Two for Tuesdays: Boosting Your Creativity

After two weeks off, I'm thinking about how to boost your creativity on this two for Tuesday. The lawyers among you may be wondering how that applies to you, if at all, but there's room for creativity in all professions.  When we take the time to refresh, let different ideas in, and open our minds, sometimes the answers to critical problems can make themselves clear much more easily. 

So with that, I bring you this week's Two for Tuesdays! 

Tip One: Read Something Different

We all do a lot of reading for work. Briefs, arguments, new legislation, blog posts, articles, news items, you name it. So it can seem daunting to try to add yet one more thing into the mix.  But how about, for today, taking a break from all of that and reading something absolutely unrelated to your work? 

Perhaps you're a mystery buff, or you enjoy trashy beach reads (don't worry, we won't tell anyone). Maybe you've wanted to dive into that bestseller that everyone has been talking about, or reread a favorite classic novel. 

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: Forget "Time Management"

I'm officially back in the office, but I'm working on catching up on all of the emails I missed while I was on holiday! So I'm bringing you the latest rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field, which she published last week.


I hate the term “Time Management”!

I may have said that before, but it’s true.

There are only 24 hours a day – if you can “manage” to turn that into more then you are a magician.

Instead, I’d rather have you think “Productivity Management”.


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Sleepless in the Saddle: Finding time to market when there's no time to sleep

As I'm still out on holidays, I'm bringing you a fabulous guest post today from my friend, Chris Kirby, President of PCT Solutions. 


Over the more than 15 years I’ve been coaching and/or training attorneys and other professionals, perhaps the most consistent reason for not marketing is, “I don’t have time.” Whether the client is a monsoon maker or someone who is still looking forward to his first origination credit, they never seem to have time for business development.

No matter how proficient you are at business development, it does take time. And whether you enjoy it or not, business development is no longer optional. So how do you manage to effectively source, grow, flourish, and maintain great relationships when there isn’t a spare minute in the day? Here are a few strategies I’ve seen PCTS clients use to great effect:


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ILN Firm of the Month - McDonald Hopkins LLC, Ohio!

 We're excited to announce this month's Firm of the Month, McDonald Hopkins LLC of Ohio! 



 Member of the International Lawyers Network

The ILN is proud to announce our latest "Firm of the Month" - McDonald Hopkins LLC of Cleveland, Ohio!

Attorneys. Advisors. Advocates.
As a business advisory and advocacy law firm, McDonald Hopkins is focused on insightful legal solutions that help their clients strategically plan for an increasingly competitive future. The firm has 150 attorneys based in six strategic locations—Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Miami, and West Palm Beach. For more than 80 years, McDonald Hopkins’ attorneys and professionals have been helping clients navigate some of the most challenging and timely issues—data privacy and cybersecurity; intellectual property; labor and employment; mergers and acquisitions; taxation; trade secret, non-compete and unfair competition practices; white collar and government compliance; and many more business and litigation topics. McDonald Hopkins: Attorney Insight. Business Foresight.®

McDonald Hopkins has a Washington, D.C.-based wholly-owned subsidiary, McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies LLC, which is led by distinguished former Congressman Steven LaTourette, who served nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is widely recognized for his bipartisan and solution oriented approach to complicated issues. McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies is not a law firm and does not provide legal services.


Full descriptions of McDonald Hopkins'  services, expertise, and lawyer profiles are available on their ILN profile.

Lindsay Griffiths
Director of Global Relationship Management
International Lawyers Network

Lindsay Griffiths


Learn More


Main Contacts: 

William O'Neill

William O'Neill

Chair, Litigation Department
Telephone: +1 (216) 348-5755

Practice Groups:

  • Labor and Employment Counseling
  • Products Liability and Mass Tort Litigation
  • Business Litigation
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

Carl Grassi

Carl Grassi

Telephone: +1 (216) 348-5448

Practice Groups:

  • Commercial Finance
  • ESOP Transactions
  • Succession Planning
  • Taxation

Alan Griffiths

McDonald Hopkins continually impresses us with their professionalism and expertise, as well as with their commitment to the ILN.

Alan Griffiths
Executive Director
International Lawyers Network



Navigating the New Normal - Where to Start

The final session I attended at the P3 conference was TyMetrix's "Navigating the New Normal - Where to Start." The panel was moderated by John Strange of Baker Botts, and included Holly Montalvo, TyMetrix, Peter Eilhauer, Elevate Services, and Toby Brown, Akin Gump. 

The attendee guide reads: 

As law firms navigate in the new normal they are being asked by corporate clients to deliver their services in a more predictable and transparent fashion. Join our panel of experts in a collaborative discussion on 'Where to Start' on this path to deliver a more efficient and effective legal service deliverable while demonstrating value to your client in a transparent way."

As we've seen, there is a corporate appetite for more data to analyze what companies are spending on legal services. But where are we today in terms of understanding "big data?" The panelists say "in between a rock and a hard place." 

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Two for Tuesdays: Thought Leaders to Follow

I may be on vacation this week, but it doesn't mean that you're without content here at Zen! We're back with another Two for Tuesdays, and our second installment of "thought leaders to follow!"

Thought Leader One: Eric Fletcher

Eric's blog bio tells us: 

With more than twenty-five years of experience, spanning broadcasting, advertising, marketing and professional services business development, Eric Fletcher is a seasoned connector — of ideas, people and strategic growth-oriented solutions. For the past dozen years he has managed and directed teams focused on targeted business development and client service in the legal industry."

I first met Eric virtually when he was brought on as the CMO of a former member firm of the ILN. But I really got to know him better when he started blogging over at Marketing Brain Fodder. Eric always writes brilliant, well-thought out and timely posts, which get me thinking and challenge me to be a better marketer and communicator. 

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Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Borrowing Lessons in Pricing and Metrics

I may be out on vacation this week, but I'm still bringing you some content! 

My first session at the P3 conference on Friday was titled "Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: Borrowing Lessons in Pricing and Metrics from Other Industries." If you've been reading Zen for any length of time, you'll know that I'm a big fan of looking to other industries for new ideas. And in P3 that's especially helpful, since we're not reinventing the wheel here - a lot of the challenges firms face have been seen in some other way somewhere else. 

The program description states: 

As the legal services industry continues to define what works and what does not in the opaque world of pricing, efficiency and process innovation, one can't help but notice that other industries have been doing these things for quite some time, and not without success."

'Borrowing' best practices from others is a business best practice itself, and this panel of pricing professionals from non-legal organizations will share their methodologies, observations and recommendations that will provide both law firm and corporate legal department executives with food for thought on methods for addressing some of the challenges they face and finding effective solutions to conquer them."

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Week of June 30, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

Here in the US, tomorrow is our Fourth of July holiday, so I'm bringing you our top posts for the week a day early! I'll also be out of the office on holidays all week, so while I have content scheduled for you all, we'll be back with our roundups the following Friday!

So before you head out for the weekend, take a look at our top posts for this week! 


Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: There Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

We're back with another excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert and coach, Jaimie Field! 


First, a quick reminder: We are six months into the year. How’s your practice going? Are you on target with your Rainmaking Plan or falling behind?

What? You don’t have a Rainmaking Plan?? Now is the time to get one together so that you can finish the last 6 months of the year strong!

Now, for the recommendation . . .

There are two times a year that most attorneys feel that they don’t have to market their services on a consistent basis: The time between Thanksgiving and the New Year, and summertime.

The thought is that “most people are on vacation during these times so they won’t respond to my marketing efforts.”

While it’s true that many people do take vacations, particularly when the kids are home, the fact is that summertime can be one of the best times to keep your name in front of your prospects, clients, and referral sources. They may not hire you now, but by keeping your name in front of them on a regular basis, they will be more likely to keep you in mind when they do need your help. Ramp up your social media efforts, send interesting newsletters, write for journals and magazines in your niche, or invite clients or referral sources to play golf (if you play).

You also have the opportunity to go to many outdoor events and it doesn’t have to be expensive.   Many towns have free summertime concert series. Invite referral sources who can do business with each other, as well as refer potential clients to you, to join you for the evening. Bring refreshments and food and have a little picnic. Or ask them to join you for the local minor league baseball team’s game (much less expensive than getting a dozen tickets to a major league game). Use your summertime imagination.

The fact is, that no matter what time of year, consistent and constant marketing and rainmaking activities are important to stave off those “feast or famine” cycles that many attorneys might have. When you take the time off from your marketing efforts you will find that you have to try to ramp them up in the fall to get new clients.

Stop thinking about summer as the time to take a break from your marketing and think of it as a perfect opportunity to gather speed for the upcoming fall season.


Rainmaking Recommendations are sent the first and third Wednesdays of the month. They are bite size tips that when implemented will cause you to make rain. To learn more about Rainmaking, Goal Setting and Achieving  the Life you want as an Attorney please contact Jaimie B. Field, Esq. If you have missed any of the previous Rainmaking Recommendations you can find them at The Enlightened Rainmaker Blog. 


Two for Tuesdays: Tips for Twitter

It's another Two for Tuesdays here, and apparently, I'm feeling the need for lots of alliteration today, as we're looking at two tips for Twitter. 

Why bother with Twitter? 

Let's look at a couple of stats first, and then why those might be important: 

  • 255 million monthly active users (that's ACTIVE users)
  • 500 million tweets sent per day
  • 77% of accounts are outside of the US

And lawyers may be a bigger deal on Twitter than they think. According to Kevin O'Keefe, the "median active Twitter user (tweets at least once a month) has only 61 followers." So it follows that...

If you’re a lawyer seeing yourself as a Twitter laggard because you have only a few hundred followers, fear not. You’re in the 80th to 90th percentile. Reach 1,000 followers and you’re at the 97th percentile of active Twitter users."

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Anatomy of a Business Case - Integrating P3 Discipline into Law Firm Business Strategy

We had high hopes for the final session on the first day of P3, with my friends Tim Corcoran (@tcorcoran), John Byrne (@johnmbyrne), Catherine MacDonagh (@CathMacDonagh) and Amy Hrehovcik (@hRovingChik) presenting - and we weren't disappointed! 

As per the attendee guide: 

We will examine a typical corporate business case and how it incorporates internal and external factors such as market demand, competitive pricing, cost of production, cost of delivery, client mix, channel strategy, profit targets and resource allocation to make a go/no-go decision for a new initiative. By contrast, law firms have traditionally taken a less rigorous approach to quantifying new initiatives, relying instead on each practice group or even each partner to drive business decisions."

We'll illustrate how a law firm fully embracing an integrated P3 mindset can dramatically improve its approach to business strategy, improve financial performance and maximize its resources and capabilities. We'll demonstrate how law firms can embrace data, process, tools and incentives to make better business decisions." 

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Week of June 23, 2014 on ILNToday - A Roundup!

It's a beautiful Friday here in the northeast with low humidity and low-ish temps! I'm still looking forward to fall, but today's not half bad.

So before you head out for the weekend, grab your coffee and take a look through these top posts from ILNToday! 


Law Firm Partner and Client Discussion: Creating the Win-Win

After lunch on the first day of the P3 Conference, we had the opportunity to listen to a client discussion - which, if you read Zen regularly, you know is a favorite of mine!  Moderator Vince Cordo (@vcordo), the Global Director of Client Value at Reed Smith led a panel that included Nick Bagiatis, the COO of Reed Smith, Lesley Garafola (@plgarafola) of Duke Energy, Gonzalo Frias of Duke Energy, and Kimberly Levinson of PNC. 

The delegate packet told us: 

Tracking and reporting on the value and the cost of legal services had become top priority. Value promotes the adoption of management practices that allow all participants to achieve their key objectives. This session is a discussion on how clients are working with firms to track spend by a law department with a focus [on] measuring value. Until you can get that data, you[r] best option is to keep pushing for lower costs. Comprehensive performance management programs are being introduced by corporations in ever economic sector. Most include key performance indicators (KPIs). These indicators and the programs they support are comprehensive because they are much more far-ranging than budget and other financial indicators. Clients want programs which reduce waste and which encourage all resources to be dedicated to the top priorities set by executive leadership. It reflects the transition of the legal function from a classic position of support to one which is likelier to add value." 


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Driving Profitability through Pricing and Client Value

The second breakout session that I attended on Thursday morning at the P3 conference was "A Case Study on Profitability through Pricing and Client Value," presented by Redwood. 

The program told us: 

For years the legal profession's main focus with respect to 'profit' has been on driving productivity and revenue. Well before the boom in alternative fees this perception had changed drastically. Now in a new world with heavier client demands, budgeting needs, alternative pricing, and changing structures the true drivers of profitability have come under additional scrutiny."

Attendees of this session will learn about the components and changes within the drivers of profitability. In addition they will engage in a case study using real data under a pseudonym to analyze trends, identify wayward pricing strategy, and hone in on alternative ways to look at a firms' [sic] profitability." 

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Two for Tuesdays: Successful Content Marketing Strategies

A post came through my reader last night, with 7 Tips for Starting a Content Marketing Strategy. Now, I know what you're thinking, that the idea of crafting a "strategy" around delivering valuable information to your audiences is a bit icky.  But I promise that it's not - this is about identifying what is of most use to your clients and potential clients (and influencers and amplifiers), and making sure that you're not committing what we call RAM (Random Acts of Marketing). 

I'm also sensitive to the use of "marketing" here - I am a marketer myself, and have a great deal of respect for legal marketers, in no small measure because we've had to adapt and develop into much more robust and significant roles in recent years. But I know there are some who think of marketing as a necessary evil, or just "those guys down the hall who put together our brochures." (That's not true, by the way). 

True legal marketing, in my book, is identifying how you translate the skills and experience of attorneys to clients, potential clients, and others who will trumpet this information, in a way that those people care about (as well as working with attorneys on how to do this themselves, how to engage and build relationships with all of these individuals, and how to keep their current relationships vibrant and healthy, etc and so on. But I digress). 

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