The M-dot Revolution is here. Has Your Law Firm Marketing Joined It?


82% of businesses plan to increase their spending on mobile phone marketing over the next year, according to a new research report, "Mobile Marketing: Plans, Trends and Measurability: What Do Marketers Think?"

Law firms are faced with a growing installed base of mobile devices among their clients. Clients use smart phones for email, the Web, texting, and even working on documents. In response, 33% of businesses currently have a mobile strategy in place, and among those who don't they plan to have one within the next 12 months. Relationship marketing -- customer loyalty and retention -- is at the heart of the perceived benefits of mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing involves:

    • Creating mobile-friendly websites
    • Apps for clients
    • Methods to conduct business with programs “in the cloud” using a smart phone.

M-dot revolution, mobile marketing, smartphone, law firm marketing, legal marketingIt’s called the M-dot revolution, because the URL of mobile friendly websites is usually “”

The spark for the revolution is the new HTML5 web code standard which makes the browser the universal computing platform – not the operating system (such as Mac OS or Windows). It helps overcome the weak processors in smart phones so they can run tasks quickly. The average smart phone user now spends more than 11 hours a month using apps, according to a March 2011 study by Zokem.

Many clients use smart phones to read news, which is accessible with an app or a browser, the information is stored in the cloud, and billing information and preferences can be easily shared.

CMOs will need to push their teams to develop compelling mobile-advertising strategies and create opportunities to use video more often. Who knows, maybe a law firm will develop a mobile app to monitor the purchasing activity of clients and offer them real-time, location-specific legal solutions.

You can see what your website looks like on a smart phone by visiting Check out this video which explains the importance of mobile marketing and has details for us techies.

A New Way to Motivate Lawyers to do Law Firm Marketing and Sales

motivation, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingIn law firms, the attorneys are not only the service providers -- they are also the sales force. I advise many law firms on business development, so I know that motivating lawyers to market is a universal problem.

Attorneys were first attracted to the law because of the intellectual challenge.They did not become lawyers so that they would have to sell. So what methods work to motivate a sales force?

Money beats whatever is in second place. If a salesman brings a ham through the door, he or she expects to get a slice. Accordingly, many law firms offer an origination fee, which is a percentage of the net receipts collected from the client whom they originated. This works very well for lawyers who are “hunters,” according to a recent issue of the McKinsey Quarterly.

The problem is that many hunters to settle into being “farmers,” who concentrate on keeping existing clients happy. However “farmers” and “service partners” are often not motivated by money. No amount of lucre will make them leave the farm to go hunting in the woods again.

As the sales manager at a financial services firm explored alternatives, he observed something important: successful advisers often spoke passionately about the sense of fulfillment that came from helping clients realize their dreams. That was why these men and women had become advisers.

So the sales manager worked with individual advisers to develop specific goals that would help the adviser feel they had genuinely helped clients, for example:

  • Prioritizing quality over quantity by working more intensely with fewer clients.
  • Giving advisers a wider range of service to endure that they had all possible options to meet their clients’ goals.
  • Removing potential bottlenecks at the firm, such as a lack of coaching, training and management tools. As a result the firm reduced the attrition rate among advisers, became more successful at winning business and found that clients entrusted them with more of their work. It’s an approach you might try at your law firm.

Good News: Rates, Revenue & Profits Are Up for Law Firms

Tom Clay, Altman Weil, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingThe newly released Altman Weil Law Firms in Transition Survey 2011 finds confidence high among US law firm leaders in firms of all sizes.

Overall economic performance is rebounding, with two thirds of all firms surveyed reporting increases in gross revenue in 2010 and nearly three quarters reporting increases in revenue per lawyer and profits per equity partner.  Standard hourly billing rates are up significantly this year, with firms reporting or planning a median 4.0% increase in billing rates for 2011.  Continued reductions in overhead costs and the strategic shrinking of firms’ ownership ranks are contributing to profitability.

“If firms are finding their feet again post-recession, it is on new ground with a number of new factors in play,” said Altman Weil principal Tom Clay.  “And although most firm leaders seem to recognize the changes, it’s not yet clear whether they will be able to manage them effectively.”

Following are some survey highlights:

- 67% of law firms reported an increase in gross revenue in 2010
; revenue per lawyer was up in 73% of all firms; and profits per equity partner rose in 73% of firms.

- The amount of non-hourly billing in 2010, measured as a percentage of revenue, increased in 58% of all firms and in 81% of firms with 250 or more lawyers. 

- Only 12% of firms report that alternative fee arrangements are more profitable than hourly billing. 

- 27% of law firms de-equitized partners in 2010 and 16% will do so in 2011.  32% of firms made fewer partnership offers in 2010 and 18% will do so in 2011.  Larger firms are more likely to take these actions than smaller firms.  

- 92% of all law firms plan to acquire laterals partners in 2011.   

- 60% of firm leaders expect that the increased use of contract lawyers will be a permanent trend, up from 52% last year.

- 41% of all firms believe that outsourcing legal work will be a permanent part of the new legal market. 

- 47% of all firms are concerned that they are not prepared to deal with the retirement and succession of Baby Boom lawyers – the top concern identified.

- 94% of law firms believe that the focus on practice efficiency is a permanent change in the profession - the number one trend identified.

- Other top trends include more price competition (90%), fewer support staff (88%), more commoditized legal work (81%), more non-hourly billing (75%), and fewer equity partners (68%).

Leaders score their confidence as an “8” on a zero to ten scale when asked about their firms’ ability to keep pace with change.

Conducted in April and May 2011, the survey polled Managing Partners and Chairs at 805 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers.  Completed surveys were received from 240 firms (30%), including 38% of the 250 largest US law firms.

The full survey is available online to download at:

Angela Spall: Just Incorporate One Law Firm Marketing Activity into Your Day

Angela Spall, legal marketing, law marketing, lawmarketingMotivating yourself as a lawyer to pursue business development is a perennial challenge, but veteran marketer Angela Spall of Richmond, VA, has a great suggestion:

"Incorporating even one business development activity into your every day professional life will become a habit.  That habit becomes integral to what you do every day and it becomes easier," she said. "There is no magic bullet – so stop waiting for it. It is work.  It removes the element of magic from rainmaking and places the daily activities required to maintain a solid client base squarely in the reach of every lawyer."

Angela has worked closely with law firms, practice teams and individual lawyers for 21 years at firms like Williams Mullen in Richmond, Calfee, Halter & Griswold in Cleveland, and Lionel Sawyer & Collins, Las Vegas,

"I have found it takes far more than an occasional meeting or a presentation to encourage lawyers to adopt successful business development habits. Business development habits have to be identified and then practiced on a consistent basis," she added. This matches my own experience training lawyers -- a one-day retreat will arouse interest, but it's the six months of follow-up coaching that accomplishes change.

Why is practice development so important? "I’ve never met an unhappy rainmaker.  I have seen unhappy lawyers, with diminished billable hours, and living with uncertainty.  Bringing good business development habits consistently to the practice of law will ensure a lawyer’s long term success—and the success of the law firm," she said.

Angela is a superb marketer and strategist, and I recommend you contact her, at or 804-882-6809.



Blogger Tracy Coenen: Twitter is a Failure for Law Firm Marketing

Tracy Coenen, legal marketing, law firm marketing, twitter, lawmarketingIn a damning post entitled "Why I’m quitting Twitter (and you should too)," blogger Tracy Coenen, a forensic accountant and fraud examiner in Chicago, urged lawyers to bail out on Twitter as a legal marketing technique.

"Twitter sends almost no additional traffic to my site. No client or potential client has ever mentioned seeing me on Twitter. No reporter has ever mentioned Twitter to me. A few colleagues (read: competitors) have found me via Twitter, but what good is that, really? None of this has turned into new clients or additional business. None of the statistics that can be measured and tracked have been impacted in any way by Twitter," Coenen says.

After 2 1/2 years, 2,154 followers and 2,917 tweets, she says, "I have officially called it quits on Twitter."

"Professional services firms are using Twitter to get their message out. The problem is that no one is listening. Everyone is too busy pushing out their message via Twitter, and they’re spending very little time listening to what others have to say," she says.

Of course, there is anecdotal evidence of lawyers getting new business on Twitter. "I would argue, however, that those benefits were not worth the high cost of Twitter. Namely, the people I know who are “successful” with Twitter probably spend 1 to 3 hours per day using it," she says.

Very few lawyers are using Twitter. Andre Lurssen, Communications Director at,  estimates that only 17,000 lawyers use the 140-character-per-message system. 

What's your opinion? Is this the end of law firm marketing on Twitter?


Hemenway & Barnes wins $1M of Virtual Law Firm Marketing Training

Mike O'Horo, Susan Post Munafom, Craig Levinson, RainMakerVTRainmakerVT, the first virtual training website for lawyer business development, gave away $1,000,000 worth of training at LSSO’s RainDance Conference on Wednesday in Chicago.
The winning firm, Boston's Hemenway & Barnes, will receive thousands of hours of free training in the “rainmaking flight simulator,” a virtual world where lawyers guide an avatar through a variety of business development situations.

Mike O'Horo (left) and Craig Levinson (right), co-Founders of RainmakerVT, led off Wednesday's session at RainDance by demonstrating the site's capabilities.  By stepping inside the RainmakerVT virtual world, attendees tested their networking acumen against a conference room of their peers and walked away with a new appreciation of this novel category of lawyer training.

“I am delighted that my firm will have this opportunity,” says the winning attendee, Susan Post Munafo, Business Development Manager at Hemenway.  “I had never 'experienced' the site before, and, frankly, I was incredibly impressed by the presentation. The interface is professional and engaging. The sales process presented is simple, relevant, and easy for attorneys to replicate.  Most importantly, the attorneys can learn, on their own time, by 'doing' and mastering these sales scenarios from the privacy of their offices.”
“Law firms understand that the cost-reduction strategies that sustained their profits-per-partner (PPP) levels in 2009-2010 are exhausted and not repeatable.  Going forward they must train a much larger number of their lawyers to generate revenue," O'Horo said.  "Having trained lawyers one-on-one for 20 years, we recognized that automation would be the only cost-effective way to train hundreds of lawyers simultaneously.”
Users of the networking simulator have expressed consistent surprise at how many incorrect answers they provide to the scenarios posed -- and the crowd at Raindance was no exception. As with every prior demonstration, participants guessed wrong far more than half of the time. As O’Horo notes, however, “The incorrect answers are not black and white, but shades of gray. They are nuanced versions of what lawyers actually think, say, and do. There is a lot of subtlety built into the context-sensitive video coaching triggered by each choice, which makes the learning experience challenging and fun.”
“We're very excited for Hemenway & Barnes,” says Legal Sales & Service Organization's (LSSO) Board Member Beth Cuzzone, Director of Business Development at Goulston & Storrs. “For years, we've been struggling with the barriers to training the bulk of a firm's lawyers – cost, scalability, lawyer availability, along with a general aversion to lawyer sales activity.  In one fell swoop, RainmakerVT removes these obstacles and also addresses the 'lawyer psyche' issue.  With its online scenarios where lawyers can practice and make mistakes privately, the site removes all the discomfort associated with bringing in clients.”

Those sentiments were echoed by RainmakerVT's founders. “We couldn't be happier for the lawyers at Hemenway,” said Levinson. We created RainmakerVT to make a difference in the legal community, to help hundreds of thousands of lawyers who, otherwise, would never have been afforded access to this level of training.”  

“The million dollar give-away is just an extension of that desire to help as many attorneys as possible.”


Support Lawyer Ken Hardison's Charity Weight-Loss Challenge

Ken Hardison, PILMMA, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingOne of my favorite channels on YouTube is PILMMA, where Raleigh, NC, lawyer Ken Hardison always offers practical, down-to-earth personal marketing advice. I've presented many of his videos on the LawMarketing Channel, and you can see one now at

I was totally impressed when I saw that he has has started a charity weight-loss challenge.  He actually videotaped is weigh-in and he is a big fella, clocking in at see here pounds. His goal is to lose 80 pounds by October 15.

Ken's videos are great. There's no razzle-dazzle, just Big Ken talking to you from his desk, offering marketing tips and techniques he's learned in 29 years of trial practice. Ken is President of the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association (PILMMA), and he knows what he's talking about. The videos are professionally shot, but are not junked up with music or flashy graphics. I really like the plain speaking approach.

For every pound he loses he'll make a donation to Save the Children, and you can sponsor Ken by making a pledge for every pound he loses.  Ken is so genuine, he even asks video viewers for advice on how to lose weight. Excess weight has always been a struggle for me too, so I offered him my ideas in a comment on the video.

He'll do a final weigh-in on October 15 at the PILMMA Fall 2011 Summit in La's Vegas. I will be there and I hope to see you too.

Marketing Takeaways

  • In law firm marketing, be yourself. Be authentic. Be sincere.
  • Market your imperfection, as Ari Kaplan advises. People identify with your vulnerabilities. It shows you're human.
  • People will root for your efforts devoted to self-improvement.
  • Nothing attracts positive attention better than a fun stunt for a good cause.
  • Do something good for a change.

Business Bankruptcies Down 15% to Pre-Recession Level

The good news is that the US economy is recovering. From a legal marketing standpoint, this means there are fewer files for lawyers practicing in bankruptcy. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reports that in the first quarter of 2011, there were 12,376 petitions filed by businesses -- down 15% from the same period a year ago. This is less than the 4th quarter of 2008, the year when the recession got really ugly. 

Quarterly Business Filings by Year (1994-2011)


1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter






















Typically, 96% of bankruptcy filings are filed by consumers. Many lawyers prefer to handle business bankruptcies because there is an estate with assets. A bankrupt company, the debtor, might use Chapter 11 to reorganize its business and try to become profitable again. Management continues to run the day-to-day business operations but all significant business decisions must be approved by a bankruptcy court.

Under Chapter 7, the company stops all operations and goes completely out of business. A trustee is appointed to liquidate (sell) the company's assets and the money is used to pay off the debt.

There are several bankruptcy hotspots where lawyers can focus their law firm marketing. States with the highest per capita filing rate (total filings) for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2011 were:

1.     Nevada
2.     Georgia
3.     Tennessee
4.     California
5.     Indiana
6.     Alabama
7.     Utah
8.     Michigan
9.     Arizona
10.  Colorado
Districts with the highest percentage increase in total filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2011 (compared to the identical period in 2010) were:
1.     Southern District of Florida: 26.5%
2.     Central District of California: 22.8%
3.     District of Utah: 19.7%
4.     District of Hawaii: 18.1%
5.     District of Arizona: 11.9%


Network of Trial Law Firms: What Keeps Clients Up and Night

Jessie Ziegler, Bass Berry, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingI'm at the Network of Trial Law Firms conference in Naples, FL, where 67 defense litigators are meeting at the Ritz-Carlton with 67 GCs and In-house counsel. Jessalyn  H.  Zeigler, a partner with Bass, Berry & Sims, led a key program on "What keeps In-house counsel up at night" - and there 4 things:

  • E-Discovery. "It's involved in all our cases, and the technology is changing -- one day we're dealing with backup tapes and the next day we're dealing with cloud computing," said Sue Dyer, Senior Litigation Counsel of HCA in Nashville. "If you don’t get it right, your company and its executives and the lawyers can be sanctioned."

    She added, "Cost control specifically keeps me up at night and e-discovery is a cost. We try to reduce the amount of data that goes to the vendor for processing. A large part of the cost is reviewing the data and therefore we use contract lawyers."

  • Government actions that impact the company. "Our fear is that an EEOC investigator will show up to investigate one issue and they find something else that they consider a violation," Chris Shaheen, Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel for U.S. Bank in Minneapolis. Agencies that keep GCs up at night include OSHA, HUD and the Department of Justice (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).
  • Costly caseload management in a tight economy. GCs are managing more cases with fewer in-house lawyers. They don’t want an invoice for overstaffing or work that wasn’t necessary, but they do want effective and timely communication with outside counsel to track the progress of progress of cases.

    "I don’t want a phone call from our CEO who is asking about something that went off the rails and we couldn’t warn our executives ahead of time, or a small case that turned into a big case that wasn’t on our radar," said Karen Abbott, Associate General Counsel of IASIS Healthcare in Franklin, TN.

  • Social media and the impact of Facebook, Twitter on the company and its brand. "Ten years ago it was easy to have one spokesman for the company, but now almost everybody has a Facebook account, and many have a Twitter account. Anybody can get online and put something online, permanently, about the company," said Livingson J. Johnson, GC of Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, GA.

    "We have social media guidelines, recognizing that people will be online and we have a code of business conduct. Our associates understand they can have Facebook page, but if they’re going to talk about the company, they have to go through training and respect our brand,"

The conference exemplifies the best of law firm marketing and business development.

Network of trial law firms,, law firm marketing, legal marketingLawyers are providing value to the GC attendees and spending time face-to-face with them. In addition to giving the clients free CLE, the lawyers are spending recreational time with the GCs golfing, biking and kayaking at a lovely Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The attorneys are also spending time with each other, referring files back and forth and building each other's practices. One lawyer closed a piece of new business on the limo ride from the airport with a GC.

The lawyers have been doing all this since 1993, as pointed out by network Chairman Tony Lathrop, a partner at Moore & Van Allen. This is the 50th conference of the network, which includes 7,000 Attorneys in 25 trial law firms in more than 140 offices in the U.S. and Canada.

The network offers free CLE based on conference speeches online at For example, the YouTube video of John Fitzpatrick was recently viewed by a top executive of a New York financial services company. "This is exactly what we had in mind when we developed the Network's free one-of-a-kind online streaming video CLE.  The potential for new business flowing from this unique capability is unimaginable," said Ellis Mirsky, the network's Executive Director and General Counsel.

Face-to-Face Works Best for Law Firm Marketing

meeting, law firm marketng, legal marketing, lawmarketing blogSurvey respondents were asked: “If you needed a lawyer for a personal legal matter, what would be the primary way you would find one?"

  • 80 percent of the respondents said they would turn to some trusted source.
  • Nearly half of the respondents (46 percent) said they would ask a friend, family member or colleague.
  • 34 percent said they would contact a lawyer they knew or had used before.
  • Eight percent said they would turn to the Yellow Pages or some other form of printed directory.

This is according to a recent survey (PDF) conducted for the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. The survey was conducted in September by Harris Interactive, which contacted 1,004 adults 18 or older via landline telephone calls.

A separate question asked respondents how likely they would be to consult various types of online resources to find a lawyer. Fewer than 20% of the respondents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to consult Facebook, while 15% said they would look at blogs, and 9 percent said they would use Twitter.  Frankly, don't believe this finding. There is just too much evidence to the contrary. The ABA must have surveyed people who use quill pens and buggy whips.

Other online tools were much more popular among survey respondents. Nearly half (49 percent) were likely to consult websites where consumers can post legal questions for lawyers to answer. Forty-seven percent said they were likely to look at lawyer rating websites, and 44 percent said they would check a lawyer’s own website.

Legal Marketing Lessons

In-person, face-to-face marketing is the most effective way to generate new business. Smart lawyers always tell their friends, neighbors and countrymen what they do for a living, in case the person or one of their friends ever needs a lawyer.  Rainmakers always ask clients for references, recommendations and introductions.

yellow pages, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketing blogThe yellow pages are dead. Cancel your yellow page listing now. According to Simba Information's latest report, spending on local yellow pages advertising declined 11.1% in 2010 and is projected to decline again in 2011. Get out now and put the savings into your budget to take clients out to lunch.

And meanwhile, beef up your website, change it frequently, keep writing blog post, update your LinkedIn and Facebook status alerts, upload your documents to Avvo and JDSupra, and tweet the headlines.

A survey by Greenfield/Belser and The Brand Research Company, spotlights that executive-level buyers are online, in droves and that search engines are a key tool for learning about professionals.    85% of executives consider professional service firm websites important sources of information in their search for professionals.

  • Three in four say the quality of a firm’s site influences whether they put a firm on their short list.
  • 53% have put a firm on a short list based on the information found on the firm’s site.
  • Specific-industry experience tops the list of things executives find important on sites, with 78% saying it is must-have information.

Legal Marketing with an Interactive Map that Shows National Litigation Experience

Adam Severson, Faegre, law firm marketing, legal marketingWhen you're Minneapolis-based law firm with 150 litigators, and your competition is Kirkland, Winston and Jones Day, how do you convey in an eyeblink that you are a national litigation contender?

With the help of two innovative, persistent and innovative law firm marketing pros, Faegre & Benson created an interactive map in Flash that displays their representative national litigation experience.

Rachel Austin, Faegre, legal marketing, law firm marketing, lawmarketing blog"We represent clients in 46 or 50 states, and we didn't think anyone knew about it," said Adam Severson, Director of Business Development and Marketing. "Our lawyers were complimentary and surprised -- they didn't know we had all this experience."

The entire project was done in-house with no out-of-pocket cost. "It says we're a national litigation firm and you probably didn't think we were," he said.

Work began when Rachel Austin joined the legal marketing team as Business Development Communications Coordinator. In 2009 she started with a list of 40 cases. She spent the 18 months digging through the firm's experience database and RFP collection.

"I  went to the litigators and asked them for their best cases," she said, and she built the total to 532 cases. Meticulously she weighed them according to the result, whether it set a precedent, the size of the client, the recency, the risk and value to the client and the importance of the firm's role.

Now she has 600 cases and here's an example:

Faegre Litigation Map, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketing blog

Simply visit, pick a state and pick a matter to get the details. Each new case is put online just like adding a new lawyer bio in the firm's website content management system, created by Saturno Design.

"Before lawyers would say they’re too busy," Rachel said. Then Adam held internal launch parties in Minneapolis and Denver to build enthusiasm. "Now every lawyer wants every one of their cases on the map."


MoFo Reaches Bank and Finance Clients with FrankNDodd E-newsletter

Mofo, Morrison Foerster, FrankNDodd, law firm marketing, legal marketingEvery bank and financial institution is on pins and needles about the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which gives the government the right to take over a faltering bank -- before it fails. The pre-emptive strike power gives the Feds the power to involuntarily liquidate an institution without having filed for bankruptcy.

Morrison & Foerster, affectionately known as MoFo, offers jittery bankers valium in the form of its "FrankNDodd" daily email news alert, sent to hundreds of its bank and finance clients. The firm cleverly adopted the "monster" play on words, because that's how the clients view it.

Launched in March, the email alerts track rulemaking pursuant to the Act, including rule proposals, rulemaking, and publication of study results and public comments, as well as key dates for comment deadlines, enactment deadlines, and effective dates.

To obtain a password for FrankNDodd, send an email to subscribe@frankndodd.comnaming your contact at Morrison & Foerster, or alternatively explaining that you heard about FrankNDodd on the LawMarketing Blog. Readers can customize the alerts to include only changes related to a particular title of the Act, to one or more substantive areas, or to actions taken by one or more regulatory agencies. Sample headlines include:

  • House Financial Services Committee
    • Frank Introduces Legislation to Increase Accountability on Setting of Interest Rates
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    • FDIC Closes on Pilot Securitization of Performing Commercial Mortgage Loans from 13 Failed Institutions
    • FDIC Board Meeting -- May 10, 2011
  • Treasury Department
    • Opening Statement of David S. Cohen Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    • Opening Statement of Timothy G. Massad Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
    • Opening Statement of Daniel L. Glaser Before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


Law Firm Marketing Lessons

Examine your clientele and look for businesses in an industry that are feeling the heat of new legislation, regulation or court opinion. Like a doctor, you are looking for pain. Devise a way to assuage the trauma with information, newsletters or best of all: a free in-house CLE program on the subject.

This approach not only positions you as the authority on the topic to your clients, but presents you as the "good guy" who is looking out for their interests.



CRM System used for Law Firm Marketing Creates Pop-Up of Amount Clients Owe

law firm marketing, legal marketingAccording to a great story in Law Technology News, Ulmer & Berne used their CRM (client relationship management) system to spur their lawyers to collect $2 million more than they had expected in 2010 -- and the firm cut the days its invoices were unpaid from 92 days to 76 days.

"When a call comes in to a lawyer, information from the client relationship management system and from time and billing pops up on his or her computer screen — before the phone rings a second time," writes Sam Shipley, the firm's CIO.

Ulmer & Berne is a full-service firm with 180 lawyers operating from three offices in Ohio and a fourth in Chicago. Two years ago the ContactEase CRM system from Cole Valley Software was used only in marketing for little more than invitation lists and holiday cards.

Collections became a problem in 2009. "Typically, our lawyers are effective bill collectors — when they make the calls. But it was difficult to get them to bring up the subject with clients," Shipley said.

Programmer Brad Logozar created an application that brought together information from ContactEase, the Aderant Expert time-and-billing system and the CallManager telephone system. Lawyer phones were already integrated with Microsoft Outlook, so that many of the incoming calls from clients matched a phone number in ContactEase.

The collections application was rolled out firm-wide in November 2009. Whenever a client calls the relationship partner, a pop-up appears on the lawyer's computer if the client has a balance that is more than 60 days past due.

"Now, when we clean up our CRM contact listings, we focus on the records of the clients with the biggest collection problems — to be sure that their incoming calls are more likely to get a 'hit,'" Shipley said.

"Having a concise summary of current billing and collections information presented immediately when clients call helps to both control the growth of receivables and more importantly improve relations with clients by helping to avoid billing surprises," partner Wayne Serra told LTN.


LinkedIn is a Happy Hunting Ground for Lawyers

LinkedIn, social media, law firm marketing, legal marketingLawyers shouldn't waste their time with mini-blogging social media where there are no clients. Rule No. 1 of law firm marketing is to "go fishing where the fish are." That fishing hole is LinkedIn,  where 100 million executives and in-house counsel have profiles.

Further, I always advise lawyers that when they are networking to attend events where they are the only lawyer in the room.  For instance, it makes little sense to try law firm marketing at a bar association meeting full of other lawyers who are competitors. The online room for lawyers to be in is LinkedIn.

Executives from 200 countries in the following industries can be found on LinkedIn: 

  • High tech
  • Finance
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical
  • Educational
  • Consumer goods
  • Recreational
  • Corporate
  • Construction
  • Government
  • Arts
  • Media
  • Non profit
  • Transportation
  • Service

Lawyers have 1,473,000 profiles, according to Read Write Enterprise. This infographic tells the story:

LinkedIn by industry, law firm marketing, legal marketing


To find all the in-house lawyers at a particular company, simply to an advanced "People" search and use the term "counsel." You'll get the whole legal department.


How Lawyers Should be Using Webinars as a Lead Generation Tool

I just presented a webinar "How Lawyers Should be Using Webinars as a Lead Generation Tool." Please can get a summary and copy of the slides at 

How Lawyers Should be Using Webinars as a Lead Generation Tool Web seminars or "Webinars" are an excellent way for lawyers to generate leads and attract new clients. Presenting a web program confirms your expert status, differentiates you from low-tech lawyers, engages your clients and lets you interact with them.

Plus they are easy to do, eliminate the need to travel, and are easy and inexpensive to present. This program includes case histories of law firms that presented webinars -- and successfully generated new business.

If you want to present your own webinar, read: Now You Can Present a Webinar to Reach Clients and Prospects


The slide show covers the 4 steps for a successful webinar:

  • Prepare
  • Promote
  • Present
  • Follow-up

Other points covered in the program include:

  • Picking the right webinar host for you
  • How to get a great turnout for your program.
  • Key tips for a glitch-free presentation.
  • Several ways to follow-up after the program to land new files.
  • Measuring your return-on-investment.

The Q&A period went on for 20 minutes so there is a lot of curiosity about presenting webinars. Let me know if you have any questions about this great online marketing technique.


BigLaw Does Law Firm Marketing at Invitation-Only Events with GCs

Paul Mandell, CEO, Consero, law firm marketing, legal marketingIn the face of a withering recession that has depressed the legal profession since 2008, large law firms are taking business development more seriously. Rather than seek out booths or speaking gigs at large legal conferences, "BigLaw" firms are sending one key partner to attend intimate, invitation-only networking events for corporate general counsel, like the Consero Corporate Counsel Forum.

The forum in Palm Springs, CA, on May 15-17, will have only 45 chief legal officers and GCs in attendance, to hear programs like "Managing a Global Legal Department to Support Corporate Growth" and "Navigating High-Risk, High-Stakes Litigation."

Among them will be only 10 lawyers in private practice who have paid in excess of $20,000 for the privilege to attend the 2 1/2 day event, dine at five networking meals, have one-on-one meetings with GCs who elect to meet with them, and get profiles of the GCs so the lawyer can follow up. The May event is bringing lawyers from WilmerHale, Baker & McKenzie, Paul Hastings, Fish & Richardson, McDermott and Squire Sanders.

In terms of legal marketing, the lawyers can moderate a panel, but do not get a speaking gig. Each GC was personally invited by Consero. The law firms contacted the Bethesda, MD, law conference company to purchase admission.

Consero is the invention of CEO Paul Mandell, who previously practiced law at Arnold & Porter and Sullivan & Cromwell. He was frustrated with the ABA annual mega-meeting and its thousands of attendees and massive exhibit hall, and with the Association of Corporate Counsel meeting where firms buy expensive booths and put highly-paid partners on the exhibit floor. "We think that's a broken model," he said. "We've done away with the gauntlet of booths."

"We set up meetings between in-house counsel and relevant law firm partners based on mutual interest," he said. "Because it's invitation-only, we can profile the in-house counsel to learn what their priorities and challenges are, and we match them with law partners."

So if you've got the money, honey, there are upcoming forums on IP in July in Utah, technology in September in San Diego, litigation in November in Austin, and another Corporate Counsel Forum in December in Naples.



Law Firm Marketing by Getting Referrals

Carolyn Mumby, law firm marketing, legal marketing, referrals, lawmarketing blogIn my experience as a law firm sales trainer, I've found that the #1 source of new business is current clients, but it takes time.  The #2 source is referrals. A lawyer can start to see results within weeks by intentionally building a referral network.

Barrister Carolyn Mumby offers this great advice on her blog about growing your law practice with referrals:

Marketing for lawyers usually involves referrals. In fact, as a lawyer, you probably gain most of your files from referrals, either through your colleagues, business associates or existing clients.

It’s a smart way to drum up business because it is traditionally less costly than finding new clients in terms of both time and money and has the indirect benefit of reinforcing your brand reputation

"The irony is that most lawyers tell me that apart from having a quid pro quo arrangement with a local accounting firm they don’t have a formal system of developing referrals even though they know that they are to a great extent, dependent upon them," she said.

Given that we all agree that referrals are a basic requirement when marketing for lawyers, let’s take a look at your top priorities if you want to ensure those referrals keep flowing in:

   1. Establish a register for new files & the source.
   2. Ensure referrals are reciprocated.
   3. Organizations not offering referrals should be excluded from corporate hospitality.
   4. Register details should be discussed at each management meeting.
   5. Ensure clients who refer are rewarded or at least acknowledged.
   6. Make sure referrers have the firm’s literature.
   7. Ensure organizations who may possibly refer are aware of your full range of services.
   8. Build relationships and don’t forget to ask for referrals.

"The last bullet point is a hugely under-utilized technique when it comes to marketing for lawyers, probably because we don’t like ‘asking’ for business and making the first move, but it doesn’t need to feel uncomfortable," she says.

"I have found that the secret to pain free referral requests is to ask for a specific type of referral. This takes the pressure off the person you are talking to and has the knock on effect of putting you at your ease too."


Writing Effective Article Law Firm Marketing Headlines

Poor headline, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingI found a great set of tips for getting people to read your articles from the website of Keegan Luinstra. To be truly effective at article marketing, you will need to inspire web browsers to click and view your content instead of checking out the other guys’ stuff.

"One of the best ways to do this is to have an attention-grabbing headline. With a good headline, you will set yourself apart from your nine other competitors," he says. Here are his first 10 tips: 

1. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About “                                      ” but Were Afraid to Ask
“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Birth Control but Were Afraid to Ask”

2.    How to “                                     
“How to Make Effective Article Marketing Titles”

3.  The “                                      ” Handbook
“The Internet Marketer’s Handbook”

4.   Secrets “                                     
“Secrets of Making Six Figures A Year Without A Job”

5.   “                                      ” Made Easy
“Installing Your Sprinkler System Made Easy”

6.   A Guide to “                                     
“A Guide to the Superstition Wilderness”

7.                      ” that  “                       ” (e.g. “Ads that Sell”)
“Ads that Sell”

8.   Get Paid to “                                     
“Get Paid to Work From Home”

9.    “                                      ” For Fun and Profit
“How to Write and Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit”

10.   “                                      ” in a Box
“Landscaping Business in a Box”

Please click to see all of his 21 headline-writing tips.


Good news: Demand for Litigation is Up a Strong 4.1%

Business Development for LitigatorsLitigation demand was up a strong 4.1 percent in the first quarter. Improving performance in litigation over the two most recent quarters has significantly bolstered the overall performance of the legal profession because it represents about one‐third of billable hours in the market.

This is the key finding in the Hildebrandt Peer Monitor Economic Index. Overall demand for legal services was up 2.1 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Demand rose for both large and mid‐size firms, according to the report. Am Law Second Hundred firms currently occupy the “sweet spot” in the law firm market.

Here's the kicker: "Firms must transition from a defensive to a strategic posture, and shift focus from extreme cost controls to achieving sustained revenue growth." This means it's time for the bean counters to step back, and for the rainmakers to step forward.

This is precisely the topic of Thursday's webinar "Business Development for Litigators" which I will present with my colleague Barry Schneider. Register now because it takes place in two days, on Thursday, May 5 at 1 PM Eastern time.

Litigation is a $21 billion market, and we'll identify the practice areas that are thriving, the industries that see the most litigation, and a personal business development plan you can carry out. Don't miss our practical, how-to webinar that will be full of business development tips.


Succeed Using the Latest Online Law Firm Marketing Tools

Ruth Davis, Lexis Nexis, online marketing, law firm marketingWith 65% of consumers beginning their search for a lawyer online, a strong presence on the Web is the foundation of a successful marketing plan. How does your firm stack up against the competition? Join me in Chicago on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, to gain proven insights during a free, informative networking event for lawyers, sponsored by LexisNexis.  Please see here for more info.

My co-presenters include Ruth Davis, the Senior Director of Web Services at LexisNexis, and Robyn Raybould, the Director of Product Management at LexisNexis. Together, we will show you how your law firm can leverage the web to generate more new business.

Attending lawyers will learn:

  • How consumers find an attorney online
  • Robyn Raybould, Lexis Nexis, law firm marketingThe hottest growth areas for attorneys
  • The benefits of social media: How it can help
  • How to verify if your firm’s website is working for you

This practical, how-to program begins at Noon at the Metropolitan Club, Willis Tower, 233 South Wacker Drive, 67th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606.  Our event contact is Holly Gebert, 937.865.7698, Email.