Posts

Showing posts with the label Management

Welcoming New Clients

Make new clients welcome by providing them with a welcome kit. The kit can be posted on firm websites, physically delivered at in-person  consultations or emailed for virtual consultations. Below are tips for creating welcome kits and links to resources to help you welcome new clients.  Tips Benefits - welcome kits create favorable impressions, set expectations, and streamline the onboarding process.    Contents - include a contact page, client questionnaire, firm brochure, retention agreement, and welcome letter. Cover - put the contents in a presentation folder imprinted with the firm's name to make it memorable. Digital - create a PDF or video for the benefit of clients that consult virtually or prefer being paperless. Education - use the ki t to introduce members of the firm, billing procedures, client responsibilities, possible outcomes, and timelines.   Tools - keep clients happy by using additional tools like practice management apps and client intake forms.   Arti

Working Hybrid

The transition to a hybrid workplace can stress lawyers and challenge productivity. Keep hybrid workers connected and productive with the following  tips.  For more resources, see the articles, books, forms, software, and websites listed below.   Tips Amenities - provide beverages/snacks, exercise rooms, and outdoor areas. Engagement  - survey lawyers and staff to determine needs and preferences.  Meetings - keep staff in the loop with memos, team meetings, and firm events. Privacy - set aside conference rooms for individual use. Schedule - encourage teams to select days for working at the office. Training -  provide leaders with training and tools for managing hybrid teams. Workplace - create system for reserving workspace .  Articles Adopting Hybrid Work Schedules Building Successful Work Environments Connecting Hybrid and Remote Workers How Accounting Firms Deal with Hybrid Keeping Lawyers Happy Legal Rules for Hybrid Workplace Lessons from a Mid-Size Firm Managing a Hybrid Workforc

Avoiding Disasters

Disasters can be caused by computer hacks, deaths/disabilities, equipment failures, errors/omissions, health emergencies, loss of a key employee, power outages, sabotage, scandals, severe weather, and software glitches. Advance planning can help firms survive disasters and overcome adversities. Following are disaster planning tips and resources for implementing them. Tips Backing Up  - backup data with cloud services and store backup equipment outside of the office. Contacts -  create a communication list with contact details of clients, employees, and vendors. Communicating  -  be prepared with alternative forms of communication (e.g., mobile phones, mobile hotspots, satellite phones, etc.). Delegating  - appoint a leader to take charge in the event of a disaster. Drilling  - stage occasional drills to rehearse roles. Insurance - purchase insurance to cover business interruption, malpractice, and other risks. Inventorying - prepare a list of equipment, supplies, and valuables. Planni

Preventing Malpractice

Defending a malpractice claim can be expensive and tarnish your reputation. Below are tips for avoiding malpractice claims and a links to resources with additional information. Tips Assistance - seek assistance for cases that require additional time or specialization.  Accounting  - use an accounting app to record client funds and keep them in a trust account separate from firm accounts. Automate  - automate calendaring of appointments, deadlines, and hearings; use software for billing, case management, and client communications.  Communications - use written communications to follow-up meetings and phone calls;  promptly provide case updates;  explain reasons for your decisions and strategies. Disengagement  - use a non-engagement letter to confirm that a lawyer-client relationship has not been created. Documentation  - Retain copies of engagement (and disengagement letters), keep notes of matters discussed with clients; retain research that explains issues and approaches. Engagemen

Marketing with Surveys

Client surveys let your clients know that you care. Surveys can be used to  evaluate satisfaction with services and determine additional needs. They can be  conducted  at the end of an engagement or distributed annually. Conduct the survey by phone, send by mail,  or create a survey page at your website. Design your questionnaire using a template from Google, Microsoft, or Survey Monkey. Provide an incentive for completion and assure responders that their replies will be kept confidential. For more tips see below for a checklist, articles, books, and samples. .   Checklist Amount of time devoted to client Communication and Office Technology Fairness of Fees Friendliness of staff Handling of inquiries Information on invoices Office location and furnishings Promptness of service Quality of legal advice Articles Asking Questions Benefitting from Surveys Building Reputations Client Feedback Programs Collecting Data Creating Online Surveys Handling Angry Clients Survey Alter

Improving Morale

Returning to the office can improve collaboration, productivity, and work/life balance.  However, many lawyers have delayed returning  due to f amily  situations,  health issues, or personal preferences.  Law firms can accelerating the return by allowing flexibility and promoting  health and well-being . Following are additional tips and resources for lure lawyers back to offices. Communication . K eep  lawyers connected  and inform ed  about office planning using conferencing, emails, and memos.      Environment . Improve  working conditions by  reconfiguring workspaces, add ing   touchless options ,  and modernizing  d├ęcor .  Create a welcoming e nvironment that makes people feel comfortable and relaxed.      Flexibility .  Allow  lawyers and staff to work remotely  for  a few days  per  week.  Give lawyers and staff the ability to  select  days in the office  and reserve  workspace .      Fun .  Encourage  camaraderie with weekly lunches, monthly social events,  firm newsletters,  a

Growing Firms

The Pandemic has caused firms to evaluate their clients, offices, and staffing. Take time to review your firm's situation and adopt strategies for the future. See below for a list of strategies for firm building and resources for implementing them. Checklist Analyze  - use data to assure informed decision making   Assess  - determine and address client needs Automate  - optimize the use of technology Create  - adopt a firm credo and put it into action  Collaborate - encourage teamwork  Compensation - keep compensation competitive Expand  - use alliances, retainers, and unbundling Lead - take  leadership positions in bar, civic, and religious organizations Progress  - stay current on trends in the law and the legal profession Retention - keep lawyers and clients happy to avoid departures  Articles Alternative Billing Future Proofing Law Firms  How Lawyers Can Stay Competitive Retainers for Steady Income Subscription-Based Legal Services Unbundling Legal Services Books Being a Bett

Sending Reminders

Follow-up reminders help avoid missed appointments, build networks, complete tasks, and request reviews. Avoiding overwhelming clients, co-counsel, and opposing counsel by using the following tips. Get additional tips from the articles and books listed below. Tips Content - limit to a few sentences and ask for reply to confirm receipt. Follow-up - call if no response (don't rely on leaving voicemail or email). Frequency - send one reminder to avoid annoyance and spam filters. Method - use email, letter, phone, or text depending on the preference of recipient. Purpose - send reminders for meetings, deadlines, tasks, and payments. Subject - use a short subject like "Reminder - Appointment". Articles Appointment Apps   Building a Network Communication Guide for Lawyers Email Etiquette Sending Reminders Writing Follow-ups  Text Messaging Books Business Email Etiquette for Lawyers Lawyer's Guide to Email Model Business Communications Samples Appointment Confirmation Bu

Planning Careers

Many lawyers pursue careers with corporate law departments, law firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Others chose to start a new firm as a solo or with other lawyers. The new firm path is best for lawyers with entrepreneurial spirit, financial support, and organizational skills. Below are tips for writing a business plan to use as a blueprint for growing legal careers and law firms. For further study, see the links to articles, books, forms, and websites. Tips Assessment - assess entrepreneurial spirit and legal skills to determine readiness. Contents - describe the practice, competitive factors, finances, and marketing plans. Costs - determine the cost of equipment, offices, supplies, and staffing. Focus - select practice areas and geographic locations that will be the focus of the firm. Office - Decide whether to office at home, an office building, or shared office space. Research - study competitive factors, costs, fee schedules, skills, and prospective client

Writing Website Disclaimers

Continually review your law firm website to keep it current and comply with evolving ethical requirements. Avoid ethical complaints by using  a short disclaimer at the bottom of each page with a link to a detailed Disclaimer Page.  Add a Policy Page to comply with laws governing privacy. For more information, see the resources listed below and  consult your state bar association.  Articles ABA Modernizes Marketing Rules Best Practices for Privacy Policies Disclaimers for Firm Blogs and Websites Ethical Guide to Lawyer Marketing Ethical Guidelines for Websites Guide to Website Design Overview of Online Ethics for Lawyers   Books Ethics and Technology Legal Ethics and Social Media Marketing on the Internet   Forms Jennifer Ellis Blog Louisiana Legal Ethics Blog Samples Disclaimers Cardone Firm (New Orleans) - personal Injury Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo (Newark) - criminal immigration and traffic Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterseon (Lexington) - disability, insurance, and personal inj

Protecting Confidences

Cybersecurity, ethics, and technology  are constantly evolving.   Review your current practices to protect client confidences and comply with ethical rules. Below is a checklist of practices to consider and articles and books for implementing them. Checklist Accounts - Use separate accounts for personal and work (i.e. email, banking and social media, etc.) Backups - Backup client files, correspondence, and other records Conversations - Do not discuss sensitive information near others or smart speakers Emergencies - Exchange landline and cell numbers with co-workers for emergency contact Encryption - Encrypt devices and drives to protect against data theft Erasure - Turn on settings that allow remote erasing when devices are   lost or stolen Locks - Use a locked room or file cabinet to secure paper documents Messages - Use secured messaging or encryption to protect emails and documents Networks - Use secure Wi-Fi network instead of public networks Passwords - Use a password manager pr