Your law firm exists to serve your clients.
If there is only one takeaway from Susan Cartier Liebel’s webinar, “Building a 21st Century Law Practice,” it’s that: Your firm exists to serve your clients.
Statistically, if you are driven by money alone, you will probably fail as a solo (and at anything else you attempt in life). Your law firm exists to serve your clients. This will never change. Say it out loud and remember it. Embrace it.
Now hopefully, you can remember more than this one tip from the full 60-minute webinar because Susan shared about 100 tips (along with some great stories) which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense.
After all, she founded Solo Practice University in 2009 and has since helped more than 1500 students hang their shingle and become their own boss. Sounds great, right?
But what’s really great is that she’s taken her years of experience helping lawyers launch their own law practices and created a special “3-in-1” presentation specifically for this webinar aimed at helping solo attorneys with “Building a 21st Century Law Practice.”
Even though that is the official yet blasé name of the webinar, Susan admits a more appropriate title could be “If I Were Building My Law Firm Today, This is What I Would Do.”
So let that sink in a bit: you have the founder of Solo Practice University, who has helped over a thousand attorneys launch their own law firms, offering her advice on all the things she would do differently when building a law firm, and exactly how she would be doing it herself.
She literally breaks down a summary of everything she would do if she was starting a law firm today. And you know this is free, right?
Give this some thought: as reported by Bloomberg News, 40% of all working Americans will be self-employed by 2019. This means approximately 68% of all private practice attorneys will be solos in just a few years from now. So what are the odds you’ll be a solo if you aren’t already?
And a more important question: what is the key to success? Susan says your use of technology will ultimately dictate your longevity in the profession.
Yet, 19% of webinar attendees said they did not have a web presence. Of those who did have some sort of presence online (could be a Website or even just a Facebook Business Page or a LinkedIn profile), 59% said they do not update it regularly.
Susan’s own story, which she shares about nine minutes into the webinar, is a clear example of the importance of a strong web presence and how technology directly impacts how potential clients will find you.
She also explains that these days, you have to be concerned about marketing. It can’t be an afterthought — marketing is key to the survival and growth of your solo practice. To get clients to hire you, you have to go where they are (which is online… Susan talks a lot about this).
Want to learn more? Watch the full recording of the webinar below and learn all about what it takes to build a 21st Century Law Practice, including:
- Establishing a proper online presence
- Internet search tips
- Building your website the right way
- Working with “Branded Networks” (ex. Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer)
- Legal review sites (ex. Yelp, LawyerRatingZ, Avvo)
- Plus tips on managing and integrating social media, using domain names for SEO, building your online presence, and much more.
Susan also touches on the concepts of Portability vs. Security: Think about how you bank online. That same level of encryption security is built-in to legal practice management software (tip: this is something Susan would use today if she launched a law firm) and is a prime example of how technology enables you to be more mobile and still put your clients, and your law firm’s, security first.
A 21st century law practice allows clients to make credit card payments, works with eDiscovery, and is paperless (with the help of a scanner and tablet — yes you should have one). PDF tools like Good Reader or Penultimate are must-haves not only because they will they make your life easier, but because by using technology to manage your firm today, you position yourself for success down the road as your firm grows.
You will also learn the difference between E-Lawyering, a Virtual Law Practice and Virtual Law Office (VLO), and what this means to you and your jurisdiction. This is discussed about midway through webinar, and this section alone could open your eyes to new opportunities to help increase billable hours, get your name out there, and grow your solo law firm business.
The full recording and slides are below! Also, make sure to hang around for the 15-minute Q/A at the end of the recording that has some great audience engagement.
Finally, congrats to the Apple Gift Card winner: Catheline Georges from Owenby Law, PA! See you in October at the next MyCase legal webinar!