I'll See You at the RainDance Conference, June 3-5 in Chicago

I'll see you soon at LSSO's RainDance Conference, scheduled for June 3-5 in Chicago.  The conference is conceived and designed for senior leaders in law firms and legal departments. It's the place where sophisticated professionals and industry thought leaders turn for their own professional development.

Register for RainDance '09

From LSSO: We know this is a tough year and that budgets are tight – so, we’ve lowered registration fees, developed great team pricing, rolled back sponsorship pricing to 2004 rates, elevated the conference agenda (have you seen who's on the 2009 faculty?!), and negotiated favorable rates at the fabulous Hotel Sax too. Our goal, as always, is that you realize a substantial return on your registration investment. Visit us at www.legalsales.org/raindance for more information and to see 5 reasons it makes good sense to attend RainDance this year. Here’s one:

RainDance is the only conference in the legal industry that gives you critical sales, service and process improvement education and tools that you and your firm need to compete. With this focus on specific content, RainDance is geared to provide the skills and education that help you be in the know about how to survive in these challenging times and address important initiatives, such as the ACC Value Challenge, that are now hitting the legal industry.

View the RainDance Program Agenda


Ed Schechter, the Marketing Director of the Year, is Out at Duane Morris

Ed SchechterEd Schechter, who built of Duane Morris from an unheard of middling firm in Philadelphia to the 25-office, 700- lawyer powerhouse it is today, resigned, ending his eight-year tenure as chief marketing officer at Duane Morris

The handwriting was on the wall when regime change occurred, and Shelly Bonovitz stepped down as firm Chairman in 2008.  Sources tell the Legal Intelligencer  that the firm may have forced Schechter's hand. 

Under Ed’s leadership, Duane Morris Marketing Program was Ranked No. 1 among the Top 50 Law Firms in Marketing and Communications. Additionally, he was recognized as "Marketing Director of the Year" in the 2007 Hubbard One Excellence in Legal Marketing Awards. See

Schechter told the paper he had been thinking about resigning for a while, and that he felt he had nothing left to accomplish at Duane Morris. The firm didn't have a CMO before it hired Schechter eight years ago, and he built up the marketing department basically from scratch. 

There were two obvious changes at Duane Morris that might have pushed Schechter out, but he and the firm denied that either played a role in his departure. The firm laid off several marketing staffers in August 2008, a few months after John Soroko succeeded Sheldon Bonovitz as the firm's chair; Bonovitz was a marketing visionary. 

Soroko says the firm plans to fill Schechter's position but that it will take "great care" in doing so.

Continue Reading...

WSJ: Lawyers Learning the Skills Needed to Draw, Keep Clients

From the Wall Street Journal:

"In the last few months, law firms have become increasingly aware that training lawyers in marketing and business development is a key way to drive business. According to a February survey of 120 marketing directors at large law firms -- conducted by legal market researcher, BTI Consulting Group -- business development is one of the few marketing areas where law firm executives are most willing to increase spending. Nearly 70% said they planned to provide more marketing coaching to lawyers.

"Marketing coaching fills in where law school falls short on training. Firms are enlisting coaches who work one-on-one with their lawyers on how to keep up with existing clients and court new ones. While it's certainly not a new concept to the legal world, this kind of strategic networking becomes critical as business wanes. "As business falls off everywhere, all of us need to have an eye on where the next thing is coming from," says Edward Winslow, partner at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP, an 85-lawyer firm based in Greensboro, N.C.

"Larry Bodine, an Illinois-based law firm business-development consultant, has been working nights and weekends to accommodate his new influx of clients, which has tripled from 20 to 60 lawyers since January. "Business development is not something taught in law school," he says. "Basically you spend three years reading appellate court opinions and you don't learn anything about building a clientele," he says.

"While many firms are looking outside to hire coaches, others are ramping up internal efforts. At Boston-based Nixon Peabody, where the marketing budget is down 20% this year, chief marketing officer Mark Greene says there has been a distinct shift in how resources are allocated, with more emphasis on coaching individual lawyers. "A year ago the department was more focused on marketing in the traditional sense of brand creation," says Mr. Greene. "We have shifted resources toward one-on-one relationship building."

Apollo Business Development, Larry Bodine, law firm marketingFor more about business development training, visit www.ApolloBusinessDevelopment.com

How to Remember Peoples' Names

Remember that a man’s name is,
to him, the sweetest and most
important sound in any language.
—Dale Carnegie

For many of us, remembering names is difficult, but make no mistake: It is extremely important in building relationships. People like to hear their own names. It has been said that the sweetest sound in the world is hearing one’s own name.

We must place great importance on learning names. When you remember a person’s name, you make that person feel important, and you begin to establish a personal rapport. According to Patrick D. Kelly, a partner with Steptoe & Johnson PLLC in Charleston, WV, one of his friends claims he cannot remem­ber names, yet he can memorize the batting statistics of dozens of Major League baseball players. The fact is he can remember names. He simply doesn’t place any importance on doing so.

You need to make a conscious decision to remember names and place a high priority on it. If you apply yourself and use a few helpful tools, you can do it.

The author of the new book Rainmaking 101, Kelly offers a dozen mnemonic tips to recall these key words to establishing rapport on the LawMarketing Portal at www.lawmarketing.com.


Complimentary Special Report: The One Piece of Advice You Need to Earn Your Clients' Loyalty

There's been a lot of talk lately about surviving this recession, and much of the advice is focused on marketing and selling to get new clients. While continuing to bring in new business is necessary for a service firm's survival, so is keeping your current clients loyal to your firm.


What does it take to build the type of relationships with your clients that keep them loyal and coming back to your firm year after year? To find out, RainToday asked me and 8 other experts in client loyalty this question:


If you could only give one piece of advice regarding how to develop client loyalty: what would that be?


They then gathered our responses in this complimentary, 38-page special report, The One Piece of Advice You Need to Earn Your Clients’ Loyalty.


You can download this report by visiting: http://www.raintoday.com/pages/5072_client_loyalty_special_report.cfm


The advice and authors include:


1.    Keeping Your Clients Loyal - Nine Questions You Need Answered
Mike Schultz, Publisher of RainToday and Author of Professional Services Marketing

2.    Achieving the Highest Level of Loyalty
Andrew Sobel, Author of All for One: 10 Strategies for Building Trusted Client Partnerships

3.    How to Be Invaluable
Jill Konrath, Author of Selling to Big Companies

4.    Your Highest Priority: Building Client Loyalty by Delivering Superior Service
Michael W. McLaughlin, Principal of MindShare Consulting and Author of Winning the Professional Services Sale

5.    Client Loyalty: How to Keep Happy Clients Who are Delighted to Pay Their Bills
Larry Bodine, Esq., Founder of Apollo Business Development

6.    Taming the Search-and-Switch Client: 3 Keys to Keeping Your Client Loyal
Jill Griffin, Author of Taming the Search-and-Switch Customer: Earning Customer Loyalty in a Compulsion-to-Compare World

7.    Your Clients Need Cultivation - Now, More Than Ever!
Ardath Albee, CEO and B2B Strategist of Marketing Interactions, Inc.

8.    How to Retain Clients: Teach Them How to Be Loyal
Sharon Drew Morgen, Author of Selling with Integrity

9.    Client Loyalty as a By-Product of Firm Leadership
Patrick J. Lamb and Nicole N. Auerbach, Two of the Founding Members of Valorem Law Group, LLC.

Earn your clients' loyalty with the expert insights and advice in this special report!

Download here: http://www.raintoday.com/pages/5072_client_loyalty_special_report.cfm



Legal Recession May End Soon

In the latest sign that the recession in the legal profession may end soon, businesses will once again begin increasing their law budgets in the second half of this year according to the study BTI Mid-Year Spending Update and Outlook.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Corporate legal spending at large companies will grow nearly 5% over the next 6 months, bringing overall market growth to only negative 1.4 percent for the year.
  • Clear signs of renewed legal spending after a sharp decline of 7% since year-end 2008.
  • Leading the growth in spending will be the practice areas of regulatory compliance, employment, securities and bankruptcy/corporate restructuring law.
  • Year-to-date, the hardest hit core practice areas have been corporate, securities and finance, and intellectual property.

Practice Areas Increase Speding

The legal profession was clobbered by the recession beginning in 2008. As of today, 102 major law firms are listed on the Law.com Layoff List. Larger firms have laid off 10,015 people this year (3,851 lawyers, 6,250 staff) according to LawShucks.

For the full story, visit the LawMarketing Portal at www.lawmarketing.com

Get PR for Law Firm Marketing on a Shoestring

Legal PR on a shoestring

Lawyers know the value of getting your name in the news, but in these hard times, few can come up with the $5,000 or $10,000 retainer that big PR agencies want.

How would you like to get access to queries from journalists as they are working on articles, plus exposure to the world’s most influential news outlets -- for $34.95 a month?

Thanks to the ever-resourceful Paramjit Mahli of Legal PR Network For Attorneys in New York, now you can, with the "Amethyst" level of service.

It's PR on a shoestring. A gem lover, she also offers the "Ruby" level that adds coaching from a media expert.  The "Diamond" level includes all of the above, plus inclusion in a database like ProfNet, where journalists can look up lawyers to quote.

“We’re very pleased” – we’re getting 5 inquiries a week from journalists," said Paramjit, who is a veteran of the CNN news network.  She's made her network of journalists available to lawyers, "because there's a need in the legal space to do public relations on a shoestring.  Lawyers get new-business leads from using public relations."

Sample stories where reporters were seeking lawyers to quote include:

  • Where are the Somali going be prosecuted? The Legal Talk Network wanted a lawyer to go on the air to discuss the point. 
  • The New York Post wanted a lawyer who was a hunter to comment on a story about a woman who was sitting in church in The Bronx, and was hit by an arrow.
  • Inside Counsel called seeking comment on European legislation and environmental laws that affect US businesses there.
  • Working Mother magazine sought a lawyer to ask if women were taking advantage of cost cutting measures that law firms are making to suit their work/life schedules.

The Legal PR Network for Attorneys "has really taken off," said Paramjit, who can be reached at 212.661.9137. "We want to help lawyers get through the recession."


May issue of Originate! Business Development Newsletter now Online

The May issue of Originate! - the business development newsletter for lawyers is now online at http://www.pbdi.org/originate/  The Lead Article is always free.

Lead Article: Doing What Should Come Naturally - A Lawyer Learns How to Ask for the Business

Do you feel like a vulture when you ask for the business or feel you're prying into your prospects' problems? Larry Bodine Esq. relates the story of one lawyer who saw that it takes just a shift in your mindset to recognize that offering a helping hand is not the same as picking a pocket. Then he offers a number of helpful tips himself on how to make the most of that shift in attitude and confidently ask for the business.

Making Marketing Authentic: Turning Prospects into Clients

In this last of a three part series of articles on how to market a mediation/ADR practice, Diana Mercer, Esq. explains how to turn prospects into actual clients. The main thing is to serve, serve before you sell --and then serve well afterwards. Her specific recommendations can help any lawyer improve how they convert leads for their specialty services.

Business Development Advice from the Chair of the ABA

This is the second part of a three part interview with Roberta D. Liebenberg, Esq., the Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Here she covers in detail the methods she has applied to generating legal work ? from the outside game to the inside game within your firm.

Best Practice Tips
Invest in Marketing Now? First, Plead Your Business Case

In a time of uncertainty, with pressures to invest in marketing/business development or refrain from spending, what?s a smart lawyer (or law firm) to do? Darryl Cross advises making a business case for the decision so that you align benefits with important goals in a reasonable timeframe. He offers a simple, but powerful model to do so.

Your Frightening Lobby: Marketing at the Point of Contact

Taking a spring break from his series of articles on the legal sales pipeline, Andy Havens finds himself sitting in a law firm lobby or two, and not at all pleased about it. In too many offices, it's downright scary...and that's not good for your practice.

Summertime...and the Networking's Easy

Contrary to what you might think, summers afford unique networking opportunities for the alert lawyer.  The slowdown in formal gatherings opens many opportunities to gather people in ways they will remember, affirms Thom Singer, while getting you closer to those who can help you.

This Month in Briefs: Ten Reasons Why Individual Marketing Plans Fail || Tune Up Your Social Networking || Associate Rainmaker of the Year Makes Partner || How Bad Is It? Lawyer Layoffs in Perspective || Alternatives to Layoffs || LMA Highlights


Business Development for Litigators

business development, litigation, law firm marketing

Business development is especially difficult for litigators, who will labor for months on a case, bring it to a successful conclusion, and then have a gaping hole of billable time to fill. Join us to learn how to overcome the bane of litigators: the one-shot case.

DATE: Thursday, May 21st, 2009,1 PM - 2:15 PM Eastern time
LOCATION: At your office, on the Web
TO REGISTER:Click the button to register online via credit card; Register Now!or visit http://www.sagelawmarketing.com/webseminar46#register
or call us at 1-630-572-4798.

Marketing experts Michael G. Cummings and I will litigators how to grow your litigation client base using a variety of techniques. We have helped litigators at dozens of firms keep their caseload steady -- and growing.  In one case, we helped a litigator at a trial boutique increase her revenue to the firm from $200,000 per year to $2.5 million in one year!  She simply followed our advice, which includes the following:


  • Are you building the referral network you need to bring in litigation business?
  • Do you know which industries or types of litigation to pursue?
  • How much work do you continue to bring in from former clients?
  • How well are you bringing in new work for your firm and taking control of your career?
  • What business development techniques must you apply to make it happen?


  • Experienced litigators who want to smooth out the peaks and valleys of their practice.
  • Young litigators eager to build a career in litigation.
  • Marketing partners who plan to build up their firm's litigation practice.
  • Managing partners seeking to maintain and grow the revenue from a solid litigation practice. 

Registration fee: $300.  Click here to register instantly with a credit card or contact Michael Cummings at 1-630-572-4798. You can display the program in a conference room, put the telephone on speaker mode, and invite as many attendees at your firm as you wish. One connection per registration, and any number can attend.


How To Choose or Evaluate An SEO Consultant for Law Firm Marketing

Dale Tincher, SEO expert, law firm marketingResearch shows that search engine optimization (SEO) is the No. 1 best way for law firm marketers to boost traffic to their firm website and generate leads. See SEO and Email Better for Law Firm Marketing than Social Networking for proof in a research report by Marketing Sherpa.

Lawyers know this and frequently ask me to recommend an SEO company.  For advice, I turned to Dale Tincher of ConsultWebs in Raleigh, NC, whom I've used myself and consider one of the  top website designers and SEO experts in the business.

He's got a great video on YouTube entitled, "How To Choose or Evaluate An SEO Consultant"  Spend 10 minutes on this video and save yourself thousands of dollars. 

Here are the high points:

  • Many companies claim to provide high search engine results, but you should test them.Check their list of clients; if they don't have any online, move on.
  • Type the vendor's top clients into Google check their search engine ranking, If the top clients aren't on page one of the search results, move on.
  • Type the vendor's own targeted search terms in to Google and see how well they do for themselves. Type in "law firm web consultant" or "law firm SEO consultant" or "law web marketing consultant" into Google. If they can't get good rankings for themselves, move on.
  • Call the vendor's clients and see if they're getting higher rankings and leads from their web site as a result of the SEO optimization.  If not, move on.
  • The vendor should be legal-specific. They'll have a network of legal sites that can link to your site. You'll also save a lot of time because they'll be familiar with ethics rules and legal-content issues.
  • Look for a vendor who specializes.  If the vendor also sells books or research, they may focus their best people on more profitable areas. Contractors go where the money is.
  • SEO firms often go out of business. Find out how long your prospective vendor has been in business, and whether they're a one- or two-person firm or has a big team of people.
  • Make sure the vendor does the work themselves, or farms it out overseas. If the work goes overseas, move on.
  • Ask the vendor if they can provide advice and setup services for Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networking sites.

Don't be bamboozled by a fly-by-night SEO vendor. Find a company that knows what their doing, and enjoy checking your weblogs for all the new traffic.


60% of Twitter Users Quit After a Month

According to the Neilsen Wire, more than 60 percent of U.S. Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent. For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention.

The lackluster retention rate of 40 percent suggests many people don't see the point in spending time on Twitter, which allows anyone to write about what they're doing or what's on their mind in messages, or "tweets," limited to 140 characters.

There simply aren’t enough new Twitter users to make up for defecting ones after a certain point.

While some of the tweeting is entertaining, thought-provoking or helpful, much of the chatter can be quite banal as people update when they are eating, drinking, puking and even defecating.

Neilsen says: Maybe we’re jumping the gun. Twitter is still something of a fledgling, and surely some other sites that eventually lived up to Twitter-like hype suffered from poor retention in the early days. Compare it to the two heavily-touted behemoths of social networking when they were just starting out. Doing so below, we found that even when Facebook and MySpace were emerging networks like Twitter is now, their retention rates were twice as high. When they went through their explosive growth phases, that retention only went up, and both sit at nearly 70 percent today.

Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty. Frankly, if Oprah can’t accomplish that, I’m not sure who can.


SEO and Email Better for Law Firm Marketing than Social Networking

This just in from Marketing Sherpa, which just published MarketingSherpa’s 2009 Ecommerce Benchmark Report:

There's no doubt that social media is an immensely important trend or perhaps even a sea change in how we buy, sell and communicate. Still, the chart below (scroll down) puts the role of social and Web 2.0 tactics in some kind of perspective when compared to search engine optimization and tried-but-true house email. For the time being, the main drivers of website traffic are the known quantities of SEM (free and paid), email and display.

Still, companies that dismiss social tactics on this basis will be left behind. Social media is essentially a set of technologies and practices that enable the oldest and most powerful marketing there is – word of mouth. In the long term, social media may have a positive effect on margins by rewarding sellers for qualities beyond price, such as customer service, on-time delivery, social awareness and the like. In the short term, it makes sense for companies to build an expertise and social presence while consumers and business people are still in the process of building their networks. Like the early days of email, it's probably a lot easier to make a name on Twitter or Facebook today than it will be in five years.

Marketing Sherpa

You can buy the full report for $197, or download the executive summary, which is where this snipped came from.