Don't Waste My Time on JD Supra

Carolyn Elefant, law firm marketing, legal marketingThis is by by Carolyn Elefant.  Right on Carolyn, I totally agree that too many people are abusing JD Supra by uploading junk, advertisements and vacuous marketing advice:

So, this afternoon, I was browsing through Google search results, hunting for fodder for my Nolo Legal Marketing Blawg when a new article at JD Supra, with an intriguing title – Law Firm Marketing: Beyond the Blog popped up in my feed. Anticipating a provocative and fairly substantial article or even White Paper, I clicked on over only to discover this: three flimsy paragraphs a little more than a half page, written by some marketing firm called The Net Impact (though it’s somehow related to this company,  Auctorilaw which is mentioned in the JDSupra profile) and reminding lawyers that marketing cannot depend upon social media alone and that they cannot overlook more traditional networking.  As an example, the article mentions the St. Louis firm, Sandburg, Phoenix & Von Gottard,which held a wine tasting for the local Chamber of Commerce. That’s it.

If this poor excuse for content had been packaged in the form of a blog post, I’d have scanned through it in two seconds in my RSS reader and promptly forgotten it, just as I do with 90 percent of the other drivel that I plow through on a daily basis. But this garbage was billed as an article on JD Supra — a site which I’ve always associated with real content, either in the form of legal pleadings, white papers or even biglaw newsletters (at least, that’s how I’ve always used the site) and so I felt as if I’d been taken duped.  Plus, whereas a lousy blog post would take just a second or two to delete, here, I had to exit my reader and actually click through to JD Supra to bring the article up on my screen.

Clearly, this marketing group posted this article on JD Supra to take advantage of the site’s Press Release services and to gain extra SEO.  Nice for the marketers, but frankly, it annoyed the heck out of me.  No way I’d ever use a marketing company that thinks it’s OK to impose on reader’s time to grab some SEO.

Moreover, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen JD Supra abused in this manner.  Lots of lawyers simply convert simple blog posts to PDF and throw them up on JD Supra for added exposure. I’m all for re-purposing and re-distributing content, but I don’t want to see the exact same content in twelve different places.  If I’m going to a site like JD Supra, I both want — and expect — some kind of value add – maybe a bunch of blog posts aggregated into an ebook, or a lengthier article that expands on a shorter blog post.  People have started pulling the same stunt with Slideshare as I posted a few months back, using it to upload press releases and all kinds of junk other than slides.

Though I’d love for sites like JD Supra or Slideshare to monitor user uploads, I realize that this solution is not feasible, at least so long as these sites remain largely free of charge. So it’s up to users to police themselves, and for others to call out the conduct when they don’t.



Employees Have No Expectation of Privacy in Facebook or MySpace Profiles

facebook, myspace, online social networking, privacyFrom Nixon & Peabody:

A New York trial court recently found that an employee had no reasonable expectation of privacy in what she posted to her Facebook and MySpace pages, regardless of the privacy settings she used to restrict access to such postings. This decision adds to the growing list of cases addressing novel legal issues relating to social media, and employers can apply the court’s decision to issues that may arise in their workplaces, including investigation, discipline, and termination relating to an employee’s use or misuse of social media. 

In Romano v. Steelcase, Inc., the Supreme Court of New York, Suffolk County, considered whether a plaintiff alleging permanent physical injuries must turn over to defendants information from her social networking pages relevant to her “activities and enjoyment of life.” The public portions of plaintiff’s Facebook and MySpace pages showed content in direct contradiction to her claims that she had sustained permanent injuries, and defendants sought access to the private portions of her pages in order to gain further contradictory evidence. Kathleen Romano, the Plaintiff, had utilized the available privacy settings on Facebook and MySpace to restrict access to only those “friends” she wanted to share information with, but the court found that she could not shield relevant information from disclosure simply because she had adopted privacy settings to restrict access:   

Thus, it is reasonable to infer from the limited postings on Plaintiff’s public Facebook and MySpace profile pages, that her private pages may contain materials and information that are relevant to her claims or that may lead to the disclosure of admissible evidence. To deny Defendant an opportunity access [sic] these sites not only would go against the liberal discovery policies of New York favoring pre-trial disclosure, but would condone Plaintiff’s attempt to hide relevant information behind self-regulated privacy settings.

Romano v. Steelcase, Inc., No. 2006-2233, 2010 NY Slip Op 32645U, *5 (Sep. 21, 2010). The court granted Steelcase access to Romano’s current and historical Facebook and MySpace pages and accounts, including all deleted or archived content.
The court also considered plaintiff’s argument that production of the “private” portions of her social networking pages would be an invasion of her privacy under the Fourth Amendment, and held that production of these portions would not violate her right to privacy, and that any such concerns were outweighed by defendants’ need for the information.

Based on these sources, the court held that plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the content she posted to Facebook and MySpace:

In light of the Romano decision, the employee likely has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the content posted to a social networking site, and the employer may commence an investigation based on the content it received from the third party. The employer may then hand down discipline to the employee in question based on the investigation of that content.  

For the full story, visit the LawMarketing Portal at


How to Get on the Board of Directors

board of directorsWhen I train lawyers in business development, I always recommend they join an organization of clients and get on the the board of directors.  The idea is that if there are 300 members, you can shake hands with all of them, or simply get on the board of directors and everyone will know you. Trade associations are excellent sources of new business.

For the third or fourth time, I just got on the Board of a national organization. I use the same method every time because it always works.

First, I got involved with the Chicago chapter. The president wanted a website so I put up the chapter website and organized two events. I also distribute the chapter e-newsletter, at the president's request.  Without any lobbying on my part at all, he nominated me for the Board of Directors of the national organization.  Today I was accepted, and I'm just thrilled.

Now I'll have a chance to rub elbows with the people who run the organization, and hope to become a known quantity nationally.  I've already offered the executive director in New York to help with a new e-newsletter and I'm getting a quote from a web developer for a fellow board member in Portland, OR.

You can copy this proven method and do it yourself.  Simply:

  • Join one organization composed of your ideal clients.  Don't join two, three or more, because you will end up surfing the meetings and not make an impression on anyone.
  • Go up to the president and tell him you're new and would like to get active.  Ask the president if there is some nagging task or bothersome chore he'd like taken care of.  Association presidents always need help with something.  Any they'll be dying to find volunteers to help you.
  • Do the task and there is only one way the president can reward you: with an appointment to the Board, to Program Director or Newsletter Editor, or head of a committee.  The idea is for you to get active in a visible way.  Your goal is not to warm a chair and listen to the speaker; your goal is to be known by everyone in the organization.
  • Then start building relationships that can lead to new business and be helpful to anyone who asks.

Happy hunting!


Lawyer Marketing: Google TV to Revolutionize Lawyer Advertising

Google, law firm marketing, legal marketingFrom by Rene Perras…Le Buzz

Lawyer Marketing Alert: There’s no stopping Google. The master of the Internet will soon be taking over your television screen, with its latest venture “Google TV.” Not only will Google TV change the way people view television, it will create a new interactive, internet-based experience in your living room, without having to use your computer.

Google’s attempt to combine their Internet search engine, cable, satellite or broadcast television, the Internet, DVR, music and apps has attracted big companies like TBS, TNT, CNN, CNBC, HBO, the NBA, Amazon, Netflix, USA Today, Pandora and Twitter. Through this cohesive interface, Google TV will allow users to “easily navigate to thousands of websites to watch your favorite videos, play Flash games, view photos, read movie reviews or chat with friends,” explains the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

This new technology innovation will surely sweep the nation, steadily growing in popularity; potentially revolutionizing how people get information and watch television. Media Post even claims, “Google TV will become a lead-generation tool for brands.”

Law firms looking to make a big marketing and advertising impact should keep their eye on this developing state-of-the-art technology.

The potential impact of Google TV is limitless as it incorporates various facets of the media, giving consumers an all around “experience” while watching TV and surfing the web simultaneously. By airing television commercials urging consumers to visit your website and social pages, it will prompt prospective clients to visit your website on their Google TV at that very moment while their interest is piqued, leading to more serious inquiries and cases. Research by Nielsen has clearly shown that a large number of consumers already are viewing multiple screens simultaneously, so this takes that experience to the next level.

In addition, the interactive “experience” of your law firm will appeal to Generation Y. As stated in a previous article titled, “Law Firm Marketing: Embrace ‘Generation Y’ and ‘LOL’ All the way to the Bank,” Generation Y is the fastest growing consumer group, and should be targeted in lawyer marketing campaigns. Many experts have agreed that Generation Y will be larger than the “Baby Boomers” as a consumer group, but don’t be mistaken, they are just as “shopper savvy” as the “Boomers” when choosing a lawyer. It’s typical for the younger generations to use social media and the Internet to find a law firm, because they are searching in an area where they are comfortable. By providing the interactive experience, they can easily connect with your firm while they are still lounging on the couch.



A Seven-Figure CMO?


Jolene Overbeck, law firm marketing, legal marketingIt's likely that Jolene Overbeck has racked up more head marketing titles over the course of her 27-year career than anyone else in big law, having done stints at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Latham & Watkins, Shearman & Sterling and, most recently, DLA Piper. Recently Overbeck added a new title and firm to that list when she started as the chief marketing officer at 2,500-lawyer Hogan Lovells.

Overbeck's move to Hogan Lovells comes at a key time for the firm, just over five months after the 40-office firm was formed via the merger of Washington, D.C.-based Hogan & Hartson and London-based Lovells. The cross-Atlantic combination created a firm with 2,500 attorneys and more than 40 offices.

"The merger greatly expands the global capabilities of Hogan and Lovells," says J. Warren Gorrell, Hogan Lovells's co-CEO. "Our goal is to make sure clients and potential clients understand the benefits of working with Hogan Lovells and that are position is different than it was before the merger and different than our competitors."

Gorrell adds that Overbeck, working in concert with her London-based counterpart Serena Simmons, will play a critical role in highlighting those distinctions. Hogan Lovells, Gorrell says, was particularly impressed by Overbeck's long track record.

"She has the distinction of being the only person who has been chief marketing person for three of the top global 50 law firms," Gorrell says, "and she has a track record of successfully implementing communication strategies, both internal and external, and business development efforts." Gorrell has been working without the benefit of a chief marketing officer for a year, since well before the completion of the Lovells merger.

"Because of the merger and the current size of Hogan Lovells, it is natural that they would want to hire a CMO with vast experience," says Melanie Bennett, a recruiter at Major Lindsey and Africa, who specializes in high-level staff placements at law firms. "It would have been more surprising if they had hired someone with no law firm experience."

Overbeck's law firm marketing experience dates back to 1983, when she was Orrick's first marketing director and played a leading role in both building the San Francisco-based firm's marketing department and developing a promotional strategy.

Since 2006, Overbeck has played a leading role in marketing for DLA Piper, first as global head of marketing and then as head of marketing for the firm's U.S. arm. At Hogan Lovells, where Overbeck will be based in the firm's New York-office, her time at DLA Piper should serve her well since her new firm is structured similarly to her old one.

Like DLA Piper, Hogan Lovells consists of separate limited liability partnerships registered in England and Washington, D.C. Both partnerships are under the umbrella of a Swiss verein, a legal structure used by international businesses to limit liability.

Business structure aside, Overbeck says that she was attracted to the Hogan Lovells position because it offers a new opportunity that matches her skills.

"Law firms are doing a better job utilizing the full complement of marketing tools, but real improvement comes from focusing on clients, sectors and markets and law firms tailoring their approach based on that," she says, adding that "I am really good at shaping functions, building routines and organization around business development and marketing initiatives."

All that experience doesn't come cheap. Industry sources say compensation packages for CMOs at top law firms tops out in the $600,000-$700,000 range. And as word spread that Overbeck had joined Hogan-Lovells, the buzz was that she had set a new high-water mark in the process: a compensation package worth $1 million.

Overbeck declined to discuss her compensation in detail, except to say that the $1 million figure is incorrect. "I would just say I am regarded to be at the top of the field," she says. "I am compensated at that level and I deliver at that level."

Forecast for Legal Services - Corporations Have Cut Legal Spending

Lauren Chung, law firm marketing, legal marketingCorporate law departments were asked to forecast their demand for legal services across 28 different legal practice areas in a new survey. Among these, regulatory was the highest, with 44 percent of participants expecting an increase in demand in this area. Other areas with significant forecasted increases in demand include employment and labor (39 percent), government relations (35 percent) and international (35 percent).

What was surprising was that for the first time in ten years, law departments have reduced their total legal spending, according to the Hildebrandt Baker Robbins 2010 Law Department Survey. Much of that reduction involves use of outside counsel. More than 60 percent of survey participants decreased their spending on outside counsel; at the same time, internal legal spending and staffing increased slightly.

“We expect that efforts to reduce spending will continue, particularly with outside counsel spending, which makes up nearly 60 percent of total legal spending,” said Lauren Chung, survey editor. “The challenge for law departments will be to move beyond the low-hanging fruit and develop more comprehensive and innovative strategies for managing not just legal costs, but also legal risks and services.”

Law Department Spending -- for the full story, please go to the LawMarketing Portal at


Small business owners say they would avoid seeking legal counsel is because it is too expensive

Charley Moore, law firm marketing, legal marketingHalf of small business owners (51 percent) say the main reason they would avoid seeking legal counsel is because it is too expensive. However, one in four say legal issues pose the biggest risk to their company, according to a new survey commissioned by Rocket Lawyer(TM), an online legal service. The study polled 1,000 small business owners to gauge key SMB trends and predictions for 2011.

"Running a small business is always a challenge, especially when the business is just getting started. Listen to small business owners, like we did in our survey, and they say that legal risks weigh on their minds as a key factor for their success or failure," said Charley Moore, Founder and Chairman of Rocket Lawyer.

Rocket Lawyer compiled five key steps small businesses should take to help protect themselves against legal woes.

1. Put the Business in Ink. To protect your individual assets and your company as a whole, look into incorporating your business. While business incorporation offers many benefits, it is not for every situation. Take the time to do research and determine the best option for your business.

2. Take time to Trademark. Once you've selected a company name, research trademark availability and make it official. It's also important to register your company's domain name, as well as select the name for social media channels such as a twitter handle, Facebook page and company blogs.

3. Proof and Protection. It's important to document your company's operations, as it can be critical information if your business is involved in a lawsuit. The federal, state and local agencies, such as the IRS, also require certain documentation, so take time to learn all of the records you will need to keep. In addition, if your company is based around proprietary intellectual knowledge or property, take the steps to patent your idea or invention.

4. Get Guidelines. Many companies face employee-related lawsuits; in fact, it is the most prevalent type of litigation faced by small businesses today. That's why it's important that companies protect themselves by developing an employee handbook that provides a clear guideline for all important issues such as employee/employer rights, HR issues and paid time off policies. No matter the size of the company, it is critical that these details are in writing and understood by everyone.

5. Enlist the Experts. Leverage a community of entrepreneurs and expert professionals, like lawyers and accountants, who can help guide you through the steps necessary to protecting yourself and setting your business on the path to success. There are many sites available, like that can provide advice and cost-effective solutions for helping your company at all different stages.

Rocket Lawyer is a legal service on the Internet, providing more than a million businesses and individuals a simple, easy, and affordable way to manage their legal needs.


Myrland: Lawyers are All Over Social Media

Nancy Myrland, online social networking, law firm markeitngSocial media marketing maven Nancy Myrland presented at the LMA Midwest Regional Conference in Minneapolis, and shared a few numbers with the audience.  Here are a few that might be interesting.  Note: GALMZ is short for data from the Greentarget, American Lawyer & Zeughauser Study.

--Another Note: During the presentation yesterday, when she took an informal poll of users of different Social Media, when asked which firms had Facebook Pages, half the room raised their hands.

  • JD Supra: On LinkedIn, 800K have law or legal in their profile.
  • Hubbard One: On LinkedIn, 3% are lawyers = 2,250,000
  • 53% of in-house counsel expect their consumption of industry news & information via new media will increase in the next 6-12 months. (GALMZ)
  • For professional use, in-house counsel use LinkedIn, Blogs and Wikipedia. (GALMZ)
  • An increasing number of in-house counsel want info on their PDAs and Smart Phones. (GALMZ)
  • For personal use, in-house counsel like Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube. (GALMZ)
  • 43% of in-house counsel cited blogs are their leading source for news. (GALMZ)
  • 26% cited they use Social Networking sites. (GALMZ)
  • 50% of in-house counsel use LinkedIn. (GALMZ)
  • 68% of in-house counsel are on Facebook. (GALMZ)
  • 81 of AmLaw 100 are using Twitter. (GALMZ)
  • 38 of AmLaw 100 are blogging. (LexBlog)
  • 96 of AmLaw 200 are blogging. (LexBlog)
  • Every AmLaw 200 firm company profile on LI by default. (Apollo)
  • ~ 5K law firms has business profiles on LI. (Apollo)
  • 4K LI groups with the word Law. (Apollo)
  • 31 of AmLaw 100 have Pages on Facebook. (John Byrne)
  • Lawyers primary reasons for use: Networking, Socializing, Client Development, Career Development, Case Investigation (ABA)

Nancy can be found everywhere online, including 






ABA Hires Consultant to be First Chief Marketing Officer

Chris Gloede, ABA CMOChris Gloede will become the first Chief Marketing Officer of the American Bar Association effective November 1, 2010. One of his first tasks may be to reverse the continuing decline in ABA membership.

In the newly created position of Chief Marketing Officer, Chris will direct development of creative, market-driven strategies for the association’s product and service offerings.  His areas of responsibility will cover all aspects of marketing, including positioning, advertising and profitability.  Chris will supervise all efforts to attract new members to increase dues revenue and non-dues revenue. 

He was director of general management for SapientNitro, a marketing firm, and he is a former partner and interactive marketing director with OgilvyOne, the global marketing, advertising and consulting firm. 

From his experience at OgilvyOne, Chris also brings important familiarity with the ABA business and marketing environment.  He supervised the firm’s consulting work on the ABA’s member growth initiative.  

The ABA has been bleeding 2,000 and 4,000 members per year since 2008, when membership stood at 408,000. ABA membership isn't growing at the same rate as the profession, said former ABA President Carolyn Lamm,>> a partner in the Washington office of White & Case. The association doesn't even represent half of all U.S. lawyers anymore, she said.

Recently, the ABA has been calling fallen-away members and offering them a 50% discount in dues if they rejoin.

"We've all been very concerned about the drop in the membership in the last few years," said Kathleen Joan Hopkins, a Seattle attorney at the Real Property Law Group.

Fulbright Report Sees Upswing in Litigation

Fulbright Litigation trendsA new survey of 400 corporate counsel by Fulbright & Jaworski finds that regulatory litigation, suits by bigger companies, and industries like real estate, manufacturing, energy and health care will drive new growth in litigation.

Roughly one-quarter of in-house counsel say legal disputes will increase again, according to the 2010 Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Litigation Trends Survey.

For all the details visit the LawMarketing Portal at  It's a 28-page illustrated report, and here are the highlights:

  • Social technology and online business strategies are another area of potential e-discovery problems since some businesses have been early adopters of social media functionality, not for their employees’ personal use but for business uses, such as recruiting (LinkedIn) and marketing (FaceBook). Fulbright asked respondents how they are using social networking for business purposes. 
    1. More than one-quarter of corporate counsel now say their company uses LinkedIn, while 22% of respondents use Twitter and 17% use Facebook.
    2. Nearly one-quarter of all respondents say their company uses some kind of corporate blog.
  • Regulatory investigations have nearly doubled, particularly in the banking, health care, energy and insurance industries. The agencies that will keep defense lawyers billing time are the DOJ, SEC, EPA, FDA and OSHA.
  • After reporting declining litigation filings in 2006 and 2007, respondents say suits began to rise again in 2008 and 2009. The upward trend continued in 2010.
  • In last year’s survey, 42% of U.S. respondents expected legal disputes to increase. That prediction came true: 87% of U.S. respondents faced at least one lawsuit, arbitration, or regulatory proceeding last year.
  • Industries that saw the most litigation were real estate (88%), manufacturing (86%), energy (86%) and health care (83%) took on the most new lawsuits, while manufacturing was hammered with the most big dollar lawsuits. A hefty 43% of manufacturing respondents saw at least one $20 million-plus suit over the past year.
  • Internal investigations requiring outside counsel are dramatically up across the board this year. This year, 43% of respondents said they initiated an internal investigation requiring the assistance of outside counsel, compared to just 28% of respondents who reported the same last year.
  • Whistleblower allegations remain high, with 1/5 of all respondents have been subjected to whistleblower allegations in the past three years.
  • Recent interest by the SEC and DOJ in cracking down on foreign corruption has led to a jump in FCPA matters. One-quarter of both large-cap respondents and public company respondents have engaged outside counsel in the past 12 months to assist with a bribery or corruption investigation – up from 17% in last year’s survey.
  • Across the board, employment litigation is up. Much of the litigation swell was due to spikes in labor and employment suits. For the third straight year, sizeable portions of survey respondents report increases in multi-plaintiff cases:
    • 18% report increases in wage and hour disputes (FLSA)
    • 11% report a rise in traditional labor union related matters
    • 10% report an increase in age discrimination cases
    • 7% report rises in race discrimination suits and ERISA suits
    • 6% report rises in sex discrimination suits and disability discrimination suits. 
  • 28% of corporations increased their litigation budget, and 31% increased their actual litigation spending.
  • Companies hire outside lawyers for "specific expertise," "broader jurisdiction" and "more litigation."
  • Fulbright found that a majority, 51%, of all respondents used some kind of alternative fee arrangement. However, 60% predict the use of alternative fees will not increase in the coming year.

Most common litigation



Worst Lawyer Website Bio Photo EVER

When a client or prospective client visits a lawyer's bio, the reader expects to see a smiling color photo, description of the lawyer's services and perhaps some case histories. I was astonished to find the bio of David Spencer, a real estate lawyer at the British firm of Bower & Bailey:

worst laweyr bio picture

That's right: an empty chair. Nobody home. Talk to the chair.

The "chair as photo" is so hilarious that Above The Law is running a competition on how to make this bio better.  "We’d like to use this photo as the basis for a possible contest. Take the bio above, including the photo of the empty chair, but strip out the biographical paragraph for David Spencer. Now compose an alternate bio. Place it in the comments to this post." 

So far they have 56 comments including: "Herman Miller is the chair of the Associate Morale Department at Biglaw Firm."

LexisNexis Launches Bargain, Fixed-Fee Lexis Advance for Solos

LexisNexis now offers Lexis® Advance for Solos – the first in a series of releases of new Lexis Advance online legal research tools. Created in collaboration with solo practice lawyers to meet their unique requirements, Lexis Advance for Solos is the first online legal research solution built specifically for solo attorneys, transforming how users access and manage their services from LexisNexis® to generate better outcomes for their practice and for their clients.

Lexis advance, online legal researchLexis Advance for Solos is offered at a flat monthly subscription rate, providing access to all available features and the premium content package. The monthly rate for one attorney is $175. The price for a second attorney in a two-lawyer firm is $140 (a 20% discount). That means that the total monthly price for a 2-lawyer firm is $315 ($175+140). Customers can easily budget because the cost is predictable and there is no risk of out-of-plan charges.

“Lexis Advance for Solos and the New Lexis platform have been developed through more than 30,000 interactions with legal professionals from all markets, many of them solo practice lawyers, in 1,500 one-on-one and small group design forums, in advisory meetings, labs, ethnography sessions and focus groups,” said Michael Walsh, CEO of LexisNexis U.S. Legal Markets.

LexisNexis research revealed that solo practitioners have been looking for a fixed-fee, low-cost research solution that is easy and efficient to use. New features and innovations make Lexis Advance for Solos extremely easy and efficient:

  • Easy search: An intuitive single search interface that eliminates the need to select sources before searching, cutting out multiple steps in the search process. This simple feature enables a full search across all included content to ensure complete results.
  • Integrated results from the open web: Allows users to search the open Internet via Lexis® Web along with premium LexisNexis content simultaneously in a single step, efficiently delivering results organized by content type.  
  • Pre and Post search filters: Gives users the control to get relevant search results faster and with more confidence that they will not miss critical information. By selecting pre and post filter criteria users are able to control and refine their comprehensive searches for additional precision.
  • Innovations: My Workspace Carousel and Legal Issue Trail deliver entirely new and more efficient ways for users to access, organize and verify legal research.

The Lexis Advance for Solos content package is also larger than most solo practitioners subscribe to when subscribing to® today.  For example, Lexis Advance for Solos includes:

  • Comprehensive and fully enhanced primary law from all states: All available LexisNexis case law (federal and state), including all LexisNexis head notes and case summaries.  All available statutes and constitutions (federal and state) from all 50 states and US territories.
  • Shepard’s® Citations Service:  The citator allows solo practitioners to quickly check if a case is good law.
  • LexisNexis jury verdicts, briefs, pleadings and motions:  Includes premium materials from IDEX®.
  • LexisNexis® CourtLink® content: Includes the full collection of dockets.
  • Expert witness transcripts, depositions, and curricula vitae.

Additional content will become available in future Lexis Advance releases: news, public records, legislative and additional secondary materials, and other content will be available in subsequent Lexis Advance releases.


Six Things to Consider before Ordering Promotional Products for Your Law Firm

Jill Tooley, law firm marketing, legal marketing, promotinal productsThis is a guest blog by Jill Tooley, who writes about creative marketing topics, promotional advertising, and business strategies.

Law marketing techniques run deep and selecting the right branded product for your firm is only a small piece of the puzzle. However, giveaways do help with brand awareness and it will take more than a handful of personalized pens to keep your name fresh in clients’ minds. Consider the following before you order enough giveaway items to last a lifetime:

Your clients’ interest level

You may love the scenic calendars you picked out, but what will your clients think of them? List your favorite promotional products and then decide which would be best-suited to your intended recipients. If your audience includes a wide variety of age groups, then customize a different item for each. It’s better to have a variety of items than to have a single item that only interests one group.

Your budget

Don’t spend your cash all in one place but don’t pinch pennies, either. It is foolish to spend thousands of dollars on Italian leather briefcases for a trade show giveaway, but it is just as foolish to skimp on low-quality gifts in order to save a few bucks. Clients will automatically assume that you have money to spend and they’ll be turned off if you promote yourself with a shoddy promotional product. There’s nothing wrong with trying to save money, but always get the best items you can afford.

Your occasion

You wouldn’t order the same type of gift for a client’s birthday as you would for trade show giveaways, would you? Either have a variety of items in your inventory or be prepared to shop each time you need a present for a client. Tailor your promotional items to the event at hand and avoid making a “one size fits all” purchase.

Your message

Your promotion should reflect the message that your law firm strives to convey. Don’t hand out cheaply-made calculators if you preach top-quality service—it contradicts the message and gives the impression that you’ll go against your word. Do you practice environmental law? Consider an eco-friendly or biodegradable product. Do you specialize in intellectual property law? Try a mind-bending puzzle or a brain-shaped stress ball. Whatever you do, avoid controversial promotions that could offend people. If you want your gifts to get people talking about your practice, then go for value over shock value!

Your logo

The most stunning logo in the world won’t help you if it can’t be printed on the giveaway items you’ve selected. A pixilated or blurry imprint will be difficult to read and render your products useless. Not to mention, some promo products can only be printed in a single color, so full-color logos will need special treatment in many cases. Speak with a professional at the promotional products company you’re working with to make sure that your desired image or design will work on the product and still look good.

Your dedication

Even though correctly-used promotional products will spark interest in your firm and serve as reminders of your services, you have to follow up with your customers if you want to seal the deal. Don’t expect to see instant results from the engraved pens you gave away at trade shows or the free gifts you offered during conversations. Wait a week or two and then contact clients directly to ask them if they need assistance; you’ll not only demonstrate your commitment but you’ll also make your promo items more worthwhile.

Does your law practice need more than just promotional items to market effectively? Yes! But well-planned and timed giveaways have the power to promote your firm in a creative way when the time comes to do so. Unless you want to waste your efforts, make sure you consider all of these factors if you decide to use promotional products.

Based in Aurora, IL, Jill Tooley writes about creative marketing topics, promotional advertising, and business strategies. She works for Quality Logo Products, a promotional products company that helps people find promo items for their needs.


Firms Hire Laterals in Strategic 'Land Grabs' for Market Share

lateral hiring, law firm marketing, business developmentJanet Raasch has a great article on the LawMarketing Portal about how law firms are buying market share by hiring lateral attorneys.  Laterals are in high demand these days, because clients don't want to pay for young associates to work and train on their files.  Plus laterals come with clients and the ability to develop new business -- a highly prized capacity in this competitive market.

But did you know that:

  • Lateral moves by partners are trending up – from 2,153 in 2006 to 2,775 in 2009 (American Lawyer magazine).
  • Savvy law firms are conducting strategic ‘land grabs’ – scooping up entire offices and practice groups from their competitors
  • Mid-tier regional firms, in particular, are gobbling up disgruntled and displaced big-firm talent.
  • It costs approximately $1,920,000 to bring on board a lateral partner with a $2 million book of portable business.
  • A second wave of defections is taking place in 2010. This time, the acquiring firms have changed from gobblers to picky eaters.
  • 16 percent of laterals hired during the first wave moved again within two years.

Check out the full article at


Social Media Strategies for Lawyers

Lisa Dimonte, online social networkingThis is an excerpt of a interview by Lisa Dimonte with me.  Please go here to see the entire transcript. Lisa DiMonte, the CEO of and has more than 33 years of experience in the legal space. You can reach her via email at or connect with Lisa on  

Click here to listen to the original podcast, "Social Media Strategies for Lawyers." 

DiMONTE: There's so many social networks to choose from, and folks just don't know where to begin, how to start, what to do. Do you agree with that?

BODINE: That's very true. You've got everything from LinkedIn to JD Supra, to Plaxo, MySpace, Spoke, Facebook, Twitter.  It's overwhelming if you really haven't had a chance to sort through what's important and what's not. The advice that I give to attorneys is to pick one network and go deep on that one and spend most of your time on it. And one of the positive statistics is that according to a recent survey by leader networks, 78 percent of lawyers have joined one social network or another, so lawyers seem to be getting past their initial reluctance because of the second part of the survey found that 71 percent of in-house counsel have also joined networks., law firm marketingSo, attorneys have realized that there's business to be had from online social networking.  There recent research that shows now that corporations and in-house counsel are using online social networks to find attorneys. They're going to LinkedIn and looking up a lawyer's profile generally because there's going to be a lot more activity in a LinkedIn profile than a law firm profile. So that's what's pushed the trend.

DiMONTE: Obviously, if corporate counsel are looking for attorneys on sites such as LinkedIn, then it's really important for attorneys to be there with a profile, and you're going to share with us some tips here in a moment, but it's obviously important for them to have a presence where their potential clients are sort of playing or interacting.

BODINE: Absolutely. My favorite network, the one that really works the best for lawyers, is LinkedIn, and it's free.  So you simply go to, open a profile, put in your picture, make it public, and bingo! -- you've created a presence on an online social network. I think once the lawyers realize that they don't need to take a training class on how to use this, they're going to become more willing to use it.

DiMONTE: Can you share with our listeners some of your favorite tips and techniques and how you use LinkedIn to develop your business?

BODINE: The best way to answer that would be to give you an example of the best lawyer profile I've seen on LinkedIn.  I visit a lot of cities and look up the local lawyers, and the best one I found is a guy called Brian Burt. He's a partner at Snell and Wilmer in Phoenix. I'm not giving away any confidential information here. Anybody can look up Brian Burt and tell that he is really putting an effort into LinkedIn. He's really working it.

The first way you can tell is that he's got a fully complete bio, so you can find out not only where he went to school and where he's worked before, but he lists the types of clients that he represents. He discusses the sorts of industries that he's familiar with, and you know, ultimately this will lead to case histories Those are three things that business people and corporations look for in a lawyer. A lawyer bio should answer the questions "Do you know my industry? Have you represented any companies like mine? Have you ever closed a deal or won a case?"

So in the example of Brian Burt, you can tell he's working it because he's got more than 500 connections. So this is a guy who is inviting people to connect and accepting invitations and he's built his network.

Also, when you get a LinkedIn profile you get a web address and rather than just accept the machine-generated address that LinkedIn gives you, you can choose to put in your name and have that be part of the link, so when you go to Brian Burt, he's at So he's put in his own name. But I think the smartest thing that this guy has done is he's gotten more than 50 people to recommend him.

So from just these recommendations alone you can see he's a business leader. People refer clients to him with terrific results, and he's got a lot of entrepreneurial experience. Now these are all different kinds of magnets that are going to draw business to him. 

DiMONTE: And I think people do tend to trust the opinion of other professionals more than they would if you're just trying to pitch your services to them. They'd rather hear it from a client who's actually worked with you and had experience with you so that they can hear what the results were as opposed to your just feeding them information and doing the sales pitch that they probably don't want to hear.

BODINE: Right. It's always better to have someone else say how great they are as opposed to you walking in and saying, "I'm great." 


Please go here to see the entire transcript. Click here to listen to the original podcast.


Microsoft Browser Dominates the Web

You are most likely doing so with Internet Explorer #6, #7, #8 or #9.  Microsoft continues to be the most popular browser, according to an article in Mashable's blog.

According to Data from Net Applications, In the time between August and September, browser market share stayed pretty much the same. Chrome gained almost half a percent (.46%), Firefox saw just a .03% bump and Safari eked out an additional .11%.

Interestingly, Internet Explorer lost .75% share in the same interim, even amidst the release of its celebrated IE9 beta.

most popular browsers, law firm marketing, legal marketing

In looking at Net Applications data from September 2009 to September 2010, some clear patterns emerge. Internet Explorer is on a downward trajectory, softened by some stabilization in the past few months. In the same span of time, Firefox and Safari have stayed relatively stagnant. Chrome, on the other hand, continues to take incremental steps forward, passing Safari in the process and showing signs of continued growth.

browser market share, law firm marketing, legal marketingOf course, browser market share is a difficult thing to measure, as there’s no guarantee that Net Applications’s measurements are 100% accurate. But the measurement in change over time does seem to suggest that Chrome is carving out a nice foothold in the browser war. 7.98% does not a winner make, so it will be interesting to see how things play out over the course of the next few months.


Online, are you a "Creator," "Collector" or a "Joiner"?

Here's the 2010 update of the ladder of social participation in the US according to the Empowered blog:

Social techno ladder 2010
"Compared to their previous update, Joiners (social network participants) continue to grow rapidly. The rest of the categories are stable or declining. For the first time, Spectators are down and Inactives are up. The declines are small and data is subject to margins of error, but it's clear that we've at least reached a plateau.

"It is too soon to predict that social activity has peaked, but it's clearly taking a breather. The key now is to look, not just at how many people participate, but how frequently -- and more specifically, their interaction with brands.

For more detail, please see posts by Jackie Rousseau-Anderson, a data expert, and Augie Ray, who helps interactive marketers with social technologies. You can buy the report this data comes from, which includes a global update, for $499.


A Note to Lawyers: If You're Not on LinkedIn, You're Invisible Online

LinkedIn,, law firm marketing, business developmentLawyer and markeing expert Cole Silver just interviewed me to discuss my upcoming presentation at "The Case for Social Media: Managing Your Online Presence to Build Your Law Practice," sponsored by The conference will take place at Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, October 21, 2010. Full conference details and registration can be found at

Click here to listen to the interview.  Hear about:

  • A new member joins LinkedIn every second.
  • Linked in is a happy hunting ground for clients.
  • What you need to include in your LinkedIn profile, and a key mistake to avoid.
  • The whole purpose of LinkedIn is to meet people in person.
  • The secret method of emailing all your contacts at once.
  • The plague of Stink Beetles on LinkedIn