I presented a Lunch-‘n-Learn CLE on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at the Dauphin County Bar Association. The session — Fine Tuning Your Practice — covers best practices and procedures for today’s law office. From intake through file closing and eventual destruction, hundreds of nuggets of useful information were offered to help attorneys return to the office and easily implement improvements.
During the marketing practices section, I challenged lawyers in attendance to leverage their current activities through use of social media. I brought the challenge to life by offering to pose for selfies with any lawyer who would begin making the effort.
Three attorneys took advantage of my offer. I haven’t received links from two of them, but here is the first.
Bravo to attorney Michael Hynum, who posted this photo on Twitter. You’ve gained a new follower.
A long-established Norristown, PA law firm is seeking an attorney with 5 – 10 years experience in Family Law, Creditor Representation and Commercial Litigation. Workers Compensation and/or PI experience is helpful. The applicant must be able to handle own caseload. Interested applicants should email resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dena Lefkowitz, an accomplished lawyer coach, will be presenting a free marketing seminar on October 20, 2016. Sponsored by American Executive Centers, the seminar entitled “How to Get the Business You Want Starting Now” will be presented from Noon – 1:00 pm at American Executive Centers; 1515 Market Street; Suite 1200; Philadelphia.
Dena is a very sharp lady with a national practice. I am privileged to know her. As a personal coach, Dena assists lawyers with polishing marketing skills, increasing confidence, making career transitions and rediscovering their sense of purpose and joy. She is certified by the International Coach Federation and a former board member of the Philadelphia chapter. Dena has coached a best-selling author, lawyers, and executives in many industries.
For those of you who follow my writings, you know that I am a big believer in coaching assistance for those who need help getting themselves from thought to action. If you have the time, register and get some solid assistance. The price will never be better! And it will give you a chance to see a good coach in action.
I just read in the Legal Intelligencer that consultant Ward Bower died of a heart attach on September 28th, at the age of 69. You can read the story here. Too many people in the legal industry won’t realize what a loss this represents; despite his many contributions.
I was privileged to know Ward for many decades. I admired him. The first two decades he and I met in educational venues for the most part.
At that time I managed firms internally. Ward was a frequent presenter at educational events I attended. Having managed in many corporate environments prior to joining my first law firm, I struggled to apply sound business practices at law firms.
Ward was firmly entrenched in the belief that law firms needed to operate both as profession and business to be successful. So he was preaching to the choir. But he really understood the blow-back Legal Administrators dealt with on a day-to-day basis at their firms. Ward was always free to share thoughts on how to more creatively accomplish goals, and I found him increasingly inciteful as his experienced deepened.
In the following decades, as an independent law practice management consultant serving smaller firms, I kept in touch with Ward, and continued to enjoy his writings.
I remember several assignments over the years when I needed a sounding board. Ward remained generous with his time. When he disagreed, he presented alternate opinions diplomatically and with finesse. I was so grateful for his assistance. I feel in some part it is what enabled me to remain so engaged, and dedicated to continue to develop my instincts and expertise.
It’s a sadder industry for the loss of Ward Bower. He was much too young.
It’s still summer, but many firms are already planning for the winter holidays. There will be events, gifts, and print and/or electronic holiday cards.
Last year the best electronic card I received was a link to a tongue-in-cheek video from Leisawitz Heller. The writing was very good, and I have to say that the attorneys did a great job of staying in character.
The firm managed to cover all of their practice areas in an amusing and entertaining way. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with this year, although I believe that their effort was truly unique and will be difficult to surpass or replicate.
Each year I highlight just one; the very best I receive from the hundreds of law firms which are kind enough to include me in their mailing list. One year a personal letter which recapped business and personal events over the year created such an intense feeling of “relationship” with the attorney who sent it, it was an easy decision. For 2015, Leisawitz Heller made it another easy decision. Other years it’s been more difficult to ferret out extraordinary from ho-ho-hum.
I have just a few tips:
- Whatever you do, do it early. There is nothing as disappointing as a card which arrives after the holiday has passed.
- Don’t overthink the small stuff. Some firms feel that having the signature of all lawyers on each card, or a hand-addressed envelope, will make the card more memorable. Not so.
- Personalize if you can. Rather than sweat things like hand-addressing, putting a simple handwritten “Dear Client” at the top inside of the card is memorable, as is any other short personal message. I still remember cards with notes like “I know you can’t wait to get back to gardening in Spring . . . almost there!” Depending on the size of your mailing list, you may want to carve out only the top 10%, or best referral sources, for this type of personalization.
- Consider other holidays. Remember that Christmas is the largest mailing, and it’s hard to stand out in that crowd. Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful. What better time to thank clients and referral sources? Even Halloween can be utilized cleverly as a “touch” with clients and referral sources. It’s usually memorable.
- If your budget is limited, get more bang for your dollars with an electronic card. What you save on postage you can budget for creativity and quality.
- If you’re planning an event, get your invitation out early. People have too much on their calendar that time of year. If you’re not one of the first to reserve the date, you will not have a decent turnout.
Wondering what I do? Some years I do nothing. Most years I do a limited mailing to clients and key vendors and referral sources. I use a high quality memorable card. But I order several designs, so that when multiple people at the same firm get a card from me, they get different designs. It’s noticed. I also try to include a personal message in each card. At a minimum I write their name inside the card. And yes, my 2016 cards are already ordered and here.
In case you missed the recent issue of the Pennsylvania Bar Association‘s eNewsletter, I want to call something new and exciting to your attention.
The PBA Insurance Program, offered through USI Affinity, recently announced a risk management policy enhancement for CNA policyholders in Pennsylvania.
A policyholder using an engagement letter in connection with legal services that are subject of a malpractice claim will have the deductible applying to that claim reduced by 50 percent – up to $25,000.
What’s interesting, is that a key provision for this enhancement to apply is that the engagement letter include a statement regarding client file retention. I have been recommending this be included in engagement letters for many years. Those who have attended my Records Management seminar can attest. I even provide sample language to attendees and PBA members.
CNA authored an article entitled Better With a Letter: Why Attorneys Should Use Engagement Letters; An Introduction to Engagement Letters. Of course, PBA members can get my resource on engagement letters by sending an email request directly or through the PBA website.
Kudos to CNA for putting a value on this best practice!
Well respected, boutique, Upper Bucks County based General Practice law firm is seeking bright and motivated Attorney to join their growing Litigation practice.
This is an excellent opportunity to join a dynamic, growing law firm with a lot of long term employees and a very friendly, professional working environment. This practice group handles a variety of matters with a focus on general practice and defense litigation. Previous related litigation experience is required.
The ideal candidate will have 2-4+ years’ litigation experience, strong research and writing skills along with exceptional interpersonal skills. Must be admitted to practice in PA, NJ highly desired.
The successful candidate will show demonstrated ability and willingness to work as part of a team, manage multiple responsibilities, solve complex problems, and adapt easily to changing priorities. Strong analytical, research and writing skills, along with exceptional interpersonal skills required. Must excel at developing good working relationships with professionals, clients and colleagues.
Competitive salary, realistic billable requirement, generous bonus structure, and excellent benefits package offered.
Send CV and cover letter to Karen Chellew, Firm Administrator.
Office Manager – Part-time
Successful small law firm in Allentown, PA needs an Office Manager. Reports to the Managing Partner. Management experience: 2+ year law firm, or 4+ other industry. Education: A.S. or relevant certification. Solid MS computer skills. Strong people skills. The firm will honor your summer vacation plans! Send resume, cover letter and desired compensation to Melissa Schwartz, Managing Partner. Job description may be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/z5mtxct.
Apple customers, particularly Mac users, are normally adamant about the fact that their computers don’t need protection from viruses, Trojans, Ransomware, or other threats that impact Windows PCs on a day-in-and-day-out basis. Is it true, or a myth? The truth is that while the general threat level is far lower on a Mac than a PC, the OS-X operating system is not immune.
Apple has been a target of lesser opportunity only because criminals invest their time, money and resources where the return will be greatest. That has historically targeted PCs almost exclusively, due to their market share. As the installed base of Macs continues to grow, so does the appearance of threats. How quickly?
A recent blog post on the Official Security Blog site of Malwarebytes states: “The popularity of Macs leads to more cybercriminals wanting to write malicious code for OS X. Although still much lower than PCs, the number of threats targeting Apple operating systems has grown steadily, with a spike in Mac infections observed over the last 18 months. A recent study by Bit9 + Carbon Black found that the number of Mac OS X malware samples detected in 2015 was five times greater than in the previous five years combined.”
If you are not deploying security software on your Apple device, now would be the time to do so. Don’t wait to be a victim of something like the Ransomware KeRanger , which was downloaded by around 6,500 people within the 12-hour period that it was available. Some of those users had their data completely destroyed.
Lawyer has spare office(s) to rent in Class “A” offices in Malvern, PA. Close proximity to Route 202 and Great Valley entrance of PA Turnpike.
1 – 3 furnished window offices available with secretarial units, too. Possibility of business referrals for lawyers in bankruptcy, criminal, real estate, family, immigration, estate or employment law.
For additional information contact Kathy Boyer, paralegal, by email or phone at 610-363-3888.