Ethics Guardians Are Falling Behind

shutterstock_96277766Originally published in The National Law Journal on October 7, 2013

In August, the New York State Bar Association issued an ethics opinion telling lawyers they should no longer use the “specialties” section on the professional networking site LinkedIn. The only thing is, LinkedIn.com had removed its “specialties” section months earlier.

The episode is but one piece of evidence that legal ethics guidelines across the country are failing to keep up technological advances. This and similar opinions issued elsewhere make it increasingly difficult for large firms to navigate ethical strictures involving marketing practices that cross state lines. Read more

You Read It Here: Blogs Never Sleep

Originally Published in The National Law Journal on September 16, 2013

I was recently asked, “Are law blogs dying?” My answer was an emphatic “no.” Not even close. Law blogs are booming more now than ever, and the data back that up.

More than four years ago, I compiled a catalog of law blogs published by Am Law 100 law firms. Today blogging is at an all-time high. There are at least 416 that we could identify.

Why are blogs so resilient? Because blog posts, articles, and content are the fuel that feeds the social-media engine. It’s the content, stupid! Ever since email was invented, people have been sharing good content; social media are just making this easier. Create great content and you will get noticed. Read more

Make The Time to Develop Business

legal business developmentOriginally published in The National Law Journal on August 19, 2013

The 80/20 rule certainly applies to rainmakers—20 percent of lawyers bring in 80 percent of the business at any given firm, and sometimes more. Why is it that some lawyers just can’t seem to make rain?

I’ve interviewed lawyers all over the United States and in Canada and Australia about what keeps them from bringing in business, and find that three factors get repeated over and over again.

  • Time: Lawyers think they don’t have time to build their business. But the interesting thing about time is that everyone gets exactly the same number of hours per day. The 20 percent know that the only way to develop their business is by dedicating a set percentage of their time on a weekly basis to that end. Read more