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Very few law firms fail because of bad lawyers. Even the best lawyers can watch their firms fail, often due to poor planning and poorer management.

While several large firms have gone down in spectacular fashions recently, many smaller firms have disappeared quietly, failing for reasons that could have been avoided. Here's an overview of the ways small firms fail -- and how you can avoid their fate.

You're more of a Perry Mason style lawyer than a Johnnie Cochrane, more Clarence Thomas than Antonin Scalia. You save the speechifying for the court room, leave the impassioned arguments in your briefs.

But, when it comes to dealing with reporters, you might be doing yourself and your clients a disservice by staying mum -- or worse, by speaking poorly. Don't miss an opportunity to represent your clients (and yourself) in the court of public opinion as well as you do in a court of law. Here are three mistakes attorneys often make when dealing with reporters and how you can avoid them:

We've said it before and we'll say it again: lawyers are writers. Whether it's a motion to suppress, an email to a client or draft legislation, the legal craft is often a written craft. Sure, your Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment might not be a literary masterpiece, but it's at least a testament of your skill with the written word.

So why not put that skill to better use? Non-legal writing, whether it's the general public, other practitioners or potential clients, can help lawyers build a name, establish themselves as experts, and increase their credibility. Heck, you might actually enjoy it.

How do you set yourself and your firm apart from others? Your skill and expertise, yes. Your reputation as a trusted adviser, of course. But how is a potential client supposed to pick you out from all the other skilled, trusted attorneys?

Your brand. We know, you aren't selling cereal, electronics, or home goods. But a brand is much more than just packaging logos and commercial jingles. A full brand strategy is an essential marketing tool, especially for law firms, as shown in FindLaw's newest white paper, "Marginalizing Your Most Valuable Asset: What Attorneys Don't Understand About Brands."

Maybe you've heard the news: Even though women are entering the legal field at unprecedented rates, women are still paid less than their male counterparts. Also, women are largely absent from high-level positions in firms.

Some clear progress is being made, however. The Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF) has awarded 44 law firms with its 2015 Gold Standard Certification for their work supporting the progress and empowerment of women in the legal profession. Could your firm join them?

A good reputation is central to a successful practice. Compared to other professions, attorneys are especially dependent on their reputation to bring them business, respect, and career success. But it's not just word of mouth that shapes your reputation anymore. When it comes to a lawyer's reputation, the Internet is where it's at.

That means that attorneys need to, at the least, devote some time and effort to monitoring and managing their online reputation. Here are three tips for protecting your good name online:

If you speak Vietnamese and are in the Northern California area, you might have noticed a proliferation of legal advice columns and radio talk shows. These programs usually involve questions from the public followed by general legal advice from a professional.

These legal advice spots, whether in Vietnamese or otherwise, can be a good way for lawyers to raise their profile, advertise their practice, and establish themselves as an expert in the public eye. Of course, there are plenty of risks to be aware of as well.

Why Email Marketing Won't Die

Email marketing is the dinosaur of online marketing strategies. Since dinosaurs are extinct by definition, it's almost a little miraculous that email marketing still exists at all.

In reality, there's nothing miraculous about it. Email marketing might be ancient, but it is still entirely practical, despite all the flashy online communication services that are available today. If you're not convinced, here's a fun fact: According to the former CTO of The Huffington Post, no one sends more emails than Facebook or Twitter.

In-house attorneys need your services. How can you convince them of this? If your knee-jerk approach is to send sports tickets or cocktail party invites, you may need to reexamine your strategy.

Landing business from in-house clients isn't easy. Like most things in life, it's becoming increasingly competitive. To position your firm for optimal success, there are a few best practice tips to follow.

Using Twitter is as a marketing tool is incredibly easy. If you want more visibility, you can pay to promote your tweets to more users. Simple as that.

What's not so easy is determining the ROI for promoted tweets. There are many reasons to be skeptical about Twitter's value for marketing efforts, but there are also some good reasons why your legal practice might benefit from it.