Archive for November, 2009

Lawyer Interview Questions – Questions to Ask an Attorney

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Hiring an attorney is a very important process and should not be taken lightly. Legal issues have lasting consequences if you make a mistake in hiring the wrong attorney. Here are a few questions to help you select the right attorney for you. These questions are just a guide and you should do additional due diligence when hiring an attorney to handle your case.

  1. What is your experience in this area of law?
  2. What are the possible outcomes of my case?
  3. Have you handled cases like mine before?
  4. How many? Do you have any similar cases now?
  5. What are my alternatives in resolving the matter?
  6. What kind of approach will you take to resolve the matter – aggressive and unyielding, or will you be more inclined to reach a reasonable settlement?
  7. Are you familiar with other means of dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration, etc.)
  8. Approximately how long will it take to resolve this matter?
  9. Do you recommend mediation or arbitration?
  10. What are your rates and how often will you bill me?
  11. What is a ballpark figure for the total bill, including fees and expenses?
  12. How will you keep me informed of progress?
  13. When can I expect you to contact me?
  14. Do I need to call/e-mail to check up on things?
  15. Who else in the office will be working on my case?
  16. Can junior attorneys or paralegals in the office handle some of the administrative work at a lower rate?
  17. Would you give me a reference or two?
These questions should help you gain more insight in to whether or not the attorney you are thinking about hiring is the right fit or not.

New Lawyer Pay Per Inquiry TV and Cable Advertising – Legal Leads

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

As television advertising revenues continue to slide, many new cable and television stations have signed agreements with law firm marketing firms to attract new advertisers. A new TV advertising model was created to attract new lawyer advertisers who want to advertise on television but were to worried about the high over head and risk of failure.

The new advertising model now allows attorneys to advertise on television in as many as 80 different MSAs (cities) on a cost per call basis. This means that for the first time a lawyer may advertise on television and only pay for the results received. Many in the advertising industry see this a “the growing trend” in advertising as Internet giants like Google continue to gain market share.

This new per inquiry television advertising is appealing to law firms that want to acquire mass tort or class action types of leads in national campaigns as well as general consumer law cases in local markets.

How can this be? Typically, the pay per call option on television is reserved only for the unsold advertising time slots on television.

This creates an opportunity for large law firms, attorney networks and co-counsel law groups to be able to advertise nationally on both local TV and cable for free and be charged only for each call or valid lead generated. This cost structure dramatically reduces the substantial investment usually required to air nationally or in major cities. In most cases, the law firm is required to purchase a minimum of 200 leads upfront.

The most attractive part of the program is that the law firm only pays for valid leads or phone calls on a weekly basis plus a small commercial cut fee.

Contact Lawyer Success, Inc. to learn how your firm can make arrangements in your local area to take advantage of these new television advertising opportunities.

ABOUT LAWYER SUCCESS, INC
Lawyer Success, Inc has been providing cutting edge legal marketing strategies and services exclusively to attorneys throughout North America, Australia and Europe. Lawyer Success, Inc. has advised over 3,500 lawyers on results oriented marketing solutions. To speak to an expert law firm marketing consultant, call James Greenier at (769) 218-6099.

Lawyer Success, Inc delivers quality law firm client development through TV, cable, radio, print venues and the Internet. Many of our programs cut the risk of advertising by our clients, through the use of Per Inquiry, pay per lead, Cost Per Call (CPC), Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Action (CPA) programs. call James Greenier at (769) 218-6099.

Trial Lawyers Spot Litigation Trends to Develop New Practice

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

In today’s economy, companies are desperate to generate revenues and are leaving their business ethics on the cutting room floor. A new emerging trend is emerging in advertising. Instead of promoting their product’s features and benefits, the latest strategy is to actually name and bash their competitor’s product.


The auto company which typically used comparative references are now on a full blown competitor assault. This new marketing strategy is now being used in many different business verticals and there is not limit to the amount of bashing and false claims being made especially in television advertisements.

For example, a well know state BAR prep study course suffered a major publicity blow when their competitor falsely stated that this company’s students had a lower success rate then what actual the case.

So what can you do if a competitor is making false claims about your company? How can you recover from the financial damage and tarnished reputation?

You hire an advertising lawyer.

At Lawyer Success, Inc., we strive to educate our clients concerning the latest types of litigation, emerging trends and proper marketing strategies in order to increase our clients’ success. Call us today at (769) 218-6099 for more information about our law firm marketing consulting services.

Hildebrandt interprets impact Of economic crisis on legal industry

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Hildebrandt interprets impact
Of economic crisis on legal industry

Janet Ellen Raasch

Janet Ellen Raasch is a writer, ghostwriter and blogger (www.constantcontentblog.com) who works closely with professional services providers – especially lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations – to help them achieve name recognition and new business through publication of keyword-rich content for the Web and social media sites as well as articles and books for print. She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com.


The recent economic crisis has had a significant impact on everyone – including most law firms. In 2007, profits at many law firms were up a healthy ten percent. By late 2008, profits were down between five to 20 percent. In 2009, year-end profits will likely average between flat to down 15 percent from 2008.

“For most law firms in the current economic environment,” said Kristin Stark, “’flat’ is the new ‘up’ – although there are notable variations by size, location and practice area.

“Things have stabilized but, at this point, we do not expect much change for the last quarter of 2009,” said Stark. “We do not anticipate a dramatic upswing in firm performance in 2010. It is likely to be a slow recovery.

“Larger law firms operating in major financial centers have suffered the most,” said Stark. “Smaller firms and those located in secondary cities (like Denver) have been affected – but not as significantly.”

Bankruptcy remains the most in-demand practice area, increasing by 18 percent during the first three quarters of 2009. Demand for litigation has increased slightly — 1.3 percent. Transactional practices like capital markets, real estate, tax, general corporate, and mergers and acquisitions have been hit hardest and continue to struggle.

Stark is a senior director in Hildebrandt International’s Strategy Group. Hildebrandt (www.hildebrandt.com) specializes in professional services firm management and publishes the quarterly Peer Monitor index of law firm performance, which provided all the data cited in this presentation.

Stark spoke at the monthly educational meeting of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association (www.legalmarketing.org/rockymountain), held Nov. 10 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Denver.

“In addition to a sharp decline in demand, declining profits are due to slow collection cycles (realization is down four percent), rate pressures (financially strapped clients are very resistant to rate increases in a buyer’s market) and declining productivity (especially among non-equity partners),” said Stark.

Law firm response

Law firms have responded to these market conditions by making sharp cuts to overhead. As recently as 2008, total law firm overhead expenses increased 8.2 percent. Due to intensifying focus on expense control, total overhead expenses decreased 0.6 percent from the previous year in the first three quarters of 2009.

An analysis of the percentage change over a rolling 12 months indicates that expense increases for occupancy fell from 9.2 percent in 2008 to 8 percent in 2009; expense increases for technology fell from 9.5 percent to 2.1 percent; expenses increases for library fell from 11.8 percent to 2.2 percent.

Law firms actually cut expenses in the areas of non-lawyer compensation (from an increase of 8 percent in 2008 to a decrease of 0.5 percent in 2009), marketing (from an increase of 6.4 percent to a decrease of 9.7 percent) and office expenses (from an increase of 7.9 percent to a decrease of 14.8 percent).

“I am puzzled in particular by the dramatic cuts in marketing expenditures,” said Stark. “Wouldn’t you think that in an environment defined by less demand and high client frustration, lawyers and law firms would be expanding marketing efforts rather than making cuts? This clearly demonstrates the (unfortunate) historically low value placed on marketing.”

The traditional way for law firms to weather economic downturns – cutting overhead and raising rates — are no longer enough. “Law firms must expand their efforts to understand the marked shift in client attitude that is the product of this economy,” said Stark. “After ten years of a ‘seller’s market’ we have rapidly shifted to a ‘buyer’s market.’

“Clients now hold the power where pricing is concerned,” said Stark, “and these clients are angry and frustrated. This downturn has quickly compounded long-term client perceptions of poor value and misalignment of resources in exchange for high rates.

“The most market-savvy law firms understand that clients currently enjoy a growing number of options to get legal services cheaper and faster,” said Stark. “These firms are actively pushing ‘big moves’ to reshape their firms – and the legal industry.”

These include:

? Corporate clients are currently focused on cost, value and predictability. In the ACC Value Challenge, for example, in-house lawyers are able to grade law firms’ performance on six “value” criteria – and view the grades of others. Use a formal interview process to understand what your clients want.

? The long-standing debate over alternative pricing has reached a “tipping point.” Clients expect fixed fees for commodity work and flexibility when pricing all but the most critical “bet the company” work.

? The trend towards convergence is accelerating. In order to exert pricing pressure and encourage better partnership, clients will cut their roster of outside counsel and give more work to those who are willing to be flexible.

? There will be no client tolerance for rate increases for “business as usual.” Any rate increases must be justified by obvious increases in value.

? Increasingly, contracting for outside counsel is being handled by skilled corporate procurement departments – not general counsel. These decisions will be based more on cold cost and less on warm law-school relationships.

New roles for marketers

Traditionally, the role of marketing in law firms was reactive and focused on marketing communications.

To keep pace with emerging trends sparked by the current economy, the role of marketing in law firms must follow a more progressive and proactive model – and add new capabilities in research, strategy and sales. “You will see fewer generalists and more specialists – dedicated to a particular practice or industry segment,” said Stark.

In the area of research, marketers will be responsible for market/client analysis, internal analysis, competitive analysis and client feedback programs.

“Marketers will proactively identify client concerns and develop methods to address these concerns,” said Stark. “Good ways to do this include ‘deep dive’ in-person client interviews, secondments (where lawyers spend time working at a client’s site) and inviting clients to speak on panels at law firm retreats.”

In the area of strategy, marketers will participate in planning and targeting, development of new products and services (including the hiring of laterals to provide those services), and creation and maintenance of referral alliances.

“In particular, you will see marketers fully participating in pricing and profitability decisions,” said Stark. “In many cases, they will come to the table with financial expertise or advanced degrees in these areas. It takes a lot of skill and research to price profitably on a non-hourly basis. Do it wrong and you can lose a lot of money.”

In the area of sales, marketers will focus on the retention and growth of existing clients, the targeting of new business opportunities, and sales training and coaching to help lawyers (or dedicated sales personnel) turn these opportunities into new client relationships. “What is really new in this evolving model for a competitive marketplace is the strategic identification and ‘poaching’ of clients from other law firms,” said Stark.

“All in all, this is no time for law firms to be cutting back on marketing expenses or personnel,” said Stark. “Be sure that your lawyers understand the real value being added by the marketing function. Proactively drive strategic marketing approaches to help your firm differentiate itself from the competition. Communicate and demonstrate value in order to support your closer involvement in critical client issues.

“By taking aggressive steps now, you can position your firm to come out of this economic crisis well ahead of its competitors,” said Stark.

Lawyer Defends Lawyer Website Advertising Claims

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

A New Zealand Criminal Defense lawyer is under heat from the New Zealand Law Society for allegedly using content on his website that claims or suggests that he can get people off drunk-driving charges. The New Zealand Attorney has since taken down the web page which allegedly made such claims.

Barrister Patrick Winkler’s law firm website allegedly made claims that he can use technicalities and/or loopholes in order to get clients off and/or keep them out of jail.

The New Zealand Law Society is considering a formal investigation over the website advertisement .

According to several news sources, Mr Winkler says that he can see how some of the elements of his no longer published web page could have given rise to certain interpretations, but he is defending his role. He says he is not in the business of handling cases involving death or serious injury and does not underestimate the pain of those who have been in serious crashes or lost loved ones in serious crashes.

At Lawyer Success, Inc. we are chosen by law firms to develop website because unlike your typical web designer, we work exclusively with lawyers. We keep abreast of the strict state advertising rules governing the practice of law. Call Lawyer Success, Inc for all of your law firm website design and Internet marketing needs. We have been in business since 2003 and have guided over 3,500 law firms in all phases of Internet marketing. Call (769) 218-6099 today for a free consultation.

Award Winning Personal Injury Websites by LawyerSuccess.com

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The Internet is becoming fiercely competitive for personal injury lawyers who desire to generate new injury leads.  Not only is being visible in the search engine the most critical step toward Internet marketing success, but having an award winning personal injury website is what seals the deal in converting web traffic into leads.

The rule of thumb when designing a personal injury lawyer website that works is to:

  1. Have you website properly optimized for search engine visibility.
  2. Have design that is compelling, contemporary and easy to navigate.
  3. Offer website content that is resourceful, interesting and helpful.
At Lawyer Success, Inc, we have designed award winning personal injury websites since 2001. Our team of experts have worked with 7 of the top 10 legal websites on the Internet. Call (769) 218-6099 to discuss your website.
Here are some samples of our work:
Call Lawyer Success, Inc at (769) 218-6099 for a free award winning personal injury website consultation.

Attorney Search Engine Optimization

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Attorney Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of programming a law firm’s website and inner web pages in order to increase it’s readability to the search engine robots while also improving the value of the web pages as calculated by the search engine algorithms.

By performing attorney search engine optimization, the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines through natural or organic (unpaid) search results. Search engine optimization or SEO, when prepared and maintained by an SEO expert can position a law firm website at or near the top of the search engine results page. The higher a website or web page is positioned or appears in the search results results, the more search engine visitors that website will receive from the search engine.

Attorney search engine optimization experts typically target several different types of search opportunities such as video search, image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. These techniques develop a law firm website’s web presence.

Highly trained legal SEO experts, such as James Greenier of LawyerSuccess.com, consider how search engines rank websites, how the work and what people search for. In order to properly optimize a legal website a SEO will edit the website’s content, HTML and associated coding to increase the website’s key phrase relevance to researched and targeted keywords. Also, an expert SEO will also remove any barriers to the indexing activities of search engines though the use of robot txt files and XML sitemaps.

Lawyer Success, Inc. offers search engine optimization for law firms as either a stand-alone service or as a part of a more comprehensive Internet marketing campaign. For effective and complete SEO our company requires that we work with clients that enable us to alter their current website design in order to make the proper SEO changes to the HTML source code, menus, content management systems, images, videos, shopping carts, meta data and other elements that have must be optimized for the purpose of greater search engine exposure.

Our firm does not employ black hat SEO or spamdexing as other less experienced or negligent SEO firms that we compete with. Other SEOs may use methods such as link farms, article spinning, blog spamming, and keyword stuffing in order to trick the search engines for short term gains. These tricks degrade both the relevance of search results and the user-experience of search engines. Search engines look for sites that employ these techniques in order to remove them from their indices.

Call Lawyer Success, Inc today at (769) 218-6099 for a free SEO review of your attorney website. For more information about our experience please check out our About Us page.

New Jersey Lawyer Advertising Rules and Ethics SuperLawyers Best Lawyers Martindale AV Ratings

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

The state Supreme Court of New Jersey amended Rule of Professional Conduct 7.1(a)(3) requires lawyers to include in ads the name of the rating service and a disclaimer saying, “No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.” The recent change takes effect immediately and it allows lawyers to mention their inclusion in Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America or Martindale-Hubbell AV rankings.


The changes take effect immediately. November 5, 2009 [See notice to the bar.]

The justices pointed out that New Jersey lawyers will want to read the rule changes carefully before using or promoting their selection by any rating services to ensure that the ads are not misleading to the public. The bottom line is that the ratings services must make an inquiry into the attorney’s fitness. The award or honor may not be offered at a price. And the ads used must describe the rating services methodology, or at least tell the reader where the description can be found.