Showing posts from September, 2020

Becoming a Legal Twitterer

Surveys  show that a significant number of lawyers and their firms are using Twitter.  Lawyers mostly use Twitter for following news, marketing, and establishing reputations. See samples using a  Directory of Legal Twitterers , a  List of Lawyers to Follow , or a  Table of Top Law Feeds .  Learn more by reading articles about the benefits of Twitter , creating an account , ethical issues , getting followers ,  starting up , and user tips .   Also see O'Reilly's  Twitter Book  and the ABA's   Guide to Legal Ethics and Social Media.

Digitally Signing Documents

Signature technology can be used on business, government, and personal documents.  Popular software programs with electronic signature capability include Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word .  Digital signature software programs like Docusign  provides encryption in addition to electronic signatures. Learn more by reading articles about paperless signing , document management ,  legal requirements , and when and  how to use signature technology .  Also see reviews of software for  digital signatures  and  document management.

Checking Facts Online

Fact checking is essential because of the exponential growth of news sources and partisan reporting. Remember to be skeptical, compare sources, and don't share articles without verifying. For more fact checking tips, read articles about bias ,  literacy , and spotting fake news . Check out the bias ratings of your news sources at a fact checking website  and view a  diagram of ideology ranking  of news sources.  Consult the ABA's Legal Fact Checker which seeks to help media and public find answer to legal issues.

Drafting Better Contracts

Write professional looking contracts by using concise wording, paragraph numbering, section headings, and tables of contents. Use letter-size paper and single spacing to make contracts easier to scan. For more tips, read articles about  form libraries , word processing ,  writing clearly , and technology tools  like document management software . Also see Dell  Toedt's  archive of drafting articles  and his contract checklist .  For in-depth study, read PLI's contract handbook  and  ABA books about business contracts , computer contracts , construction contracts , documenting deals ,  drafting style ,  government contracts , leases ,  medical contracts ,   prose in contracts ,  settlement agreements , structuring transactions , and tech contracts . 

Boosting Morale

Good morale benefits law firms, lawyers, and staff.  Morale improves recruitment, productivity, and teamwork. Learn how to boost morale at your firm by reading articles about  improving law firm morale with coaching ,  compensation , communication s, mentoring , and newsletters .  Also read articles about boosting morale during the Coronavirus situation  and recessions . For more in-depth study, read the ABA's book about Lessons in Leadership and  Being a Champion for Your Firm and Employees .

Marketing with Blogs

Blogging builds reputations, informs clients, and markets professional services. It can be done by individual lawyers or by groups or firms. Research best practices by reviewing top ranked blogs . Add a Blog page to your firm’s website and enable visitors to subscribe for email updates. Search blogs using the ABA's Search Tool , Justia's Blog Directory , and Lexblog's Network  to access blogs published by thousands of lawyers and law firms. Learn more by reading articles about creating , hosting , marketing , readership , rankings , starting , and syndicating .  Read books like the ABA's Blogging in One Hour  and the Dummy's Guide for in-depth study. And see below for links to Blog Pages at law firm websites hosted by Justia. Sample Blog Pages at Law Firm Webistes Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell , Los Angeles (Business Law) Arnold & Smith , Charlotte (Divorce Law) Siegfried River a , Coral Gables (Construction Law)

Marketing with Podcasts

Podcasting is becoming mainstream with more than 30% of Americans listening to podcasts while commuting, and working out.  Podcasting requires more time and money than other marketing activities, but it can help you and your firm stand out from others. Start by listening to podcasts for lawyers at Legal Talk Network (LTN)  and reading articles about  podcasting by lawyers , finding listeners , firm podcasts ,  launching a podcast , and producing one .  Then  read a  book  like  Podcasting for Dummies  for step-by-step guidance. Contact LTN to for professional help with  recording, post production, marketing, and publication. 

Career Advancement

Legal careers are a journey that starts with law school and ends at retirement. Stops along the way include new jobs and firms, practice specializations, career pivots, and partnerships. To assure career success, read articles about  creating a checklist , doing a makeover , getting a mentor , specializing ,  and professional development.  For in-depth study,  read career books  like the ABA's Guide to Building a Successful Law Career , NALP's Guides to Legal Specialties and  Managing Careers , and Thomson's Career Management Handbook . F or more information,  visit  career blogs  and  websites  like the ABA Career Center . 

Keeping Knowledge Current

Set aside time in your daily schedule to check developments in law, technology, and practice management. Keep current on legal news by visiting legal news websites . Stay alert to general news by subscribing to top ranked aggregators , associations ,  blogs , newsletters ,  newspapers , podcasts ,  twitter feeds , and websites . U se social media posts for quick updates and other sources for deeper learning.  Listen to podcasts  or social media while commuting, exercising, or travelling. Look in a bias checker to identify media bias.  For more strategies, read articles about preemption checking , how to check facts and stay current on  legal news and  current events .  And check the resources at websites maintained by law libraries at universities of  HK , USF , and  UW .

Researching Legal Blogs

Legal blogs contain concise articles about developments in law , marketing , management , and technology . Publishers include associations , individuals , law firms , and  research organizations . Subscribe to a blog's RSS Feed or newsletter  to  stay current  with  top blogs .   Research blogs using  t he ABA's Search ,  Justia's Directory , and Lexblog’s Channels . Also see Duke's  Resources , NYU's Tools , the Law Professors Blog Network  and NLRG Archive . Remember  to consider the source and check the author to avoid using inaccurate information .

Researching Legal Articles

Bar journal and law review articles save time by providing analysis, explanation, and leads to key primary sources. Visit Harvard Law Library's website for an article about finding articles . And  click here for the ABA's free tool for searching law journals.  

Marketing with Social Media

Social media impacts careers, discovery, marketing, reputation, and research. ABA surveys indicate that many lawyers and firms are using social media tools like Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Podcasts, and Twitter. Get started or improve your skills by reading the articles and books linked below. Books About Social Media Creating an Online Publishing Strategy for Law Firms Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers LinkedIn Marketing Techniques Legal Ethics and Social Media Marketing on the Internet Social Media Law Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers Articles About Social Media Best Practices   Discovery in Legal Proceedings Influencers   Ethics   Metrics   Networking Managing Social Media Networking Strategies Time Tips   Writing Articles About Alternative Media Blogging Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter Articles About Tools Hootsuite  (manages social media accounts) 

Staying Healthy

During the Coronavirus situation, stay healthy by taking daily walks, going on weekend outings, and finding activities to keep connected with family and friends. For more health tips, read articles about exercise videos ,  getting exercise ,  staying healthy .  Also see the ABA's book on Well-Being an d its Mental Health Website , and visit Bloomberg's Lawyer Health Website . 

Prospecting for Clients

Dale Carnegie's best-selling book about marketing explains how to win over people by being attentive, friendly, and sympathetic. Titled How to Win Friends and Influence People, over 30 million copies have been sold since first publication about 100 years ago. Click here for an article with tips and resources for using Carnegie’s methods to convert prospects into clients.  For further study, read articles about organizing your intake process with  checklists ,  forms   and software .  

Managing Reputations

Clients, lawyers, and jurists use the Internet to evaluate your reputation for ethics, knowledge, and trustworthiness. In January 2021 the ABA released ethical guidance about responding to online criticism. Manage your reputation by monitoring references to your name on the Internet to correct errors and supplement information.  Use AAW's Checklist for Reputation Management  and DBI's Digital Branding Checklist .  Read articles about editing your Google profile , ethical concerns ,  handling fallout from bad reviews , improving your reputation ,  managing directory listings ,  protecting your firm's reputation , and  responding to negative reviews .