There’s been a lot of chatter over the last few years about the "new normal" for law firms, and what that might mean.  Yesterday, I was reading an interesting article at Above the Law, which addressed the idea that the new normal is a lot like the "old normal" (making the boom time an aberrance and not the other way around). 

While that part was enlightening (and I recommend reading the article in full), what I found most useful were the lessons that the author felt we’d learned over the past four years and advice for BigLaw firms in dealing with the new normal.  We all recognize that BigLaw and mid-sized firms are different, but in this case, the advice are very much the same for both. We’ve been hearing it again and again, so it’s definitely time to start making some changes (if you haven’t already), to remain competitive. 


Continue Reading Mid-sized firms and How to Adjust to the “New Normal”

Yesterday, we talked about the overview and analysis of the SCOTUS decision about the PPACA, and today, we’ll begin with talking about the implications for the states.

Lynn said that she wanted to build off of Stuart’s point about federalism, and discuss what’s going to happen at the state level. The state is going to have to decide whether to expand its Medicaid program, whether to do an exchange or not. States, like the federal government, also have an executive and legislative branch. The ACA requires the establishment of exchanges in each state, and if a state does not do it, there will be a federal exchange. Lynn said we’ve seen movement by the Obama administration for perhaps a hybrid exchange, where the feds come in where the states need extra capabilities. 


Continue Reading PPACA – Implications for the States – A Recap

Last week, the LMA NJ chapter once again piggybacked on to what the NY chapter was doing, and hosted a lunch where we Skyped into a panel presentation focusing on whether law firms should help promote individual attorneys (or just focus on the firm brand as a whole). The panelists included Robert Algeri, the co-founder of Great Jakes, which is listed in his bio as "a marketing communications firm that develops next-generation websites for mid-size and large law firms." 

We also had Andrea Crews, the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Levenfeld Pearlstein, a mid-size midwestern firm, and Jasmine Trillos-Decarie, the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Foley Hoag


Continue Reading Should Law Firms Help Promote Individual Attorneys? An LMA Recap

With our Annual Meeting coming up in just a few short weeks, I wanted to dedicate this week’s "Ask Friday" to the question of "how can I make the most out of attending a conference?"  You might think that just showing up and attending the events is enough, but with a little bit of strategy, your pre, during and post conference activities can really make a difference in your experience.

Pre-Conference

Before heading to the conference, take a few minutes to look over the agenda and the attendee list (if it’s available).  The agenda can give you an idea of what topics will be discussed and where you can contribute – when you contribute to a discussion (especially in a conference like ours where the main purpose is to develop relationships), it can help people to identify you with a certain area of expertise, and make you a thought leader who is sought out for later conversations.  It also makes you easier to remember.

Review the attendee list and identify who you’d like to build relationships with.  This can seem a bit "icky," but you know where your clients are doing business, so it’s a good idea to connect with possible referral partners so that you start to build that level of trust necessary for referring work.  You may even see someone on the list that seems to have a cool job, or a unique value proposition – meet these people just to expand your horizons if nothing else.  When we stretch our comfort zones, that’s when we really learn and grow.


Continue Reading Ask Friday! Conference Attendance Edition

Now that we’ve covered "the good" of the Superbowl commercials, let’s talk about the bad and the ugly…and what can be learned from them.

We’ll start with one of the more controversial series of spots…

Groupon

Save the Whales

This is the less tacky of the spots, though giving the idea that although it’s nice to save the whales, it’s better to save money is still missing the humor mark.  But in the next spot…

Tibet

https://youtube.com/watch?v=vXGYK1eP_wo

Some people seemed to think this one was funny, while others were offended.  I tend not to be too thin-skinned, but I did agree that this was a mistake.  I was surprised that after the Kenneth Cole debacle this week that they decided to go through with these spots, even considering the financial cost of them.  

Now, Groupon did clarify the thought process behind the commercials with this post. And while I think it’s great that they suggest people donate money to the causes they were parodying, the spots were still a tasteless mistake.  The lesson here is that humor is something you have to be careful with – what one person might find funny, a lot of others might not.  You’ve got to know and understand your audience.

Secondarily, I’m not sure how well the ads actually reinforce Groupon’s product.  I’m a big fan of Groupon, but I’ve had a lot of trouble describing to friends and family what they’re all about.  I don’t think I’m the only one.  Their commercials could have broken that down a bit better.  I think they were a fail all around.  

For a great explanation that delves into this a bit further, check out Liz Strauss’ post "Groupon Super Bowl Ad: When Being Clever Offends and How to Win One for Tibet"


Continue Reading Superbowl Commercials – The Bad & The Ugly – Lessons for Lawyers

Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network. For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Stuart Gerson of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. in Washington, D.C.

In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
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