My post from the weekend, Rambling thoughts from 30,000 feet in the air, is about the BUSINESS of law (moving law firms from good to great; the metrics we’re measuring for success). Tim Corcoran‘s latest post, Working Smarter, Not Harder, is about the BUSINESS of law (h/t for the Dilbert). Kevin O’Keefe
With 36 years of law practice behind him, Cordell Parvin now coaches attorneys in all aspects of legal marketing, client development and blogs at lawconsultingblog.com. When he just started his career as a young construction lawyer, his peers mocked him when he wanted to have a national practice from Roanoke, VA. That is until the Secretary of Transportation for the State of Washington called him when the bridge collapsed. How did that call happen? It was from writing articles and being known for a construction litigation law niche practice. Cordell shared his best practices and tips during the webinar which was recorded and can be found here (UPDATED LINK).
- 500 hours. That is how many non-billable hours a lawyer should spend on client development per year or 20-30 per month.
- Have a plan in place for not only non-billable time but personal time as well. Review the plan every 90 days. Plans should include:
- Time for client development
- Organizations to join
- Networking events
- Blog posts
- Pro bono activities
- Feeling overwhelmed with billable work, personal responsibilities and marketing? Set priorities. Start a journal. Document your non-billable time and you will be able to figure out what worked and what didn’t.
- Split your development time in two categories: one for reputation building (writing and speaking); and one for relationship building (getting out and meeting people).
- Tips for young lawyers:
- spend time your first few years developing your skills to become a great lawyer
- learn about your clients
- learn people and communication skills
- read books
- attend seminars
- Write articles:
- Not sure what to write about? What questions are your clients asking? Take the memorandum of law and turn it into an article or blog post. Every matter you work on can take a wider angle.
- Create how-to guides for contracts, design builds. Post the e-books on your website so clients can download. Take what you learn and re-use it. Provide valuable information to your audience and raise visibility and credibility.
- Review the Encyclopedia of Associations for your state. Every association has newsletters or publications.
- Develop a niche practice, be focused. How? What are you passionate about? Used great examples of lawyers who stepped outside the box, developed a niche practice and moved full steam ahead. Staci Riordan incorporates blogging, Facebook and Twitter for the fashion law blog. Alison Rowe with her Equine Law Blog and Kevin O’Neill started a weekly podcast Capital Thinking.
Cordell and Kevin also shared some great blogging tips: