Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How do law firms spend their marketing budget?

Here is a snapshot of how AmLaw 200 firms are spending their marketing dollars. The survey was conducted by J. Johnson Executive Search, Inc.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Coaching For Leadership Volunteer Opportunities

Babson College has a wonderful opportunity for you to receive training on how to be an effective coach. The Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program (CLTP) was started by one of my former professors, Joseph Weintraub, and James Hunt as a way to give students one-on-one coaching and feedback.
CLTP provides undergraduate students with constructive developmental coaching on their leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills early in their careers.
Who can volunteer as a coach? 
No prior experience needed. Anyone with a bachelor's degree can sign up for a training session and then participate in one of the student programs. You don't even have to be a Babson grad.

Why volunteer?
In addition to helping students, it is a great networking opportunity for you. You will meet other professionals from various industries from the Boston area. Plus you will learn coaching skills that you can apply in your professional or even personal life.

How can you volunteer?
Training dates are October 10, 11 and 18. Visit the CLTP website for more information.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Legal Marketing Association New England Chapter Annual Conference

The Legal Marketing Association New England Chapter's Annual Conference is November 13 & 14, 2014. This conference is a great opportunity for attorneys to learn the most effective marketing strategies and how to implement them in their own practice.

The focus for 2014 is Simplify to Maximize. Programs include client feedback, working with the media, competitive intelligence and much more. The full agenda is now available on the conference website.

Monday, July 7, 2014

5 Quick Summer Reads

Here are 5 quick reads that will help keep you up to date on legal marketing trends and still give you time to get out and enjoy the summer.  

In-house Leaders Offer “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to Legal Service Providers
Want to know what general counsel think? Here is a summary of a panel of general counsel discussing how and why they buy legal services. The panel was hosted by the New England Chapter Legal Marketing Association and moderated by John Cunningham.

2014 Law Firms in Transition: An Altman Weil Flash Survey
OK this one isn't beach reading but if you want to know what the big law firms are thinking and doing, this is worth a quick scan.

Business Development Starters for Associates
Sally Schmidt shares three ways associates can start building the framework to be future rainmakers.

Content Driven Website Traffic
Catch up on law firm website trends and statics.

Law Firm Blog versus Newsletter
As the website stats and trends article notes, content is king. Here are some things to consider when starting a blog or a newsletter.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Writing Attorney Biographies

Are you loosing business because of an outdated attorney bio?

What is the first thing you do when you receive a referral for an attorney or accountant or even a landscaper or caterer?

The first thing I do is look them up online. Before I call the referral, I review their website and search LinkedIn or Facebook. If I don't like what I see, I cross them off my list and move onto the next name.

When your contacts refer prospective clients to you, the client does the same thing. Your website bio may be costing you business before you even have the opportunity to compete for it.

Don't risk loosing business because of an outdated attorney biography. Here are some tips to creating a positive impression with your online bio.

Content Should be Relevant and Targeted

  • Write your bio for your target audience. Only use legal jargon or industry acronyms that your audience will understand.
  • Focus on your current practice areas and areas you want to develop. You don't need to include every type of case you have worked on for the last 20 years.
  • Give examples of representative matters and wins. If you have permission, include client names.


Information to Include in your Bio

  • Summary: Start with a summary of your practice. Include your practice areas, strengths, differentiators, types of clients or industries, relevant career highlights, awards or leadership positions.
  • Examples: List representative matters or examples of types of cases. Try using bullets rather than paragraph format.
  • General Information: Include general but necessary information such as education, bar and court memberships, professional certifications and foreign languages.
  • Contact Details: Your contact information, email, phone, fax, address, links to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social media.
  • A Picture! Yes, you should have a professional photo. Prospective clients like to see your picture.
  • Associations: List membership in professional associations, including leadership positions.
  • Organizations: Include charitable and community organizations and volunteer positions.
  • Awards and Recognitions: List relevant awards and recognitions. You may want to highlight some of these in your opening summary.
  • Past Experience: Include past experience only if it is relevant. You do not need to include the summer you spent as a lifeguard in college or an internship in an unrelated field.
  • Publications and Speaking Engagements: Articles, blogs and presentations can help establish your credibility and should be included in your bio. Be sure to keep it relevant and within the last five years.
  • Personal Facts: If you are comfortable doing so, include some of your personal interests. 

Formatting Makes it Easier to Read

  • Use headings and bullet points to highlight key information.
  • Keep it short and concise. Avoid long paragraphs.

Keep it Current

  • Practice Areas: Include your current practice areas and areas you want to grow.
  • Publications and Speaking Engagements: Add upcoming speaking engagements. Delete publications and presentations that are more than five years old.

Make it Easy to Find

  • Include a link to attorney bios in your website's main navigation.
  • Add links to your bio from other relevant pages such as practice areas, contact information and news pages.

Stop loosing business because of your website bio. Update it today!

Other relevant blog posts:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Grammar Tips to Improve Your Blogs and Websites

Here are some useful blogs and websites that provide grammar tips to help improve your blogs and websites.

Attorney at Work 

Attorney at Work's Get to the Point is a monthly column focused on helping you communicating more effectively. The older I get, the more reminders I need. Here are three good reminders:

Happy National Grammar Day! Lawyers’ Top Three Grammar Goof-ups includes I versus me, alot and acronyms.

Tighten Your Writing: Head the Six Signs includes suggestions for deleting extra words and making your writing more concise.

Five Tips for Getting Writing Right discusses legalese and passive voice.

Grammar Girl

Mignon Fogarty provides quick tips on word choice and grammar rules at Grammar Girl.
Here are some of the posts I recently viewed:

Capitalizing Titles. I'm opting for the AP style.

Canceled versus Cancelled

Irregardless versus Regardless . This is one of my husband's pet peeves.

Formatting Tips for Blogs

When it comes to blogs and online content, formatting is just as important as grammar. Here are a few tips:

Marketing Quick Tips for Attorneys: Make Your Blog Posts Easy to Read includes advice on formatting and key words.

How to Write a Blog Post: A Simple Formula to Follow provides suggestions from selecting a topic to writing a title.

Real Lawyers Have Blogs is written by Kevin O'Keefe and covers a wide spectrum of law firm marketing and social media topics.

Happy writing!
Irregardless Versus RegardlessThis is one of my husband's pet peeves.

Canceled or Cancelled?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Law Firm Blog versus Newsletter

I am frequently asked by attorneys if they should start a blog or a newsletter or if they should convert their newsletter to a blog. Borrowing a common attorney phrase, my answer is, "It depends." In this blog post, I explain some of similarities and differences that law firms should consider when thinking of starting a blog or a newsletter or converting a newsletter to a blog.

Differences between law firm blogs and newsletters


  • Blogs are generally one post/article at a time. Newsletters tend to have multiple articles per issue.
  • Blog posts tend to be shorter than newsletter articles. 250-500 words per blog post.
  • Blog posts are usually more timely. Newsletter articles are not as time sensitive.
  • Blogs can be updated quickly and frequently - daily, weekly, monthly. They do not necessarily follow a set schedule. Newsletters follow a  consistent schedule such as monthly, quarterly, biannually and often take longer to produce than a blog.
  • Generally a blog reader needs to take more initiative to read a new blog post such as signing up for an RSS feed or frequently visiting the blog. Newsletter readers have every issue delivered directly to their inbox or mailbox.
  • Blogs create more opportunities for dialogue with the ability to leave comments. Although practically speaking, this does not happen very often with law firm blogs.
  • Blogs can bring in new business. In my personal experience helping attorneys with blogs and newsletters, blogs generate more new business than newsletters.


  • Newsletters generally include multiple articles and topics per issue. Blogs have one post/article at a time.
  • Newsletter articles tend to be longer than a blog post. 
  • Newsletter articles are not as time sensitive as a blog post.
  • Newsletters are issued on a consistent schedule - monthly, quarterly, biannually. They can take several days to format and produce an issue. Blogs are easy to update and can be done any time.
  • Newsletters are emailed or mailed directly to readers.  With email tracking software, law firms can see who is reading the newsletter and which articles are more popular.
  • Newsletters are a one way conversation with attorneys talking to readers; they are less interactive than blogs.
  • Newsletters are perceived as more of a value added client service. In my experience helping attorneys with blogs and newsletters, blogs have been directly responsible for generating new business where as newsletters are one of the extra things clients appreciate (expect) from their lawyers.

Similarities between law firm blogs and newsletters

  • Both blogs and newsletters help promote the law firm's thought leadership and individual attorney's specialty area.
  • Blogs and newsletters can (and should) be promoted through social media - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and on the firm's website.
  • Blogs and newsletters help with search engine optimization (SEO). Blogs are highly optimized for SEO and will generally result in higher search engine rankings than newsletters.
  • Both blogs and newsletter are time consuming. Depending on the frequency of the newsletter, a newsletter may be less time consuming than a blog.

So what's a firm to do? 

Carefully consider your goals and resources. Are you looking to generate new business or are you trying to deliver a value added client service? Can you manage and support a blog on a regular basis or would you be better off with a quarterly newsletter? Making a list of pros and cons can help you decide. And don't worry, if you try a blog and it doesn't work out you can convert to a newsletter or vice versa.

Read some of my other posts on blogs and newsletters here:

10 Tips for Creating a Successful Law Firm Newsletter 

Marketing Quick Tips for Attorneys: Make Your Blog Posts Easy to Read

9 Reasons Blogs are Good Marketing Tools for Attorneys