A question I get ALL the time is whether using social media actually has any impact at all on referrals and business development.
Actually, the way it typically goes is this:
Come on, really. Tell me. Does anyone get matters or referrals because they post to LinkedIn?”
The short answer is yes, sometimes, it does happen. But it’s really atypical. Anyone who tells you that lawyers need to be using social media because clients see them there and hire them there is selling you something. But it IS part of a bigger picture, and as part of that picture, it’s essential. Continue Reading
“Innovation” is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot these days, right up there with “disruption.” It sounds like something that’s foreign in the legal industry, but it shouldn’t be. Believe it or not, we, too, can be innovative.
If you’ve been following along here for a while, you may know that I have a section of my bookshelf that’s dedicated to business books on my “to read” list – I love to read, but I’d rather pick up a mystery and plow through it than bury my nose into what feels like a textbook. But when I do, I’m more often than not pleasantly surprised by the inspiration that it affords me, and the comfort that it gives me in following some of my own plans and ideas moving forward. One such book is Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup (not new to many of you, I’m sure). I’m about halfway through this book that promises to show me how “today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses.”
“But law firms aren’t startups and lawyers are entrepreneurs,” I can hear you saying.
What if we were? Continue Reading
As you’re reading this post, I want you to think about whether you’d consider yourself to be a fairly good networker and business developer. What does “networking” mean to you? Do you think of it as a complete waste of time? If the answer to that last question is yes, keep reading, and I hope you’ll change your mind.
A quick story – if Steve Jobs had never met Steve Wozniak, the Apple I would not have been invented in 1976. A year later, this machine became the Apple II, the bestselling computer of all time. Steve Jobs had the vision, the ideas, but it was Wozniak who knew how to assemble teams. Their change meeting results in a multimillion dollar business. It is often the power of a chance meeting that sparks a revolution.
Sure, that sounds like a one-off, something that doesn’t apply in the legal industry. But it happens every day, and even in legal. How do busy lawyers get to these revolutionary opportunities? It’s about the difference between ordinary networking and power networking. Continue Reading
We’re continuing our series on soft skills that lawyers require in order to achieve success. We’ve looked at some suggestions for improving networking and presentation skills, and the next item in our series is raising the level of our business writing.
You may feel that this is something that you’re already pretty adept at, since you do a lot of writing – but my guess is that it’s primarily focused on legalese. And while you, and other lawyers, will understand this clearly, most of your clients and potential clients don’t want to be reading a lot of phrases like “inter alia” or highly technical writing. Even the lawyers among them will want you to get right to the point, and distill your writing into direct, actionable items that they can understand efficiently.
So how do you practice that? Continue Reading
As one of the largest networks of experienced attorneys in the world, the International Lawyers Network is pleased to announce that Martinez Berlanga Abogados in Mexico City, Mexico have joined the association. An independent, regional law firm, Martinez Berlanga Abogados provides clients with general corporate, restructuring, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, joint-venture, cross border transactions, real estate, local and cross border trust structures and testamentary successions, as well as regulatory advice. Continue Reading
We’ve been talking about the soft skills that young lawyers need to hone in order to become successful, and how these translate for more experienced lawyers. Another skill I reviewed for the ABA student law blog was that of presentations (and I think we can agree this is something that many of us can work on).
A quick note on this – for some, the idea of public speaking will make you want to run for the hills (and I totally sympathize). It’s entirely possible that you focus on other types of business development and professional activities in your legal career, and these are better suited for your personality. However, even if that’s the case, getting comfortable with public speaking can be an excellent talent to keep in your back pocket. It’s one of my least favorite things to do, as an introvert, but I’ve done it so frequently over the course of my career, that I’m now both comfortable speaking in front of an audience, and also speaking in other situations, like networking opportunities, on the spot in meetings, etc. So, it can really have wide-reaching benefits – I promise, it’s not that awful, even if it’s not your strong suit. Continue Reading
In addition to understanding the area of the law that you’ll specialize in, there are a variety of “soft skills” that will be essential to navigating the practice of law successfully. Your professional skills may need to be further expanded over the coming years as the industry itself changes and stretches, but for now, there are a few tried and true ones you can rely on that will serve you well regardless of where you end up practicing.
A law student recently asked his connections on LinkedIn to rank the following five skills in order of importance – networking, presentation skills, business writing, communication, and time management. I’ve been exploring these topics for law students over on the ABA Law Student blog, Before the Bar, but they’re equally valuable for more experienced lawyers as well. So let’s take a look at how we can adapt these tips for practicing lawyers. Continue Reading