Vodafone Business Report for 2019

As the end of the year approaches, businesses start looking ahead and wondering what the next twelve months has in store. We’ve put that very question to over 1,700 businesses across the globe, and with their answers we have formulated the 2019 Vodafone Trends report – which has been released today. Here are a few of the most prominent trends...
Read more at Vodafone...

John Desmarais

"We do not bill by the hour. Instead, we bill a monthly, flat fee and, if a client prefers, we also will bill a flat monthly fee for the expenses, which we will then manage," said John Desmarais, founding partner of Desmarais.
Read more at The New York Law Journal...

Technology in small law firms

Law firms today need to be productive and efficient. In the past that was achieved by employing more people. Going forward, the only way to remain viable will be to embrace technology.

Google is your friend

There are literally hundreds of thousands of legal practitioners, just like you, around the world. By searching the Internet you will find articles on virtually any topic you can imagine.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket

Beware of having one or two large clients that make up most of your revenue. While that may be necessary in the beginning, you don't want to have to close your doors if you lose a major client.

Client Relationships in Law Firms

As mentioned before, you need to build and maintain strong relationships with your clients.

Find a niche market for your law firm

It is widely accepted that niche legal practices are more sustainable than general purpose law firms.

Law Firm budget

It is crucial that every practice compiles a budget at the start of every financial year. Income should be based on billable hours and disbursement “income”.

Outsource law firm admin

More and more small firms are outsourcing their admin and compliance functions so that they have more time to practise law and to grow their practice.

Great Service with law firms

“Talked about” service is difficult. Especially in law, because it is regarded as a “grudge” spend.

Word of Mouth Referrals

By far your best source of new business will be through referrals from existing clients. But to get your clients to refer you to their friends and colleagues is not easy.

Finding clients for your law firm

Growing your practice will invariably be the toughest challenge you will face.

AJS Business tips for lawyers - learn to say no

This isn't the same as saying no to a discount – although that is equally important.

Engagement letter for law firms

Most lawyers have some sort of engagement letter for new clients, but few realise that it is one of the most effective ways of ensuring payment.

Discounting is money down the toilet in law firms

Few lawyers realise just how much discounting costs. They also don't realise that a discount is a direct hit on take-home pay.

Gratitude downwards slope

While your client still needs you, they will be happy to pay your invoice.

Bill for all your time

With so few billable hours, you need to ensure that you bill for all of your time and disbursements, and that nothing slips through the cracks.

sexual harrasment in law firms

Why are lawyers prone to sexual abuse and harassment? The answer to a large extent can be found in the way in which lawyers operate, their personality type and the fact that their pressure-cooker world is often only one step away from a cauldron of ...
Read more at Law Fuel...

Law firm service

It isn’t easy to get clients to talk about your firm’s good service.  But it is easy to get them to talk about your firm if they are unhappy!  It’s a well-known fact that unhappy clients tell a lot more people about their experience than those who were happy with your service.  And the problem is exacerbated by social media and the Internet.  So what can law firms do to improve their service levels?

How lawyers can embrace technology

“OK, so I understand that law firms need to embrace technology in order to survive going forward.  But how do I do that?” This is a question I hear regularly when giving talks about the future of the legal profession. There seems to be a general belief that technology is just something that happens automatically in the background.  So what should law firms do in order to truly embrace technology?

Law Firm Admin Outsource or Inhouse

I am often asked whether it is a good idea for a firm to outsource their admin functions or not.  For larger firms, this generally isn’t a good idea, although a number of large law practices overseas have relocated their admin departments to cheaper centres where good people are available at a more affordable price.  But for single practitioners and smaller firms, outsourced admin is almost always a smart idea.

The danger of discounting

Whenever I tell a client that discounts are the biggest expense at their firm, they invariably defend the reasons why they give discounts.  “Discounts are good, because they bring us more business,” they say. Or “Every firm offers a discount, and we have to be competitive.” And “The banks force us to give their clients a discount.”  It’s hard to argue with this logic, because there is some truth in all of those statements. Unfortunately for law firms, discounts are a necessary evil. Having said that, there is necessary discounting, and then there is unnecessary discounting. It is the latter that we are concerned about.

a troubled firm

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP was the result of the merger in 2007 of New York-based law firms Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae LLP. It was touted as the 14th largest firm by headcount and the 16th largest firm by revenue in the United States.  In May 2012, almost five years after its celebrated union, Dewey & LeBouef filed for bankruptcy protection.
Read more at Law Practice Today...

Delegation tips for lawyers

Effective delegation for lawyers involves more than just flinging files at people! Honestly, seeing lawyers delegate sometimes is enough to make me want to just start banging my head against the wall. But I don’t – because that sounds like it would hurt.
Read more at Tips for Lawyers...

How to check if your lawyers is CRAP

Do not be fooled by the play on words in the title. It is a serious and frank talking book where ‘C.R.A.P.’ is an acronym for a key 4 step formula to help Trainee Solicitors understand the expectations of Clients and provide the best possible service to them. C = COST, R = RISK, A = ASSESS and P = PROCEED (or not).
Read more at Lawyer Monthy

ZAR money couple loses R250000 in house transfer scamA couple who were buying their first home in Knysna had their R250,000 deposit stolen when a hacker scammed them into depositing the money into the wrong bank account. The scammer spoofed the e-mail address of the conveyancer, Deon Boshoff Attorney, and asked the buyer, Shandin Thompson, to deposit the money into their “trust account”.
Read more at My Broadband...

9 ways to run a small law firm like a businessBoth the paper and infographic propose nine proven techniques for running a law firm as a business. It brings together research, best practices and ideas from Ann Guinn, a practice management consultant. These nine strategies are:
Read more at The Business of Law Blog...

innovations in law firmsThere has been a great deal of trepidation for a number of reasons when it comes to Financial and Legal firms adopting cloud services. Privacy and Security is without a doubt the biggest of all the concerns.  However, there is a silver lining with some promising trends.
Read more at Cloud Tweaks...

branding your law firmDeveloping brand recognition is crucial because it creates a snapshot of a firm’s business personality—e.g., traditional and sophisticated, colorful and friendly, or tough and exacting—and sets the tone for what customers can expect. Most law firm logos tend to be fairly conservative, sticking with a safe, classic typeface and only one color. But new firms open every year and competition for clients is steep, so everyone is working hard to distinguish themselves from the pack.
Read more at California Lawyer...

law firm partnership pros and consYears ago, I read about a marriage prenuptial agreement that was incredibly specific as to each spouse’s responsibilities, right down to the husband’s obligation to put the toothpaste cap back on the toothpaste tube. Most people thought it was a prenup gone wild. The spouses, however, clearly approved of and signed on the dotted line because it illuminated all the expectations each had of the other. Neither was in the dark about their marital responsibilities, and where there is transparency there are no surprises.
Read more at Above The Law...

motivating law firm staffBesides the usual individual motivations like fair compensation, mentoring, opportunities for self improvement, setting clear goals, and positive reinforcement, here are some not-so-obvious, but proven ways, to motivate teams at your firm.
Read more at Legal Productivity...

Handling a death at your law firmI think the true quality of a law firm can be judged by how it responds to the death of one of its people. Your personnel, clients, legal community, and the family will notice and remember how you handled this, so make sure you do it right.
Read more at Fishman Martketing...

your legal practice seminar johannesburg south africaThere is a general consensus among law firm leaders that the nature of the legal market is changing at an unprecedented pace. For the most part, these are changes that have been imposed upon them from without – from more demanding clients and more competitive newcomers who are challenging the rules of legal service delivery to an oversupply of attorneys entering an already-saturated market.

marketing law firmsWhat are the most effective forms of legal marketing? We are currently at the tipping point of using technology to market law firms. Law firms are just beginning to use blogs and many are beginning to understand how to use web sites effectively for marketing. The key indicator is that firms are starting to list industries that they serve on their websites. In other words, instead of creating a website all about their credentials, they are focusing on their visitors. It is a classic marketing technique to focus on customers, and not what you are selling.
Read more at Law School Dems...

Telkom line rental increaseTelkom has announced it’s home line rental prices will increase from R166 per month to R189 per month from 1 May 2015. This price increase follows an increase from R157 per month to R166.50 per month in 1 August 2014.
Read more at BusinessTech...

stand out as great legal secretaryWhat should you look for in a paralegal or legal assistant? We don't mean "what should you put in the job application." That's easy: Writing skills, attention to detail, flexible schedule, and so on. We're talking about personality traits that an ideal paralegal possesses, things that are essential to him or her. You can only find these types of qualities after an interview, or maybe only after a test run of a few days or weeks, but in the end, a paralegal with these qualities will make your firm run a whole lot smoother:
Read more at FindLaw...

great legal secretary mugWanted: Great Legal Secretary. Not a mediocre legal secretary. Not adequate….Great. We’ve all the seen the job postings. Terms like “high-caliber”, “skilled” and “polished” appear throughout, but what does a law firm actually mean when using these types of phrases? What are recruiters really looking for?
Read more at R Johnson Corp...

lawyer mentorshipLaw practice is one tough go. Hard lessons get learned, sometimes over and over and over. Many of those lessons were in fact explicitly told to me by the old-timers. Maybe experience is the best teacher, but it sure can be painful. So now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can humbly say… They were right!
Read more at Solo Practice University...

IT salary surveyQuest has released its Salary Survey and Staffing Trends 2014/15 report, which provides an overview of the average, minimum, and maximum salaries in South Africa. Quest explained that the research was conducted in June 2014 via an online questionnaire, which was designed to be quick and easy for respondents to complete.
Read more at My Broadband...

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