Showing posts from August, 2020

Lincoln Lawyering

Abraham Lincoln had a successful career as a small firm lawyer for 25 years before becoming America’s 16th president in 1861. In notes for a lecture to lawyers, Lincoln attributed his achievements to diligence, honesty and time management. Learn more by reading Lincoln's Lecture on Successful Lawyering, the ABA's Guide to Lawyer Well-Being and CAP's book about The Organized Lawyer. Get entertained by watching Matthew McConaughey in The Lincoln Lawyer movie.

Tracking Time

Managing, recording and tracking time are essential habits for successful lawyering.  Poor time-keeping can result in unhappy clients and lost revenue.  Use automated systems, set alarms, review daily, and record time as you work. Read time tracking tips and read about how to use time technology.

Delivering Documents

Consider cost, timeliness, and reliability to select the best service for delivering your legal documents. Remember to check court rules and determine preferences of recipients. Read articles about preparation, management, and delivery options like courierelectronic, and mail.  Be careful to avoid delays caused by seasonal slowdowns and work stoppages,

Video Calling

Video calling has become popular for a variety of uses including one-on-one calls, meetings, and presentations. A number of free and inexpensive services are available for making video calls, including Adobe Connect, Google Meets, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.  See PC Magazine's Guide to Video Calling Services and read Jim Calloway's Videoconferencing Guide for tips on using them.

Virtual Discovery

During virtual depositions, witnesses, lawyers, and court reporters participate online from different locations. To improve video and sound quality, consider purchasing a webcam or headset.  To prepare in advance, test your equipment and Internet connection. To avoid distractions, turn off noise makers and post a do not disturb sign on your door. During the deposition, speak up if your connection freezes and do not speak over others. Remember to mute your microphone during breaks.  For more tips, read John McIntyre's article about Virtual Discovery.

Hosting Client Events

Hosting events can help you attract prospects, build trust, and enhance reputation. Events can be social or educational. Popular events include client lunches, seminars, and webinars. Use a checklist for planning and create an Event Page for publicity. Learn more by reading articles about creating podcastsgiving speecheshosting eventsorganizing seminars, and Zooming webinars.

Writing Tools and Technology

Word processing can help lawyers create, edit, and share documents.  Word processing software facilitates document drafting with tools for footnoting, formatting, numbering, and sharing documents. Read Nicole Black's Introduction to Word Processing to learn about software options like Google Docs and Microsoft Word. Become more proficient by reading guides to Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Also the ABA's books about Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office.

Making Offices Safe

You can make your office a safer workplace by upgrading HVAC systems to improve air quality, moving work stations father apart to facilitate social distancing, and installing touchless technology to enhance hygiene. Learn how about make offices safer by reading WEF's article about office design, watching WSJ's video on office trends, and visiting C&W's website on design insights. Improve your office efficiency reading CAP's book about organizing law offices.

Client Intake

You can keep clients happy and increase profitability by improving client intake. Start by making client intake the responsibility of a member of the firm or a staff assistant. The responsible person can be tasked with implementing procedures to welcome clients, evaluate their ability to pay, and check for conflicts.  To get started, check MBA’s intake tipsand articles about establishing procedureshandling inquiries, and  improving the intake process. For in-depth study, read the ABA’s book about Capturing Clients. Your clients will appreciate your improved forms, procedures, and software.

Working Remotely

The Coronavirus presents special challenges to solos and small law firms who are working from home.  Stay ahead of the curve by readingarticles,books and guidesto surviving and thriving when working remotely. And prepare for reopening your office by checking bar association resources and reading articles with reopening tips.

Virtual Receptionists

Virtual receptionists can answer your calls and emails 24/7 for about $100 to $300/month. You can choose from providers with live persons or use an automated attendant. Virtual receptionists can improve client intake and integrate with practice management systems. Read articlescomparisonsreviews, and sample scripts to add a virtual receptionist at your firm.    

Virtual Assistants

Virtual assistants are live people that work remotely to help with administrative tasks, marketing, researching, and writing. They can be hired part-time or full-time depending on your needs. Learn more by reading articles about benefitschoosing, using, recruiting, and supervising virtual assistants. Also see a related post about using automated digital assistants for calendaring, communicating, dictating, and note-taking.

Smart Devices

When first introduced, smart speakers and displays were mostly used for entertainment. Over time, smart devices have become productivity tools that are useful for communicating, checking  calendars, and setting reminders. For a comparison of products, read PC Magazine's review of smart displays. To learn how to use them in your office, see articles about virtual assistants and smart displays.