Upcoming Ellen Freedman CLEs through PA Bar Institute (PBI)

I am happy to report that the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI ) has booked me to do live programs and webinars through the end of the year.  Most of the programs will then be placed in their “On Demand” library. This is perfect  for those of you who need last minute credits, live out of state, or just can’t resist hearing my voice!  If you don’t need CLE credit, Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) members will be able to listen to the same seminars in the PBI On Demand library, for free on the PBA website.  No CLE credit is available, but if you need the information, you won’t have to wait for me to come to your county to do a seminar, or buy the seminar.  I think this combination of offerings will address a lot of need.

The following seminars are scheduled.  Look for webinars to be added shortly afterwards to the PBI On Demand library, and the PBA Members Only / Law Practice Management area. (You will need to log in to access materials through PBA.)

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Noon – 1:00 pm
Live Webinar
Financial Management 101 for Attorneys
1 subst credit

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Noon – 1:00 pm
Live Webinar
Billing Done Right: From Nightmares to Nirvana
1 subst credit

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Noon – 1:00 pm
Live Webinar
Hiring Staff
1 subst credit

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
9:00 am – 1:15 pm
Live Program
PBI, Pittsburgh
Best Practice for Financial and Procedural Management
3 subst and 1 ethics credit

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
9:15 am – 1:15 pm
Live Program and Simulcast
PBI, Philadelphia
Best Practice for Financial and Procedural Management
3 subst and 1 ethics credit

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Noon – 1:00 pm
Live Webinar
Planning for the Conclusion of Your Practice
1 subst credit

Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Noon – 1:00 pm
Live Webinar
Records Management
1 subst credit

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Noon – 1:00 pm
Live Webinar
Fraud Prevention
1 subst credit


Will Your Firm be Fired or Hired by Corporate Counsel?

The Association of Corporate Counsel’s ACC Chief Legal Officers 2017 Survey is available for purchase.  I don’t get a dime for recommending it. But if your firm is still in the enviable position of getting work from any company’s Chief Legal Officer or minions, you need as much help as you can get in understanding what keeps them up at night. I have always been a proponent of strategic research, and this is a powerful tool to use in that regard.

Did you know that 46 percent of CLOs/general counsel (GCs) definitely or may replace a law firm for under-performance this year?   Did you know that many CLOs are now examining diversity at the firms which service them? For those who have determined that diversity is a “core value” they are looking beyond simple demographics of the firms which serve them.

In an article in Corporate Counsel Connect, Lauren Giammona, director of operations, business affairs, and legal at PayPal was quoted as saying, “We wanted to look at diversity not just in the context of how folks are staffed on matters — if you only focus on that it can be a bit of a shell game, so we wanted to look at things like who is getting origination credit, and of the management committees, how diverse are they? We found the diversity committee was tremendously diverse, but the executive committee wasn’t. We also looked at the promotions pipeline and programs offered to diverse employees. Those are the ways we measure ourselves internally and want our vendors to reflect that as well.”

Other top concerns right now include ethics and compliance, regulatory or governmental changes, information privacy, data breaches/protection of corporate data, and of course, legal spend. Since almost all of the firms which will be fired will be replaced, there will be lots of opportunity for firms of all sizes which are prepared to offer expertise combined with superior service and an efficient workflow.  Do your homework and positioning now.


Why Branch Offices Fail

This is an issue which affects firms of all sizes. Branch offices open with fanfare and flourish, and a high level of expectation. Sometimes expectations are unrealistic. Sometimes expectations are not clearly defined. Too often, these same offices close later with a barely noticeable hush.  READ MORE …


When Your Needs Exceed Your Budget

Last year I worked with a firm which had been in decision paralysis for over a year about having a new website designed.  The existing site was clearly a cookie-cutter design.  Much of the information was no longer accurate.  The firm’s site sorely lacked search engine optimization (SEO).  READ MORE …


How Are You Going to Pay Me?

It’s a simple question. Just seven words that can dramatically change your bottom line when spoken at the inception of every potential matter. Why are lawyers so uncomfortable asking this basic question? READ MORE…


The Perfect Storm Is Here

General practice firms in rural areas risk dying out due to lack of talent for succession purposes more than because of a lack of demand for legal services.  What should you be doing?  READ MORE

The Perfect Storm Is Here

Since 2000, the workforce has been declining steadily, as the baby-boom generation retires and millennials enter in smaller numbers.  It’s projected that the workforce will continue to shrink significantly until at least 2020.  Some forecasts READ MORE

The Perfect Storm Is Here

Firms are struggling harder than ever to find suitable candidates to hire in all positions.. Shortages include paralegals, legal secretaries, and mid-level lateral attorneys who demonstrate any signs of entrepreneurialism. There have been a lot of unsuccessful hires. And firms are feeling the impact of the resulting turnover in the bottom line and in the ability to service clients efficiently.  READ MORE


First Place Prize for Easter Card to Clients

Once again Leisawitz Heller takes a first place prize (in my book) for innovative use of video in marketing.  I received a dribble of electronic best wishes for Easter or Passover from law firms.  Leisawitz Heller went all out with a funny tongue-in-cheek Easter video which is sure to amuse.

When I talk to firms about marketing, I encourage them to be different.  This firm has, I am proud to say, taken it to heart.  This is the third or fourth in a series of excellent holiday video cards which have been produced with great attention to detail.  By issuing cards for holidays which are not heavily celebrated, they assure curiosity will get them a good click-through rate.

Kudos to the firm, kudos to their video production company, and a big thumbs up to the attorneys who manage to keep a straight face while dead-panning to the camera.

Keep it up!

Upcoming Seminars by Ellen Freedman

Attorneys keep asking me to let them know when I will be presenting a CLE in their county or close by.  Here’s what’s coming up in the near future.   To get additional information or register, please visit the web site or contact the county bar association directly.  I’m fortunate in that I’m not involved in any details other than showing up and doing the presentation.

  • Friday, April 21, 2017
    Carbon County Bar Association – Bench Bar Conference
    #1: Conquer Catastrophe: Technology Tools You Can Use to Keep Practicing in the Event of a Disability
    #2: Disaster Prevention and Preparedness


  • Wednesday, April 26, 2017
    Berks County Bar Association – Bench Bar Conference
    #1: Hiring Help
    #2: Handling Entrusted Funds


  • Thursday, May 25, 2017
    Lackawanna County Bar Association
    Managing Conflict and Strengthening Resilience


  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017
    Somerset County Bar Association
    Ellen’s Top Practice Management Tips

I hope to see you at an upcoming presentation!

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