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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 . 

Document Delivery

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  courier ,  electronic , and  mail .   Be careful to  avoid delays caused by seasonal slowdowns and work stoppages,

Video Calling and Zoom

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. Also see Zapier's article about Tips and Tricks for Zoom .

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 podcasts ,  giving speeches ,  hosting events ,  organizing seminars , and  Zooming webinars .  For in-depth guidance, read books  about planning conferences ,  events , and meetings .

Writing Tools

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 to 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.

Improving 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 tips and articles about  establishing procedures ,  handling 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 From Home

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

Hiring Remote 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 articles ,  comparisons ,  reviews , and  sample scripts  to add a virtual receptionist at your firm.    

Using 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 benefits ,  choosing , using , recruiting , and supervising virtual assistants.  Also see a related post about using automated digital assistants  for calendaring, communicating, dictating, and note-taking .   

Using Smart Devices

Smart speakers with video displays can improve your productivity . Popular devices include Amazon's Echo Show, Google's Nest Hub, and Lenovo's Smart Display. Apple fans can use their iPads or iPhones. Use them with digital assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Google's Assistant for calendars, calls, clocks, email, reminders, and retrieving information. Learn more by reading articles about  digital assistants ,  smart displays ,  productivity tips , and  product reviews .