Monday, January 3, 2011
Preparing Your Firm for 2011
As we begin 2011, many attorneys are looking for ways to enhance their marketing strategies and improve their practices. For some lawyers, technology can be the toughest aspect of firm growth. The tech scene is forever changing and with attention focused on billable work, and little technological background, many firms resist new technologies and their practices suffer. To help you get on the right track this year, we’ve developed a list of the top 6 “tech-musts”.
- Up-to-date website: At this point, EVERY law firm, regardless of size or expertise, needs to have a good website. What constitutes good? Well, your site should have a modern design, dynamic copy and interactive tools for visitors. It also needs to be optimized for the search engines. In the Google age, you just can’t afford to have a website that cannot be found online.
- Email: So you are probably sitting there saying everyone has email. You’re right, most firms we work with have email but you’d probably be shocked to learn how many firms use email that does not match their site’s domain name and still use their AOL or Yahoo email accounts for business purposes. This looks unprofessional and may actually deter potential client or colleagues from doing business with your firm. Also, since so much of your communication with colleagues and clients is now done via email, be sure that you have a professional looking signature on all messages and include the firm logo where appropriate.
- Attorney Blog: For generations, attorneys have established credibility and received great recognition for their contributions to legal journals. Journals are still alive and well but another medium for contributions has also emerged—the legal blog. Increasingly, more and more attorneys are utilizing easy to use blog platforms to post their thoughts and insights on the law and news. These blogs help to establish credibility and increase visibility in the legal world.
- Social Media: You’ve probably already heard that in 2010, the number of visitors to Facebook surpassed those to Google. With the popularity and influence of social media increasing, there has never been a better time to get onboard. At the least, your firm should have a profile on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Social media will help you connect with clients and colleagues.
- Online Document storage: It seems that just about everything can be done online these days. You can bank online, order your groceries online and even attend a conference online. With this shift in the way business is conducted, it is no surprise that more and more lawyers are looking for ways to store their clients’ documents online. Keeping documents in the firm’s fireproof file cabinet is just no longer sufficient. LegalVault is a great option for storing documents. With this platform, your clients can log in to their account securely 24/7 to access their most important documents.
- Practice Management Software: Running a law firm is no easy task, especially if you are a solo practitioner or small firm without a ton of resources to devote to support staff. Practice management software can combine your billing matters, scheduling, time tracking and document management into one platform and improve the efficiency of your practice substantially.
In no way is this meant to serve as a complete list of all tech tools for lawyers but it serves as a basic outline of the six online tools which you must have in place for firm growth in the year ahead. To learn more about growing your firm’s online presence in 2011, contact us today.