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

The saying goes “If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

In modern times, we should be asking ourselves, “If you write an article [insert other content format] and no one reads it, does it matter?”

The short answer is no.

For me, content is very much tied up with content audiences – if you’re taking the time to write or create something to add value and promote your message, then it should matter to and reach your audiences, right?

How can you make that happen?
Continue Reading Lawyers: Answer These Two Questions to Make Your Content Relevant

“Keep Showing Up” is a phrase that Des Linden, an American long distance runner, and winner of the Boston Marathon, repeats often. It’s a mantra that I use in my own running, particularly as I come back from injury and need to regularly remind myself that training is about showing up, even when it’s hard, and even when I don’t want to. I recently put it on a letter board in my office to remind myself of its importance in my life.

But its importance in other ways really crystallized for me recently as the Black Lives Matter movement gained global traction and became something that (as it should) matters too to brands, to white people, to all of us.
Continue Reading Keep Showing Up

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

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

If you’re new to working from home, by now, you’ve seen or read about 15 posts on what to do, from putting on regular work clothes to setting a schedule and having a dedicated work space. I’m a work from home veteran with fifteen years under my belt, so I know a thing or two about it. It’s true that it does take a certain personality – I fall into the category of finding it hard to walk away from my computer at the end of the day (I’m not sure if that means I’m more or less successful at working from home, but it does mean I get a tremendous amount done).
Continue Reading Working from Home During a Pandemic – 3 Atypical Tips

None of us are perfect networkers/relationship builders.

Yes, it seems to come more easily to some than to others, but it’s not an exact science. For the most part, it’s an ever-adapting process that we’re constantly refining based on our current goals and our target’s needs.

But there are a couple of areas that we tend to go astray with building relationships, and that’s where we’re going to focus today.
Continue Reading Fixing the Two Biggest Networking Blunders that Lawyers Make