The Legal Chamber Newsletter • October 2011

The Best Fax Machines for Lawyers on a Budget

Fax machines seem to be here to stay (for better or worse). We can try to go completely digital with fax programs, but it’s often much easier to spend a little money for the convenience and your physical records. When making this list we took 4 things into account: price, speed, capacity, and resolution. Check it out.

Canon JX2010P is about as good as it gets for less than eighty bucks. This plug and play printer handles high speed USB 2.0, 60 pages of memory, and interfaces with your computers. Load up to 20 pages to fax at a time.

Brother IntelliFax-2820 is worth the $175 price tag because it’s a laser printer, copier, and fax that pumps out about 15 pages each minute. It also boasts 1200x600 dpi resolution and storage for up to 500 pages in the 8MB internal memory.

HP 2140 Fax machines are on sale now for $70. You can load a maximum of 15 pages each time and store another 200 digitally. The lower price point comes at a cost though. A slow 3 pages per minute copy speed makes this machine somewhat inferior to the Canon model above.

Panasonic’s KX-FL421 is one of the most moderately priced laser printer/faxes on the market. Copying at 10 pages per minute, this machine also stores up to 290 pages of transmitted and received pages. You can’t print from your computer for the $139 price tag, but you’ll find the laser printing is impeccable.

Wild Weather: Calling All Personal Injury Attorneys

Logically, we understand that Fall and Winter are more dangerous driving seasons and therefore result in an increase of accidents and personal injury claims. If you’re anything like most attorneys, then you’ll be looking to grab a piece of the action. This is the season to jump on that PI marketing for your practice.

Below are a few ideas for bringing in more automobile accident cases. As always, networking is one of the biggest keys.

  • Work with a local collision center. Automobile injury accidents involve the same types of players: police, mechanics, chiropractors, insurance companies, and medical facilities. Getting to know your local businesses and the owners makes referrals more likely.
  • A free "Accident Kit" is an affordable and simple method of advertising. You can include an accident chart for clients to mark down accident information like location, witnesses and officer contact information. Even disposable cameras can be ordered with your customized packaging.
  • Most local churches and community centers publish newsletters: both are excellent places to advertise because it’s cheap and shows your support for the community. Additionally, patrons of those institutions will be aware of your firm and more likely to inquire about your services.

4 Things in Every Attorney’s Fanny Pack

Okay, maybe not your fanny pack exactly. Key ring, pocket, and wallet are all viable substitutes. If we’ve learned anything from the television show Let’s Make A Deal it is that we should always carry the accoutrements to our costumes (and in this case, profession).

In recent conversations with several local lawyers, we came up with the 4 things every lawyer should be carrying every day, whether you’re going to the office or on the golf course:

iPhone/Blackberry—Your smart phone keeps you tethered to the office and the rest of the internet. They’re helpful for on the fly emails and taking clients’ information.

Business Cards—Sometimes those new-fangled gadgets run out of battery life. Business cards are a must have in any situation. They provide the essential information with a classic style. It also shows that you’re always prepared, too.

Flash Drive—They’re smaller and offer more storage than ever before. Keep a secure (password or otherwise) flash on you with your essential documents in case you’re suddenly called to court or need a form on the fly.

Helpful Attitude—I know it seems a little gimmicky, and doesn't really fit in your fanny pack, but being genuine and outgoing goes a long way.  It doesn't matter if it’s a consultation or business lunch – the right attitude makes all the difference.

Internet Marketing Costs Rising

Online marketing schemes are plentiful and elaborate these days. In the infancy stages of the internet when most people were still on dial-up, you could snag a spot on the first page for a steep (for the time) $40. Nowadays, that’s what people pay their marketers per hour. I suppose it proves technology really does speed everything up.

The rising cost of advertising online has much to do with demand. A number of smaller businesses will have trouble keeping up with larger corporations. Try Googling “travel” and a destination and count how many mom-and-pop inns come up. Not many within the first 30 pages. Marketing for lawyers isn’t much different.

Most every attorney with a shingle and an internet connection has a website these days. There are schemes around the naming of your firm to the URL address. Add in the larger firms, all of the firms with staffed internet marketers, referral services, and you have a cast of mind-blowing opponents.

The key is striking a lucrative balance between what you’re spending and the business coming in your door. It can be somewhat overwhelming. That’s why more lawyers are testing the waters with referral, listing and matching services. Whatever you select, you should remember that reaching your target audience doesn’t always mean spending the most.