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

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

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

My title my be tongue-in-cheek, but my message this week is quite serious.

We’ll get to that in a moment. First, I want to consider for a moment what happens in a crisis. We panic a little bit, right? Even if we stay mostly calm, our world gets very small, and we’re often looking only at the three feet around us. It sometimes means that we’re looking only at what our firm, our office, or our team is doing, and not focusing on the larger picture. We’re also trying to do everything extremely quickly and efficiently, because the needs all feel so IMMEDIATE – clients need us RIGHT.NOW. And that’s not imaginary – they do. Orders have come down from state or national governments asking them to shutter their businesses within hours. They’ve had to move employees from in-office to remote immediately, sometimes with no plans in place. You may be assisting them in doing this often while having to make similar decisions for your own firms.
Continue Reading “I Don’t Want No Hubs” – a.k.a Show me the Value

We’re at a unique point in our histories right now – everything seems to be in an upheaval, and our nerves are frayed. Many of us are finally getting to a place that feels like a new normal, but there are still some things that are a challenge. One of the things I’ve seen to be true over the past few weeks is that a lot of people seem to be in a mad rush to make things happen. In many cases, that’s necessary – as things close, we have to make quick choices about how to work from home, how to help clients move entire businesses to remote working, how to suddenly adapt to working next to children and spouses and partners, how to identify the tricky legal issues that come with challenging economic times.

Whenever there is a rush like that, the idea of “care” can often become secondary. We get more terse in our replies in an effort to be more efficient and we forget that there are real, scared and anxious people at the other end of the phone or digital line, who are trying to manage as many plates and emotions as we are.
Continue Reading Client Care in the Time of Coronavirus

Our second quarter of the year begins tomorrow, and for many of us, we’re facing a new normal that didn’t seem possible three months ago. One of my lawyers emailed me last night and said “what a year this past week has been.” I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken.

Lawyers are all in different places at the moment – some firms are exceptionally busy, but may have clients who aren’t able to pay them at the moment. Others are making the difficult decision to lay off staff or cut salaries. Some are shuffling resources to accommodate the influx of questions to practice areas like employment and insolvency and bankruptcy. Everyone is unsure what the future brings.
Continue Reading Business Development in 2020? Let’s Take a Breath.

I’m a new leader in my organization.

It’s true that I’ve been in a leadership role for a number of years, and held leadership positions in other organizations, but when my dad (our former Executive Director) stepped down in December, all eyes were on me to take the reins and steer the ship (forgive me the mixed metaphor).

And then a pandemic happened.
Continue Reading Leadership in a Time of Crisis: Lessons from Quarantine

As travel restrictions increase, and law firms begin to close their offices and reduce their client meetings, it’s time to get creative about the ways in which we keep in touch. “Collaboration” sounds like the sort of thing that requires you to be in the same room to achieve, but in fact, you can use content collaboration as a way to build relationships with clients, potential clients, and others all while remaining in your office (home or otherwise).

I recently read a great piece on 9 Free Tools to Co-Create Content, which not only included some great resources, but also some excellent inspiration for ways we can be better content collaborators in pursuit of building better relationships.
Continue Reading Lawyers: Don’t Let Coronavirus Stop You from Collaborating – Here’s How

Coronavirus.

The hot topic on everyone’s mind at the moment (unless you’re in the US and then it’s pretty evenly split between politics and germs). I almost hate to join the fray and discuss it, but with so many events being cancelled, and travel restrictions being enacted, I wanted to add some suggestions for how to continue networking during this time, so that you don’t lose momentum on your relationship building efforts.

For some of us, travel and events still move forward. Travel guidance varies – it depends on your destination and the size of the gathering. Common sense and good hygiene are essential, and for our group, we’ll be instituting what we’re fondly referring to as “Operation Fist Bump” at our upcoming Annual Conference (which may be further downgraded to “Operation Wave Hello.”
Continue Reading Lawyers: Networking During the Coronavirus Outbreak