NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Side Hustle: Your Hobbies Can Help You Market Your Practice

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

I’m fond of telling lawyers that if they’re not making enough money out of their practices to generate a viable living, th en they have a hobby, not a business. But, I don’t mean to denigrate hobbies. Hobbies are great.

Touchless: Law Firm Automation Can Be Applied More Broadly Than You Think

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Car wash preferences are a thing. Some people like to get their hands dirty (or clean) , and wash their own cars; and, some people prefer the touchless automatic option, so that they can just roll on through. And, then: some people don’t like car washes at all.)

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Reach: Consumer-Friendly Language Wins the Day in Law Firm Marketing

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

When it comes to marketing content, most lawyers are concerned about what to write. But, in reality, the more important question is how to write. The plain fact is that lawyers tend to write like lawyers, regardless of the audience.

Baby Steps: Efficiency Builds Slowly, But Impressively

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

In the book, ‘ Cheaper by the Dozen ’ , the father of a family of 12 is. wait for it ) : an efficiency expert. Because, he’d have to be, right? (Ba-dum-cha.) Ba-dum-cha.) But, t he book is actually non-fiction; it’s written by 2 of the 12 children in the family.

Let Me Google That For You: 2 Free Tools to Improve Your Web Presence

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Many law firms don’t have a better web presence in part because they don’t know enough about their existing web presence to improve upon it.

Lost Time: How to Build a More Efficient Schedule

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Lost time isn’t only a phenomenon affecting alien abductees. It happens to business owners, too. I mean, think about, how often do you feel like: where did that last hour go? This is a common occurrence. But, most businesspeople, including most lawyers, just shrug it off, and move along.

Task(s) at Hand: Tools for Managing Your Practice Responsibilities

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Most attorneys feel overwhelmed by everything they need to do. Especially for solo and small firm lawyers, this can be crushing. It helps to take a step back, redefine your goals, reset your tasks, and focus on what you need to do now.

Cadence: How Do You Meet Now?

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

As COVID restrictions are lifting across the country, and business owners and their employees are deciding whether or how to come back together in an office setting, the question persists: How and when should people meet for work?

Red Flag: Vetting Potential Clients Is Easier With a List

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Sailors use a series of flags to indicate danger ; Billy Joel occasionally names albums after such flags. Lawyers ignore red flags – at least when they relate to client engagement. As has been discussed in this space, attorneys tend to avoid the intake process.

Emotional Rescue: This Is Why Consumers Buy Legal Services

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Attorneys hate to think of themselves as ‘salespeople’ – but, if you’re a law firm owner/manager, you’re selling things the same way everyone else who owns a business is selling things. Though, you might not be selling what you think you are.

Go Green: An Evergreen Retainer Can Help with Collections

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Law firm collection rate s tend to be well below average. That’s in part because law firms are great extenders of credit. They’ll taka a retainer upfront, struggle to collect any more money, and then continue to work through a situation in which it’s unlikely they ’ ll get paid anything more.

Spin Cycle: How Quickly Do Your Cases Move?

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Lawyers look for revenue in all types of places. Sometimes they try to reduce overhead. Sometimes they try to generate more leads. Sometimes they try to convert more leads. Sometimes they try to throw more money at the problem. Sometimes they try to throw less money at the problem.

Screened Time: Google's Newest Advertising Program Is Here

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Attorneys have, like most business owners, spent lots of their marketing dollars on Google search. It makes sense: Google is the most popular search engine. Google-owned YouTube is #2.) Google Screened is Google’s latest addition to its collection of local service ads.

Arrested Development: What Do Modern Law Firm Associates Want, Anyway?

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

There’s a lot in flux around the legal industry of late. Work roles, places and preferences seem to be changing constantly. Yet, law firms continue to require associates to move business forward. Managing partners often think, in these instances, about what the law firm needs.

Feature Presentation: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Software?

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Most of the software that business owners buy has a lot more features than those same business owners use. This is true for attorneys, as well. And, most lawyers are not particularly curious about the software tools that undergird their businesses.

How Suite It Is: Google Workspace is Rebooted GSuite

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

The vast majority of law firms still use Microsoft Office/ 365 for productivity software (email, calendar). But, there are still a significant number of law firms that have zagged, and adopted Google’s productivity software; and, it is a viable alternative to Microsoft.

This Is Your Year: Creating New Habits Is About Commitment

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Everybody loves a good shortcut. Seriously, who hasn’t considered skipping the hard parts in the marathon of life? Change is hard, oftentimes necessary. So, we spend a significant part of our lives trying (and failing) to instill new habits. And, that includes work habits.

Draw Me a Map: Intake is Still the Biggest Law Firm Challenge

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

The stats on law firm intake are pretty damning. 64% of voicemails left for law firms by leads are never returned. Only 1 in 3 phone calls for law firms are picked up live. It takes an average of 8 emails to schedule an appointment with a law firm.

Free Ride: What Are You Trying to Accomplish with Your Initial Consultations?

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Law firms often offer initial consultations, because that’s what law firms do. But, thinking a little more deeply about the purpose for your initial consultations makes some sense. There is still a lot of debate in legal over whether you should be offering free o r paid consultations.

Start Fresh: A Legacy System is the Recycling Bin for All Your Old Business Processes

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Most law firms need to update their technology, and many are aware of it. Of course, that doesn’t mean they will actually update their technology. A primary reason for the reluctance is simple: data transfers suck.

Processing Speed: How Much of Your Law Practice Is Mapped Out?

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

As is clear by now, more efficient law firms make more money than inefficient ones. The more work you can get through, the more money you make. Of course, efficiency does not build up out of thin air: you need to work for it.

This Is Why I’m Single: You Should Only Have One Calendar for Your Law Firm

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Every year, when you apply for or renew your malpractice insurance, your provider asks whether you have a ‘dual calendar’ system -- like that’s good practice for running a law firm. Only, it’s not.

Double Up: Why You Should Have Two Email Accounts

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Mixed-use work and personal email accounts can quickly become ultra-confusing. And yet, ma n y lawyers still utilize the setup, ostensibly (and, ironically) for ease-of-use/simplicity. Modern law firms need to specialize in efficiency, more than any specific practice area.

Drive Safe: Cloud Data Storage Is Not Backup

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

As much as I advocate for the use of cloud software by law firms, sometimes there can develop an over reliance on such tools by lawyers. Take, for example, cloud document storage.

The Best of What's Around: How Distributed Workforce Models Deliver Talent Like Nothing Else

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Law firm managers have always preferred to have staff onsite; and, the ongoing pandemic has represented a significant change in circumstances.

Bouncing Around the (Zoom) Room: Taking Advantage of Online Networking Opportunities

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Lawyers who relied totally on networking and the personal referrals generating therefrom have take a hit of late, as many of those in-person marketing opportunities have dried up, or been significantly reduced. It’s not the end of networking as we know it, even if it feels that way.

Lead and Follow(up): What Do You Do with Potential Clients Who Don't Convert

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

What happens when you don’t convert a lead? For most law firms, the answer is a resounding: absolutely nothing. But, just because a potential client doesn’t convert immediately, that doesn’t mean that you’ve lost that opportunity forever.

Lost Highway: Modern Law Firms Require Revised Intake Systems

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

More than 60% of law firm do not return voicemails. It takes an average of 8 emails to schedule an appointment with an attorney. Legal consumers , like all consumers, prize convenience, speed and responsiveness. Law firms often strike out in trying to meet that three-part requirement.

Thinking Outside the Inbox: Email Tips

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Email drives business; yet, it also drives most of us crazy. If this is the year you want to take control of your email, here are some steps you can take: -Consider using a non-email program for in-office communications, like Slack.

Awards Season: Lawyer Superlatives Are Great and All, But You Need More Than That to Convince Clients

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Lawyers are great at bragging on themselves via their websites. And, a significant number of attorneys supplement that with ‘superlatives’. You know, those lawyer a wards, like ‘Super Lawyers’ , that you can apply for and/or purchase.

Preach What You Practice: Practice Area Pages are Essential to Law Firm Website Design

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Lawyers like to practice law; they don’t like to create content. Unfortunatel y, that’s a big deal when it comes to marketing. Because it’s harder for content to resonate with potential clients when lawyers ar en’t building it themselves, using their expertise.

Game On!  Motivate Your Team with Data

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

Lord know s we can all use some extra motivation these days. Law firms still tend to make most decisions about practice management on an ad hoc basis: W hat does your gut tell you to do? But, those attorneys who employ data-driven decisionmaking can gain a tremendous competitive advantage.

The Secret Sauce Is There Is No Secret Sauce: Converting Your Sales Process for the Convenience Economy

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

There is likely a mentor in your past who told you to make sure that you don’t give away the farm when talking to potential clients. The idea is to leave them wanting more. That’s bad advice. If you leave legal consumers wanting more in 2020, they will go find another attorney.

Convenience Store: Why Your Law Firm Needs to Be Different Now

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

As the coronavirus, resultant lockdowns, and their effect continue to press every sector of society, lawyers continue to respond to what they hope is a blip. Only , it’s not a blip. But, that has very little to do with COVID-19. The pandemic has only accelerated a trend that was already occurring.

Next to Nothing: How to Tamp Down Your Accounts Receivable

NCBA Law Practice Management Blog

The reason your accounts receivable are high, is the same reason every other process in your law firm is relatively untamed: because you don’t apply systems to managing your business. Everything in your law firm should be systematized.