business prospects spend about 1.5 hours a day watching online video on average. Hiring a lawyer and a law firm is an important decision and video helps convey likeability, credibility and trust.
Phil Pascal (Southwest Legal Marketing): Creating videos not only allows a lawyer or attorney to display his or her own personality, it’s also a way to create backlinks which in turn helps out SEO for that particular firm website. I strongly urge all of my clients to start a YouTube page ASAP!
Doug Brown (Summit Success): Lawyers who use video well will have a significant competitive advantage. People buy on emotion first and then back it up, or not, with logic. Authentic video is a powerful way to create emotional connection so the prospect feels as if they know you, like you and trust you.
Takeaway #2: Lawyers should be okay with certain members of their staff working virtually.
Annette Choti (Law Quill): We are all adults. We are either working or we are not. If you don’t trust someone to work at home, you shouldn’t have them on your staff to begin with.
Robert Ingalls (LawPods): While a law firm will have to decide what’s best for their culture, it’s likely that top talent will demand increased flexibility to work from home going forward. In certain areas it may be difficult to hire and retain lawyers and staff with rigid in-office policies.
Jan Sander (PerformLaw): From a technology standpoint, most of the work done in law firms can be performed remotely. This presents opportunities including larger talent pools to recruit from, more flexibility with work schedules, reduced office space cost, etc. Throughout the pandemic large parts of the workforce have realized and learned to embrace this, so it is important for lawyers to recognize this development, because working against it will sooner or later leave them behind.
Takeaway #3: Attorneys have a lot to consider before publicly sharing opinions on hot button or divisive issues.
Here are some things to consider.
Gary Mitchell (On Trac Coach): Who are they speaking to? Does it speak to issues their target market is facing? Will it help clients or prospects navigate these issues? Does it provide value and information that will assist or is it throwing fuel on the fire? Will this strengthen relationships or damage them? Depending on the issue will the lawyer come off as an expert or outlier? Will it support marketing efforts or damage or weaken them? What are other ramifications of speaking out?
Matt Starosciak (Proven Law Marketing): Are you so successful that you can risk alienating a certain percentage of prospective clients? If yes, go for it. If no, save your politics, religion, and hot button discussions for the dinner table.
Matt Starosciak (Proven Law Marketing): Are you so successful that you can risk alienating a certain percentage of prospective clients? If yes, go for it. If no, save your politics, religion, and hot button discussions for the dinner table.
Takeaway #4: Legal marketing will likely never return to what it used to be.
Annette Choti: In my opinion, people will still want to see each other and develop a true connection. However, in-person marketing will never return to what it was at pre-pandemic levels. When lawyers can use less money and less effort to reach more potential clients, the die is cast, and there is no going back.
Ruth Carter: If you’re talking about the mixer events where people shake hands and exchange business cards, hoping to meet someone who might become a client, I don’t think (those will fully return). I don’t think these events were that effective to begin with. I believe there will be in-person events again, but they will be much more strategic and specialized.
Jan Sander: Clients are more and more relying on information they can find online, while attorneys need to find ways to communicate their value to differentiate them from their competitors. Some in-person marketing activities will quite frankly be considered a waste of time and money, and so, virtual marketing will eventually become the main driver of business growth.
Takeaway #5: Increased discussions about lawyer wellness will have a positive impact on the future of the industry.
Doug Brown: The future of the law depends on being able to have open discussions around wellness and mental health. Done properly it will revitalize the profession and improve client service – and attract more of the brightest minds to the profession.
Jan Sander: Over time, these developments will stimulate more inclusive, collaborative and considerate environments that enable more serious discussions and solutions to prevailing legal industry issues including diversity, work-personal life balance, deadline pressure and team orientation.
Cynthia Sharp (The Legal Burnout Solution): These discussions will have meaningful impact only if legal professionals are willing to modify behavior and take advantage of available resources. Individuals who carve out time for self-care will ultimately be more focused, have stronger levels of concentration, greater stamina and suffer less from stress and anxiety. Consequently, they will be in a stronger position, both physically and mentally, to serve their client base. Besides, they will be happier!
For more insight from our expert panel, be sure to check out the full results of our legal marketing, law office management and future of law surveys.
According to SHRM’s research, a typical hiring process takes 36 days. On average, 250 resumes are submitted for each job posting.
Tips From Lawyer Coach Alay Yajnik On Hiring New Staff
In order to build up the law office of your dreams, you’re going to need a lot of support. This is why every hiring decision you make for your practice in 2022 is crucially important.
Back in the summer of 2021, our “Everything Except The Law” podcast spoke with law firm growth expert Alay Yajnik about hiring top talent for law firms and decreasing employee turnover. And the start of the new year seems like a great time to revisit some of his top tips from that conversation. Here are a few of Alay’s most important pieces of wisdom.
Don’t Wait Too Long To Start Hiring
As your law office hopefully begins to grow and increase it’s client load, you’ll want to make sure your staff is growing at a proper rate as well. During his appearance on our podcast, Yajnik explained why this is so important.
“Because law firms want to save on expenses, they wait until they’re totally jammed with business,” Yajnik said. “They wait until they can’t take another client, and until they’re turning clients away. Then they think about hiring somebody and that creates some problems.”
According to Yajnik, these problems include not having enough time to conduct a proper employee search, being forced to rush and making a poor hiring decision as a result and not having enough time to train and onboard new hires.
“They’re just so happy to have someone on board that they immediately shove new workload their way,” Yajnik said. “Then they’re upset when the workload isn’t done to the quality and the format that they expect.”
There are some things you can get away with procrastinating on. Hiring certainly does not appear to be one of them.
Always Be On The Lookout For Great New Talent
Even if you’re beginning 2022 with a full staff, you’ll still want to stay active in evaluating new employee opportunities. Yajnik believes that those running firms need to be carrying an “Always Be Hiring” mindset.
“You should always have your eyes and ears open for great quality talent that you want to bring on board,” Yajnik said. “It may not make sense now (to bring them on), but you never know down the road when you’ll have an opening and they’ll be ready to come on board.”
Yajnik also suggests checking in with some of your best employees to see if they know anyone who might be looking for a position.
“Oftentimes they know people who are of the similar caliber as they are,” Yajnik said. “They’re likely to say ‘I know somebody from law school or a colleague’, and they’re likely to be a high quality person because they’re referred by another high quality person.”
Actively networking with people around your community can also make adding great employees to your staff easier.
“Always have your radar up and be making connections, building relationships with other attorneys that you really trust and admire, because you never know when the stars are going to align and they’ll be able to help you out with a hire,” Yajnik said.
Utilize Behavioral Style Interviewing
Behavioral based interviewing is interviewing based on discovering how the interviewee acted in specific employment-related situations. The logic behind it is that how you behaved in the past will predict how you will behave in the future.
During our discussion with Yajnik, he highly recommended using this interviewing style, and gave us a few examples of questions to ask.
Example #1: “So tell me about a time when you actually went to a networking organization and built some referral relationships, and how that worked out for you.”
Example #2: “Tell me about a time when you had a really challenging client. What did you do to give them a great result and to make them satisfied?”
Yajnik highly endorses asking these types of questions, because it forces the person being interviewed to provide more than a yes or no answer.
“They now have to elaborate and tell a story, and in the course of telling the story, it may lead to other questions,” Yajnik said. “It’s also harder to make up an answer when you’re telling a long story. It’s far easier to do it with a yes or no type thing.”
Do Not Be Afraid To Use Tests
Even if a potential new hire can talk the talk, you’ll want to take the time to make sure they can walk the walk as well. Yajnik feels that law firms should be taking the time to test out their employees skills before they’re officially hired, not after.
“I would be working with a client, and I’d say ‘go hire somebody’, and they would,” Yajnik said. “Then this attorney comes in and they don’t do the work, and all of a sudden they realize, oh my gosh this attorney basically exaggerated their skill set. They don’t have the skills, they don’t have the quality and it’s just a complete miss. So what we found is that implementing tests for candidates is really helpful. It helps reduce the likelihood that someone’s going to join with a skill set that’s a mismatch for the role.”
For more hiring tips from Yajnik, you can check out his full appearance on our “Everything Except The Law” podcast.
The Great Resignation- Law Firm HR For 2022
Story Written By Gary Mitchell – Business Coach at OnTrac Coaching
Like it or not, HR is being turned upside down as one of the outcomes of the Covid-19 Pandemic. People are choosing to stay at home with their children. People are retiring sooner. And more and more people are demanding to have the flexibility of working from home. Does this mean a depletion of the talent pool?
At any given point in our history, when we have gone through such a massive upheaval, event, or catastrophe, it has caused massive disruption. This disruption, while challenging and uncomfortable, almost always produces innovation, a new way of thinking, progress, and movement forward. People tend to reflect on their lives, on their priorities, on their professional path. Is this such a bad thing?
Law Firms are not immune from this phenomenon. You are going to have to adapt your hiring and retention approaches or face a long-term shortage of talent in serving your clients.
It’s time to come out of the dark ages. Full disclosure, I am an optimist. I see a challenge and I immediately look for the opportunity. And the Pandemic, with all of its challenges, also presents many opportunities.
The first opportunity and we have seen this come to fruition over the past 22 months, is that firms that adapt to the new reality of the workforce have such an amazing opportunity to capture a larger segment of the legal talent pool and shut their competitors out. This will be a huge differentiator moving forward. For what is a law firm without top-shelf talent?
So much complaining goes on about this current generation. It is what it is. Learn to adapt or become irrelevant. Get over it! It starts with becoming more flexible in your hiring practices.
For one, with more people working from home, your ability to hire from a larger geographical radius is now available. This expands the talent pool. With more people working from home, you can cut some of your overhead costs by shrinking your bricks-and-mortar space. And, as an added bonus, these same people have already worked out the kinks associated with working from home, at no cost to your firm!
Are you missing out on a vast pool of talent because you are still following archaic HR practices? Is ‘face time’ that important? Shouldn’t it be about the level of talent, the quality of the work product, productivity, client satisfaction, and let us not forget profitability? Does it really matter where the work gets done?
Over the past 22 months, I have witnessed first-hand in many of my clients, the early stages of working from home. Working through the kinks. Creating new systems. Improving self-discipline. In effect, Covid-19 has been an HR partner in training the workforce on how to adapt and thrive when working from home. Did firms invest in this training-no! Did the sky fall? No. Did firms disintegrate? No.
Aside from the obvious benefits of having happier, healthier lawyers and staff, both physically and mentally, we have seen productivity increase. More compassion in the workforce.
Would Law Firms have ever allowed Lawyers and staff to work from home, had it not been for Covid-19? I highly doubt it. This is an example of where a negative influence could have a positive outcome, that is if you chose it to be. Welcome to the 21st-century legal industry!
The Great Resignation is a natural occurrence coming out of the Pandemic. Should we be surprised? Priorities change. Goals change. Some will be left behind, while others will flourish. Those left behind will cling to old ways, archaic ways that no longer serve the business (firm), the talent, or the clients. Those that flourish, will adapt, innovate, and create new approaches and strategies to not only survive this upheaval but thrive and come out stronger.
I for one see this movement as an infusion of fresh air into the Legal Industry and how it approaches HR. This has been a long time coming.
About The Author: Gary Mitchell is a Business Coach to Attorneys. Author and Speaker at OnTrac® Coach. He is also the creator of the OnTrac® Practice Builder App for lawyers. He can be reached at [email protected] or 604-669-5235.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is estimated to be a little over 60 million people. FindLaw reports that the Spanish speaking consumer market has nearly 2 trillion dollars in buying power.
5 Tips For Marketing To Hispanic Clients In 2022
Story Written By Liel Levy – Co-Founder of Nanato Media
To be successful at marketing to the Latinx community in 2022, there’s no need for wild predictions. The facts below don’t lie. And using those facts to communicate better can make a significant impact on your Spanish marketing strategy. You may be surprised at the results if you start getting these things right:
What Is Lost In Translation?
Revenue! Translation is the enemy of your Spanish marketing strategy. I get it… translating your website, ad copy, and contracts from English to Spanish is efficient. But efficient does not mean effective. Instead, try transcreation, but more on that in a moment. The mistake most firms make is trying to use an English strategy on a Hispanic market. It’s like trying a flea flicker in soccer! The fact is, your Latinx avatars have different needs and interests. It’s crucial to accept this truth so you can create website content that speaks to them naturally, ads where they see themselves reflected, and copy that offers solutions to their specific issues. The right message will get the attention of this market.
Here’s a tough question to ask yourself. Are you giving your local Hispanic market meaningful reasons to choose you as their lawyer? I’m afraid experience and excellent results aren’t enough, not even mixed with a tempting cappuccino machine in the lobby. The truth is that every lawyer claims big-time experience and outstanding results, so that doesn’t set you apart from the pack. Do you know what will make you stand out? Showing up for your community before they need your services. Get involved. Be part of their fiestas and holidays, volunteer at community events, and educate your Hispanic market with helpful information that could help them avoid legal woes in the first place. Most importantly, support organizations that improve the quality of life of your community. Earn your Latinx market’s trust and respect before they need your help… they will not forget it.
Hire Latinx Talent
What better way to win your local Hispanic market than to provide the best client experience possible? To make that experience a reality, you’ll need to provide services in both English and Spanish. So crucial that both are at the same level of quality. Sound challenging? Passing the bar is challenging. This is a cinch when you hire local members of the Latinx community because they will enable you to make Spanish-speaking clients feel welcome and understood. Plus, your law firm will feel more inclusive toward this community, because you invested in them as part of your business. It’s a win-win.
Connect Via Mobile Devices
In case you didn’t know, Hispanics are smartphone power users and have been for close to ten years now. This means that we do everything on our phones, from infotainment to cultural connectivity and shopping. Can you guess what else we do on mobile devices? Ding, ding, ding – hire lawyers! If you want to be relevant to your local Hispanic market, you need to make your law firm discoverable via their mobile devices. But your mobile optimization shouldn’t stop with your marketing. That client experience we’ve been mentioning is enhanced just knowing they prefer text messages instead of email.
Don’t Assume Anything
Making assumptions can be costly, particularly during intake. Please do not assume that your Spanish-speaking callers know what qualifies or disqualifies them for a case. They contacted your team because they need guidance and don’t have all the answers – nor the right questions. Your team can earn their trust by asking plenty of questions and explaining the process, which can be totally alien to someone not familiar with the law. Rushing to qualify leads too soon, often with a single question, is ineffective, unprofessional, and may help your competition retire earlier.
The facts show that not many law firms marketing to the Latinx community are doing a great job at it. Some simple pivots can help you avoid leaving clients feeling unwelcome and money on the table. So if you want 2022 to be the year that you increase your Hispanic market caseload, take action on these five tips, and you will see results sooner than you might imagine.
About the Author: Liel is the author of the Amazon bestseller “Beyond Se Habla Español: How Lawyers Win The Hispanic Market” and co-founder of Nanato Media, an Austin-based agency focused on law firm Hispanic marketing that helps lawyers dominate their Hispanic market. He got his start in legal US Hispanic marketing from an early age through his family’s advertising agency in Los Angeles. Since then, he has helped law firms across the nation grow by marketing to their Latinx community. He is the co-host of In Camera Podcast: Private Legal Marketing Conversations and has been published by multiple legal publications of note, including Law.com, Law360, Marketing the Law Firm.
Explore Our Let’s Talk Legal Marketing Communities
Has your firm recently been stumped by how to handle a certain marketing issue or how to best approach a certain marketing decision? If so, why not share your situation in our “Let’s Talk Legal Marketing” groups?
Answering Legal hosts online marketing communities on both Facebook and LinkedIn, and all lawyers and legal marketers are welcome to join. Our groups are completely free to be a part of, and will quickly become your favorite marketing resource. Let’s go over some of the ways you can use our “Let’s Talk Legal Marketing” groups.
Ask for recommendations
Looking for a new content writer? Want information on a great website design company? Want to know if you can truly trust *insert marketing company name here*? Our Facebook and LinkedIn groups are full of lawyers who have already hired content writers, met with design companies and been scared off by shady marketers. They, along with the numerous marketing experts in our group, can give you honest feedback and assist you in making the right hiring decisions for your firm.
Get expert feedback
Sometimes just asking the people around your firm for feedback on a name, logo design or advertisement won’t be enough. As the head of your company, you never know who is giving you honest feedback, and who will just say anything in hopes of gaining a future promotion. Before committing to a marketing idea, ask for some thoughts from the attorneys and marketing experts in our marketing groups. You can set up poll questions, share images, or even share links to help get the best feedback possible. In most cases, you’ll get a ton of comments back.
Expand your marketing knowledge
Even if you don’t feel confident enough to start or chime in on group conversations right away, you’ll still want to join our groups and follow along. Some of the best legal marketing minds in the country are sharing ideas and thoughts in these groups, and chances are you’ll learn a few things and end up with lots of actionable tips for your firm.
Make valuable connections
Our marketing groups have become one of the best places for attorneys and legal marketers to network. Quite often we see conversations between members of our group lead to email exchanges and phone calls. Think of our groups as the ultimate virtual legal conference that never comes to an end. Check the groups out now on Facebook and LinkedIn, and request to join.
5 Tips to Ensure Your Law Firm Blog Evolves with the Times & Attracts the Right Readers
Story Written By Leah Presser – LegalTech Marketing Content Writer (Visit leahpresser.com for more info)
Blogs are an ever-evolving asset that many law firms can reorganize for better results. Is your law firm’s blog still a single webpage with a long line of posts in chronological order? When legal consumers search for information today, they often expect to find a complete resource center that includes blogs, videos, webinars, and other helpful content.
Incorporating your law firm’s blog into a resource center is just one way to help your firm stand out, capture attention, and build the level of trust that makes readers pick up the phone and call. Here are five more:
Organize Your Blog Into Categories And Themes
Many blogs default to highlight the most recently published post while pushing older blogs out of view. If you’re stuck in this chronological mode, work your way out as quickly as you can. Chronological publishing order still works well for the “Recent News” section of your resource center. But organizing most of your content into themes and categories makes it easier for readers to find exactly what they need quickly. This structure also helps search engines understand your content more thoroughly as well.
You may initially categorize blog content by department or service type (e.g., employment law, family law, litigation, IP) to make it easier for readers to locate information that addresses their particular needs. From there, you may sub-categorize blogs into themes applicable to each legal area. Keyword research and Google’s “People also ask” feature can give you excellent theme ideas. (And excellent blog post topic ideas, too!)
Learn more by reading How to Blog Categories and Content Themes from Marketing Insider Group.
Build A Media Platform, Not Just A Blog
Publish varying types of visual and audio content alongside your written content. Consider these blogging statistics:
- Blogs that include images get 94% more views than those that don’t.
- Videos are 50 times more likely to drive organic search traffic than plain text.
- 45% of bloggers who add audio such as podcasts see better results.
The pursuit of views is so intense that Salesforce launched its own B2B digital content streaming service that includes live experiences, original series, podcasts, and other programming. Sarah Franklin, President & Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce, says, “Just as brands like Disney, Netflix and Peloton have done with streaming services for consumers, Salesforce+ is providing an always-on, business media platform that builds trusted relationships with customers and a sense of belonging for the business community.”
Your law firm blog doesn’t need to morph into the new “Lawflix” just yet. But you can capture more attention when you launch podcasts and create videos that repurpose your blog content. Your blog should be just one part of an entire resource center that gives people more ways to connect with your firm.
Sharing Is Caring—And Humanizing
No one manages today’s business complexities alone. Business leaders must often reach out for specialized help to deal with unforeseen circumstances, new types of data, emerging technologies, new work and business models, and a slew of additional regulations surrounding it all.
Humanize your law firm by discussing the viewpoints of other lawyers, experts, and authorities, including links to valuable resources, and acknowledging when you learn something new. Lawyers have long collaborated with industry experts. In many cases, it would be malpractice not to. Why not apply a similar attitude to your blog?
In today’s fast-changing world, collaborative leaders who continually learn from others will likely seem more trustworthy than those who try to appear all-knowing on all subjects. While you may not go so far as to promote another law firm outright, nearly a dozen experiments with almost 4,000 people show that a brand that compliments a competitor ends up boosting its own reputation and sales.
Include Proof Points And Engaging Stories To Build Trust
Many people automatically mistrust content on the internet or assume companies publish blogs that come from a one-sided viewpoint through rose-colored glasses. Add proof points to your blog to help boost credibility, including:
- Links to evidence from industry associations, scientific journals, government agency websites, and other authoritative sites.
- Links to statistical evidence from research studies and surveys.
- Anecdotal evidence of how the firm helped clients achieve specific benefits and goals.
Storytelling, in particular, encourages understanding and trust. You may need to anonymize the details to protect confidentiality, e.g., say something like: “When a global retailer sought to purchase a mid-size seller…”
Nothing connects and convinces like real-world examples that enable readers to experience the story as it evolves and envision themselves enjoying the same benefits as your previous clients.
Keep Up With Changes To Search Engine Optimization
You want to attract the right readers to your blog, which are most often prospective clients but could also include prospective employees and business partners. Doing so will always require you to optimize your content for the specific keywords and phrases they use to find information about legal services.
Some may think of keywords as relevant only in the bad old days when stuffing them into every other sentence tricked search engines into ranking terrible content higher. Search engines have come a long way and now penalize keyword stuffing.
More recently, an increase in voice searches brought long-tail key phrases to the forefront (e.g., “injury lawyers near me”). Google now also seeks to match results with a user’s “search intent,” which refers to the purpose behind the search. By analyzing query words such as “how to,” “why,” or “coupon,” Google puzzles out whether users want to learn about something, research a new product, shop to buy now, or go to a specific website.
For further reading, check out Backlinko’s SEO guide to search intent or Yoast’s What is Search Intent and Why is it Important for SEO?
The larger takeaway is that as Google continually evolves to produce the most precise search results possible, you have more ways to optimize your content to attract your ideal readers.
About the Author: Leah Presser is a professional legal marketing content writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and certification in inbound and content marketing. Presser has two decades of experience working in law firms and over a decade writing insightful content. With keen insights into the latest marketing and legal industry developments, Leah delivers research-backed, conversational content that helps firms build engaged audiences and earn the trust of potential clients. Visit her website to learn more about the services she provides.
Tips From Jason Hennessey On Simplifying Law Firm SEO
Jason Hennessey has spent the last two decades reverse engineering the Google Algorithm and this past summer released a book called “Law Firm SEO: Exposing the Google Algorithm to Help You Get More Cases” (which was one of our recommended reads earlier in this guide), in which he shares proven strategies that he’s used to earn more than 500 million dollars in new cases for his clients.
Our “Everything Except The Law” podcast was fortunate enough to book Hennessey for an episode before the conclusion of 2021. He had a lot of great advice to offer on how law firms should go about handling SEO. Here are a few important things to keep in mind as you begin assembling SEO strategies for 2022.
The Days Of Manipulating Search Are Largely Over
During our time with Hennessey, we had to ask him about recent SEO trends. One thing he noted was an evolution of Google in recent years, and how Google is now relying a lot more on user signals, and has become more difficult to exploit.
“In the past there were things that you could do to manipulate search,” Hennessey said. “You know dating back to stuffing keywords and keyword density and putting white text on a white background, there were all these tricks that you could do back in the day. Nowadays, Google’s a lot more sophisticated, and they’re relying on how people interact with your website and your content.”
With old tactics no longer working like they used to, it is more important than ever for law firms to be providing highly relevant content for their target audience.
“What it comes down to these days is satisfying the intent of somebody that’s doing a search and then making sure that you’ve got all of your fundamentals kind of taken care of with technical seo and building popularity, and are continuing to publish content on a regular basis,” Hennessey said.
Make Sure The Technical Side Of Your SEO Strategies Are Being Addressed
If you don’t know the first thing about the technical components of SEO, don’t worry. During our podcast, Hennessey expressed that busy lawyers really shouldn’t be handling that themselves anyway.
“There’s certain things that lawyers will probably never understand, and that’s the technical components of SEO,” Hennessey said. “Don’t do that yourself. Have somebody that can take care of that for you. But, don’t ignore it either.”
The last part of Hennessey’s statement is crucial, as ignoring the technical components of SEO could end up impeding your ability to rank, even if you’re doing everything else correctly with publishing content getting links back to your site. Checking in with an SEO professional is truly a must.
“You want to have somebody that comes in and looks at your website, maybe once a month or once every other month just to make sure that you’re compliant,” Hennessey said. “I’d say that’s one of the most important things I see attorneys neglect. They think they can do SEO themselves. And for the most part you can. You can go out and get links and go out and write content, and that’s all fine. But the technical stuff you know, you probably don’t have the skill set to do that.”
Creating Fresh Content Is Still A Major Part Of The Equation
“Content is king” is a phrase that gets tossed around a ton, and has been for years. Yet even if we’re somewhat sick of hearing it, it still rings true in 2022.
“Content is a strong part of SEO,” Hennessey said. “The more that you publish content, the more that you get rewarded by Google. They do have that freshness algorithm, and they want to reward websites that are contributing on a regular basis.”
As we mentioned earlier, creating content that appeals to your target clients is a must. If you’re having trouble coming up with what that content might be, consider this advice from Hennessey.
“Just think who are the people that are searching for you, and what are they searching for,” Hennessey said. “Go back into some of your chats, listen to some phone calls. Then just kind of go in and start publishing content.”
If blogging isn’t necessarily your thing, video creation may present a more enjoyable alternative.
“Just go in and start to record videos answering the questions (your clients have), and then go get those videos transcribed,” Hennessey said. “Then you’ll have a lot of content that you can publish.”
Don’t Forget That SEO Really Is An Asset For Your Business
SEO success almost never occurs overnight, and it can certainly be frustrating waiting to see value from your SEO strategies. But according to Hennessey, creating a strong SEO presence is still one of the greatest long-term investments you can make for your firm.
“The more that you continue to do it, the higher your website starts to rank for some of the terms that are important to your business, the more phone calls you generate as a result of those activities, and the more business you get,” Hennessey said. “What some people neglect to understand is that at the end of the day, that is your asset. Business brokers are looking at tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to understand how valuable your asset is. So if you’ve invested in SEO for 10 years and your site is ranking for 40,000 keywords now, and it’s generating all this traffic, it just makes your business that much more valuable if you do try to sell it.
For more SEO wisdom from Hennessey, check out his appearance on “Everything Except The Law”
According to Muck Rack, 94% of PR professionals believe that 1:1 emails are the most effective way to pitch journalists. 94% of PR professionals cap their average pitches at 3 paragraphs, while 92% of journalists said their ideal pitch length is also capped at 2-3 paragraphs.
5 Ways To Get More Media Coverage For Your Firm In 2022
Story Written By Michelle Calcote King – Principal & President of Reputation Ink
If your 2022 goals include increasing awareness of your law firm, becoming a well-known attorney in your practice area, or better promoting your firm’s expertise and accomplishments, media relations must be a central part of your marketing strategy.
However, securing media coverage isn’t as simple as putting out a press release. It takes a focused, dedicated effort and a deep understanding of how the media works. Here are five ways to get more media coverage for your law firm in 2022:
Capitalize On Trending Topics
As we all know, 2020 (and 2020 part two, also known as 2021) presented unique challenges that dominated the media landscape. Reporters were scrambling for legal experts to provide insights into labor and employment issues related to remote working and vaccine mandates, dramatic shifts in commercial real estate, Force Majeure and more.
As 2022 nears close, topics such as cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, diversity and inclusion, litigation finance, name, image and likeness (NIL) rules for student athletes and more are likely to dominate the news agenda.
Pay attention to what’s being covered and determine how you can contribute to the conversation. Can you provide analysis or insights into a trending topic? How does your expertise fit within the discussion?
Get into the habit of writing up your thoughts on trending topics and sending those insights to reporters covering the issue. Make sure that you’re not just regurgitating the news. Provide analysis that only an attorney who understands the legal issues can give: Why is this happening? What are the likely consequences? What might happen next?
Consume The News Frequently
Much of a public relations pro’s job is simply to read and watch the news. We frequently scan headlines, subscribe to newsletters, read trade publications, follow reporters on social media and more to understand:
- What the media outlets are writing about: Have they launched a new regular column that one of our clients would be a great fit for? Are they planning a series of articles on a particular topic? Does a particular media outlet tend to feature certain types of stories over others? This kind of information can only be obtained by frequently reading, watching and listening to target media outlets.
- Who is writing about what: Is there a new reporter covering a new beat? Is a reporter covering a case that one of our clients can comment on? Has one of our key media contacts switched beats?
- What the trending topics are: See #1 above. It’s critical to know what topics are leading the news agenda so that you can appropriately frame your expertise according to what the media has decided is important and worthy of coverage.
Track Opportunities Consistently
Many legal media outlets feature regular opportunities for positive news coverage, such as the AmLaw Litigation Daily’s “Litigator of the Week” Law360’s “Rising Stars” or one of its many other features, or the “Trailblazers” series in The American Lawyer and The National Law Journal.
These features are the perfect PR opportunity, as the media outlets are proactively seeking positive stories of law firms and lawyers doing great work. Some of these opportunities are ongoing, regular features (like “Litigator of the Week”), while others only happen once a year.
Most publications publish editorial calendars that provide details on these opportunities, others will simply post on social media about them. Make sure you are tracking these opportunities so you don’t miss out.
Podcasts are exploding. According to Insider Intelligence, this year more than half of all digital audio listeners will tune into podcasts each month. And, by the end of 2025, there will be over 144 million monthly podcast listeners in the U.S.
And while many niche podcasts might not have the audience size of an established trade publication, by appearing on the podcast, you are generating content that will help you land media coverage in more established mediums.
When reporters are pitched a story, they turn to Google to research the source. If that Google search turns up interviews of you on several podcasts, your credibility is boosted and the reporter is more likely to consider your pitch.
Dig Deep To Uncover The Story Behind The Topic
When pitching an idea to the media, ask yourself whether you can tell a story rather than just describing a straightforward topic. For example, rather than pitching the fact that you won a case, tell how the case was won. How did you do it? Did you have to pivot to navigate a unique challenge? What attorneys were involved? What’s interesting or unique about them?
Don’t simply list facts. Pull the curtain back on your thought process or the steps that led to the outcome. Bring the topic to life by discussing real people navigating conflicts and solving challenges. A reporter’s job is to tell stories and they’ll feature a less-impressive case or matter that makes a great story over a more impressive one with no story.
About the author: Michelle Calcote King is the Principal & President of Reputation Ink, a public relations and content marketing agency serving professional services firms. She can be reached at [email protected] or 904-374-5733.
The Everything Except The Law Podcast Will Be Back For A Third Year!
These days, attorneys truly have their hands full when it comes to running their own firms. As you can tell from all of the content included in this guide, there’s a lot lawyers need to know in order to operate a successful legal practice, most of which law school didn’t exactly cover. That’s why in the summer of 2020, Answering Legal decided to launch a new podcast, designed to help educate legal professionals on the parts of running a law office they were never trained to handle.
The podcast is called “Everything Except The Law”, and is hosted by Answering Legal marketing director Nick Werker. Each episode, Nick sits down with a different legal industry expert for an in-depth and enlightening discussion. In 2021, we taped nine episodes, all of which can be listened to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Anchor, or watched on the Answering Legal YouTube channel.
We’re thrilled to share that “Everything Except The Law” will be releasing more new episodes in 2022. We’re beyond excited to continue on with what has become a passion project for our team, and speak with more brilliant people from around the legal industry. Thank you to all of the lawyers who have listened to our show so far, and we hope even more attorneys will join in on this educational journey with us in 2022.
While you’re waiting for new episodes of our show, be sure to check out our “Best of 2021” episode!
If you have an idea for a future episode topic or guest reach out via email to [email protected]
Why Most Lawyers Are Not Prone To The Business Of Law
Story Written By Gary Mitchell – Business Coach atOnTrac Coaching
Over the past 16 years, I have witnessed and observed the common personality traits and habits of lawyers. Of course, these are not just lawyer traits, these are human traits. But for some reason(s), which I will share my hypothesis here, these traits are heightened in lawyers.
Let me be clear. What follows are not judgments, but rather observations. They are not criticisms, but rather my attempt at articulating the bigger picture on why most lawyers are not built for and struggle with the business of law.
It is my intention in providing these observations, that you can capitalize on your strengths, become a master at what you do best-lawyer, and then build an amazing team around you focused on their strengths.
I honestly believe that those people drawn to the practice of law as a career, naturally possess the following personality traits, and then through law school, articling, and your early years as an associate, these same traits are encouraged, fostered, and even nurtured because of the nature of practicing law. It’s ironic that the same personality traits that can make you a great lawyer, often prevent you from becoming great at the business of law.
Some of the traits I have observed.
Almost always, lawyers are perfectionists. While this serves you well in the practice of law, it holds you back from excelling at the business of law.
With business, marketing, and business development, soft skills, working with people, and many business gurus agree, it does not have to be perfect, just good enough. And, good enough is better than not enough, or not at all.
Just imagine if, in its infancy, Microsoft waited until they had perfected their software to bring it to market. They would never have brought anything to market. Instead, they released imperfect software, and then consistently made improvements and upgrades along the way.
You are highly risk-averse. Again, this is a trait that serves you well in serving your clients and going about your file work. But any entrepreneur will tell you, nothing is achieved without taking risks. And now, with COVID-19 upon us, it’s more important than ever to be able to take some risk. That is how innovation is fostered. As the old saying goes, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’
Procrastinating is another one of your favorite habits. It comes in the form of putting off all the things that don’t stimulate you intellectually. The small stuff.
This trait is often tied to procrastination. This also occurs when you are faced with the less intellectual type tasks to complete. These tasks often bore you. It’s this boredom that allows you to lose your focus and become susceptible to being easily distracted. Like a shiny object being waived in front of you.
You are highly intellectual and analytical. This often results in your habit of overthinking. I get it. This is usually tied to being a perfectionist. You don’t want to make a mistake when you are drafting a document for your client. You certainly don’t want to make the wrong argument in front of a judge. The downside of this habit is that it can actually paralyze you when it comes to business.
Beating Yourself Up
What purpose does beating yourself up serve? Does it make you stronger? Does it positively affect the outcome in any given situation? If you make a mistake, learn from it, and move on. Don’t dwell on it. It’s done. You can’t go back. So, move forward!
While this trait is necessary, even critical in your role as a lawyer, it is yet another example of how one trait holds you back in the business of law. Skepticism along with your risk-adversity will almost always prevent you from trying something new.
If you don’t believe me and my assessment of your personality traits, here is a link to an article you should read.
Lawyers As Leaders: Is Your Personality Too Legal? | Above the Law
And Now For The Good News
The traits that I have outlined here produce habits. The thing about a habit is that it can be broken. It can be re-built to produce positive and improved results. New and productive habits can be learned. I have witnessed it first-hand. The first step towards change is acceptance. Then comes a will to change. And then, action!
About The Author: Gary Mitchell is a Business Coach to Attorneys. Author and Speaker at OnTrac® Coach. He is also the creator of the OnTrac® Practice Builder App for lawyers. He can be reached at [email protected] or 604-669-5235.
2022 Legal Conference Schedule
In 2020, many of our favorite legal conferences were forced to go virtual or ended up being cancelled completely. This past year represented somewhat of a return to normalcy, as a significant number of annual legal conference events resumed and welcomed guests in-person. We’re happy to report that the 2022 legal conference docket looks to be fully stacked, with incredible opportunities for learning and networking taking place all around the U.S. Below you’ll find a list of conference events we think every lawyer should be making note of on their 2022 calendars.
Here’s a list of already scheduled conferences to look out for in the new year:
Trial Lawyers Summit- January 30 thru February 2, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, FL
Legalweek-January 31 thru February 3, New York, NY
Bedlam Conference- February 2, Virtual
ABA Tech Show- March 2 thru March 5, Chicago, Illinois
Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference- March 21 thru March 23, Las Vegas, Nevada
AILA Annual Conference On Immigration Law-June 15 thru June 18, New York, NY
Clio Cloud Conference- October 10 thru October 11, Nashville, TN
Crisp Game Changers Summit- November 2 thru November 3, Atlanta, GA
And here are some more top legal conferences that as of right now don’t have dates:
Autopilot’s Small Firm Bootcamp
Legal X Filevine User Conference
The Summit (National Solo & Small Law Firm Conference)
The above details were last updated on January 1, 2022. Please see each event’s website for current information.
The above details were last updated on January 1, 2022. Please see each event’s website for current information.
According to Law Firm Technology Today, 35% of phone calls to law firms go unanswered or to voicemail. Legal Talk Network reports that 87% of legal consumers that have a positive interaction after calling a law office, go on to hire that firm for their matter.
5 Reasons To Invest In An Answering Service For 2022
A lot of different topics have been covered in this guide, and we sincerely hope you found the information to be valuable. Before we wrap things up, we’re going to try and provide you with a little more value and tell you about Answering Legal.
Some of you are probably already quite familiar with our service, and we may even be already answering your phones. For the attorneys out there who haven’t experienced our phone answering service, here are some things you should know.
- Our virtual receptionist team is available to answer calls 24/7/365.
- Our service exclusively serves the legal community.
- We train our receptionists to become legal intake experts.
- We can answer your calls in both English and Spanish.
- Our service can be customized so that we sound like a seamless extension of your firm.
Now that you know the basics of what we provide, let’s cover five reasons why law firms will want our support in 2022.
1- Legal consumers won’t wait for you
Too many lawyers still operate under a “clients work on my time” mindset. They fail to realize that consumers now have endless options for legal help. Lawyers can no longer afford to be laid back in their approach to lead capturing. They have to be the first to answer a consumer’s call for legal help or they will lose out on the client. Asking clients to leave a voicemail is essentially asking them to call your competitors.
With Answering Legal you get 24/7 live phone answering coverage. Any calls your firm can’t get to, we’ll be there to answer. It’s really that simple. We’ll give your new leads a real person to speak to right away, and start collecting their information so they won’t feel compelled to shop around with other firms.
2- Marketing is only half the battle
If you have been struggling for years to grow your firm further, and nothing you do on the marketing side of things seems to be making a difference, chances are it’s your lead capturing that is letting you down. You’re either missing too many calls from potential new leads or making a poor first impression on the people you do connect with.
With Answering Legal’s receptionist team you get a high rate of availability and lead capturing expertise. All of our receptionists have handled hundreds of legal intakes before, and can be relied upon to start onboarding your clients in a highly professional manner. All of the information they collect gets sent to lawyers via text and email message right after the call ends, giving them the ability to take action right away when new client opportunities arise.
3- Your clients will be heard, either by you or the internet
Receiving a few poor online reviews may not seem like such a big deal to you, but prospective clients will think otherwise. Fair or not, consumers generally trust the opinions of their peers a lot more than they trust what businesses have to say. If the first thing a person sees when they Google you is a series of one-star reviews detailing how you’re hard to reach and difficult to work with, good luck getting anyone to contact your office.
While overcoming a series of poor online reviews isn’t impossible, it’s highly difficult, so you’re better off doing all you can to avoid them. Investing in 24/7 phone answering coverage from Answering Legal will go a long way in making your clients feel heard and appreciated. When they call into your firm with pressing questions, and you’re unavailable, they’ll still get the chance to speak with a live person rather than deal with the frustration of being sent to an automated machine. Answering all of your clients’ calls will go a long way in helping you build a reputation as a lawyer people enjoy working with.
4- Time is money
According to 2019 data from Clio, the average lawyer spends only 2.5 hours on billable work each day. Clio data also confirms that being constantly interrupted throughout the day is one of the biggest reasons why attorneys fail to get more billable work done. While putting a stop to all attorney interruptions is virtually impossible, investing in quality phone answering assistance can severely cut down on the number of disruptions attorneys face each day. Having someone else you can trust to handle all the phone calls you don’t have time for will allow you to take back more of your work day and start making more cash.
The great thing about Answering Legal is that you can rely on our virtual receptionist team as much as you need to. If you’re having a light day, and want to answer a lot of calls yourself, you’ll always have that option. But, if you want to commit more time to billable work and give your firm more opportunity to make money, just let our service handle your calls for a while. We’ll let you know whenever important issues arise.
5- You’ll get to try before you buy
From now until January 31st, all law firms get the chance to enjoy a 400 minute free trial of our service before deciding whether or not they want to become a paying customer. You heard that right. The first 400 minutes that our virtual receptionist team members handle your firm’s calls will come at no cost. During your trial period with us, you’ll never sign any contracts, and won’t have to put any credit card down until your trial period ends. Your service only becomes activated after a post-trial discussion with one of our account executives, in which official pricing plans are discussed. If at the end of your 400 minute free trial you don’t want to continue using Answering Legal, you can leave without a single penny being taken from your bank account.
During your free trial period, you’ll have full access to almost all of our features. Once we set up your phone lines and customize everything about your account, you’ll have a significant window of time to see how our virtual receptionist services impact your business. By the end of your trial period with us, there will be no questions about what you’re getting with Answering Legal, and you’ll be able to make an educated decision about whether or not we’re a good fit for your practice. Remember, there’s absolutely zero risk in going through the trial.
Click here to book a time to speak with one of our customer success representatives and get started with your 400 minute free trial.
Real Lawyers Share Their Answering Legal Stories
Want a closer look at the Answering Legal experience? Check out video testimonials from a pair of attorneys that have been using our service for years.
Attorney Brian D. Perskin has been a proud Answering Legal customer since 2013. Our virtual receptionist team answers his office’s phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We make sure his firm never allows callers to reach his voicemail, and never misses the opportunity to connect with a potential new client. Learn more about his story in the above video.
Laura Pfeifer-Battiloro is a partner at The Battiloro Law Group and has been using Answering Legal’s 24/7 phone answering service since the summer of 2017. In the video below, Laura details her experience using our service, and how the support of our virtual receptionist team has helped her with living the legal life she has always dreamed of. Learn more about her story in the above video.
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