Posts Tagged ‘legal practice’

Lawyers going virtual

June 11, 2010

According to Larry Bodine who quotes from the 2010 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report Update, that 14% of lawyers now have virtual offices.  I see this trend gaining traction in coming years.

A solo attorney I know shakes his head when he thinks of the 5,000 square feet he rented in the San Francisco Financial district before he regained his sanity and went virtual.

Largest drop in attorneys working at top 250 firm – ever

November 10, 2009

“The total number of attorneys working at the top 250 law firms plunged by 5,259 lawyers. Put another way, it’s as if all of the lawyers working at two firms the size of Jones Day vanished in 2009.”

Link

This number – which is probably even larger than reported –  is by far the largest decline in the history of National Law Journal reporting.  This along with signs that alternative fee billing is quickly becoming expected of law firms, suggests changes in the legal industry that aren’t simply a result of the Great Recession.

Legal industry still waiting for turnaround

October 30, 2009

Attended an Alameda County Bar Association seminar about where the legal industry is at today.  It was mostly attended by attorneys from smaller firms and solos.   Some of the solos were a product of the layoffs decimating the legal industry.

Takeaways:

Bad news: legal industry revenue way down, big law firm are hurting and there maybe more layoffs to come.  Things have not turned around, yet.  Areas hardest hist are M&A, transactional, real estate law.  Litigation hasn’t been as recession proof as reputation suggested.  Big companies pushing lawyers to settle cases because they don’t want incur costs of ongoing litigation.

Good news: Not clear that smaller firms and solo are being hit as badly.  Push for by Fortune 500 companies for alternative fee arrangements impacting big firms and may lead to innovation in the industry.  Promising practice areas are: bankruptcy, employment law, IP, tax and immigration.  Smart, targeted marketing still works.

Lawyers should focus on industry niches

October 26, 2009

Susan Cartier Liebel writes an excellent post about how solos need to focus their practices in a down economy.  I would also say pick an industry or two as focus areas as well.  Look at the legal trends the recession has exacerbated in particular industries of interest and pitch your message to those issues in those industries.  This will differentiate your practice from those who don’t look at specific industry issues.

This doesn’t mean you don’t take work from industries outside your focus area.   Your industry focus isn’t meant to narrow your options but allow you to differentiate your practice with a more focused marketing pitch.  Don’t throw away presentations or materials that don’t focus on specific industries.  Keep them updated and use them when appropriate.  Its just that if you don’t represent only consumers, then potential clients will be attached to a specific industry and they will be impressed that you have expertise in their industry.

Top iPhone apps for lawyers

August 29, 2009

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) published a list of the following five apps that show what the iPhone can do for attorneys:

  1. DataViz‘s DocumentsToGo allows you to edit and change documents, as well as email them over Exchange to other team members. While not a replacement for desktop word processors, this app makes document editing at least moderately feasible.

More here: