Super Lawyers is the "Cheesiest" Ranking

In a scathing review of the Super Lawyers directory, Karen Donovan said the ranking is "the cheesiest example of this phenomenon" in her article on  I've been saying this for years, see Marketers Laugh at "Super Lawyers" 

I've always thought that promoting yourself as a "Super Lawyer" or "Best Lawyer" was pathetic, self-aggrandizing and meaningless.  I counsel law firm clients not to hype this designation, because it preys upon lawyer egos to publicly praise themselves, and leads to expensive advertising campaigns.  It is also weak, because it meant the only source that said you were any good was a silly directory.

"If the name suggests exclusivity, the actual list is anything but," Donovan wrote. "Basically the way the polling is handled, I have always suggested to folks that any attorney that wants to be a Super Lawyer can be, by virtue of calling a few friends," consultant Micah Buchdahl was quoted as saying. "It's not an exclusive club."

Even some publicists for law firms see the Super Lawyers ad inserts as the worst form of P.R. "It makes you look oily. It's schlocky-the worst kind of vanity on display," said Allan Ripp, who handles media relations for several large law firms.

One lawyer spoke to Donovan on the condition that his name not be used. "I think people are gratified to be recognized at the dinner table or a school function," he said. "It's a popularity contest," he acknowledged, and the fact that his name appears alongside paid ads, "runs the risk of it being confused as being an advertisement."

"It's a tad embarrassing," said Mark S. Edelstein, chair of Morrison & Foerster's real estate financing practice, who made the list of real estate Super Lawyers. "I don't know why anyone would spend their money to get their picture or firm in there. It makes you feel like you are selling toilet paper or something."

William A, Brewer III of the commercial litigation firm Bickel & Brewer said, "the firm gets "zero" business from the ads, but he has noticed an "uptick" in support for the firm's pro bono activities after the ads run. "I think I got a call from an existing client who told me my tie was crooked," he said. "I think he was teasing me."


Deadline for Law Technology News Awards nominations is now November 7

Good news everybody: The deadline for the Law Technology News Awards nominations is now NOVEMBER 7.   As they say in the lottery, "you can't win if you don't nominate your organization"  --- and there's no entry fee -- so you can nominate ANY firm, law dept,  or person you feel is deserving!!!  (Vendors: you can nominate firms or law departments you work with!) 
Here's the 411:  Law firms and legal departments are eligible for nomination for these six awards:

  • I.T. Director
  • Champion of Technology
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology in a Law Firm
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology by an In-House Legal Department
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology During a Trial
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology For a Pro Bono Project

The candidates will be evaluated by an independent team of three experts, all members of the LTN Editorial Advisory Board.  For more information, please visit or call Kevin Iredell, at 800 888 8300 (

Download nomination form here. The awards will be presented at the LTN Technology Awards Dinner, at LegalTech New York on February 5, 2008.


O'Keefe: Law firm online advertising sucks

In an appropriately vehement post, Kevin O'Keefe spotlights the failure of law firms to market themselves on the Web -- saying "law firm online advertising, as is the case with other companies, sucks."

He calls on law firms instead to start "producing and disseminating content in the same way large companies are doing so - via blogs and RSS. Focused blog content cited by other bloggers and the main stream media creates a word of mouth buzz about your firm that's much more effective than other Internet advertising. And it's something you can be proud of as a lawyer - unlike a shlocky banner ad."

He argues that sponsored links at Google are not trusted by Internet users, banner ads are like billboards on the side of the road, and law firm websites offer little helpful information to current and prospective clients.

The answer? Be like Nike. "Law firms need to take a lead from companies like Nike, the subject of a recent New York Times article, for their Internet efforts." Blogger Steve Outing characterized Nike's use of blogs as becoming a 'media enterprise, not only producing content, but creating running (and other sports) communities, and producing useful online tools for athletes.'"

Keith is spot on.  However, I disagree with Kevin about banner ads.  I sell banner ads on the LawMarketing Portal and they look great and work well. Of course, my advertisers tend to be ad agencies and marketing companies, so their banners are first-class.  Law firms, however, don't buy banners on the Portal.

Law Firms Fill Trade Show Booths at Corporate Counsel Convention

I'm at the annual Association of Corporate Counsel meeting in Chicago.  It's a convention of clients -- with 2000+ in-house counsel walking the exhibit floor and taking in CLE classes.  Kevin Buck, the chief marketing officer of the ACC, said that it's the biggest convention ever, with 40 law firms exhibiting from all over the world.

There are law firms from Italy, Canada, the UK, South America, and of course the US, with some of the most recognizable firms nationwide.  They have partners in the booths, and are giving away soccer balls (Simmons & Simmons), stuffed toy bulldogs (Womble Carlyle) and screwdrivers (Saul Ewing).  A single booth space costs $21,000.

Partner Mike Lampert of Saul Ewing said the screwdriver symbolized "solving the client's problem."  However, he emphasized a mini-CD entitled "The Law of Inside Counsel," which excerpts the firm's 200-page book on the topic.

The firm even has a playbook -- a ring binder listing all 8 attorneys from Saul Ewing who are at the ACC conference, whom they are to target and a list of planned actions.  Also, the lawyers are networking with other law firms, trading cards and making referrals.  Paul H. Malanowski, Director of Client Relations, said the price of the booth was definitely worth it -- last year the firm picked up a "significant piece of business that paid for the cost of the booth."  Tonight the firm will be serving Philly cheese steak sandwiches at the booth.  "We have the best food," Lampert said proudly. And it's reflective of where the firm started -- in Philadelphia. Now it has offices from the Hudson to the Potomac Rivers.

For the list of law firms who are exhibiting in trade show booths at the conference, continue reading...

Continue Reading...

BTI Research: You're About to be Fired

law firm marketing, marketing director, btiMore than half of all corporate clients have fired one of their key law firms, according to research by The BTI Consulting Group in Boston.

61.1% of clients have replaced at least one primary law firm according to the research report, "Key Trends in Client Relationships and Satisfaction with Law FIrms: Market Opportunities for 2007."  If you have corporate clients, it's time to start visiting their offices, holding regular business update meetings and sending client satisfaction surveys.

On the other hand, this is great news for law firms trying to crack a major corporate account.  The odds are now in your favor that the target corporation will have an opening for a new law firm.  Happily, corporations are shifting more dollars to hiring secondary law firms, as the in-house counsel try new law firms, according to the BTI study.  In fact, 51.3% of their spending will be on secondary law firms.

The time to act is now.


10 Things I Hate About You

law firm marketing, 10 things I hate about you
Those clever marketers at RainToday are offering a free collection of articles by John Doerr called 10 Things I Hate About You.  The description offers this embarrasing scenario:


Dear Professional Service Provider,

Please stop emailing and calling to "see how things are going." I will never buy your services. Clearly you don't know anything about my company and have no understanding of my needs. Yet, you believe your services are my answer! Hah.

I hate you,


10 Things I Hate About You:
A complimentary collection of articles that will make your prospects love you
By John Doerr, Founder of

Selling professional services can be challenging; and for those who are new to the task, it can even be daunting. Selling should not lead to the feeling your prospects don't want to talk to you.

Done correctly, selling will not lead you towards becoming the hated Rainmaker but the trusted (maybe loved?) professional partner your prospects look forward to working with.

10 Things I Hate About You uncovers the 10 major problems encountered by decision makers during the process of hiring consulting and professional services providers. Not only are these the things decision makers hate about you, but, more importantly, they are also the reasons why they don't buy your services.

Download your copy today for tips and best practices to improve these problem areas and make your prospects love you (or, at least, more likely to do business with you)!


Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan (for Associates)

DATE: Tuesday, October 30, 2007; 12PM - 1PM Central time
LOCATION: Over the Web, on your computer
MORE INFO: Laura Kresich; (Tel) 773.966.9273 or

In this live Web program, Michael G. Cummings and I will explain the essential components of effective business development. In addition, the program will show real-life case studies of how newer attorneys have successfully executed each step. Participants will apply these best practices and start to develop their own personal plan, adapting these proven methods to their own personal style, culture and areas of practice. Successful steps and illustrative case studies include: 

  • Step 1: Find Your Niche
    Marketing Case Study 1: Targeting Human Resource Directors at Mid-Sized Firms
  • Step 2: Recruit Allies and Co-Market
    Marketing Case Study 2: Building a Practice Focused on Entrepreneurs
  • Step 3: Team with Partners and Sell Work
    Marketing Case Study 3: Landing a Large New Client as a Team 
  • Step 4: Build Your Personal Reputation
    Marketing Case Study 4: Becoming a Local Celebrity
  • Step 5: Be a Marketing Innovator
    Marketing Case Study 5: Using Technology to Grow a Nationwide Reputation
  • Step 6: Putting Your Own Plan in Place
    Exercise: Develop Your Personal Marketing Plan

Register today. Fee: $300. Invite your management and marketing committees, income partners, associates and as many people as you wish to attend. Simply project the program on a screen and put the telephone connection on a speakerphone.

Many young attorneys incorrectly believe they can wait to build these skills until they become a partner. Our strong advice is to build these skills now — so that you start bringing in business while an associate and position yourself to be a rainmaker for long term success.

Contact Laura Kresich: (773) 966-9273 or email 
Sign up online at


Capturing the Voice of the Client

By Charlie Miller and Ronna Cross, Patton Boggs

Charlie Miller is Deputy Managing Partner and Ronna Cross is Director of Business Development at Patton Boggs,  Patton Boggs is a law firm with 500 attorneys based in Washington, D.C. with six additional offices worldwide.  

Most thriving law firms today understand how important it is to:

  • Thoroughly understand your clients’ and potential clients’ businesses;
  • Identify existing and prospective clients’ problems, opportunities and changes; and
  • Create value-added solutions

At Patton Boggs, we collectively call these habits of thought and action, “capturing the voice of the client.”  Capturing the voice of the client has generated revenue for us far beyond everyone’s expectations.  But building that ability into our culture took some effort and habit-forming.

In this article, we draw on our experiences and analyze the “what, why, when and how” of capturing the voice of the client. And how you can start doing the same within your firm. What we found is that the “little things” make the big difference. 

For the rest of the article visit the Originate newsletter.



Bill Fewer Hours, Bring in More Business

law firm marketing, Dan MarkovitzYou need to cut down your billable hours and increase the time you spend on business development. And the only way to do that is to begin delegating your work -- early, often, and effectively, according to blogger Dan Markovitz, who writes the Timeback Management blog.

Billing more time is the way to success for an associate, he says, but increasing your book of business from $2 million to $22 million is the way to success for a partner

The key is learning to delegate, and he offers 5 tips:

1. Get organized. Here's a newsflash: dropping 25 pounds of documents on an associate's desk on Thursday afternoon and asking for an analysis by Friday morning does not qualify as delegation. If you don't know everything that's on your plate and everything that's upcoming, you'll never be able to bring associates on board before the deadline is upon you. Get a handle on all your commitments and deadlines.

2. Define the outcome. What does a successful outcome look like? Smart people don't want to be told how to do their jobs. They want to know where they're going, and they'll figure out how to get there. So paint a clear picture of what the client is going to get when the job is completed successfully.

3. Set a timeline. You and your associates will do a lot better if you both know what the next step is and, more importantly, when it's due. People are often uncomfortable with delegation because they're afraid they'll forget about the matter in question -- out of sight, out of mind, and all that. But if you and your associates commit to a date and time for the next meeting, and have clearly defined deliverables, it won't slip your mind. Or hers. Worried that she'll forget? Make calendar reminder for you to call her a day or two before the meeting just to ensure she's on schedule.

4. Start early. A lawyer I know corrals an associate as soon as he gets a call from the client that will result in work. That enables the associate to learn everything from the beginning, without wasting anyone's time in getting him up to speed later. Even better, he develops a real sense of ownership in the client matter, which makes him more committed to the outcome.

5. Use all your resources. Are you still redlining briefs and memos? Doing it once or twice so that the associate understands what you want is fine. But after that, he should be going to a senior associate for help, and only coming to you for the final review. That's part of why the senior associates are getting paid. Your job is to make sure the final product is up to your standards; it's not to make the same corrections over and over again.


These are all good points.  From my viewpoint, lawyers must view time spend on business development as the equivalent of billing hours. I advise my law firm clients that lawyers spend a minimum of 200 hours a year on business development.  That works out to 4 hours per week, which is an easy goal to achieve.


Bob Ambrogi's Top 10 Blogs

I've known blogger Bob Ambrogi for 20 years and respect his opinion. He's a is a Massachusetts lawyer, writer and media consultant. He is author of the book, The Essential Guide to the Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web. He also writes the blog LawSites,  Media Law, co-writes Legal Blog Watch and cohosts the legal affairs podcast Coast to Coast.

So when he comes out with his list of the 10 best legal blogs, I take note and so should you.  In his own words, they are:

  • SCOTUSblog. I regularly cite this as the best demonstration of blogging's potential as a legitimate source of news and commentary.
  • beSpacific. Sabrina Pacifici knows her topic, knows her audience and knows her sources, allowing her to deliver day in and day out.
  • Anyone who thinks I choose Carolyn Elefant just because she's my co-blogger at Legal Blog Watch would be way wrong. Carolyn saw a need way back when for a blog that spoke to solo and small-firm lawyers, and she ran with it.
  • LawBeat. Mark Obbie has staked out a blogging niche at the intersection of law and journalism, where he never writes a dull post.
  • Real Lawyers Have Blogs. Kevin O'Keefe watches over trends in legal blogging with a combination of insight and attitude.
  • f/k/a .... Some bloggers shoot from the hip, but never David Giacalone -- his posts are always thoughtful and, like the poet he is, he finds universal truths in daily events.
  • Legal Profession Blog. The stories reported here of ethical and professional misconduct never cease to amaze me.
  • Overlawyered. Rarely do I see eye-to-eye with authors Walter Olson and Ted Frank, but darned if they don't write one interesting blog.
  • TalkLeft. Jeralyn Merritt keeps fighting the good fight against criminal and political injustice.
  • How Appealing. Howard Bashman is the Energizer Bunny of legal blogging.

Take the ALM Law Firm Business Development Practices Survey

law firm marketing, ALM researchALM Research has just launched the third annual Law Firm Business Development Practices Survey. Large and midsize firms are invited to participate, and in return for their participation in the survey, participants get a free copy of the Executive Summary of all key data gathered in the survey.

The survey will continue to track benchmarking information about business development/sales and marketing/communication trends having to do with budgets, staffing, salaries, organizational structure, and strategies at large and midsize firms. (Large firms are in the NLJ 250 , Am Law 200, and Global 100 size range.)

This year's survey takes a close look at the RFP process, as well as three specific business development strategies: client surveys and interviews, client service teams, and sales training for lawyers. Do these strategies work for firms or not? Take part in the survey and find out.

To join the 2007 Law Firm Business Development Practices survey, click here

To review the Executive Summary of last year's survey, click here.

For questions about the survey, send an email to ALM Research ( or call 888-770-5647.


Even though consumers move online, marketers fail to use online advertising

According to the Wall Street Journal, consumers are spending much more time online, but marketers are failing to shift their advertising budgets online to reach them. Online ad spending is
weak despite the change in consumer behavior.

Results from a new study prepared by consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton state that "digital marketing still lags the shift in consumer behavior" prompted by the Internet. The findings indicate that while "eight in 10 Americans are now online" and spend as much time on the Web as on TV, most marketers allocate only 5%-10% of their ad budgets to digital media.

The growth of the Web and other technological advances, such as digital video recorders, has given consumers more control of what they see -- and when. As a result, marketers are being forced to find new ways reach buyers.

The Booz Allen report was partly based on an online survey of 184 marketers -- members of the Association of National Advertisers. Its conclusions reinforced perceptions that many marketers are struggling to figure out digital media.

Less than 24% of those polled considered their companies "digitally savvy," citing several issues, including "lack of experience in new media" and "dearth of digital talent," the report said.

Some industries are further behind than others: Nearly half of the consumer-goods companies that participated in the study spend less than 5% of their marketing budgets on digital, whereas technology, travel and financial services allocated more of their ad dollars to digital media.

Despite the issues, Bob Liodice, chief executive officer of the ANA, told the WSJ that companies such as Procter & Gamble, American Express and others have "demonstrated a great proclivity for alternative media." Anheuser-Busch has been particularly aggressive online, starting its own entertainment online network, for instance. Moreover, he points out that the report shows that a quarter of the marketing organizations polled have established media-experiment funds to finance tests of unproven media.

My conclusion: it's time for law firm marketers to get tech-savvy.

Fulbright Jaworski issues latest litigation trends survey

law firm marketing, Fulbright & JaworskiFulbright & Jaworski has released new research surveying senior corporate counsel on their experiences and opinions regarding various aspects of litigation and related matters. This year's survey focused on respondents from companies based in the United States and the United Kingdom. There-were 253 U.S. corporate counsel and 50 U.K. corporate counsel who participated in the survey, a statistically significant sample.

Among the findings this year are these data points:

  • The number of lawsuits filed against companies in the survey appears to be down from last year, returning to levels similar to 2005.
  • However, suits with $20 million or more at stake are on the rise. All of the smallest and mid-sized company respondents reported at least one lawsuit of that magnitude in the past year. Twenty percent of the largest companies surveyed had 21-50 lawsuits of that size.
  • Almost 40% of the largest companies surveyed spent $5 million or more annually on litigation, excluding settlements and awards.
  • Companies in the United Kingdom are more likely to spend more money on regulatory matters than their American counterparts.
  • In the records retention area, 31 % of all the companies in the survey now log or retain instant messages, and 40% retain voice mail.
  • There has been a substantial uptrend in the use of litigation hold policies over the past three years, especially in the UK
  • The majority of respondents expect the use of international arbitration to remain at present levels or increase.
  • There is substantial confidence in the enforceability of international arbitration awards abroad. About three-quarters of respondents say that enforcing awards outside their country is about the same as in their home country.
  • More than half of all respondents said their companies had at least one class action pending.
  • Over the last three years, UK companies experienced significant increases in the number of internal investigations and external regulatory inquiries/investigations.
  • American companies saw declines in both internal investigations and regulatory inquiries/ investigations.
  • Thirty-one percent of the largest companies in the survey had received requests from the government for waiver of attorney-client privilege in the past 12 months in enforcement actions, and 17% of United States companies had agreed to waive the privilege.
  • Patent infringement claims are rising. Over the past three years, more than half of the companies with $1 billion or more in revenues have had an increase in the number of patent infringement claims they have received
  • Aside from the cost of litigation, the most widespread concern about enforcing patents or trademarks is the possibility of patent invalidation or loss of trademark registration in court.
  • Despite good intentions, 27% of us. companies believe that the new federal rules on e-discovery have made the problem more difficult.
  • Stock option backdating is still a hot issue. Twenty-six percent of  US companies considered an internal investigation into backdating.

For copies of the survey in a PDF format visit

Google: The Only Law Firm Directory to Bother With

Lawyers are repeatedly seduced and marketers are constantly aggravated to take space in law firm directories.  Which one to choose? How much to pay? Should you pay?  I can make the decision easy for you. There is only one directory you need to worry about: Google.

According to new research from, Google's share of Web searches in September 2007 was a whopping 67%, up from 54% a year earlier.  This blows away the use of Yahoo, with a measly share of 19% of all web searches (compared with 29% the year before, which is a big drop), and MSN at 9% has a pathetic 3.6% of web searches.

The total number of searches conducted online is about 7.8 billion per month, according to the research. Clients use Google to look up phone numbers and addresses, so law firms can cancel their yellow pages ads. When clients want to check out your firm, they are not going to call up to get your printed brochure, they will look you up online.

No other lawyer directory even comes close to Google.


Make a Nomination in the Law Technology News Awards

law firm marketing, Law Technology NewsLaw Technology News is accepting nominations for 5th annual competition recognizing the best people and projects in legal technology.  Law firms and legal departments are eligible for nomination for these six awards:

  • I.T. Director
  • Champion of Technology
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology by an In-House Legal Department
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology During a Trial
  • Most Innovative Use of Technology For a Pro Bono Project
Deadline to nominate is October 31. The candidates will be evaluated by an independent team of three experts, all members of the LTN Editorial Advisory Board.

For more information, please visit or call Kevin Iredell, at 800 888 8300 (

Download nomination form here. The awards will be presented at the LTN Technology Awards Dinner, at LegalTech New York on February 5, 2008.

A List of Images You Should Never Use In Law Firm Advertising

law firm marketing, gavelPeter Darling has a wonderful post in his blog Business Development on how to avoid the boring sameness in law firm advertising.  He sums it up this way:

Principle Eight: A List of Images You Should Never, Ever Use In Law Firm Advertising, No Matter What Because They’re Incredibly Clichéd and Bespeak A Complete Lack of Creativity So Overpowering As To Alter The Very Fabric of Time and Space

  1. Gavels
  2. Eagles
  3. Courtrooms
  4. Courthouse Steps
  5. The Scales O’ Justice
  6. Piles of Law Books
  7. Nautical Themed Stuff (unless you’re an admiralty lawyer)
  8. Compasses
  9. Groups of Middle-Aged White Lawyers in Suits

He's completely right.  These images in an ad or web site focus inwardly on the firm, and depict the firm talking about itself.  This is totally ineffective business development.  It's called "marketing your organization."

The smarter approach is to "organize around the market."  In your ads and websites, depict pictures of your clients, the industries they are in the illustrations of the business problems they face.  That way clients see themselves in law firm ads and websites.

Continue Reading...

Video is coming to law firm websites

law firm marketing, law firm videoCiting the example of the recruiting page of the Vancouver, Canada, law firm Bull, Housser & Tupper, blogger Doug Jasinski, author of Legal Marketing Canada, says, "My personal view is that you can expect to see a great deal more use of both video and audio content on law firm websites in the year(s) ahead.

He offers 5 key reasons why:

  1. Video makes a law firm's core offering - its people - the centerpiece of the marketing.
  2. Video is an excellent tool to help law firms differentiate from their competitors.
  3. Video is sticky, meaning that people will stay on your website longer.
  4. Video is becoming more prominent both in other professional services and on the Internet generally.
  5. Video is becoming less expensive and easier to produce over time.

I couldn't agree more. See my post "Video: Why You Need to Pay Attention to Everyone age 28 or younger."

Continue Reading...

The Coming Recession, Part 3 -- Just a Bad Cold, Not Pneumonia

Economists have suddenly changed their tune, following the Labor Department's announcement that job growth was much stronger last summer than the government had first anticipated.  It now appears that the clients of the legal profession will face a recession that is more like a bad cold, but not pneumonia.

  • The 1/2% rate cut in September by the Federal Reserve had a positive psychological impact on corporate America. This means business clients will be inclined to roll out new products, expand to new locations and engage in mergers and acquisitions.  [My own business has been thriving, and we just rolled out a new business development newsletter, Originate!]
  • It hasn't mattered that the price of oil peaked at $83.32 a barrel in September and will remain above $80.  "But the fallout often seemed negligible: Americans kept spending; employment kept growing; factories, construction crews and retail stores stayed busy," the New York Times reported on Oct. 5. Airlines, trucking companies and consumers were able to absorb the high cost.  [I still plan to buy a hybrid car, but now I'm not in a big rush.]
  • Consumer spending continues unabated -- this is the key element keeping the economy afloat.  Consumers have been using their credit cards more to finance purchases now that home equity lines of credit are becoming harder to get. Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's, said this is ''further evidence that consumers did not pack it in'' after the financial market turbulence hit in August. [My wife and I are "big spenders": we just went out to dinner twice recently, and splurged on a $10 Starbucks breakfast.]
  • The fall of the dollar compared to a Euro has a net-neutral effect.  A Euro now costs an all-time high of $1.41.   This means foreign travel and goods are more expensive for Americans, but it also means the products of US client companies become cheaper and more attractive.  [I'll just have to cut back on my Lindt chocolates and delay my trip to Prague.]
  • Clients and consumers are only mildly concerned by the Commerce Department report that the median price of a new home plunged in September by the largest amount in more than 35 years. Meanwhile home sales picked up, rising by 5.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 1.075 million homes. It marked the second consecutive increase in sales following three months of declines.  [I have decided to wait on selling my house in Illinois until the housing market comes back to normal.]

Bottom line: there's lots of bad economic news, but it just doesn't matter.  Clients of law firms will apparently thrive and hire lawyers as much as they have all year.  It all goes back to my posts 2007 Looks Like an Excellent Year for Private Law Firms and More evidence that 2007 will be an Excellent Year for Law Firms.



Anecdote: FedEx Lets a Crucial Document Gather Dust

FedEx, law firm marketingFederal Express has an image that it is absolutely, positively reliable.  I just had an experience that put the lie to that image.

This is important for lawyers and marketers, because we regularly need to overnight documents that must arrive on time.

My son and I are applying for a student loan.  He sent by Federal Express a promissory note that he and the university had signed.  I needed to sign it to and he sent me the document by Federal Express. 

A mystery arose when the document never arrived. My 22-year old son wrote me: " I used the tracking number online, and the original envelope was just sitting at a station in Schaumburg, 10 days after I sent it.  I called corporate Fedex about this, they said someone would “call me back,” which never happened."

This is the worst customer service, ever.  We'll be using UPS from now on.  For you regular FedEx customers -- you've been warned.


Monica Bay's Top 10 Blog List

Law firm marketing, Monica BayHave you been seeking law-related blogs to follow, or to add to your subscription list in your news aggregator?  Look no further than Monica Bay's blog, The Common Scold, where she lists the blogs that are "Simply the Best."

Monica Bay is editor-in-chief of Law Technology News, a widely read magazine about innovations in technology for the legal profession.  It's the one magazine I read the moment I see it in the daily mail.  I'm honored that she reached down from the mountaintop and included this humble blog in her top ten list, which is:

• Robert Ambrogi's LawSites (Nobody knows Web 3.0/4.0/5.0 better than Bob).
May It Please the Court (J. Craig Williams' always amazing site.)
Where's Travis McGee (Bradley Parker, who is posting amazing dispatches from Afgahistan about his JAG work).
• Anything John Tredennick writes, including the ABA's Law Technology Today (OK, technically not a blog, so sue me.)
• K&L Gates' Electronic Discovery Law  (One of the first EDD blogs and terrific)
Al Nye the Lawyer Guy (soooo New England)
Overlawyered (Never disappoints.)
Larry Bodine (is there anyone he doesn't know?)
Ernie the Attorney (the soul of New Orleans)
Sports Law Blog (Did you have any doubt about that one?)

Runners up: Patent Baristas, BLT, CalLaw's Legal Pad, Greatest American Lawyer, , Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog, and of course, our own brand new blog, EDD Update.


Long-Term Benefits of Saul Ewing's New Website

law firm marketing, saul ewing websiteFour years ago, Saul Ewing's Web site was so bad that it was the target of scorn of online commentators.  The firm, which has 300 lawyers in nine offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, revamped the site and realized a 50 percent savings in new Web site development costs and it actually resulted in new business for the firm.

"Stale content, non-user-friendly navigation and the inability to make quick changes were characteristics we wanted to discard. Building adaptability into the Web site design certainly paid off for the firm. But in a perfect world, a Web site could help make money as well as save, and our site has done just that," said Frances W. Sheldon serves as Web technology administrator for Saul Ewing. 

You can read Sheldon's entire article about the redevelopment of the site, but here are the highlights:

  • For their Web site design and development firm, they chose Delphic Sage of Manayunk, Pa.
  • The built the site using Microsoft's SQL database, allowing the firm to link an event, publications or news story to the participating attorneys, the appropriate practice groups and the closest office location, so the event is noted on the bios, practice group and office pages, as well as on lists of events.
  • The firm recently licensed custom software to produce proposals and pitch materials, and the Web site is the source for nearly all of the content in this proposal generator.
  • To keep content fresh, the home page displays the next five upcoming events, contributed from across the firm, and reviewed via an approval process.
  • A third of the homepage is devoted to a Flash graphic that communicates marketing messages with humor. One of the five messages asks, "Will you have the right counsel when you need it?" Then it displays an "Assistant Gatekeeper, City of Troy, circa 1200 BC" exclaiming, "Look everyone, a present from the Greeks. Let's open the gates!"law firm marketing, Saul Ewing website
  • The Web site had earned a place at the center of the firm's marketing.

Saul Ewing's experience proves that technology can be used for business development -- not just marketing.  A frequently-updated, content-rich site will attract clients and will make the phone ring.