3 Seats Left at Mass Tort Success Course

Learn to Start a Practice in Mass Torts

What mass tort cases should your firm be involved in now?

Find out in the Four Days To Mass Tort Success Course March 20th through the 23rd in Fort Lauderdale. Only three seats are left.

There are two emerging Mass Torts that you can act on immediately. These two cases will be discussed and financially analyzed in detail during the March course, and you should consider investing in these cases immediately.

To register:  call Larry Bodine at (520) 577-9759 or LarryBodineNow@Gmail.com

Mass Tort Nexus of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, will present a four-day course for lawyers to start a mass torts practice and enjoy a major return on their investment.

The program will be presented from Friday, March 20 through Monday, March 23 at the W Hotel, oceanside in Fort Lauderdale. Click here for the Mass Tort Immersion Course Curriculum.

The 500+ page course book includes the methods, tools, and strategies necessary to enable your firm to incorporate mass torts into its practice. Firms that are already practicing mass tort law will benefit from the advanced strategies and new rules related to the field, which are also covered in the course.

Members of The National Trial Lawyers and PILMMA are entitled to a special discount.  The full tuition is  $5,999. 

John Ray is the founder of the Mass Torts Made Perfect group on LinkedIn.
John Ray is the founder of the Mass Torts Made Perfect group on LinkedIn.


The course will be given by a group of renowned experts in the industry. This custom designed course curriculum was crafted by John Ray, the originator of many of the time-tested methodologies and metrics currently used by successful mass tort firms.

It is not a networking event, seminar or workshop. It is similar to a university course. It is a blueprint for how to successfully operate to start and operate a successful Mass tort firm."

The course is intended to give attendees the information and tools, as well as a step-by-step guide for entering the mass tort space with minimal investment and minimal effort. More importantly, it will teach you to do so with as little risk as possible, while achieving a mass tort size return on your investment.


Law Firms Now Spending 3.4% of Revenue on Marketing

http://www.lawpracticeadvisor.com/law-firm-marketing-spending/Law firms on average firms spent 3.4 percent of their annual collected fees on marketing and business development activities in 2013 — up from a previous level of only 2.3 percent in 2012.

Legal marketing spending has rebounded to pre-recession levels according to a new national survey of local and regional business law firms by Alyn-Weiss & Associates, Inc., a Denver-based legal marketing consultancy.

Another key finding was that law practices must effectively embrace  digital promotion  or they will miss being considered for desirable cases they are qualified to handle.

The drop in 2012 was the first spending decline recorded by Alyn-Weiss since the consultancy started conducting its bi-annual survey of local and regional corporate, transactional and defense firms in 1990. In its initial 1990 survey firms reported spending just 1.45 percent of annual fees on marketing, said founder and president Bob Weiss.

6 Most effective marketing tactics

Analyzing the new 2014 survey results, Weiss said the data makes clear that law firms that fail to employ six tactics are simply missing out on desirable work:

For the details please see Bigger Legal Marketing Budgets Now Fund 6 Most Effective Tactics on Law Practice Advisor.


Six Magic Words That Overcome a Competitor's Low Price

Check out this forthright new blog post by Trey Ryder on Law Practice Advisor:

You tell your prospect that you bill at $350 per hour. Your prospect responds by saying, "But another lawyer I interviewed charges only $175 per hour." Now, what should you say?

One powerful way to respond to your prospect's comment is to get out a piece of paper and divide the sheet into two vertical columns. Put your name at the top of one column and the other lawyer's name over the second.

In the first column, write down all the specific services, tasks and documents you include in your fee.
In the second column, write down all the specific services, tasks and documents your competitor includes in his fee. In all likelihood, you won't know everything your competitor includes and neither will your prospect.

So, the certainty of knowing exactly what you provide -- and the uncertainty of not knowing what your competitor provides -- allow your prospect to see clearly on paper "what he gets for his money" when he hires you. But -- what do you do if your prospect raises the issue at your seminar? Or at a luncheon meeting? Or during a phone consultation? In these examples, taking out a sheet of paper for your two-column demonstration isn't practical.

Speak with confidence

So here's what you do instead. Click Six Magic Words That Overcome a Competitor’s Low Price to see the rest of the article.6 Magic Words That Overcome a Competitor’s Low Price


Your Law Firm has a 12% Chance of Winning an RFP

RFP proposalA law firm’s chances of winning an RFP drop to less than 12% if it hasn't helped their client prepare the RFP, according to The BTI Consulting Group’s research.

I've long been skeptical that competing in RFPs is a realistic way for law firms to get new business. Most of them are "wired," with the winner predetermined in advance, others are fishing expeditions to find out fees, and some are bullying tactics to force a company's law firms to lower their rates. Even if a law firm wins an RFP, often no work is actually assigned.

They're a bad idea all around and BTI's research confirms it. "The only people who dislike RFPs more than professional services firms are clients," the report says. "The RFP process is neither fair nor objective."

Law firms that haven’t helped their client determine what needs to go into an RFP have already lost by the time it arrives at their office.

“The RFP is a wake-up call—a signal your client relationship is at risk because you are no longer winning work on a sole-source basis,” comments Michael B. Rynowecer, President of BTI. “The RFP is your chance (in some instances your last chance) to make a mark with clients.”

BTI conducted more than 13,000 independent, individual interviews with C-level executives at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations. Now in its 25th year, BTI conducts the only continuous benchmarking market study of C-suite expectations of professional services firms.

Larry Bodine, journalist, lawyer, law firm marketerLarry Bodine is a journalist, lawyer and business development advisor to law firms. He is currently pursuing a project to publish legal news for consumers in newspapers, TV stations and web sites. For more information, you can reach him at 520.577.9759 and larrybodine.com.


New Statistics Illustrate the Decline of Biglaw

So what do you think about this trend? Tell me in  a comment below.

Over the last three years the relative portion of legal work given to the largest, full-service law firms has declined from 26% of legal fees billed to only 20%. The decline of the 50 law firms in the U.S. with more than 750 lawyers is quantified by new LexisNexis/Counsellink research, Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report.

You can get a copy here. In the chart below, locate the sloping, bright green line.

The decline of Biglaw has been well-documented by The New Republic, Above the Law and The New York Times. Richard Susskind has launched a book-writing career on the topic. But this is the first time I've seen actual statistics.

Another telling statistic is that legal departments are not consolidating with “Largest 50,” according to the report. Instead they are sending legal work to the new winners: "Large Enough" firms with 201-500 lawyers.

Three years ago, “Large Enough” firms were responsible for 18% of overall legal billings. In the most recent 12 months, the same firms are now responsible for 22% of legal billings, the report says. (See the red line in the chart below.) An even more dramatic shift is seen in high fee litigation cases -- those matters that generate fees totaling $1 million or more. “Large Enough” firms grew their portion of U.S. high fee work from 22% three years ago to 41% in the trailing 12 months.

Meanwhile, firms with 50 or fewer lawyers are also cleaning up. As shown in the chart below (see the purple line), they are the firms that get the biggest proportion of legal billings -- 30% of it.

Legal work moving from Largest 50 to Large Enough firms

The report represents analysis of a snapshot of data available via the CounselLink Enterprise Legal
Management platform. Currently, the collective stream of data and processed invoices represents more than $10 billion in legal spend, 2 million invoices, and well over 300,000 matters gathered over the past 4 years, with the volume of data available for analysis growing at a rapid pace.


Larry Bodine, journalist, lawyer, law firm marketerLarry Bodine is a journalist, lawyer and business development advisor to law firms. He is currently pursuing a project to publish legal news for consumers in newspapers, TV stations and web sites. For more information, you can reach him at 520.577.9759 and larrybodine.com.


Corporate Counsel Shift $5.8 Billion In House

See this press release from Friday, June 21, 2013.  Click here for original source.

BTI Consulting Group’s research sees projected 2013 growth of only 1.8% in outside counsel spending.

For those not currently engaged with clients in redefining value outside of rates, we recommend a serious discussion with your clients about their goals in bringing work in house.

Corporate legal departments shifted $5.8 billion from their outside counsel budget to internal spending. BTI Consulting Group's newest release of BTI Benchmarking Corporate Counsel Management Strategies reveals corporate counsel at the world’s largest companies continue to move dollars in house—and away from outside counsel. The shift drives a paltry projected 2013 growth of 1.8% in outside counsel spending instead of a 5.1% compound growth rate had corporate counsel spent the money on outside law firms.

Corporate counsel are bringing the following practice areas in house: 

  •     IP prosecution
  •     Licensing
  •     Complex commercial contracts
  •     Litigation
  •     Regulatory and compliance

Corporate counsel’s top goal is to wring more value from their scarce legal dollars. “Shifting money in house and away from law firms is one value generating opportunity,” comments Michael B. Rynowecer, President of BTI. “For those not currently engaged with clients in redefining value outside of rates, we recommend a serious discussion with your clients about their goals in bringing work in house.” Continues Rynowecer, “devise your strategy to help your client exceed their goals faster than they might on their own.”

BTI conducted more than 300 independent, individual interviews with CLOs and General Counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations. Now in its 13th year, BTI conducts the only continuous benchmarking market study of corporate counsel worldwide.

Find more information about this and other compelling research at http://www.bticonsulting.com or contact BTI at 617.439.0333. BTI is the undisputed leader in providing high-impact strategic research to professional service firms and their clients.

Am I making the right business choice?

Today's post is a by a guest author from LFS Legal, Belinda J. Darling.

Running a business of any kind- be it a hairdressing salon, a media monitoring business or a national chain of furniture shops- entails making multiple decisions every day. Some of those decisions have small consequences- who is going to man the phones while the receptionist takes his break?- while others have much larger and far reaching consequences. Learning how best to approach the decision making process will mean your business runs in a more harmonious and productive manner.

Many of the business choices you’ll face will involve staff. People managing is a tricky business but with a considered and respectful approach, you’ll create a positive and proactive working environment. Let’s look at some examples of the types of decisions you might face. Your chief sales manager is good at her job- but it’s fast becoming apparent that her skills and knowledge would be better suited to a marketing role. You can see that installing someone else in the sales role would boost revenue, while utilising the skills of the sales manager in the marketing department would be beneficial in drumming up new business. The problem is, your sales manager loves her job and has never registered any interest in switching departments.

The key here is to make your sales manager feel she’s an invaluable member of the team. It’s been repeatedly established in studies of the workplace that employees thrive when they feel valued. Suggesting to your sales manager that the marketing role needs HER unique contribution will help her understand and accept that rather than being pushed out of her job and cornered into another role, her talents are being recognised and her skills put to use accordingly. To learn more about making the right business choice, get in touch with the experts at LFS Legal.

The benefits of making the right business decisions, particularly where your employees are concerned cannot be overstated. Happy employees work harder, feel personally invested in the business, and have better retention rates.



Survey Finds Slow Adoption of Alternative Fee Arrangements for Legal Services

lexisnexis, law firm marketing, attorney feesThis just in from ALM: In spite of all the buzz, an increase in use of AFAs proving much more gradual than forecast in aftermath of 2008-2010 recession. [See the chart below for the reasons behind the slow adoption of AFAs.]

According to results from a new survey conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence, alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) for legal services -- billing methods based on metrics other than an hourly rate – are becoming more pervasive, but still failing to gain the traction that was predicted by industry experts in recent years.

The survey report, “Speaking Different Languages: Alternative Fee Arrangements for Law Firms and Legal Departments,” indicates that only 6 percent of law firm respondents used an AFA in 2011 for more than half of their legal work last year, with the majority (67 percent) using AFAs for less than one quarter of their billing. Similarly, only 12 percent of legal department respondents said they used AFAs for more than half of the legal work they assigned to outside counsel in 2011.

Perhaps even more telling about the lackluster adoption of AFAs is that 6 percent of legal departments and 17 percent of law firms did not even know what percentage of their legal work was billed using a method other than the billable hour or discounting.

These results are among the thought-provoking findings of the survey, which was conducted last month by ALM Legal Intelligence and sponsored by LexisNexis® CounselLink®. To download a free copy of the report, please go to http://almlegalintel.com/Surveys/AFAreport.

“To get an all-around and fresh take on the adoption of AFAs, we connected with more than 200 law departments and more than 200 large law firms in the U.S.,” said Kevin Iredell, vice president of research and continuing education products at ALM. “The results of this survey suggest that the billable hour remains entrenched, despite widespread reports that clients are dissatisfied with the practice. However, we also found that the vast majority of both corporate legal executives and law firm partners expect the adoption of AFAs to continue to rise in the next five years.”

According to Iredell, other highlights of the survey findings included the following:

  • Law firms’ and companies’ opinions differ as to who they think is responsible for the lag in AFA adoption.  According to law firms, the top obstacle to increased use of AFA billing focuses on either side feeling more comfortable with hourly billing in general.  Legal departments agree, but they go on to find lack of experience in defining and managing work and billing matters on a basis other than hourly as big a stumbling block for both parties.
  • Despite the slow adoption rate, the use of AFAs is clearly growing. About 62 percent of law firms saw an increase in the use of AFAs in 2011, with only 2 percent citing a decrease and the remainder seeing no change. Half of legal departments saw an increase, with 49 percent saying that the number remained the same and only 1 percent that experienced a decrease.
  • The top three choices for types of alternative fee arrangements used by both firms and departments were: flat fee (89 percent of departments, 93 percent of firms); blended rate (47 percent of departments, 89 percent of firms); and capped fee (57 percent of departments, 83 percent of firms)
  • About 70 percent of legal department responses predicted an increase of AFA use from 2012 to 2016, with 26 percent thinking the amount will stay the same and just 4 percent expecting a decrease. Almost three-quarters of law firms (74 percent) expect an increase in AFA work over the same time period, while 14 percent think that things will be the same and, again, just 2 percent expect a decrease.

“Both corporate counsel and law firms continue to struggle to find ways to make alternative fee arrangements work for them,” said Kris Satkunas, director of Analytic Consulting for LexisNexis CounselLink. “LexisNexis has developed advanced solutions to help both law firms and corporate legal departments identify the types of matters that best lend themselves to AFAs, to model different fee arrangements and pricing scenarios to achieve better cost predictability, and to track performance throughout the lifecycle of the engagement.”

alternative fees, law firm marketing, attorney marketing, legal fees


How Much Law Firm Media Professionals Earn


When: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Where: 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street


Join us at The World Trade Center, where we will gather, earlier than usual, to hear a few words from one of the project leaders about the iconic site, enjoy cocktails and light snacks and then have the opportunity to visit the stunning, celebrated Memorial Garden.


Click here to RSVP

A compensation survey conducted jointly by the Law Firm Media Professionals and Hellerman Baretz Communications revealed that the average salary among all respondents was $130,391.

This is down nearly $8,000 from the 2010 survey. The most interesting findings of the survey included:

  • Only 59% received a raise, as compared to 76% in 2010.
  • West Coast and Northwest respondents had the highest average salary: $160,000. Respondents from the Northeast reported an average salary of $133,627.
  • $135,650 is the average salary for a respondent whose firm budgets for social media, compared to $132,643 for a respondent whose firm doesn’t budget for social media.
  • $152,582 is the average salary for a respondent whose firm uses an outside PR/communications agency, while that of respondents whose firm doesn’t use an outside PR/communications agency was $102,535.
  • $132,047 is the average salary for a respondent whose firm maintains at least one blog ($150,720 for those who blog three or more times a week), while that of respondents whose firm doesn’t maintain a blog was $125,322.

The survey was conducted from February 13 to February 24, 2012. LFMP members were polled, and there was a total of 76 respondents. Zoomerang.com collected the confidential data, which was analyzed using Microsoft Excel and third-party analytics software.

Full details are in the Law Firm Media Professionals / Hellerman Baretz Communications Compensation Survey.



Big Firm Litigators Heading to Boutiques

Ward Bower
I picked up this story on the Texas LawBook. The move by big firm litigators heading to small firms is caused by of conflicts, clients unwilling to pay big-firm rates and the ambience of smaller offices.

In-house counsel, legal recruiters and law firm management experts say there is a fundamental shift in the practice of business litigation in Texas. More than 40 large firm partners and associates in Austin, Dallas and Houston made lateral moves to litigation boutiques during the first four months of 2012, according to research by The Texas Lawbook.

Texas Lawbook says that big law firm litigation sections have been slowly shrinking during the past decade. Some are half the size they were in 2000. Meanwhile, litigation boutiques, which often specialize in areas such as employment law, intellectual property or securities matters, are booming.

Affected big law firms include:

  • Vinson & Elkins
  • Fulbright & Jaworski
  • Locke Lord

“Major corporate firms are seeing clients take their litigation work to litigation boutiques, and the lawyers at those major law firms are leaving to follow the work,” said Ward Bower, Altman Weil principal and consultant.

Businesses such as AT&T Inc., Dell Inc. and energy companies have become increasingly sensitive to litigation fees.

“Most large, full-service law firms have overpriced themselves, and most businesses simply cannot afford $800 or $900 an hour,” said Michael Lynn of Lynn Tillotson. “We’ve deliberately priced ourselves at $650 an hour, and we clearly are not starving. We are busier than we have ever been.”

He gets about 30 résumés a year from lawyers at large law firms who want out.

“The two primary inhibitors to business development for a litigator at a major law firm are inflexible rate structures and client conflicts of interests,” said Sherrard “Butch” Hayes, former Fulbright parner-in-charge, now a partner at Weisbart Springer Hayes in Austin.

Legal recruiters and consultants told Texas LawBook that few of these lawyers are pushed out of their large corporate firms. But the firms aren’t necessarily begging them to stay, and they certainly aren’t replacing them with other litigators.