Legal marketing has changed dramatically in the past 20 years as we have reached “the digital era.” Some lawyers have embraced this new world of social media marketing, engaging website content, and cloud-based computing. But those who have not, particularly solo and small firm lawyers, are missing out on an opportunity for increased client base, client satisfaction, and competition with big law firms.
On this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Sona Pancholy, a business development director, about the ways in which the digital age impacts law firm marketing, what mistakes lawyers should avoid making, where busy professionals should start, and some dos and don’ts of social media.
Technology leveling the playing field for law firms
Reduced barrier of entry into new markets
Increased efficiency in engaging potential clients, preparing pitch materials, etc.
Website content to help business development
Updating blogs and videos
Optimized website for mobile
Removing the legalese (yes, we know it’s hard)
Data mining and analytics to target your market
Bios, LinkedIn, and being familiar with social platforms
Technology as a tool, not a solution
Sona Pancholy is the director of business development at Stinson Leonard Street LLC. Based in Washington, D.C., Sona serves on the Education Board of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division and has spoken at previous ABA and Legal Marketing Association annual meetings. She has experience training lawyers, judges, lawmakers, and business professionals around the world. In her current role, Sona focuses on creating and supporting best practices and processes for the delivery of top quality business development support across the firm.
“33% of Fortune 100 Organizations will experience an information crisis by 2017.” – Gartner, an information technology research and advisory firm
Recently, data breaches have become one of the most serious threats to companies worldwide, and as more corporate infrastructure moves online, studies suggest that the rising number of data breaches will cost 2.1 trillion dollars globally by 2019. Because of this, a new market of data breach practice groups has emerged to assist with e-discovery, information governance, data security, and preparation for high-risk technological emergencies. In light of this, what should your law firm or company do to prepare for one of these potentially imminent situations?
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Martin Tully, co-chair of Akerman LLP’s Data Law Practice, about why his firm decided to implement a data breach law group, how data security fits in with current e-discovery and information governance practices, and what every company should include in an incident response plan.
“Data Law”: e-discovery, information governance, and data security consulting
Increased client demand for legal technology services
Strategic partnerships between legal and technical professionals
Company interests: preparation for data loss, litigation, and government inquiry
How to proceed during “the upchuck hour”
Reasons for the increase in data breaches
Who and what should be involved in the incident response plan
Simulated data breach exercises
A lack of data security in many law firms
Martin T. Tully is a partner with the Chicago office of Akerman LLP. He is veteran trial lawyer with more than two decades of experience representing domestic and multinational companies in a variety of complex commercial litigation matters. As the co-chair of Akerman’s Data Law Practice, Martin also focuses on keeping clients ahead of the curve regarding the developing law, technology and best practices related to e-discovery, information governance and data security.
In 2007, David Karp and Marco Arment started Tumblr, a microblogging website that now hosts over 248 million blogs. General Counsel of Tumblr Ari Shahdadi started at MIT with a graduate degree in computer science. Taking a few risks in his career, Shahdadi moved into the legal field, acquired a law degree from Harvard, and was working in corporate transactional law when he became general counsel at Tumblr.
In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Shahdadi about his path to general counsel at Tumblr and the legal and nonlegal issues he regularly encounters at the digital publishing giant. Shahdadi discusses how social media controls the public arena, copyright and trademark regulations for user-generated content sites, and the ways in which Tumblr works to balance freedom of speech, government restrictions, and user safety. Shahdadi also talks about how he navigated the internal aspects of selling Tumblr to Yahoo and changes in his position due to the acquisition. Tune in to hear from a general counsel who wears many hats within his company.
Ari Shahdadi has been the General Counsel of Tumblr, Inc. since May 2011, where he leads Tumblr’s Legal, Policy, and Trust & Safety teams. He graduated from Harvard Law School, cum laude, while working for Fish & Richardson, and from MIT with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering.
While convenient, email seems to be increasingly a distraction in law firms and most other businesses. Furthermore, email chains about important cases sit in our inboxes next to spam, family interactions, personal information, and more spam. Due to the sheer volume of emails received, lawyers and firm staff often waste time navigating them to find case information. Despite all this, is email really on the way out? If so, what will replace it?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia interviews Ryan Anderson, trial attorney and founder and CEO of Filevine, a project management and collaboration tool for lawyers, about email inefficiency and the future of communication in law offices. Together they discuss how the lack of restriction to email access has become a problem for lawyers, businesses, and individuals. If you are working from your inbox, anyone with your email address can disrupt your workflow. Ryan suggests email as a virtual “front office,” collaboration tools for projects and cases, instant messaging for urgent matters, and overall effective communication processes for law firm efficiency. In the future, he says, lawyers will form teams outside of a firm structure, and many more will work remote. Tune in and let us know whether you believe in the death of email.
Ryan Anderson is the founder and CEO of Filevine, a project management and collaboration tool for lawyers and consumer professionals. Ryan is also a founding partner and trial attorney at Bighorn Law. In five years, Bighorn has grown from two attorneys in Nevada to seventy employees across four states.
Lawyers who listen to podcasts or read marketing blogs will have heard many times over that they should be using social media to market their practices. But who has time to maintain Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and multiple other social media accounts? Furthermore, what really is the purpose of an online social presence for a law practice? Can lawyers really attract clients through social media?
In this episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing, Jared Correia interviews Leigh McMillan, vice president of marketing at Avvo, during Mass LOMAP’s 5th Annual Marketing Conference in Boston. Leigh explains the importance of participating in social media, how a lawyer’s presence can affect search results, and how to choose the right channel to increase your law firm’s visibility online.
How lawyers can attract clients on social media
Showcasing knowledge on Facebook
Google search results tied to Google+
Creating snackable content for YouTube
Accurate naming for searchable information
Opportunities for lawyers on Tumblr
The importance of having a mobile website
Developing your social profile and owning your real estate
Leigh McMillan is vice president of marketing at Avvo, an online legal services marketplace featuring lawyer profiles and ratings. Before joining Avvo, Leigh worked for Marchex’s Call Analytics business.
Tweet about this series using the hashtag #summeroflunch!
“Our regulatory system, developed at the state level during the 19th century and workable during much of the 20th century, no longer facilitates the delivery of quality, reasonably priced legal services where it is needed.” – Catharine Arrowood
Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews American Bar Association Immediate Past-President William Hubbard at the 2015 ABA Annual Meeting. Together they discuss his year as president including the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the historic U.S. Supreme Court session, crisis in confidence in the criminal justice system, and changes in the legal marketplace due to legal technology. Hubbard finishes the interview with suggestions for future ABA presidents and his plans after such a busy year.
William Hubbard was president of the American Bar Association from 2014-2015 and is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, South Carolina, where he practices in business litigation.
The National Association for Legal Assistants (NALA) recently held their 40th Annual Convention, Institutes, and Exhibition in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The conference offered educational programs for CLE credits applicable to many paralegal associations nationwide. Legal Talk Network host Vicki Voisin attended and interviewed instructors from some of the CLE “institutes.”
In this podcast, Voisin interviews Peter McGrath about issues in environmental law, Penni Bradshaw about immigration law for paralegals, and Jeff Bennion and Karin Scheehle about why it is important for legal professionals to stay on the edge of legal technology. Together they discuss topics including the case of Burlington Northern v. United States, ethical responsibilities of immigration law, data security, and how paralegals can improve their skills in any of these fields of law. Tune in for tips from the experts.
Peter McGrath is a lawyer at Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he practices environmental law. He lead the Environmental Law Institute at the NALA convention.
Penni Bradshaw is an attorney with Constangy Brooks Smith & Profitt in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She specializes in labor and employment law and immigration. At the conference, she led the Immigration Institute.
Karin M. Scheehle, ACP, is a paralegal at Gallagher & Kennedy law firm in Phoenix, Arizona, where she works in litigation. She specializes in legal technology as it relates to litigation. She teaches ethics and other classes at the Phoenix College ABA Approved Paralegal Program.
Jeff Bennion is an attorney out of San Diego, California, where he practices primarily in personal injury law, mass torts, and products liability. He teaches an ABA program at UCSD and the paralegal program. Jeff and Karin lead the Legal Technology Institute at the convention.
While sunbathing on the beach, on vacation, or on a lazy summer weekend many people (including lawyers) read technology books, nonfiction, literature, or, if we’re like Tom, post-apocalyptic science fiction. Due to technology like Kindles and iPads, many people have changed how they read, but is technology affecting the summer reading tradition?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the changing nature of reading (or listening to) books, talk about modern ways of reading, and share summer reading lists and ideas. They weigh the benefits and downfalls of paper books vs. tablets, consider different systems of hybrid reading, and wonder why millennials seem to embrace old-fashioned print books (perhaps they look better beside a craft beer while listening to a vinyl record). The hosts wrap up the section with their own summer reading suggestions including useful technology books for lawyers and several of their favorite novels from this summer. Dennis concludes by emphasizing that reading is alive and well, only now people are reading in whatever way suits them best!
In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom discuss how The Florida Bar has dramatically changed their stance on technology. A notoriously strict state when it comes to ethical rules against online advertising and other legal tech, Florida Bar President Ray Abadin and Past-President Greg Coleman have made huge strides including the Practice Resource Institute, technology member benefits, and goals to make technology education a CLE requirement. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
In the last couple of years, the number of great podcasts has exploded. Many people today not only know the word “podcast,” but can give you several examples of their favorites. Podcast experts (those of us who have been listening to them for years) have cautiously begun to suggest that we have entered the “Golden Age” of podcasting. Is this truly a golden age of podcasting, or simply a renaissance?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the popularity of podcasting due to improving quality, popular podcasts like “Serial,” similar content intake forms like Netflix, and the ability to consume them on your own timeframe. They also examine the concept of “The Golden Age of Podcasting”; is this just a buzz phrase or are we really reaching a peak in podcast popularity? In a very flattering way, they suggest that their lawyer listeners try more Legal Talk Network podcasts and recommend ways of searching for new ones. They also encourage lawyers and other podcast enthusiasts to start their own! If you do, make sure you invest in high-quality equipment.
On behalf of listeners, Dennis graciously invested in an Apple Watch and has been wearing it for two weeks. In the second part of the podcast, he gives his early review and talks about notifications, health apps, the look and feel, parlor tricks, and the rudeness factor. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Because clients’ lives are increasingly online, lawyers need to market their law firms online too. When looking at a website, marketing campaigns, social media, or even bios, potential clients are interested in authentic online profiles and messages. But when lawyers try to balance professionalism with authenticity, it results in cliches, uninteresting self-promotion, and useless information. So with legal ethical restrictions, a raise in competition, and, let’s face it, not much extra time, how do we improve our marketing strategies?
This episode of Lunch Hour Legal Marketing features the second interview by Jared Correia during Mass LOMAP’s 5th Annual Marketing Conference in Boston. In a series titled Summer of Lunch, Jared interviews Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, about the ways lawyers can improve their online marketing by understanding what their clients want to see. Don’t forget, Ed explains, your (potential) clients are smart people who simply don’t know how to navigate their legal issues.
Marketing that focuses on empathy
Branding a niche practice versus specializing in everything
Direct and honest firm promotion
Highlighting benefits clients actually care about: parking, personality, experience
Interesting and informative bios
Adjusting approaches learned in law school
No more cliches!
Ed Walters is CEO of Fastcase, a legal research engine with over 800,000 subscribers. He was previously a practicing lawyer, advisor to the NFL, the NHL, and worked in the White House. Ed is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University of Law Center where he teaches Law of Robots.
Tweet about this series using the hashtag #summeroflunch!