The Legal Chamber Newsletter • December 2011

Hanging a Shingle?  5 Income Generators

Starting your own law firm isn’t an easy decision, and it’s not for everyone. However, more lawyers are turning to solo practice as the result of a barren job market. Boutique firms can offer attention that many larger firms cannot, so the personal touches you provide can make all the difference.

Below are 5 ways you can quickly generate income for your firm:

  • Flat Rate—ABC’s New Inventors show has helped many to realize there’s a market for anything. Flat rate services for patents, speeding tickets, and wills could help immediately add value to your practice. Clients are leery of pricy lawyers and the open-ended nature of many newsworthy cases. A flat rate gets your foot in the door and assures them a great deal. 
  • Contract—Hanging a shingle means becoming part of the local business community. There may be an opportunity for you to be retained by a local construction company or private school.
  • Investors—Bringing in investors is a hard decision because you become even more responsible for the success of the firm. However, having the extra money to market yourself and your firm in the professional manner you desire can make all the difference. Face it, we all judge on first impressions.
  • Client-Lawyer Matching Services—Sure, it is a little shameless self-promotion, but the immediate access to clients with cases in your area is the most direct method of growing your practice.
  • Networking—This isn’t encouraging more inane Facebook promotions and status updates. I’m recognizing that, for better or worse, people trust their online “friend network” for nearly everything from surgical options to choices for dental insurance. Get out there slugger!

10 Websites Your Employees Love

The unfortunate part of being the boss is that, sometimes, you lose track of the fun stuff happening online because you’re focused on productivity. However, we think you need a little break and these 10 websites will have you entertained!

  1. Damn You Auto Correct: Hilarious auto corrects. At least this technology has some funny perks.
  2. Woot: New deal every day. The descriptions and randomness are the best.
  3. Addicting Games: A favorite among all types of users, with everything from first person shooters, puzzles, and mind games.
  4. Amazon Gold Box: Another, more frequently updated cyber deal site.
  5. There, I Fixed It: We all know someone who claims to be “handy” but is not. This is where ideas for their insane “fixes” are born.
  6. eBaum’s World: Still a great place to find videos, photos, and more.
  7. F My Life: Having a bad day? Someone is having a worse one.
  8. Totally Looks Like: Funny lighthearted humor.
  9. People of Walmart: A showcase of the sometimes sad but always entertaining cast of patrons that frequent Walmarts across the country. Great for fashion tips.
  10. Sh*tBrix: It’s not the most work friendly site. But if you liked Highlights Magazine, this is the adult counterpart: a mix of hidden images and crude internet commentary.

Easy Ideas to Increase Your Firm's Web Presence

Easy Ideas to Increase Your Firm's Web Presence The internet is the solution to most people’s problems: insurance, finding a mate, boredom, etc. Intuitively then, boosting your stock online will help your business. Even the most novice internet users will be able to knock out these tasks with ease. Increasing your audience online means more potential clients locating your practice.

  • Swapping links is common practice these days.  Try sending a message to an industry or practice related website or blog and propose a link swap.
  • Writing an article or doing a Q&A session is a great way to get your name out there. Bloggers and news outlets need the “legal take” on a wide variety of things including consumer issues, immigration, and divorce.
  • Responding to blogs and news sources is a great method of holding yourself out as an expert. A well-written comment can inspire a surprising amount of confidence in your legal ability.
  • Reciprocal link pages are an effective way to network your legal information and links. You will want to screen the businesses linked to for quality, but once assured, the extra “link juice” you’ll get may pay off big.

Rock Your Holiday Party

How to Host A (Legal) Blowout Party It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small practice or a multinational firm: Holiday Parties are the best way to boost morale during a very distracting season. You’re probably feeling the effects of Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (or S.A.D.) due to long office hours and the lack of sunlight. Just note: your employees are too.

So, if you don’t want to be Ebenezer Scrooge, you better have a holiday party. I’ve been privy to some outrageous corporate parties, so know firsthand how it changes the office for the better. 

How do you make it fun, safe, and fairly cheap? Check out the suggestions below:

Mystery Party—It may sound a little cheesy, but these things are always a hit. Everyone has a few drinks and really gets into the production. Most cities have some performance group that offer private/corporate events for a reasonable rate.

Food Travel—The food revolution has begun and with more self-proclaimed “foodies” out there, hiring a chef or caterer is an outstanding way to go. Whether you select one country or a worldwide spread, the way to anyone’s heart is through great food.

Prizes & Gifts—Getting stuff is fun. Having a low-key pot luck and giving gifts will please your employees. I’m not talking about a logo pen or keychain; a fleece or personalized gift that your employees can use (and will actually like) is vital. If you don’t want it, they won’t either.