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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Marketing’

Making Rain: Business Development Videos

We haven’t mentioned this previously, and I only just discovered it this weekend: “Making Rain“, the business development practice management coaching video column from Canadian Lawyer Magazine, hosted by certified executive coach Debra Forman of Pinstripe Coaching. Started in March 2010, these brief monthly videos give practical advice on business development for lawyers.

In the latest episode, Forman provides twelve resolutions for the coming year (one for each month). This series is a worth a look.

The full series is available from the Canadian Lawyer video listing. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Marketing, Public Relations and Reading the Tea Leaves

Behold the legal bombshell: 500-lawyer national firm Heenan Blaikie may be folding, or at the very least re-structuring as early as next week, according to The National Post and The Globe and Mail. It’s like the opening line of Adele’s booming Skyfall theme: “This is the end….” 

At Heenan Blaikie, Initial Public Offering (IPO) work, although lucrative, was down 80 per cent in 2013 from 2012, according to The National Post. The theory was faulty and the assumptions were flawed: firms can grow bigger and take marketshare away from other firms. In marketing, any category (law services, . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

A Full and Equal Voice

Why is it still so common to see a panel predominantly made up of middle-aged white male lawyers on the dais at a legal conference or CPD session? I noted this again at a legal conference I attended last week. Of course, there were exceptions – the panel of women in corporate counsel positions and the Aboriginal law panel, for example – but shouldn’t a gender balanced, diverse panel of speakers now be the rule, rather than the exception?

These questions have been roiling about my mind since last fall, when I read the numerous, thoughtful comments to my Slaw . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing

Social Law Firm Index Released

Last week consulting firms Above the Law and Good2BSocial released their joint Social Law Firm Index ranking the Am Law 50 law firms’ social media presence. Ranking was compiled in terms of:

  • Reach – “total number of unique people who had an opportunity to see the firm’s content.”
  • Engagement – “actual interaction with the firm’s content via social media.”
  • Owned media – “An assessment of the firm’s own site (including microsites) based on, among other things, the proportion of non-promotional content, frequency of updates, and shareability of content.”

Access to the Index is free, but you will need to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing, Technology: Internet

Law Schools’ Fear of Social Media Is a Disservice to Students

Spending time at a law school allowed me to see something very disturbing; law students are actively and deliberately told by law schools to expunge all social media activity.

The clear message to students is: Do Not Have Any Web-Presence Whatsoever.

Given this message, it’s no wonder that most Canadian lawyers view social media with fear and take no part in it. It also explains the shocked looks when I asked my class to create Twitter and LinkedIn accounts – then use them for class participation. Oh the horror!

Imagine if I had asked them to create blogs!

In my . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Old School Social Networking

This week I’ll be attending the Manitoba Bar Association’s annual Midwinter Conference in Winnipeg. The conference provides lawyers with the full 12 hours of mandatory continuing professional development (MCPD), including 1.5 hours that meet the Ethics, Professionalism and Practice Management requirement, but that’s not why I attend.

In this age of webinars, online courses and individualized learning, I look forward to being in a learning environment with other lawyers, one that invariably includes time allotted for discussion and questions. Often I find I’ll learn as much from the feedback from other participants as I have from the formal presentations. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing

Small Town Access to Justice

While it’s premature to call it a trend, Winnipeg-based law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS) has once again merged with a small local law firm based in Western Manitoba, and thereby expanded its reach to Manitoba’s western borders.

Brandon-based Roy Johnston LLP operated for some 30 years, most recently as a six-lawyer firm. Managing partner Paul Roy told the Winnipeg Free Press that the merger is a response to the changing needs of firm clients who are engaged in more complex legal transactions:

“When we started out, we were doing simple farm deals and house deals. The institutions and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing

Draft Practice Standards on Timekeeping and Law Firm Data: Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is currently seeking input from lawyers on two proposed new practice standards. The draft standards, proposed by the Law Office Management Committee, relate to lawyers’ responsibilities in the areas of timekeeping and data maintenance:

1. A lawyer’s accounts must be fair, reasonable and lawful.

a) The assessment and reasonableness of a lawyer’s account will depend on many factors, of one which is the time and effort “required and spent”.


Lawyers must ensure there is a system in place for the maintenance, backup, and access of all electronic data.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Growth Is Dead? for Who?

“Looking out for Number One is the conscious, rational effort to spend as much time as possible doing those things which bring you the greatest amount of pleasure and less time on those which cause pain.” Looking Out for Number One-Robert J. Ringer

I recently attended a wonderful evening hosted by Above the Law with key comments provided by Bruce MacEwen, a well known law firm strategist, commentator and lawyer who runs the consultancy and blog titled Adam Smith, Esq. Not surprisingly, Mr. MacEwen rightly has a large American following and an immense level of credibility among the AmLaw200 . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing

Back to Basics: Competence in Communications

Communication-based claims and complaints against lawyers remain remarkably common despite the increased ease with which we can communicate with clients through use of technology in addition to more traditional modes of communication.

Strong and effective communications between lawyers and their clients are an essential component of the lawyer-client relationship. Some of the issues that might be flagged as problematic in a communications based claim include:

  • Failing to obtain and follow a client’s instructions;
  • Failing to keep a client informed of progress, or lack of progress in complying with instructions;
  • Failing to advise a client of all settlement offers;
  • Confusion as
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

The Opposite of ‘Inclusive’ Is ‘Incomplete’

Lawyers work in one of the least diverse professions in any country, Dr. Arin Reeves told the Monday morning plenary session at the 2013 CBA Legal Conference in Saskatoon. It was something the women and minorities in the largely white, male audience had probably already guessed.

And they no doubt nodded vigorously, or even silently applauded, when she said that “diversity” is not merely a matter of including a few people who don’t look like you on a team – it’s a matter of including them because you value their input, because you know they’ll bring something important to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management

An Annual Legal Health Check-Up From LAWPRO

Clients don’t always appreciate how lawyers can help on other legal issues they may encounter as they go through life.

Just as booking an appointment with a doctor or financial advisor offers an opportunity to identify issues and gauge your health (physical and financial), checking in with their lawyer can ensure your client’s legal health is also in good shape.

To help lawyers remind their clients to check up their “legal health”, LAWPRO has created the Annual Legal Health Check-up (in Word format and PDF format). It is a non-exhaustive list of common legal issues that arise in a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing