Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home (page 5)

Author Archives: Ed Poll

Coach’s Corner: Dissolution should not be a firm’s only contingency

Clients clamor for alternatives to hourly rate billing because they want lawyers to have an incentive stake in the outcome of a matter. This is the case with contingency fees, where lawyers get a flat percentage of the value earned for the client. Contingency fees are often used in litigation, from personal injury cases to high-stakes corporate disputes.

Read More »

‘They can’t replace ME with a computer’

We have frequently written about how computer technology is a two-edged sword that can offer cost-efficient advantages to the law firm that leverages it, or can be the death knell to the law firm that does not keep pace. Nowhere was this duality been better illustrated than in a recent story in The New York Times. Its headline alone should give any member of the profession pause: "Armies of Expensive Lawyers Replaced by Cheaper Software."

Read More »

Coach’s Corner: If you’re pitching, who’s catching?

Couplings, like metaphors, create mental pictures that help us to better understand concepts. How about "Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage?" Well, that was in an earlier era. Oops, showing my age again. Perhaps that's appropriate for having turned another year older and wiser. Then we have billing and collecting. They go together. Can't have one without the other.

Read More »

Coach’s Corner: Simple plan, simple question: What business are you in?

A business plan can be simple or complex. Simple is better. Years ago, my dad and I created a business plan for our food-processing company. In essence, it was a set of goals, what we thought farmers could grow for us (raw material) and what we thought we could sell (finished product). We did this informally and used it as a basis for creating contracts with the farmers.

Read More »

Coach’s Corner: Effective rainmaking for women lawyers

Numerous surveys and studies indicate that women are no more than 20 percent of the partners at most large firms, and hold an even smaller percentage of senior firm or practice management positions. One effective way for firms and individual lawyers to broaden this participation is by emphasizing women's career advancement through marketing. While too many lawyers, including women lawyers, believe they are not skilled at marketing, everyone can market effectively if they approach it within their zone of comfort.

Read More »

Coach’s Corner: Is a retainer really necessary? Maybe not

One of the first "wants" for lawyers opening a new firm is to get as many clients as possible on retainer basis, viewing the retainer's certainty as the Holy Grail for fee collection. Retainers set up a fixed-fee-per-time cycle (often monthly) in which client funds deposited in a trust account are drawn upon during a year or other designated period. Retainers can be a one-time payment to guarantee the future availability of the lawyer/firm, or as a deposit against future services.

Read More »

Coach’s Corner: The power to regulate is the (potential) power to destroy (access required)

Many lawyers and law firm marketers have sounded alarms that the American Bar Association's Commission on Ethics 20/20 is examining legal ethics issues arising from lawyers' use of Internet-based client development tools. Those tools encompass a wide range of now common marketing tactics: online social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), blogging, discussion forums (listservs) and websites.

Read More »

Coach’s Corner: Here comes the judge – online

During the past decade the Internet has created ethics dilemmas that lawyers and bar associations could never have imagined before. Thanks to websites, blogs and social networks, lawyers have a virtually unlimited presence. They are often governed in their online conduct by the rules of jurisdictions where they have never set foot, though one would normally conclude that receiving an e-mail from anyone anywhere in the world does not create a lawyer/client relationship.

Read More »