Major Law Firms Join JD Supra as Founding Contributors

Major law firms across North America are contributing articles and court filings to JD Supra, which will soon launch as the best user-generated content website for lawyers and clients

Everything about the site is free.  Take a look at for a tour.

  • Contributors get to post documents for free.
  • Contributors get a free profile that links to their posted documents
  • Lawyers and clients get to search the site for free.

Lawyers are not waiting for the site launch, set for later this Fall. They are signing up now to get Founding Contributor status -- which means they'll get special promotion on the site and other free benefits.  It's the latest thing in marketing -- Web 2.0 meets the Law – yet follows the classic rule of marketing: do good legal work and the clients will call you. And, with JD Supra, you get to leverage the power of technology to showcase that work to more potential clients and referral sources than ever before. 

I'm part of a team that is diligently working behind the scenes on JD Supra. Right now we are collecting content, and getting it from big firms, small firms, sole practitioners,law professors and public interest organizations across North America.

The prelaunch buzz around JD Supra is building, with positive responses from bloggers and news editors alike. I've mentioned it in presentations to marketing audiences in Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh and Hartford – all audiences certainly took note.  We expect to be featured in a number of national publications when we launch, to the benefit of our Founding Contributors.

Smart lawyers will pay a visit to and pre-register now.


How law firms are Using Technology for Business Development

When you think of Web 2.0, law firms don't immediately pop into your head.  But you'd be surprised.  Law firms are getting into:

  • Online video
  • Animated Websites
  • Webinars
  • Search engine optimization
  • Competitive intelligence
  • Blogs that bring in new business
  • Selling products online
  • Wikis

I pointed out several examples at my recent talk at the new Legal Marketing Association chapter in Hartford, CT.  To see the examples, just visit and click on "Slides for Hartford Legal Marketing Association presentation, "Technology & Business Development."


Search Engine Optimization ("SEO") is no longer optional

Steve Matthews law firm marketing

Search Engine Optimization ("SEO") is no longer optional.  It allows law firms and lawyers, via their content, to extend their brand beyond existing clients to reach new audiences, according to blogger Steve Matthews.

"If you want to expose your firm's content, it is not enough to simply build web pages and hope for the best. You must employ a strategy to get your chosen content in front of its target audience. In-house newsletters, email marketing, content syndication, etc. are all wonderful pieces to your marketing puzzle, but are more effective at marketing to existing clients."

Steve offered 7 reasons that a law firm would employ an SEO strategy;

  1. The firm is looking to increase exposure for a new office in a regional market.
  2. Lawyer profile pages aren't ranking for their areas of practice expertise.
  3. The firm is a market leader and sees a top search ranking as a "must have."
  4. The firm wishes to increase market share for lucrative or high-margin area of practice.
  5. A competitive regional practice, where service pages are buried beyond the second page of search results.
  6. The firm has a new or innovative service offering, and seeks the first strike advantage.
  7. The firm is a boutique practice without geographic boundaries, and simply needs a top-10 listing to turn volume.

The impact of good law firm SEO, according to Steve:

Reports have shown the top search position to receive as many as 42% of the available clicks. On the bottom side of that comparison, rankings between position #11 and #100 will share as few as 11% of the clicks available.




17 Lawyer Tips: A Mini Manifesto

I was reading the latest issue of the ABA's Law Practice magazine and saw Matt Homann's 17 Tips for  Lawyers.  They are definitely worth repeating if you want to keep the clients you have:

1.  Whenever your clients don’t understand what you are doing for them, they think about what you are doing to them.

2.  Many of your clients remain your clients because it is a pain in the ass to find another laywer – not because they love you.

3.  Every time your clients get your bill, they think about how beautiful your office is and about the nice car you drive.  And they wonder if you are worth it. 

4.  If your office is a dump and you drive a wreck, they wonder about that too.

5.  If your client doesn’t pay you, fire them.  Don’t ignore them.

6.  At least once a year, tell a client, “It’s on the house.”

7.  Taking a client to play golf doesn’t show how good a lawyer you are.  It shows how good a golfer you are.

8.  Quit being a pompous, demanding jerk around the office.  If you can’t keep good staff, you don’t deserve good clients.

9.  Your clients will always know their business better than you do.  They may even know the law better than you.  Make sure to seek their advice before giving yours.

10.  A lawyer charging extra for stamps and copies is like a car wash charging extra for water.  Stop it now.

11.  Your clients have wants.  Your clients have needs.  They often don’t know the difference.

12.  Whenever you interrupt a client meeting to take an “important” call, your client thinks about hiring another lawyer.

13.  Imagine a world where your clients knew each month how much their bill from you will be so they could plan for it.  They do.

14.  If you hate being a lawyer, be something else.  You are smart.  You’ll figure it out.

15.  A bill is not communication.  At least not the good kind.

16.  When is the last time you called a client just to thank them for being your client?  That’s what I thought.

17.    People don’t tell lawyer jokes just because they are funny.  They tell lawyer jokes because they think they are true.  Spend your career proving them wrong.


FREE Special Report: The One Piece Of Advice You Can't Generate Leads Without

The staff at Raintoday approached a group of sales and marketing generation experts with the following question: "What is the one piece of advice you simply cannot generate leads without?" The result was a special 36-page report with 10 all-new articles...

The One Piece of Advice You Can't Generate Leads Without

The result is a special 36-page report with 10 all-new articles (mine included) aptly named "The One Piece Of Advice You Can't Generate Leads Without." I think you'll find it valuable.

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The expert authors and advice includes:

  1. Trash Talk And Delete Buttons: A Candid Letter From Your Prospective Client
    Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies
  2. More Is Not Better If You Don't Know How To Nurture
    Brian Carroll, CEO of InTouch Inc and author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale
  3. Find Out What Your Sales Team Considers A Lead
    Stefan Tornquist, Research Director & Sean Donahue, Senior Reporter, MarketingSherpa
  4. If You Can't Measure It, Don't Do It
    Suzanne Lowe, President of Expertise Marketing and author of Marketplace Masters
  5. Automate Lead Nurturing To Increase Lead Generation Effectiveness
    Laura Ramos, Vice President of Forrester's Marketing Strategy and Technology Team
  6. Generating Leads By Finding Buyers In Trouble
    Larry Bodine, (yours truly) Owner-Operator of LawMarketing Portal and Larry Bodine Marketing, and law firm marketing advisor.
  7. Tales To Keep Them Talking
    Ardath Albee, B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions?
  8. Promising Prospect - Or Dead End? Start By Defining A Lead
    Roy Young, President with Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
  9. All Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing: Executing Your Lead Generation Plan
    Mike Schultz, Publisher, and Principal, Wellesley Hills Group
  10. B2B Sales Lead Success Checklist
    M.H. (Mac) McIntosh, B2B Marketing Consultant, The B2B Sales Lead Experts

Law Firm Dispenses Medicine to Understand Boston Accent

Hamilton Brook Smith ReyonldsThe lawyers at Hamilton, Brook, Smith Reynolds knew that many clients would be coming to Boston to attend a huge trade show with thousands of attendees.  Two weeks prior to the show, the intellectual property law firm sent its clients "survival packages," including a map of Boston's crazy street pattern and a pharmacy bottle with Ardropsacillin.

Being a child of the '60s, I gotta love any law firm that gives out drugs to clients.  Rather than "one pill makes you larger, and the other one makes you small," the pills claimed to help out-of-towners understand the incomprehensible Boston accent.

The label said it "prevents inadvertent letter "r" pronunciation deficiency caused by exposure to the Boston accent."

Before, a Bostonian would say "I pahked the cah in Havahd Yahd," to the utter confusion of visitors.  After taking two of the pills, the visitor would hear "I parked the car in Harvard Yard."  Plus their breath would be minty fresh.  The dosage was "two tablets at first articulation of  'cah' or 'pahk.'" Visitors could order scrod at Legal Seafood or Indian Pudding at Durgin Park without concern.

The joke pharmaceutical was actually a container of sugar-free tic-tacs in orange pharmacy bottles that the firm had purchased at 13 cents apiece.  But the cleverness and memorability of the technique were genuine.

Kudos to comic genius and Marketing Director Audra Callanan based in Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds' Concord, MA, office for yet another bright idea.



Woo hoo. The Fed cut interest rates by 1/2 of a percentage point

law firm marketingMaybe the country won't careen into a recession right away, now that the Federal Reserve Board has cut the overnight interest rate by -- stand back -- .005 !  Yep, one half of one percent.  If you have a variable credit card or mortgage, you may notice that your interest payment will go down almost perceptibly.
But who cares -- the stock market kinda loved it (up 2.4%) and the prime rate dropped from 7.75% from 8.25% (woo hoo, as I said). If you are paying 8.25% interest on a $100,000 loan that is based on the prime rate -- such as a home-equity line -- that's a difference of $41.66 a month in interest charges.  Woo hoo. 

Meanwhile, the dollar dropped to a new record low against the euro and also fell against most of its other major counterparts Tuesday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its benchmark rate.  A euro now costs  $1.39.  The cost of a foreign car or anything made overseas just became more expensive.

Crude oil is at an all time high of $82 a barrel, which has to tickle OPEC pink, and it means that $4 gallon gas will be everywhere soon in the US.  It will easily cost over $100 to fill up your SUV.
Meanwhile the National Association of Home Builders said confidence among builders fell to its lowest level in the 22-year history of its housing index, a sign that the housing market could continue to worsen in coming months.  Homebuilders like Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. are cutting house prices by $100,000 to find somebody will buy a house.  Foreclosures are up 115% in the last year. There were almost a quarter-million foreclosures in the U.S. last month alone; a 36% jump since July.
What do YOU think? Are law firms facing an economic recession (fewer M&A deals, fewer commercial real estate transactions, less litigation).   Or am I just a Nervous Nellie worrying about nothing?

McKinsey: Two Marketing Approaches for Law Firms

The McKinsey QuarterlyThe lofty McKinsey Quarterly published an article on "The Evolving Role of the CMO" in their September issue, and offers marketing advice law firms can use.  Save yourself the $150 they want for the article, and read Bruce MacEwen's blog for a summary of the piece.  Quoting Bruce:

"Clients' law firm selection process has changed.  You can offer them two value propositions: 

  1. The "low-cost, time-saving," direct, commodity approach, or
  2. The "higher-value, more service-oriented" track.  

Beware being neither."

Bruce adds: "And what can the firm chair or managing partner and the senior firm leadership do to advance the marketing cause?

  • Make sure you truly and deeply understand how clients and prospects view your firm.  The image you're trying to project may not accord with the perception being received.  Understand what influencers, traditional and otherwise, may be saying about your firm, and bring them to the table.  It perhaps cannot be said too often that the primary task of firm leadership is to communicate—to internal and external constituencies.
  • Ensure the CMO is connected to the people who matter within your firm.  Make sure the CMO is included whenever senior firm leadership comes together.  After all, they can't project a progressive and accurate image of your firm unless they're getting today's news.
  • Lastly and most importantly, think through the marketing effort with the CMO.  As McKinsey puts it, be a "thought partner."  If you truly want your marketing organization to mirror the excellence of your firm, your CMO—and more importantly, the audiences your marketing department is addressing—deserve no less."

Blogging To Achieve a Successful Merger

Craig Soderstrom Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & SteinerCraig Soderstrom, Chief Marketing Officer of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner was in charge of marketing a merger of his firm  He did a lot of things right to achieve his goal of assuring that the firm would be 100% operational from a marketing standpoint on the effective date of the merger.

A key part of it was an internal Daily News Blog. Here's what Craig wrote about it:

The firm developed a Daily News Blog that was launched on the effective date of the merger. This allowed the firm’s leaders to communicate in real time to all lawyers and staff about important merger-related issues.

The Daily News Blog provided not only information about the merger; it also allowed the firm to create an ongoing information source for all firm news. This included everything from office moves and marketing updates to open houses and holiday parties. The Blog was developed by our PR manager and staff, but it was used to communicate only on an internal basis. This allowed us the flexibility to publish information valuable to our internal team but not necessarily appropriate for external readers.  

In the early months after the merger, the firm’s leaders made a special point to publish cross-marketing success stories on the Daily News Blog. This provided valuable insights on how the attorneys were collaborating to increase new business with our clients and also served to keep this key priority at top of mind.  

Today, the Daily News Blog, which resides on the desktop of every one of our firm’s computers, is an integral part of our firm’s infrastructure and culture.  A typical daily update includes an article and photos of our associates painting a school in Harlem, a story about a major case success or deal closing, our latest softball win, information about a new brochure, photos of an open house for clients, and highlights of a recent marketing success at a conference or presentation. The Blog is intended to serve everyone in the firm, from administrative assistants to senior partners. 

We are currently integrating our Blog technology platform with our external web site, which will allow us to have all our communications content for internal and external audiences in one centralized database.  

As a firm moves through a merger of this magnitude, you simply cannot over communicate. Creating a resource like a Blog provides a platform to make this vital communication a daily imperative.

For the full story, see Overcoming Marketing Challenges When You’re Faced with a Merger on the LawMarketing Portal,


NY Times Features Foley Hoag Advertising Campaign

Foley Hoag AdIn a major PR coup for the Boston law firm Foley Hoag, the New York Times ran an article on the law firm's upcoming advertising campaign, entitled "Images to Help Law Firms Recast Their Image."

The ads will run in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal, on the Web, and on dioramas at Logan Airport in Boston and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

One ad — with the tag line “Innovate and Accelerate” — has a man wearing a set of paper wings, vintage aviator goggles and a white scarf, jumping off a chair in a Gothic-style auditorium, as if in flight.  Click here to see the full-size ad in a PDF file. 

The creative centerpiece of the campaign is a series of ads featuring images by noted fashion and editorial photographer Rodney Smith, whose work has appeared in New York Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Instead of touting case wins or deals completed, the ads – composed of arresting black-and-white images of formally dressed men and women in unlikely settings – are meant to provoke business people to stop and consider how they view big-picture challenges and plot their paths to success.

Mark E. Young, a lawyer who is Foley Hoag’s chief marketing officer, did research that showed that corporate clients hire law firms based on two main reasons: the firm’s understanding of the client’s business and its responsiveness to clients’ concerns. Foley Hoag was willing to increase its marketing budget substantially to create a campaign that sounded these themes, Mr. Young said, although he would not say how much the firm spent.

Kudos to Allan Ripp of Ripp Media/Public Relations in New York for the publicity coup.  You can reach Allan at 212-262-7477 and

$1000/Hour Legal Fees in NY are a Marketing Opportunity for Everyone Else

Lawyers in NY charge $1,000 per hourIt finally happened: lawyers have begun charging $1,000 per hour. 

"We have viewed $1,000 an hour as a possible vomit point for clients.   Frankly, it's a little hard to think about anyone who doesn't save lives being worth this much money," David Boies, one of the nation's best-known trial lawyers told the Wall Street Journal.

As expected, it started in Manhattan:

  • Firm partner Barry Ostrager, private-equity specialist Richard Beattie and antitrust lawyer Kevin Arquit, all of New York's Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, will raise their top rate to more than $1,000 from $950.
  • The top biller at New York's Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft hit $1,000 per hour earlier this year.
  • At Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, also of New York, bankruptcy attorney Brad Scheler, now at $995 per hour, will likely soon charge $1,000.
  • Stephen Susman, a founding partner of a Houston firm who has tried big-ticket cases around the country, and Benjamin Civiletti, a former U.S. Attorney General under President Carter and a senior partner at Washington, D.C-based Venable began billing at $1,000 per hour last year.

 This is a golden marketing opportunity for all other lawyers.  I recommend you send the Wall Street Journal article, or simply send the link$1000PerHourLegalFees.pdf, to all your clients and point out what a bargain you are.

Explain to them that you only charge a fair fee for value given, would never gouge a client with fees like this and that your client made a smart choice hiring your reasonably-priced law firm.  Do this especially if your competitors are big New York law firms,

Continue Reading...

Originate: New Business Development Newsletter

Subscribe to the new business development newsletter
for lawyers who a serious about getting new clients and revenue. See the September issue Free.

  1. Are you serious about boosting your business development results and open to discover how?
  2. Do you want to put your career success under your own direct control?
  3. Are you looking for practical ways to grow your personal revenue?
  4. Do you want to learn and apply the best practices that attorneys can use to market, network, convert business, sell and build client relationships?
  5. Would you like to choose the clients you serve and the work you do for them?


For attorneys who are serious about growing their practice and becoming more proficient at business development
We get a lot of inquiries from individual attorneys looking for ways to grow their practice.  They want to achieve breakthroughs in their business development performance, or boost their earnings, but don’t know where to turn. So we looked around for them, and found that most of the available seminars, books and legal media offer only piecemeal advice of dubious quality. There is currently no consistent, reliable resource for ambitious and serious-minded lawyers to get the ongoing advice, counsel and support they seek. 

For attorneys interested in gaining practical, real world best practices in business development throughout the year
To address this need, we are launching ORIGINATE!, a new online monthly newsletter dedicated to helping individual  attorneys build their personal practice. This newsletter will deliver practical real-world strategies and proven tactics, the best methods used by top attorneys now to land clients, sell work and strengthen relationships. And we have assembled a set of contributors to make ORIGINATE! your practice-building asset of unparalleled depth and breadth.  Their articles are available exclusively for our subscribers and will not be published elsewhere.

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ORIGINATE! gives you much more than a newsletter.



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We recognize that mastering business development requires continual improvement. Progress accelerates with personalized advice and counsel. So your subscription gives you these additional valuable resources.


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If you invest in this offer, you get access to our direct advice and personal support through unlimited e-mail consulting (within reason, of course). Our expert panel gives you specific recommendations tailored to your personal goals and priorities.

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You can attend any one of our monthly web seminars – for free. You choose the topic and timing that is most appropriate for you and your interests. You will also receive any one of our white papers you choose, from our library of 20-plus page web-seminar transcripts.

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It also helps to be part of a team of peers looking to help one another. You get access to a web-based chat board with other attorneys on the same journey (beginning January 2008).


Invest in ORIGINATE!  Develop the Business Building Skills you need to succeed.

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Continue Reading...

Get Ready for the Recession -- Part 2

I don't mean to be a Cassandra, but there's a recession coming and lawyers better get ready:

  • Develop client teams now to assure that you keep the clients you already have.
  • Start cross-selling programs, even if it means you have to change your compensation system.
  • Write a personal business development plan and start cultivating clients, referral sources and targets now, before it's too late. 
  • If you don't know how to generate new business, go to a business development conference and learn how to do it.

In warning about the coming recession, I've been called wrong, uninformed and someone who is just "crying wolf." However the New York Times just published a story "Unexpected Loss of Jobs Raises Risk of Recession." It says:

  • "The job market took a serious and unexpected turn for the worse last month, raising the risk of a recession and putting added pressure on the Federal Reserve to move more aggressively to keep the ailing housing industry from infecting the rest of the economy."
  • "But now, the odds of a recession in the next year have risen, to 25 to 50 percent, economists interviewed yesterday said.
  • "Stocks fell broadly and sharply, as investors digested the idea that the economy had been weakening significantly even before the mortgage crisis hit financial markets last month.
  • "If the economy is not headed toward recession, it is very close to one,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s"

Even if the Fed cut its benchmark short-term interest rate at its September 18, the news is already "baked in" to the market.  The most  the Fed is expected to drop the rate is 1/2 of 1%.  This will make little difference in the real world of variable rate mortgages and credit card rates.

When the recession hits, consumers and corporations will stop spending.  If there's a legal issue they're thinking of pursuing, they'll put it off.  The merger and acquisition market will dry up.

You read it here first.


Blogging To Achieve a Successful Merger

Craig Soderstrom Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & SteinerCraig Soderstrom, Chief Marketing Officer of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner was in charge of marketing a merger of his firm  He did a lot of things right to achieve his goal of assuring that the firm would be 100% operational from a marketing standpoint on the effective date of the merger.

A key part of it was an internal Daily News Blog. Here's what Craig wrote about it:

The firm developed a Daily News Blog that was launched on the effective date of the merger. This allowed the firm’s leaders to communicate in real time to all lawyers and staff about important merger-related issues.   

The Daily News Blog provided not only information about the merger; it also allowed the firm to create an ongoing information source for all firm news. This included everything from office moves and marketing updates to open houses and holiday parties. The Blog was developed by our PR manager and staff, but it was used to communicate only on an internal basis. This allowed us the flexibility to publish information valuable to our internal team but not necessarily appropriate for external readers.  

Continue Reading...

Free Ringtones Just For Lawyers

The Billiable Hour CompanyJust when you thought that cell phones had completely permeated business life, lawyers can now get custom ringtones.

Lisa Solomon of The Billable Hour Co. is offering free ringtones just for lawyers—from the songs "I’m Too Busy" and "My Lawyer’s Back" by Bob Noone & the Well Hung Jury—that the Billable Hour Company is offering free at our website, at Scroll down for more details about the ringtones.

Imagine hearing a cell phone activate with "My lawyer's back and you're gonna be in trouble, hey-la, hey-la, my lawyer's back."

Here's the press release:

One Ringy-Dingy, Two Ringy-Dingy: Lawyers Can Express Themselves With Two Free, Funny Ringtones

Ardsley, New York—The ringtone on a person’s cell phone is, more often than not, an audio clue to the owner’s tastes and personality. And, as a quick look at "Billboard’s list of the Top 40 ringtones reveals, people also use their ringtones to express their sense of humor (what else could explain the download popularity of both the Spongebob Squarepants and Looney Tunes themes?). With two new humorous ringtones available free from The Billable Hour Company, lawyers can take advantage of this 30-second audio canvas to tell the world—or at least anyone within earshot—about themselves, without saying a word.

It would be difficult to find a more appropriate ringtone to peal from an attorney’s cell phone than "I’m Too Busy" by Bob Noone & the Well Hung Jury. The song, to the tune of Right Said Fred’s "I’m Too Sexy," informs listeners that the phone’s owner is "too busy for your call, too busy for your call, no time at all"; don’t even ask about the status of your fax or letter. 

Although the "I’m too busy" ringtone doesn’t include an explicit reference to the owner’s profession (you’ll have to listen to the sample on the company’s website—or buy the Wingtips Optional CD—to hear how the song’s protagonist will "sue your little tush in the courtroom"), the "My Lawyer’s Back" ringtone leaves no doubt as to the owner’s vocation. 

It’s easy to get your free ringtones. Simply go to and click on the "Send my Myxertone" button for the ringtone you want. You’ll be taken to the ringtone’s page at, where you enter your cell phone number and click the "send it to my phone"link. Minutes after you choose the manufacturer and model of your phone and press "send," you’ll receive a message with the ringtone attached, or with a link to the ringtone (depending on your phone model). Detailed instructions on how to download and set your ringtone—no matter what phone model or cell phone service provider you use—are easily accessible at the MyxerTones website.

The Billable Hour Company sells humorous gifts and greeting cards especially for lawyers, law students and legal professionals. Gift items include timepieces featuring dials marked in six-minute increments—the same way many lawyers bill their time—as well as games, office and personal accessories and CDs. For additional information, contact Lisa Solomon at 815-346-3468 or visit the company’s website.


Milwaukee's Weiss Berzowski Brady Gets Into Podcasting

Weiss Berzowski Brady podcastsSmall law firms have been the first to jump on the podcasting trend, and the latest one I've run across is a 25-lawyer firm in Wisconsin, Weiss Berzowski Brady.  The firm practices in business law, employee benefits & law, employment law, estate planning, litigation, real estate, tax -- and has a podcast in every topic.

Their podcast library has 24 podcasts, all recorded by firm lawyers this year starting in March. The podcasts are believed to be the first legal podcasts produced firmwide in the Milwaukee area.

"The mp3 format allows for downloading the file to a computer or mp3 player, giving listeners a mobile, convenient option. The podcasts provide a technology-savvy method of reaching clients and others with that extra piece of information and timely updates," the firm says in a press release.

Topics range from how to organize an LLC, to the proliferation of workplace identity theft, to tips on how to challenge tax assessments.