A strategic business plan is a must for every law firm, according to Kentucky attorney Robert Young.
“Whether you have two lawyers or 50 or 500, you still need a plan for where you want to take the firm,” Young said. “It keeps you from making major decisions by the seat of your pants.”
Legal marketing continues to go high-tech, with lawyers turning to mobile devices to connect with consumers via QR codes and making use of new social networks like Pinterest.
For lawyers considering one of these strategies, each has its own advantages and challenges.
A hefty legal malpractice verdict in 2012 reminded attorneys to beware of “accidental clients.”
A jury ordered Holland & Knight to pay $34.5 million to two investors who believed the firm was representing them in forming a business entity with a third investor; the law firm claimed it represented only the business entity, not the individuals.
Stephanie Kimbro is well-known for starting one of the first virtual law practices in 2006.
Now the North Carolina-based attorney has written a book for the American Bar Association addressing the opportunities and challenges of unbundled legal services.
In 2010, Kansas City, Mo., solo practitioner Kevin L. Jamison fell headlong into the ultimate nightmare for a small law office.
Jamison fired his office manager of 10 years after she refused to turn over the password to her desk computer. He soon learned that his client trust accounts had been overdrawn. His long-trusted employee, he alleges, had been embezzling from him for years.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court held recently that a law firm could pay a paralegal a percentage of the gross proceeds from cases on which the paralegal worked. The Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation had argued that the compensation plan violated the prohibition on sharing legal fees with a non-lawyer. (In re Weigel, 817 N.W.2d 835 (Wis. 2012)).
The opinion represents the latest chapter in a long‑running debate about how lawyers can compensate their non-lawyer colleagues. This has been a contentious issue, and the decision in the Wisconsin case highlights the continuing controversy.
Some lawyers have begun to utilize “deal of the day” advertising, where the potential customer purchases a coupon or voucher permitting them to buy the item or service at a discounted rate. This marketing model has proven an effective tool for attracting new customers and increasing overall business, but with ethics authorities across several states disagreeing on whether “deal of the day” or similar coupon marketing tools violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, whether this form of advertising is safe for attorneys to employ is less than clear.
A Lancaster County, Neb. jury has sided with a California lawyer and against a Lincoln law firm in a dispute over attorney fees that led to a trial.
A federal judge has approved a controversial settlement in a class-action lawsuit against a law firm accused of misleading and charging excessive fees to clients around the nation seeking debt relief.
Last month the American Bar Association’s Ethics 20/20 Commission proposed changing the Rules of Professional Conduct to permit other service professionals, such as accountants, social workers and public relations professionals, to partner with attorneys to own up to 25 percent of a law firm.