Strategist - The FindLaw Law Firm Business Blog

July 2011 Archives

Google+ + Law Firm Marketing = Increased Firm Income?

Maybe your law firm already has a good social media presence: a blog, a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page. But, now that Google+ has entered into the fray, does Google+ + law firm marketing = a good deal?

One thing to be sure of is that Google+ operates differently than other social media sites, including its closest competitors like LinkedIn or Facebook.

Instead of adding users to one generic "friends" list or "followers" list, you can actually sort different people into different "circles."

Be Wary of Lawsuit Funding, NYC Bar Opinion Warns

Third-party litigation funding is a valuable option for many clients who cannot afford the cost of filing suit, but the fact is that the presence of a third party raises questions about attorney loyalty and confidentiality.

And sometimes, it might not even be legal.

Recognizing that clients are turning to outside funders in this time of economic crisis, the New York City Bar Association has issued Formal Opinion 2011-2: Third Party Litigation Financing.

It raises some very good points.

Starting a Law Firm? Pick the Right Practice Area

For the majority of young attorneys looking into how to start a law firm, after financing, their main concern is picking a practice area.

While one can certainly go into general practice, the legal field has been moving towards increased specialization, pushing lawyers to become incredibly knowledgeable in one part of the law, hypothetically increasing one's ability to effectively represent clients.

Choosing to go this route can cause a lot of anxiety, with few knowing where to start. If you happen to be in this position, here are some things you should consider first.

J. Paul Oetken Confirmed in NY as First Openly Gay Federal Judge

On Monday, J. Paul Oetken became the first openly gay man to be confirmed as a federal judge, approved by the Senate to preside over the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

A graduate of Yale Law, Oetken clerked for Justice Blackmun prior to working at the Justice Department and then as associate counsel to President Clinton. He currently serves as a senior vice president at Cablevision.

Given his qualifications, it might seem curious that the media is focusing on his sexual orientation. But the fascination appears to be part of a larger question:

Where are all the gay judges?

LegalZoom Sued by Alabama Bar Group for Unauthorized Practice

The DeKalb County Bar Association has officially sued LegalZoom, asking a judge to bar the Los Angeles-based legal form company from serving clients in Alabama.

Accusing LegalZoom of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, the association's president believes that offering customized standard legal forms is strictly forbidden under current rules, particularly when done by a person who is not licensed in Alabama.

Arizona Firm Loans iPads to Top Clients to Communicate Better

Have you ever thought about giving an iPad to your clients?

Two Arizona attorneys are doing just that. Marc Lamber and James Goodnow have been utilizing tablet PCs to their fullest, and including doling out the tablets (on loan, of course) to 20 of their clients.

The creative use of technology is aimed at making their law firm more accessible to their clients, and is also used so that the attorneys can create presentations, reports The Arizona Republic.

How to Use LinkedIn, No. 2 US Social Network, to Market Your Firm

Can you use LinkedIn to market you and your law firm? Absolutely.

LinkedIn, which is an online network geared towards professionals and businesses, has surpassed Myspace to become the number two social networking site in the United States behind Facebook.

LinkedIn had around 33.9 million unique visitors in the month of June alone, reports CNN. And, with the use of "company pages," a LinkedIn feature, businesses - including law firms - can help shape their professional image. And, below are some helpful tips that can help you get started on LinkedIn.

Supreme Court Haikus: Decisions Distilled Down to 17 Syllables

Supreme Court haikus
Are they good for law firms too?
Perhaps for a blog.

The above 17 syllables is a haiku. A Supreme Court haiku. And, apparently, haikus are all the rage now, with Supreme Court haiku blogs popping up all over the internet

Are they relevant to your law firm?

Jose Baez: From Unknown Jailhouse Lawyer to 'Luckiest Man in America'

Every attorney knows that you don't cut your teeth on a capital case, but Jose Baez did.

And while every attorney knows that you carefully craft a defense so that it relies on evidence you can actually present, Jose Baez didn't.

And he still won.

But is he just another one-verdict wonder who happened to get lucky?

Online Legal Marketing: ABA Proposes Rule Changes

Acknowledging the impact of technology on the legal profession and the sharing of potentially confidential information, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 released its draft recommendations for online legal marketing and contact with prospective and potential clients last week.

Instead of revamping the rules entirely and imposing new restrictions, the ABA Journal reports that the commission felt that lawyers could simply use more guidance on how new technology fits within the confines of existing legal ethics rules.

Health Care, Energy Among 'Hot' Legal Practices

What legal profession practice areas are "hot" this year?

With the twists and turns of the economy, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what practice areas your firm should be expanding into.

That's where Robert Denney Associates' comes in, with their "What's Hot and What's Not in the Legal Profession" document, published in 2010. And now, they have an update on the document. Will this be helpful for your firm?