Almost every lawyer wants to command higher rates, attract more clients, and increase his or her profile in the marketplace. However, many are unable to achieve these objectives because they are stuck pursuing ineffective strategies – or no strategy at all. In this presentation, Jay Harrington will provide some tips on how to develop more business by establishing a niche legal practice.
“Getting narrow” is more important than ever as, in all aspects of today’s economy, consumers are trending toward specialization. Consumers of legal services are no different. They are no longer looking for lawyers with broad skill sets and general knowledge, but rather are seeking out specialists with very particular knowledge in narrow industries and practice area sub-specialties.
Jay will discuss niching strategy and issues such as:
Why it’s important to carve out a niche
Why lawyers with niche practices develop more business more easily, and command higher rates
How to pick a profitable and sustainable area of specialty
Jay will also discuss how to market your niche practice through various thought leadership and content marketing initiatives.
During the Great Recession many law schools saw their admissions decline sharply and many lawyers found themselves without employment. In some areas of the country these effects are still felt and present challenges for young attorneys looking to provide services for indigent or lower income clients. What options are there for under or unemployed lawyers who wish to help this demographic?
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares speaks with Open Legal Services co-founders Shantelle Argyle and Daniel Spencer about starting their nonprofit law firm. Dan starts the interview by mentioning that Shantelle came up with the idea, and that similar concepts had been attempted in the past, but an exclusively client funded firm had never been done before. They both recall that the catalyst for the idea was their unhappiness at their jobs at the time and that they were not practicing law. Shantelle describes their realization that the middle class was not able to access needed legal services and that there was a large untapped client market. She then goes into detail about how they established the nonprofit, their marketing approach, how they set their fees, and how they created the scale with which they determine which clients to accept. Dan also explains that although the company has never been profit driven it is critical for any new firm to meticulously monitor their cash flow. They both end the interview with a discussion of the technology they use to help manage the firm, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness available for attorneys working in the nonprofit sector, and the grand opening of their third office location.
Shantelle Argyle is the co-founder and executive director of Open Legal Services. She received her bachelor of science from Utah Valley University and her juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Daniel Spencer is the co-founder and supervising attorney of Open Legal Services. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney School of Law.
As attorneys graduate and head into the legal marketplace, or leave a law firm to start a solo practice, it can be hard to know where to find resources with tips on starting your new career. What are the most important things that a newly solo practitioner should know? What are some best practices for lawyers just starting out in the field?
In this episode of The New Solo, host Adriana Linares talks with the ABA TECHSHOW 2017 Planning Board and Law Practice Division member Dan Lear from Avvo to provide need to know advice for newly solo attorneys. This year’s TECHSHOW board consists of Barbara Leach Law PL. Managing Attorney Barbara Leach, O’Melveny & Myers Senior Manager of Technology and Development Ivan Hemmans, and Downey Law Group LLC. Founder Michael Downey. Michael emphasizes that small firms and solo attorneys should focus heavily on their cash flow. Dan states that legal professionals can view their businesses through three different mediums, the balance sheet, income statements, or cash flow. The amount of money coming in each month (and how you pay your expenses) is very relevant to the survival of a new business. Barbara encourages solo lawyers to establish their brand immediately and really determine what type of lawyer they’d like to be and what type of clients they’d like to attract. Michael accentuates the amount of credibility strong branding provides to a new attorney and gives insights into the steps he took to create his own brand. Ivan discusses the necessity of thoroughly learning Microsoft Word and the benefits of document organization. The group then closes the interview with an analysis of basic tech competencies, like email management, that all attorneys should master.
Ivan Hemmans is the Manager of Technology Development and Communications at O’Melveny & Myers LLP where he uses his extensive experience with information technology to help people find ways to solve everyday problems with the many available tools at their disposal. Ivan often speaks about legal technology at law firms and conferences. He writes a blog and occasionally for legal technology publications like Peer to Peer Magazine.
Barbara Leach is the managing attorney of Barbara Leach Law, PL. She is a member of the American Bar Association, The Florida Bar Association, the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association, the Orange County Bar Association, and the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Barbara received her BA from the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College and obtained her juris doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law.
Michael Downey is a legal ethics lawyer and a founding member of the Downey Law Group LLC. He has tried civil and lawyer discipline cases and argued appeals before the Missouri Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, and Illinois ARDC Review Board. Michael received his B.A. from Georgetown University and his juris doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.
Dan Lear is a technology lawyer and the Avvo Director of Industry Relations. He is the co-founder of the Seattle Legal Technology and Innovation MeetUp and founder of the Right Brain Law blog. Dan received his BA in international studies from Brigham Young University and his juris doctorate and MBA from Seattle University.
“You have the right to remain silent.” Because of TV shows and movies, most people probably know at least this part of the Miranda warning. But do people actually understand all of their Miranda rights? Fifty years after the landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, we speak to Russell Covey of Georgia State University State’s College of Law to find out what people know and don’t know about their rights.
Russell Covey, a professor at Georgia State University’s College of Law, teaches criminal law and procedure. One of his articles, “Miranda and the Media: Tracing the Cultural Evolution of a Constitutional Revolution,” was published in the 2007 Chapman Law Review.
With the legal industry’s increased efforts to integrate new technology into the profession, it has never been more important for law firms to protect themselves and their data. However, what happens when a breach does occur and privileged information is compromised? More specifically, what is a breach notification and what procedures are Florida law firms required to follow immediately after the incident?
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares sits down with Orange County Bar Association Technology Committee Chair Daniel Whitehouse to discuss data breach notification procedures and what constitutes personally identifiable information. Daniel breaks down what Florida statutes consider a data breach (basically an unauthorized party accessing restricted data) and gives a few examples of situations within a law firm where this definition applies. He then provides an in-depth explanation as to what types of data fall under personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers, medical records, and email addresses, and discusses what Florida’s data breach notification law is. Daniel takes time to explain what the Florida attorney general’s office will require from law firms that experience such a breach and analyzes what ethical obligations legal professionals have to their clients and the prevention of future unauthorized access. He closes the interview with tips on how law firms can encrypt their data and proactive changes companies can implement to increase their security policies.
Daniel Whitehouse holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), both from Webster University. He interned for The Honorable Susan C. Bucklew of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and attended Stetson University College of Law where he graduated Co-Valedictorian. Daniel is currently the chair of the Orange County Bar Association Technology Committee.
As technology continues to permeate society more and more, companies are exploring how advancements in tech can improve the legal profession. Many of these institutions are researching ways to make the legal system more efficient for all stakeholders through information technology. Where can lawyers who are interested in this growth industry learn about the progress being made from thought leaders in the field?
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay speaks with Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology Executive Director Roland Vogl about the upcoming 2016 CodeX FutureLaw Conference. Roland reflects on his time as a student in The Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS) and how that path led him to work as an intellectual property lawyer and ultimately a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School. He then explains the creation of The Stanford Center for Computers and the Law – CodeX, their growing interest in big data law, machine learning, and natural language processing in the law, and their aim to facilitate legal empowerment through information technology. The conversation then shifts to the upcoming 2016 CodeX FutureLaw Conference and the panels, such as “Moot Court 2020: Legal Tech on Trial,” that will be presented. Roland wraps up the interview with a discussion of diversity in the profession, the lack of women presenting at conferences, and the efforts CodeX is making to ensure greater diversity at theirs.
Dr. Roland Vogl is currently the executive director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology (LST) and is a lecturer in law at Stanford Law School. He also researches international technology law through the Transatlantic Technology Law Forum (TTLF) and focuses his efforts on legal informatics work carried out in the Center for Legal Informatics (CodeX). Roland holds both a Dr.iur. (JSD) and a Mag.iur. (JD) from Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck, Austria, as well as a JSM from Stanford Law School.
Can you plan to prevent workplace bias before it starts? In some cases yes, says Joan Williams, the founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California Hastings. The ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward discusses with Williams tips on how to create what she calls “bias interrupters” to head off potential discrimination.
In order for any lawyer to be a successful advocate for their client or law firm they must become an excellent dealmaker. However, the secrets to the art of deal closing can seem incredibly elusive to even the most initiated. What are the fundamental tenets of being a good dealmaker, and how does one focus on honing these skills?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, host Jared Correia sits down with Cohen Gardner LLP Co-Founder Jeff B. Cohen, a former child actor best remembered for his role as Chunk in The Goonies, to discuss dealmaking in the context of the law. The conversation opens with Jeff providing insights into his experiences behind the camera as a child actor and how this unique upbringing influences his perception of entertainment dealmaking. Within these recollections he also discusses how Machiavelli’s “The Prince” aided him after his acting career ended and how these teachings inspired his book “The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood.” Jeff provides a glimpse into his methodologies and why he thinks it’s so important for lawyers to effectively manage their time. He then provides a few of his personal commandments and best practices that any legal professional can use to become a more effective and successful dealmaker.
Jeff B. Cohen co-founded Cohen Gardner LLP in 2002 and focuses on transactional representation for clients in the entertainment, media and technology verticals. His first book, “The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood” was published by the American Bar Association’s imprint Ankerwycke in 2015. Jeff received his Juris Doctor from UCLA Law School with an emphasis in business law and his undergraduate degree from The University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business. While at UC Berkeley, Jeff served as President of the Associated Students of the University of California.
“I don’t measure my relevance or success by the number of people who report to me.” -Mark Chandler
As senior vice president and general counsel at Cisco, Mark Chandler has increased the efficiency and overall success of the legal department while dealing with non-practicing entities (patent trolls) and questions of security, privacy, and surveillance between the U.S. and Europe. His experiences in international business relationship building and working directly with sales departments has given him the skills to develop an in-house legal department that truly focuses on efficiency.
In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Mark Chandler about his path to general counsel at Cisco, how living and working in Europe helped him achieve success in a multinational company, and how he approaches the challenges he’s faced. The first half of the podcast follows Mark’s journey after law school, working in-house at the hard disk manufacturing company Maxtor and then transitioning to StrataCom, an IT service management firm later acquired by Cisco. He talks about living in Germany and France, Cisco’s production of internet infrastructure and cloud-based services and products, and what his position as general counsel involves. He also discusses why collaborative relationships between sales and legal departments are very important to the general success of a company.
In the second half of the podcast, Mark and Randy discuss the challenges a multinational technology company like Cisco faces today. Mark explains how he has used automation of repeated legal tasks to greatly reduce the legal department’s burden on the company as a whole. He then talks about potential solutions to the patent litigation issues that have increased exponentially in the past 15 years and U.S. government surveillance in Europe. Stay tuned to the end for Mark’s advice on running an in-house legal department that is truly efficient and works with the rest of the company.
Mark Chandler is senior vice president and general counsel at Cisco, a multinational technology firm based in the United States. In these roles, he oversees Cisco’s global legal activities and policies, as well as ethics, compliance and regulatory affairs, employee relations, investigations, and brand protection. Mark is a leader in the patent, security, and legal innovation spaces.
As technology continues to become ever more integrated into our daily lives, the challenges that law firms face grow and evolve. Many tech savvy clients are not only concerned with a lawyer’s ability to represent them but also their ability to protect their files and privileged communications. With more instances of data breaches and hacking being mentioned in the mainstream media, what can a law firm do to shore up their cyber security?
In this episode of the Digital Detectives, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek sit down with LMG Security Founder and Senior Security Consultant Sherri Davidoff to discuss cyber security and the audits that are currently available for law firms. Sherri gets the conversation started by breaking down some of the more complex cyber security terminology into easy-to-understand language. The group then ponders factors, such as the loss of client data and law firms being hacked, that prompted this cultural shift within the profession and some of the elements that made it difficult for the industry to justify investing in cyber security until now. The focus then shifts to an analysis of the options available to law firms that are seeking to improve their security standards and ways to prepare lawyers to better interact with clients that might ask to see a firm’s cyber security audits. Sherri then caps off the conversation with a discussion of risk assessment, risk management, and how you present these plans to your clients.
Sherri Davidoff is a nationally-recognized cyber security expert who is a founder and senior security consultant at LMG Security. She has over a decade of experience as an information security professional, specializing in penetration testing, forensics, social engineering testing, and web application assessments. Davidoff is an instructor at Black Hat and co-author of “Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace”. She is a GIAC-Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFA) and Penetration Tester (GPEN), and holds her degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.