Four years ago, we joined with HighQ in looking at the question, “What do you believe lawyers and law firms need to do to prepare for the future of legal services?”

Considering how much has happened even in the past six months, and looking at the way the legal industry adapted to being fully remote in many countries in 1-2 weeks, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look back at what some of the leading experts in the industry had to say in 2016, and put that into today’s context.

In reading what many of us thought in 2016, the overriding sense is less that firms have been preparing for change and more that COVID has forced firms to have to be innovative and creative because they have no other choice. The old adage that when something is painful enough, THEN we will make changes, is just as true for law firms as it is for each of us.

But is change a challenge…or an opportunity?
Continue Reading Law Firms: Change as a Challenge, or an Opportunity?

Melissa Kano is a partner with KLA – Koury Lopes Advogados, a law firm in Brazil and a member of the International Lawyers Network. In this episode, I talk to Melissa about why collaboration is so essential during a pandemic, how working remotely may last longer than the quarantine, and why it’s essential to

In our second episode of the Law Firm ILN-telligence Podcast, we welcomed Michael Slan, who is the managing partner of Fogler Rubinoff LLP in Toronto, Canada, and a member of the International Lawyers Network. In this episode, I had a candid conversation with Michael about the importance of communication in this time of pandemic, why

It’s week ten of lockdown in my state, and while there are some places that are entering a phased reopening, some countries have extended their border lockdowns and many of the firms I have talked to are planning to continue remote working for a while because it has proven so effective. As a result, we all continue to have to find new ways to network, build relationships, and yes, even in some cases, develop business.

I think we can all agree that at the moment, the only thing we should all be doing is finding ways to relentlessly deliver value, and if business comes from that, then great. One of the ways we can do that is through content. We’ve already covered the two biggest problems with legal content as well as how to really deliver exceptional content, so today, I’d like us to think more about how you can make your content about building relationships. It can often seem like it’s a one-way conversation – you write or say something, push it out into the world, and that’s it; your content lives there and does its thing, and hopefully it brings in some business for you. But what if you used it more strategically than that, particularly in this moment when it’s harder to have in-person relationships?
Continue Reading In the Age of COVID-19, Make Your Content About Building Relationships

We’re thrilled to announce that a few weeks ago, we debuted our new podcast, Law Firm ILN-telligence, where we bring you real intelligence from real law firms. The first episode, I interviewed Pal Jalsovszky, the managing partner of Jalsovszky Law Firm in Budapest, Hungary and a member firm of the International Lawyers Network. We

In this week’s rainmaking recommendation, expert and trainer, Jaimie Field, reminds us about some key communication skills we should be building during this time of COVID-19.

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Business development, aka Rainmaking, has been and will always be about communication and trust.

You need exceptional communication skills to build trust and confidence in your abilities to help your clients and potential clients.  And never has this been truer than at this time in history.
Continue Reading Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: It’s ALWAYS About Communication

People have remarked that the word “unprecedented” is certainly having a moment right now. I think that’s something we can all agree on. And one of the things that is truly unprecedented is the sheer amount of content coming out of law firms. While firms have long been known for producing a variety of client alerts, articles, blog posts, and more, the amount of information that is pouring forth from legal minds around the world is quite a torrent.

We’ve already talked about it in recent weeks here on Zen, and it has me looking back to some of our previous discussions around content marketing, and its best practices. That may seem a bit superficial at a time that is a dire as this one is, but we’re going to delve into some content conversations over the next few weeks and I’ll tell you why I think they’re essential for firms at the moment:

  • Number one on every lawyer’s list right now is being their clients’ trusted business advisor. And if it isn’t, it should be. My saying that here isn’t news to anyone, and the engagement with each of your clients to best serve their current needs will be very individual.
  • As all of the chaos surrounding the initial lockdowns begins to settle and we either continue to remain remote, or we return to limited work, there will continue to be some slowdowns. Firms are expecting this. We know we can’t engage in the previous ways that we used to for knowledge sharing, like networking events, seminars, client lunches and dinners. But we can improve our content marketing and use it to stand out among the noise.
  • “Content marketing” isn’t a dirty word. When used well and effectively, it’s a targeted, smart method of adding value in a way that reduces the burden on lawyers while expanding their profiles and allows for relationship-building opportunities. Currently, those opportunities will remain virtual, but they still exist!


Continue Reading Fixing the Two Biggest Problems with Legal Content Writers Amid COVID-19

In this week’s rainmaking recommendation, trainer and expert, Jaimie Field, talks about throwing out the phrase “new normal.”

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My friend, Tim Baran, who is the Technology Innovator Manager at ProBono Net, posted something on LinkedIn that really resonated with me:

“Time to shift our mindset from “when this is over” to “new normal for the foreseeable future” and adjust our routines and plans and approaches to living accordingly.”

I hate the phrase “new normal”.  I think it is trite and overused.

Whenever there is a major event, a crisis if you will, the world changes and adapts to it.  After 9/11 we acclimated to new security measures and scrutiny when we wanted to fly.  After the Great Recession in 2008-2009, we had to adjust to new monetary procedures.

And, “new normal” also includes positive changes as well.  I remember when lawyers and law firms wouldn’t even think about using email or, God forbid, have a website.  The idea of any type of business development, marketing, and advertising was antithetical to what lawyers thought was professional.  We should only do good work and business will come, was the prevailing belief. But, we have changed our thinking to understand that just good work is not enough.  You need to let people know who you are, and how you can help them.

But as Tim wrote, we need to adjust our routines and plans and approaches.  We’ve all been adjusting to our new situations for the past 5 weeks. Well, it’s time to adapt your business development activities.

There isn’t a marketing or business development tactic that you can do in real life that you cannot do online.

I have always said there are only three things you need to do to become a rainmaker:
Continue Reading Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: It’s Not The “New Normal”; It’s Just Life

I’ve been ruminating on this post for a few days, as I struggled to decide what to blog about this week. This is a tough and heavy topic, but I finally settled on discussing it because it *is* so important, particularly at this moment in time when so many people are struggling and vulnerable. Why add my voice when so many others have already provided great resources and their own stories? Well, I hope I have something of my own to add, because of my own struggles with depression for the past twenty-plus years and because I think that we can never talk about it enough to break the stigma and ensure that people get the help that they need.  (Please note, **trigger warning** for this entire post). 
Continue Reading It’s Okay to Breakdown