David Lancaster who will be presenting at the Law Firm Boot Camp in Pretoria on 20th July 2018

Small and medium law firms in South Africa have the unique opportunity to harness their agile decision-making and more efficient cost structures to take advantage of realities in the profession such as disaggregation, legal process outsourcing and stratification, in order to grow their businesses.

Small law firm boot camp July 2018

Time is running out to book for the one-day Boot Camp seminar, specifically aimed at small and medium law firms.  This seminar will give you the practical advice and tools you need to create and maintain a sustainable practice. Find out more about the future of Small Law in South Africa and gain insight into best practices to keep you on the road to success.

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.

Billy Last CEO LexisNexis SA

Technology is transforming the information landscape and rapidly changing the workplace. The generally conservative legal industry has in no way been spared, with new technologies and innovations disrupting – and enabling – the practice of law, demanding that law firms and in-house legal teams transform the way they operate in order to meet new workplace and client demands. 

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”.

Skills gaps

Skill gaps are emerging as legal operating models shift to keep pace with business. Four steps enable legal to close them proactively.

Buying bitcoin in SA without getting in trouble with the law

The South African Reserve Bank recently issued guidance regarding its position on the purchase and transfer of cryptocurrencies. The SARB does not regulate the exchange of cryptocurrencies in South Africa, but moving cryptocurrency overseas and buying or selling on a foreign exchange could get you into trouble with exchange control regulations.
Read more at My Boradband...

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.

Legal Blockchain Solutions being created

From improving legal education to storing police bodycam footage, hackathon teams have come up with a range of blockchain-based fixes to solve uniquely legal problems. For those who want to know more about how blockchain can solve real problems in the legal industry, it’s worth taking a look at some of the blockchain solutions that Global Legal Hackathon teams created over the course of a weekend in cities around the world.
Read more at Medium...

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.

Newsletter mistakes to avoid

Newsletters work – that’s why so many lawyers and accountants use them. Their marketing magic lies in keeping you constantly top-of-mind with your target market in the most professional way possible.

Gratitude downwards slope

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

Checklists for client communications for law firms

Every day offers opportunities to build trust with a client or prospect, thereby setting your firm apart from the competition. Here are eight easy ways to do just that in your communications.
Read more at Attorney@Work...

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.

Cryptocurrencies and SARS

In South Africa, as with most other countries around the world, there is no guidance and regulation regarding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The Budget Review 2018 (Budget) proposes that the income tax and value-added tax (VAT) legislation be amended to deal with cryptocurrencies, which pose a risk to the South African tax system.

Eva by ROSS

ROSS says EVA will supercharge a lawyer’s research. As of this writing, I have seen a demonstration of EVA, but have not yet used it. However, based on the demonstration alone, and on the simple fact that EVA is free to use, I cannot imagine ever again filing a brief or reviewing an opponent’s brief without running it through EVA.
Read more at Robert Ambrogi's Law Sites Blog...

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...

The overarching question pertaining to blockchain, no matter what industry you work, is whether or not we trust the technology. For answers, Legal Executive Institute spoke to Thomson Reuters Technologist and Futurist, Joseph Raczynski, who recently was a featured panelist at the three-city, 2018 Thomson Reuters Public-Private Partnership Forums in New York City on March 7.
Read more at Legal Executive Institute...

100 hours available to bill

Being a single practitioner or a small-firm lawyer is challenging. To be a good lawyer is just one aspect of your job. You also need to find time for marketing and growing your practice, managing relationships with existing clients, handling the billing and admin, and managing all the compliance and regulatory aspects. You'll also need to be innovative and smart, and you'll need to embrace technology in order to succeed.

Karl Blom of Webber Wentzel

South Africa has recently suffered its largest data leak to date with, conservatively, an estimated 60 million South Africans' personal information becoming publicly available. The gravity of the leak (and the risks associated with the sensitive information that has been imparted from it) cannot be overestimated. It has exposed numerous people to threats of identity fraud and related crimes.

AI vs Lawyers

In a new study, LawGeex has achieved an  average 94% accuracy rate at surfacing risks in Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), one of the most common legal agreements used in business. This compares to an average of 85% for experienced lawyers.The study pitted the LawGeex AI solution against 20 US-trained top corporate lawyers with decades of experience, specifically in reviewing NDAs.
Read more at LawGeek...

Copyright bots

Christy Turner will do a lot for a good picture of the night sky. The photographer feeds her passion for the Northern Lights by monitoring weather conditions at home and, whenever she flies over the Arctic Circle, by making sure to sit on the right side of the plane. Her diligence has paid off: Turner’s work has been featured by CNN, HuffPost, and the Canadian edition of Reader’s Digest. Like many photographers, however, she’s also discovered her work elsewhere, even in print, in publications that never contacted or paid her.
Read more at Fast Company...

blockchain and capital investments

With the market cap of cryptocurrencies growing from around USD 15 billion in December 2016 to a staggering USD 815 billion in December 2017, it is not surprising that the subject found its way to many dinner table discussions during the 2017 festive season.

BlockChain Technology

Let’s start with the basics. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency — a digital version of an asset, much like gold. In 2017, its value skyrocketed. Blockchain is the tech that underpins it. It’s a powerful concept and has the potential to change the world pretty drastically.
Read more at Medium...

6 top marketing tips for lawyers

Are you having marketing meetings? Talk is cheap. Buy-in and action is key. Thinking and planning is the easy part for lawyers. Implementation is not. Remember that discussions, meetings, and planning are only the start. The key is taking ACTION. The big question… What actions should be taken? Here are our Top Six Marketing Tips...
Read more at Legal Marketing Blog...

Happy to pay your law firm bill

Some say that the most important piece of paper that a lawyer sends to his client is the bill! Why? Yes, it is the thing that helps us get paid, but it should be a lot more. Your bill should tell a story for the client on what is happening with their matter and how you are helping them with it. 
Read more at Legal Technology Today...

Law firm of the future

Several news items, reports and articles in recent weeks have provided insights that should make traditional law firms nervous.  Here’s what caught my eye...
Read more at Patrick J Lamb's Blog...

Google Yourself

While many South Africans may have typed their names into Google to see what fun results pop up, the fact that these results are permanent can be troubling – especially when the results call your character into question. Speaking to BusinessTech, Verlie Oosthuizen – head of social media law at Shepstone Wylie – explained that “at this stage it is not possible to ask for Google to remove links associated with a name search in South Africa.”
Read more at BusinessTech...

Blockchain and the law

Blockchain technology has received quite a bit of attention over the last year, with the potential to be a transformative force across multiple diverse industries. At the heart of this is the blockchain itself which offers a technique to create and maintain an immutable – but also transparent – distributed and shared ledger to be able to store information in.
Read more at TechRadar...

Friend or enemy

The relationship between lawyers and technology is complicated. Many lawyers—especially those that did not grow up with computers—have a curious ambivalence towards it. They adopt technology for personal use but are reticent to embrace it professionally. They often tout their firm's ‘cutting-edge technology’ but do not provide a powerful voice to professionals within the firm charged with deploying it.
Read more at Forbes...

What is blockchain

This post starts from the ground up, and today, I just want to help you answer this: What is a blockchain? (… And I promise I won’t describe it as ‘a type of distributed ledgerbecause what the heck is that?)
Read more at HackerNoon.com...

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