7 Ways to Get Referrals for Your Law Firm

For many attorneys, referrals are a significant and comfortable method for new business. Client referrals are satisfying as the implication is that the referring client is confident in your work and was happy with the outcome.

Another method of referral is from a colleague, usually referred to as lawyer-to-lawyer referrals. Research by LexisNexis found that 26 percent of a U.S. law firm’s income typically comes from referred work. However, it is not practical to rely only on attorney referrals. Developing a multi-pronged approach for referrals requires several methods which require continued attention.

Many lawyers assume that all satisfied clients will refer friends. Unfortunately, it happens less often than they would like. Lawyers need to be pro-active in order to gain referrals and build a practice.

We researched the best methods for building an effective referral process:

1. Ask

While this seems obvious, it is not used often enough. Even for those who do ask for referrals, the typical request goes something like this: “If you hear of anyone who needs my services, I hope you’ll keep me in mind.”

An effective “Ask” has more elements to it than most professionals realize. Just asking for referrals is very open ended and can result in a bad fit for the prospective client and the attorney. Here are some tips that can turn a vague “ask” into a client.

-Try an “ask” which offers a clear picture of the type of services you offer.

Be specific about what you can offer beyond what some clients are aware of. Many clients only know about the services you supplied, so be sure you make clients, friends and other professionals aware of the full spectrum of your practice.

-After the final closure of a case, you may offer what is called “net promoter survey.”

It is single-question survey that reveals how your clients feel about the work you did for them. The question may go something like: On a scale of one to five, how likely are you to refer me to your closest friends and peers? You will want a space for the client to elaborate if necessary.

2. Introductions

If you are looking to connect to someone who would find it helpful knowing your services, be sure to attend meetings and events you know this person attends. Offer your services to assist in areas of your expertise. When introduced, be sure to be clear about who you are. One way to do this is to describe who you are and what services you provide. It cuts through the conversation in having to explain what you do after the initial introduction.

3. Networking

Create a database of 100-200 organizations as well as contacts in your local area. This list should include good resources such as service clubs, interest groups, faith organizations and professionals outside of your industry who may be aware of your services such as medical professionals non-attorneys and your local bar association. Often these are groups who are in a position to refer clients to you.

4. Advertise

Let people know about your interest in receiving referrals from other firms. There are law firms that need assistance with lawyers outside of their practice. It could be that clients they represent may also have an issue that is in conflict as well as something they don’t represent. Take out ads in state and local bar association publications as well as in newsletters, Web sites and organizations where your services are required.

5. LinkedIn

Be sure to take advantage of online resources like LinkedIn. Keep your profile current and include that you are interested in new clients. Join other legal LinkedIn groups for lawyers such as Leadership for Lawyers, Linked Lawyers, Lawyers Weekly and Lawyers Network as well as law groups that fall into particular specialty. LinkedIn has excellent search tools that can help you find other lawyers as well as clients that you might want to meet. LinkedIn advanced tools can help you search by keywords, firm size, specific industries and their location.

Be sure to take advantage of writing posts for LinkedIn as well as for your blog. Well written and timely LinkedIn articles can garner thousands of views. It is a very effective way to broaden your visibility and let the potential client and other professionals aware of your knowledge in your respective practice.

6. Pro Bono work

What sets some lawyers apart is that the practice of networking without expecting anything in return. This method is more like community work for the sake of helping others. In fact, there is no hint of reciprocity and offering pro bono work for service organizations by giving you’re your knowledge, contacts and time.

7. Offer referrals

Be proactive in referring the work of your colleagues and clients. Be a resource for others and be known as someone who knows whom to call on to get things done for others. This makes you the broker of the services for others. In these circumstances, you need to know the key facts about your colleague’s practice or business. Create a list of five to 10 legal colleagues that you want to have in your arsenal to cross-market. For each one, know the specialty area of their practice, their two or three main clients, a couple of recent matters or cases, and one or two ways that they have created value for their clients. You should also do this for the top clients and professional service providers in your network.

This Article was written by Anthony Larman from Leads-Locally

Anthony Larman is a smart executive that understands the foundational principles of marketing that make a difference. If you want to achieve predictable business growth and eliminating ineffective marketing that waste your money. Then Leads-Locally is for you.

Please Contact at http://leads-locally.com/free-consultation/ and request a FREE NO OBLIGATION consultation. You can reach me by calling 1(408)-418-5096. You can also visit my LinkedIn page at http://bit.ly/1MVes Tz

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Meeting Client Needs in a Constantly Evolving Legal Landscape

While the practice of law is a constant, the process of delivering legal services is going through some significant changes. Lawyers are using language that includes terms like “innovation,” “end-to-end” (E2E) and “alternative fee arrangements” (AFA) at their law firms, conferences and coffee shops.

Many lawyers are pushing the envelope to find more efficient ways in which to serve their clients as well as improve office efficiency. The Internet has become the vehicle of choice to help them work faster and create a more dynamic practice.

Innovation in the workplace

While “innovation” has become the standard buzzword in industry, it holds specific meaning for the practice of law. Like other professions that have a strict code of conduct, innovation can have a much narrower scope and challenge to stay between the lines.

For law practices that want to embrace the new opportunities, firms should take a hard look at how these techniques effect their client and professional relationships. The question many attorneys ask is how do the rules of ethics stifle innovation and violate the Rules of Professional Conduct? According to Daniel J. Siegel, the principal of the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel LLC, decidedly no, they do not.

Siegel wrote in Law Practice, that be believes most attorneys comply with the Rules. Yet, he says, while others may ignore some Rules, they respect their profession and the welfare of their clients.

Regarding the ethical implications of law and innovation, conventional wisdom has been that not to embrace change endangers a firm to be out of touch and out of the running. Clients today use the Internet to make decisions about which organizations they want to do business with and that decision often is made going online and judging the website information and interface effectiveness. It is not uncommon today for lawyers to communicate with prospective clients by using blogs, the Internet, on-demand videos and social media. This isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, in 1999 in the Fordham Law Review (Vol. 67, No. 5), author Richard Zorza concluded that, “Rather than threatening the practice of law, technological innovation can dramatically advance the values that the ethical rules seek to protect.”

Examples of innovative ideas include:

  • Accordion Companies -assemble networks of lawyers available to meet short-term staffing needs.
  • Attorneys are paid only for the hours they work.
  • Virtual law firms- The internet has made it easier for potential clients to find legal services online through full-service firms or as part of traditional firm. Clients can research information or make requests online through a website. For some services, all work can be exchanged and solved online.

End-to-End services

Law firms that offer E2E services combine state-of-the-art technology with client services. The practice begins with collecting the client information, research, delivery of services and payment. Firms use software programs to facilitate the process, yet the actual tangible services are delivered by the staff themselves.

Day to day practice has evolved by using the changes innovation has brought to the law firm. End-to-end services offer clients a total “in-house” experience using the latest technologies to help in advancing the client services more quickly as well as less costly.

Alternative fee arrangements

For some services, the hourly fee has given way to the AFA. AFAs were not created to charge more to the client. Rather it is a more efficient way to offer specific and on-target charges for different services. It is designed to be fair and appropriate for services rendered. AFA is particularly good for virtual legal services. A fee for service approach in some cases is easier for the client to understand.

Common AFA’s include:

  • Contingent or success fee.
  • Fixed or Flat Fee.
  • Task or Unit-Based Billing.
  • Percentage Fee.
  • Retrospective Fee Based on Value.
  • Statutory or Other Scheduled Fee Systems.
  • Blended Hourly Rate.
  • Fee Collars.
  • Fixed Fee Plus Hourly.
  • Fixed Fee Plus Success Fee.
  • Hourly Rate Plus Contingency.

The challenge for law firms today is managing the various services and delivering quality legal product in the most efficient and effective model for clients. Innovative legal services should not have to undermine existing legal practice. While the delivery of legal services may change, regulations will continue to monitor the ethics of the practice of law.

Anthony Larman is a passionate executive with 20+ years of experience in helping Fortune 500 businesses achieve their marketing and business development goals. With a firm understanding on what it takes to make small to medium size company more profitable by leveraging the core principles of marketing that make a difference. If you want to achieve predictable business growth, eliminate waste and increase your marketing ROI (return on investment). Then Leads-Locally is for you.

Please Contact at http://leads-locally.com/free-consultation/ and request a FREE NO OBLIGATION consultation. You can reach me by calling 1(408)-418-5096. You can also visit my LinkedIn page at http://bit.ly/1MVesTz

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anthony_Larman/2148484


The Cost of Litigation to a Business Owner

You’ve been working hard to get your business going and you are still watching every penny that goes out the door. You may be wearing all the hats in your business or you may have a few employees for clerical or bookkeeping duties. And then you get sued. It may be for something big or something stupid but you are now running to get a lawyer to defend this lawsuit. What will it mean to your business?

You will pay money to a lawyer who specializes in litigation. He/she will not be able to quote you a flat fee because in litigation, you never know how settlement negotiations will go or whether you will need to go to court or your lawyer will need to draft a lot of documents. It could be a few thousand or tens of thousands of dollars. And don’t think it’s the principle of the thing. At some point, the money will be more important than the principle, no matter how right you are.

There are other costs to litigation. You will be spending a great deal of time on this lawsuit. You will need to gather documents for your lawyer to review. You will need to answer interrogatories (questions that the other attorney will ask), you may need to appear for depositions, and finally you may be going to court. That will add up to a lot of hours that you are not spending on your business.

In addition to the time and money you will spend, there is emotional wear and tear. You will be thinking about this lawsuit when you should be focused on your business. Your lack of focus could lead to fights with your partners or a loss of business.

Litigation can also affect your reputation. Your customers may hear about you being sued and wonder about how good your product or service is based on their just hearing about a lawsuit against your company. They may never know that you won the lawsuit because your victory may come in three to five years after it was started.

Litigation is very expensive. A great deal of it is avoidable if you regularly consult with other professionals – your insurance agent, your business lawyer, and your accountant. No matter how much you spend on preventative advice for your business, it is almost always cheaper than the money, time and aggravation you spend when you are being sued or suing someone else. Start saving money by calling in the professionals.

Call me at 201-251-8001 or email me at RGronsky@Gronskylaw.com for a FREE Report on “5 Expensive Mistakes That Entrepreneurs Make That Can Kill Their Business.” And sign up to receive my newsletter at http://www.Gronskylaw.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Robin_Gronsky/30071


The Notion of “Barrister” In English Law

The barrister, a term that can be translated into French by “lawyer”. It is called individually “counsel” (defensive lawyer in court) and, as in France, a member of the Bar (barreau in French). The profession of barrister is very traditionalist, which is reflected in the wearing of the gown and wig (wig and dress).

I – Training

The candidate for the practice of the profession (prospective incoming) must hold a university degree. If this is not a law degree, the candidate must pass the common professional entrance examination (Common Professional Examination) examination that “solicitors” must also pass.

After three years of university studies, the student who is destined to the bar, has a candidate in one of the four Inns of Court (they correspond roughly in France to the Institute of Judicial Studies). The Inns are traditionally the only authority to prepare the accession to the bar and also supervise the profession. Each Inn of Court is headed by the oldest member (benchers).

Today vocational training lasts one year and is provided by the “Council of Legal Education” and the Inns of Court School of Law. It shall lead to a review (Bar Finals) that corresponds to the French “Capa”.

After this examination the student must do an internship (vocational training period) with an experienced barrister. Funny detail: during these two years the future barrister has to attend a specific number of meals in the lobby of the Inn of Court (to keep terms). After performing all these duties, he is admitted to the bar (be called to the Bar)

II – Functions

Barristers practice only in the liberal statute, unlike Germany and France where the wage is allowed. Barristers practice in offices (chambers). The firm is headed by a head of chamber and a clerk (clerc in French) is responsible for its management.

Barristers do not have the right to advertise or contact the customer. They are never contacted directly by the client but by the solicitor who sends them the dispute file written by him (brief). Therefore, there is no contract between the barrister and the client. The Barrister chooses the latter depending on the nature of the dispute and the price the customer is likely to pay. If the barrister is not free, the solicitor should contact another barrister.

Once the case is accepted, the barrister draws conclusions and takes care of the argument. If their fees are not paid, barristers are unable to pursue the customer to claim their due (to sue). However, barristers can not be sued for negligence in how to advocate. However it remains possible during the pre-trial proceedings (pre-trial period).

DHC Translations

For more interesting articles on language and translation please visit DHC Translations

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Daniel_HC/2138593


5 Types of Legal Support You Might Need

Many times, the court system will supply what you need, but don’t assume they will. If you’re working with a court that’s unfamiliar to you, find out what support and services they have in place and what you’re expected to supply.

Here are a few types of legal support you might need for your next case, why each is important and the silver lining of having to secure them yourself:

1. Court recorder: This is one type of support courtrooms often supply for you. However, that’s only if it’s required for your specific case – if it’s not, it might be a good idea to secure your own. You’ll want a court recorder so you can go back and listen to testimony, make sure you have facts correct and perhaps prepare for your next step.

2. Court videographer: Videographers who specialize in courtroom cases are rarely required by courthouses. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, so combining the skills of a videographer with a voice recorder helps ensure you have all testimony captured. These videographers are also skilled at editing, thereby saving you from wading through hours of litigation looking for what you need. If you decide to hire one, you may also want to use him or her when prepping for your case.

3. Transcriptions: Having an official court transcript is sometimes preferable to a video. But you don’t want to have to wait for the court to send you a copy. You need to be able to get transcripts back quickly, and in the format you need. For example, maybe a few key people need the transcripts emailed to them ASAP, while others may want them uploaded into a secure cloud storage space for easy access. If you’re in a hurry, the stakes are high and you want to be sure, hire your own.

4. Video conferencing: The odds of everyone being able to physically gather in the same space when you need them to are slim. Don’t miss the testimony of that expert witness just because you’re in different time zones or your schedules don’t mesh. Video conferencing allows you to meet virtually at whatever time works for everybody – without the need to travel or commute.

5. Meeting space: Meeting space/conference rooms are critical when prepping for court proceedings. The space should be equipped with the latest A/V technology, including video or phone conferencing. It should be quiet, secure, private and have comfortable furnishings. A professional staff, including an A/V tech, should be available.

No matter what your role is in a case, from attorney to paralegal, having the right tools and support is paramount to success. It can help you optimize your time, efforts and money, so look into hiring your own professionals to support you with your important legal case.

Jen Stott is a writer and blogger, and works as the Content Director at Be Locally SEO in Salt Lake City, Utah.

You deserve the best support system in the courtroom.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jen_Stott/2109812