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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Marketing’

In Memoriam of Milt Zwicker…

♫ Only made me more focused, only wrote more potent..♫

Lyrics and music by Kanye West, Aldrin Davis, recorded by Kanye West.

Milton Wedman Zwicker or just “Milt” as he liked to be known, was the retired managing partner of Zwicker Evans & Lewis, an Ontario law firm. His law practice was restricted to business and commercial law and estate planning. He was the author of many articles and books on the subject of law firm management, and he was a past member of the editorial board of Law Practice Management magazine (as it then was known) published by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

An Anti-Spam Legislation Consent Request

You may already have been peppered with these—I’m not the person most tightly in the loop—but I thought you’d like to see what one of the big firms is doing by way of compliance with Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation. This arrived by email, allowing for an email reply. And there’s also a companion version on the Blakes website:

Click on image to enlarge.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Marketing

Lawyers, Law Firms and Exceptionalism

Commiserating on the demise of giant Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie in a Letter to the Editor to The Globe and Mail of February 7, 2014, retired lawyer Stephen Barker took issue with referring to the legal profession as the “law industry.” He adds that most “industries” have low standards of public service. 

This is not new news. The law industry, is in fact, an industry; every industry has its own peculiarities.

More importantly, every industry is subject to the laws of economics (laws of supply and demand, market cycles), competition (and competitiveness), and the 4-stage marketing cycle. The fourth . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, 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