Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

Ringler Radio

From Wealth Management to Structured Settlements

 

Financial security is an important factor for individuals and their families when choosing to go with a structured settlement. Today on Ringler Radio, host, Larry Cohen joins Phillip Krause, a new structured settlement consultant for Ringler Associates out of Naples, Florida to discuss his journey from wealth management to structured settlements, his insight on financial security. the importance of being an active leader in the community and the overall benefits of structures.

Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.

The Digital Edge

Microsoft Surface Pro 3: The Tablet That Really Can Replace a Laptop

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has been released and, according to these lawyers, it finally lives up to the standards of a laptop. It is lighter and more mobile than even the lightest laptop, which makes it better for travel. However, this tablet can download the software and applications that many lawyers use in business like Acrobat, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, while also supporting multiple users. The Digital Edge host Sharon Nelson purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 recently and has put it through the test of whether this tablet can actually replace the laptop she uses for her business.

In this episode of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway invite Nelson’s business partner, husband, and technology expert John Simek on to analyze the statistics of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and assess for whom it can replace a laptop computer. The beneficial features of the tablet include:

  • Bluetooth
  • USB Port
  • Solid State Hard Disk
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Hard Wire Capability
  • 12” Screen
  • 2160×1440 Resolution
  • Micro SD Card Slot
  • Headphone Jack
  • Mini Display Port for Additional Monitors
  • Kickstand
  • Front and Rear Cameras
  • Multiple Processor Options

Nelson found that these features made this tablet work for her as a laptop replacement. She found the i7 Processor particularly nice since lawyers often have little patience with a slow computer. However, this isn’t an advertisement for the Surface Pro 3, so Simek pointed out some downsides to the product. Purchasers should expect to pay laptop prices (instead of tablet prices) ranging from $799 to $1949, not including necessary accessories like the keyboard, which will cost an additional $199. The battery life ranges from 8 to 9 hours, relative to the iPad which consistently lasts 10 hours. Also, the Surface Pro 3 can’t sit atop a lap; it needs a hard surface to work with the kickstand. Despite the downfalls, however, Simek and Nelson have agreed that this tablet can replace a laptop, at least in their legal practice.

John Simek is the Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, holds many digital forensics and IT certifications, and is the co-host of Legal Talk Network’s Digital Detectives podcast. Simek is the co-author of 12 books with two more slated to come out next year and a frequent speaker on the lecture circuit where he talks about IT, information security, and digital forensics.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Serve Now.

Paralegal Voice

Revitalize Your Paralegal Career

Although being a paralegal is a rewarding job, sometimes paralegals experience burnout in their careers and consider changing positions or leaving the profession altogether. There are many ways to revitalize your paralegal career in order to avoid such drastic decisions. Joining a local, state, or national paralegal association can be energizing and spark fresh interest in the field. To really reap the long-term rewards, it is best to become an active member of one of these associations. Engaging with other paralegals can help you recognize that others often have similar problems, there isn’t necessarily a better situation in a different firm, and there are many people who are willing to provide you with support. There are many other ways to add depth and success to a career that may seem stagnant or discouraging. Every paralegal simply needs to find a solution that fits.

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews managing editor of Paralegal Today Magazine Patty Infanti about how paralegals can revitalize their careers. Together they discuss the many different professional directions a paralegal can take in order to build confidence, increase experience, and simply enjoy his/her job more. In addition to joining an association, taking a continuing legal education course and passing an exam leads to credibility and a boost in confidence. Infanti encourages diversity in the topics of classes and maintains that it is just as helpful to get a certification in a new field. Voisin and Infanti both encourage all paralegals to give a lecture, write an essay, or even teach a course on the subject he or she knows best. This could be an area of law, a specific technology, or professional development. Helping other paralegals in any of these ways, they explain, can be the best way to reignite the fire of excitement for your job and field. Voisin also advises paralegals to take all of their vacation days and relax while they’re not at work. Infanti adds that breaks from deskwork throughout the day, even just to grab a lunch sandwich, can really change the attitude of, refresh, and revitalize an exhausted employee.

Patricia E. Infanti, PP, PLS is a member of The Association for Legal Professionals (NALS) and served as President from 2010 to 2011. A past president of both her local chapter and state association, she is currently serving as Parliamentarian of NALS of Pennsylvania and is the Website Chair of NALS of Philadelphia. She is also a member of NALS Leadership Identification Committee and the NALS Genius Bar. Infanti has been employed in the Corporate Real Estate department of Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 1990.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and Serve Now.

Un-Billable Hour

Law Firm Intake and Lead Conversion: Turn Prospects into Paying Clients

All lawyers should start focusing on intake and lead conversion, since it is the easiest and cheapest way to increase revenue. For the purpose of this podcast, lead conversion happens when prospective clients are turned into paying clients. Lead conversion is just a part of intake, the process or system that takes a potential client from the point of contact with your law firm to signing up to be a paying or retaining client. Most lawyers believe themselves to be very good at lead conversion, often boasting up to a 92% conversion rate. However, these lawyers are only counting leads that are already sitting in consultations, who need the services the lawyer provides, and with adequate money to pay for them. Actually, a lead is anyone who clicks on the law firm website, calls for information, or is referred by an existing client. If these leads are measured and analyzed properly, there are very simple changes a law firm can make based on that data to dramatically increase revenue.

In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley about the importance of lead conversion and client retention, the mistakes most law firms are making, and some simple and more complicated solutions to increase intake success. Fairley defines a lead as a person with whom the firm has never done business, who needs the services they provide, and who contacts them by phone or online. Once this potential client makes contact, he explains, conversion rate drops by 400% after 5 minutes. He recommends that every firm have an established non-lawyer and non-paralegal employee responsible for responding to every lead and setting up appointments. Tracking your firm’s intake process is incredibly important, Fairley explains, because you can use the data to make small changes with big results. If a law firm is looking for a place to start, he says, they should record all contacts and hire a secret shopper to give some outside perspective.

Stephen Fairley is the founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. He has developed “The Rainmaker Marketing System” which has helped more than 10,000 attorneys nationwide who have leveraged his system in building their businesses. Fairley has written two international best-sellers and is academically trained as a clinical psychologist. Prior to focusing on the legal marketplace, Fairley ran two successful small businesses and over a period of 14 years and he has become a nationally-recognized legal marketing expert. He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations and he has a large virtual footprint with a highly successful rainmaker legal marketing blog.

 

Kennedy-Mighell Report

Controlling Your Social Media Strategy

As friends, colleagues, and clients documented their Thanksgiving holiday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it was made clear how big a role social media plays in the personal and professional lives of lawyers. Because it is so prevalent and necessary, social media can also be very overwhelming for many who are trying to maintain their online presence. But most lawyers know that engaging with others on social media is not optional anymore. So should they be posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and all other mediums? How many reposts, “likes,” or comments are the right amount? What is a good system or management tool for self-promotion or law firm marketing? Now is a good time to take stock of your social media use and try to control it before it controls you.

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the overwhelming nature of social media, ways lawyers can manage their personal or professional social media, and moving past the guilt of not posting or engaging enough. Kennedy discusses being a “grumpy old man” with the changes in social media that result in ads, sponsored posts, promoted tweets in his various feeds. He also analyzes posting on social media versus consuming information through it and the guilt he feels from not commenting or engaging enough with other people’s posts. Mighell breaks down his process which includes writing a blog and then promoting it using what he considers the most important social mediums for lawyers: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. Both use a social media dashboard like Hootsuite to manage posting and try to automate the process as much as possible. They also encourage lawyers to choose one or two social media platforms to focus on in order to not become overwhelmed, actually enjoy the process, and have a lot of influence in one place instead of a little influence everywhere. Don’t forget, social media information consumption is like dipping a cup into a river and only catching a small sample.

In the second part of the podcast, Kennedy and Mighell discuss their favorite technology gifts and guides for the holiday season. Kennedy reminds everyone to think of the recipient when purchasing tech gifts and keep things practical. Mighell gives some specific gift suggestions including the Moto 360 Watch, Logitech Keys to Go, and Jaybird Bluebuds X Bluetooth headphones as well as gift guides from The Verge and The Wirecutter.

As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast end.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Serve Now.

Legal Toolkit

Power Networking: Making the Right Connections

Lawyers all know they should be networking, and most of them are, but there is an important distinction between the quantity and quality of your connections. Many lawyers are more comfortable networking with other lawyers and find themselves at the same conferences every year. But in order to be truly successful, a rainmaker, lawyers must become power connectors and apply strategic thinking and high level planning to making and keeping the right business contacts. So what does it mean to have valuable connections? How should you get started properly networking while avoiding potentially harmful relationships?

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia interviews business relationship expert Judy Robinett about how to become a power connector by meeting the right people, bonding quickly with them, and developing mutually beneficial relationships. She discusses the concept of different sized network circles, 5 close friends and family members, 50 closest business connections, and 150 as the largest number of effective connections to be made. She explains the importance of considering your professional goals and obstacles before reaching out to others. Often, the most valuable people aren’t other lawyers or people in close networks, but professionals in other fields. The best way for lawyers to build strategic relationships, Robinett suggests, is to join a powerful group, start talking to strangers, and always provide value to others first. She gives three great examples of questions to ask a potentially beneficial connection:

  1. How can I help you?
  2. What ideas do you have for me?
  3. Who else do you know that I should talk to?

In the end, all resources are connected to people, Robinett explains. Be scrappy and learn to connect the dots from where you are to where you want to go.

Judy Robinett is the author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5 + 50 + 150 Rule. She has more than 30 years experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader and has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at fortune 500 companies. Robinett was the managing director at Golden Seeds Angel Network and a member of the Department of Commerce team that defined performance criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality award for Performance Excellence in Healthcare, for which she received an award from President Bill Clinton. She has been called the “woman with the titanium digital rolodex.”

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How lawyers can use social media responsibly to promote their clients’ cases

Social media is an easy (and often free) tool that litigators can use to share their clients’ stories. But how much is too much, and what if you post something that you’ll regret later?

In this month’s Asked & Answered podcast, we speak with Anthony C. Johnson, a plaintiffs personal injury lawyer who previously owned a search engine optimization and marketing company. He shares with moderator Stephanie Francis Ward some ideas about using Twitter, Facebook—and even Instagram—in a mindful manner.

Anthony C. Johnson, an Arkansas plaintiffs personal injury lawyer, is a partner with Johnson & Vines and the CEO and Founder of the American Injury Attorney Group. Johnson is a former SEO/SEM/Web-development company owner who was featured by the ABA Journal as one of “America’s Techiest Lawyers” in 2012.

Ringler Radio

Inside the Connecticut Bar Association

 

From its creation in 1875, the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) was instrumental in developing and improving court rules and providing quality educational and networking opportunities for its members. Today on Ringler Radio, host, Larry Cohen welcomes the 2014-2015 Connecticut Bar Association President, Mark A. Dubois and Executive Director of the Connecticut Bar Association, Douglas S. Brown, to spotlight the CBA, its mission, membership and the various programs offered through the CBA.

Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.

Un-Billable Hour

Lawyers, Turn Your Clients into Fanatics

Consumers and clients believe customer service has become increasingly bad, yet most businesses believe their customer service is above average. Lawyers are certainly not exempt from this. However, in the age of Twitter, Facebook, and smartphones, unhappy customers are able to share their bad experiences to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people in real-time. So how do law firms, solo lawyers, and other businesses combat this influx in technology and potentially harmful online information? There’s no trick, loyalty program, or hack that will work. Lawyers, and all other people providing service, will just need to create a good experience for their clients and customers across the board.

In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews customer service consultant Peter Shankman about how clients are changing the way they respond to bad service, the part technology plays, how businesses should respond to this change, and his view for the future of online reviews. Shankman begins by explaining the change in the way businesses have sold their products and services for the last 60 years. With the advent of the internet, people are more skeptical of advertising, and are able to connect with each other and interact in real-time. If one unhappy client shares his/her experience on social media, hundreds of people will see it. Shankman discusses transparency and genuine apologetic responses as the effective ways for lawyers to respond to these bad client experiences. However, in order to make clients fanatics, lawyers need to simply communicate with them and treat them with respect, and the client will brag about the good service to others. In the next four years, Shankman expects even online review sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor to become less relevant to business reputations than social media sites like Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. The most important point, Shankman emphasizes, is to consistently treat your clients decently and with respect. When your customer has an amazing experience, they will want to share.

Peter Shankman is an author, consultant, entrepreneur, and the owner of several multi-million dollar companies. He speaks to companies all around the world about how to provide amazing customer service and how to take advantage of the social conversation economy that he believes will be driving the global commerce engine over the next 100 years. Shankman has worked with hundreds of well-known companies and brands, as well as many other companies around the world. His newest book is Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.

ESI Report

Data Preservation, Legal Holds, and Civil Litigation

When an organization or business suddenly finds itself in the middle of a civil litigation case, it is often overwhelmed with discovery requests. Most companies don’t have the tools or processes in place to deal with collection and data preservation and encounter expensive and time-consuming issues when responding to requests for information. What is a legal hold, would your organization be able to initiate a defensible legal hold, and when can data be confidently deleted again? It is very important to understand the discovery process and implement and enforce effective systems for data preservation now in order to reduce future costs of potential litigation.

In this episode of ESI Report, Michelle Lang interviews experienced e-discovery expert Cathleen Peterson about why data preservation is crucial to the discovery process, how to create a defensible legal hold, how to take account for emerging technologies, and when it is ok to delete data. Peterson explains that the fundamental challenge of data preservation is balancing the burden and the benefit. Failure to preserve means trying to recreate access to the data, an incredibly expensive and time-consuming process that raises questions about the effectiveness of the council or credibility of the client. Alternatively, well-preserved data can facilitate a well-managed litigation, control costs, result in an outcome that serves the client, and create the least disruptive litigation flow. A legal hold, Peterson explains, involves giving all potential parties who may have relevant evidence notice that litigation is in existence or anticipated. This includes employees, third parties, the IT department, or any person who may have accessed the information. She discusses how organizations need to implement a data governance system, enforce it across the organization, and update it yearly to account for changes in technology. Once the case is dismissed, the legal hold should be formally lifted and the data deleted so that future cases are not complicated by old data.

Peterson is a senior vice president at Kroll Ontrack, where she leads the consulting and advanced review services teams. She was the Legal Director at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and councel at WilmerHale. Cathleen has deep experience in all-things ediscovery, including records management, collection and preservation strategies, technology assisted review, and regulatory compliance.

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