Strategist - FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog


When you're looking to expand your client base, there's no better resource than the clients you already have. "But," you say in protest, "They're more like former clients. I haven't heard from them in months."

That might be true, but they may still need some legal assistance and they might not know you can help.

So how can you leverage old clients to create new business? Here are three strategies that may work for you:

Setting up a website for a law firm? That's easy! Just go to one of those DIY tools -- a site builder -- and put up a page with contact info, the list of attorneys, and a brief rundown of the services you offer, right? It's basically a yellow pages ad for the 21st century!

Not quite, folks. While we're all about DIY, just as a novice watching Bob Villa's "This Old House" (the original version, of course) can screw up his bathroom tile, a shingle-hanging attorney can really mess up his professional website by falling into a number of common traps.

Here are a few that we see all the time:

Wait, wait, wait? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did an interview? We know -- she's done (estimating here) 57 of 'em this summer alone. But this one is really good.

Also, what happens when a cop is convicted of beating an innocent person for no reason? A mulligan.

Finally, what is your worst nightmare when taking the bar? Failing. But a grading error comes close.

Welcome to this week's edition of "Holler," where we give a shout-out to our favorite posts in the blawgosphere.

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but in California, we're required to take 25 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every three years. It seems like a long time, right? And yet, invariably, you approach two and a half years only to realize you've done none of the required hours.

This isn't a problem for everyone. Lawyers at BigLaw firms get free CLEs, usually at lunch, so they're getting hours on the regular. But solos and small firms don't have that luxury. What's a person to do about CLEs? Where do you find them? Sure, you could go to a $300 conference -- or not. How can you get CLE credits cheaply?

Even though you're one of those people who works from home in the cloud and so on, there are times when you'll probably have to meet with clients or others, and for a variety of reasons, you probably don't want to meet them at your house.

Enter the "virtual office," which allows you to rent more or less an office and conference room for a few hours so that you can meet with people. It's a neat idea: You don't have to shell out for an office rental, but you have a professional meeting space when you need it.

If you're going this route, however, don't make the following mistakes:

When Master P said (repeatedly), "Make 'em say uh!," we doubt he was thinking of opposing counsel and insurance companies. Yet, more than a decade after he coined the catchphrase, the No Limit Records founder, multi-platinum rapper, and savvy businessman is backing the most unlikely of ventures: a personal injury firm in Kentucky.

This is, to quote Lloyd Banks, "uglier than the Master P sneaker."

Conservatives finally got their wish: Attorney General Eric Holder is stepping aside, though it remains to be seen whether they will have any input on his successor.

Earlier today, President Barack Obama and Holder made a joint announcement about the resignation, with Obama saying that Holder did a "superb job" and confirming that Holder would leave once his successor was lined up. In his prepared speech, Holder thanked the president, the vice president, and his family, and celebrated the administration's achievements in pushing for LGBT equality and reform of the criminal justice system, among others.

But even before the announcement was made official, speculation began on where Holder was headed, as well as who was headed for his position as attorney general.

Cocktail parties, business lunches -- they're all fine places to network. But as Yogi Berra once said: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." It can be maddening to join a Facebook group or a bar association committee where everyone is trying to network.

In much the same way inspiration can strike in the bathtub, you may find yourself in a situation where you can network or drum up some business -- as in these five places to network that you might not have thought about:

You've finally got clients coming in the door! Clients are coming! After hanging your shingle, advertising, handling your aunt's cat's estate plan and living will, and redesigning your firm stationary for the 65th time, you finally have a few client intakes lined up.

What steps should you take to protect the client's interests, as well as your own? Here are five things you should be doing to ensure that you end up with conflict-free, sane, paying clients:

Marketing: It's what more of my friends, who run their own shops, have the most trouble with (besides troublesome clients).

Some choose to go it alone, relying on their own know-how and cheap online service providers to handle their own marketing strategy. Others hand it off to an intern, a clerk, or a recent graduate, while the biggest of the big firms are hiring full-time staff members.

What's your best move? Let's take a look.