The Fellows Blogs


    When Can You Pay a Referral Fee?

    2 Sep 2014, 4:00 am | From Attorney at Work | Fellows Blog

    In most practice areas, a lawyer’s marketing efforts should focus on generating a strong referral pipeline — from both non-lawyers and lawyers alike. If those efforts are successful, you'll probably need some guidance on referral fees. Here it is. ... READ THE REST

    Happy Labor Day

    1 Sep 2014, 7:31 pm | From LawBiz® Blog | Fellows Blog

    During the Labor Day holiday, we spent some time traveling to several “food spots” in Los Angeles that were highlighted by the food editor of the Los Angeles Times.  One of them was Bulgarini Gelato, maker of one of the best gelato delights we have had; another was The Oinkster, serving pulled pork as good … Continue Reading

    In the practicePRO Lending Library: How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times

    1 Sep 2014, 7:24 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    Worried about the economy? Are you a lawyer out of work? Are you afraid you will be laid off? Are you struggling to manage your firm through a down economy? In a single volume, How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times, will provide you with a wealth of tips, resources, and tools to help you survive […]

    Think twice before asking for “any and all” documents

    31 Aug 2014, 10:42 am | From In Search of Perfect Client Service | Fellows Blog

    Before I get to the topic at hand, allow me a brief rant.  Can anyone explain how the phrase “any and all documents” (typically used in Rule 34 request for documents) covers any document not covered by a a request for “all documents” or “any document”? This is as bad as “true and correct copies.” ... Continue Reading

    Stem Client Roundup for August 2014

    Whether you consider the end of summer as “the most wonderful time of the year“, or are sad to see the sunny weather on the wane, the end of August is here, and soon we’ll all be back …

    practicePRO Resource: Technology Use Policies and Resources

    29 Aug 2014, 10:10 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    Written policies that clearly establish guidelines and requirements governing the acceptable use of firm technology can help reduce cyber exposures and give staff clear direction on what they are permitted and not permitted to do with law firm technology resources. Use these resources and sample policies to create polices for your firm (These resources …

    Some suggested iPhoneJD reading

    I'm a big fan of Jeff Richardson's iPhone JD blog and with the recent Apple new product announcement date scheduled on September 9 in a much larger-than-usual venue, you don't want to miss out on Jeff's in the news roundup...

    A Brief Note About Browning Marean

    29 Aug 2014, 9:33 am | From Robert Ambrogi's LawSites | Fellows Blog

    Eloquent remembrances about Browning Marean have been written by those who knew him well. See the posts by Craig Ball, Tom O’Connor, Chris Dale, John Tredennick, Ralph Losey, Monica Bay and Josh Gilliland. These folks built friendships with him over many years, traveled to conferences with him, sat on panels with him, shared meals with […] The …

    How to Get the Fee You Deserve

    29 Aug 2014, 4:00 am | From Attorney at Work | Fellows Blog

    It happens to every lawyer — although hopefully not too often. You propose or quote a fee to a client or prospective client and are greeted with a response such as “I can’t afford it” or “How can you have the nerve to charge that?” When that happens, don’t get angry, or defensive, or cry. It’s all part of a game. Here is how you play …

    App of the Week: CoffeeTheApp

    We always stress the importance of networking. Networking is an essential part of your career, no matter what position or industry you are in. While platforms like LinkedIn, that help make networking a little easier, already exist, we’re always open to trying a new way of doing things. CoffeeTheApp, is a mobile app (if you […] The post App of the …

    Older Versions of Internet Explorer No Longer Supported

    Microsoft recently announced that they will no longer support older versions of Internet Explorer including IE7 and IE8, after January 12, 2016—sooner than had been previously projected. The browsers will continue to run as they always have but the company will no longer provide technical support or security updates for these versions. Microsoft …

    Site of the Week: Aquent Gymnasium

    Aquent, founded in the late 1980s by three Harvard classmates, has become a prominent staffing and consulting agency. Over time Aquent has evolved, adding more and more services. One we are particularly fond of is Aquent Gymnasium. A lot of people are familiar with Lynda.com and/or Coursera.org—two sites that offer online courses with the option …

    Too experienced to use a checklist? Quite the opposite

    28 Aug 2014, 10:00 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    LAWPRO’s practicePRO program maintains an impressive online collection of law practice management resources, including precedents, sample retainers, business plan templates, and yes – checklists. Our most popular checklists include: Independent legal advice (ILA) checklist Domestic contract matter toolkit Commercial transaction checklist Risk-management …

    LawBiz® Legal Pad: Why Marketing Matters for Lawyers, Part 1

    28 Aug 2014, 7:02 am | From LawBiz® Blog | Fellows Blog

    Factors to Consider When Marketing You Firm: -Have a Marketing Plan -Consider the commonality between you and prospective clients. -Play the Numbers Game -The more people you can get in front of; the better the chance of someone engaging you. -Build a quality referral sources -Understand that people learn differently -Connect with other professions …

    Be on the lookout for fraud as the Labour Day long weekend approaches

    28 Aug 2014, 7:00 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    On several occasions in the past, fraudsters have struck just before long weekends – a time when law firms are short-staffed and banks are closed an extra day. A long weekend creates circumstances that give the fraudsters a better chance of duping the lawyer and getting away before the fraud is discovered. Please be extra […]

    Lawyers and Pricing – Part 1

    28 Aug 2014, 6:00 am | From Thoughtful Legal Management | Fellows Blog

     ♫ Zoom Zoom Zoom ♫ A Capoeira song performed by Jibril Serapis Bey.   When it comes to legal services, it seems that many law firms see price as the sole basis for competition.  However from a marketing perspective, price is but one of seven criteria that make up the ‘marketing mix’ for services.  Since legal services [...]

    How to Make Small Talk

    28 Aug 2014, 4:00 am | From Attorney at Work | Fellows Blog

    Top 10 Icebreakers. Some people are born schmoozers and like nothing more than to meet and mingle at professional events. For others, this is about as painful as watching a "Kardashians" marathon at gunpoint. If you fall into the latter category — and most of us do to some extent — it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Debra Fine, author …

    Commercial debt collection scam using the names Ian Mason and Electrocomponents PLC

    27 Aug 2014, 2:41 pm | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    Three Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Ian Mason of Electrocomponents PLC looking to looking to retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection. This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be […]

    CBA Futures Report: Roundup of Reaction

    A few weeks back, I published a summary of the new CBA Futures Report over on Slaw.ca. The input and reaction to this report is something we’ve been tracking here at Stem; as we all seem to think (in time) …

    How to Calm an Angry Client

    27 Aug 2014, 4:00 am | From Attorney at Work | Fellows Blog

    As much as we like to believe that, if we do everything well, our client will always love us, it's just not true. You know the scenario. It’s the end of the day. The phone rings and you pick it up knowing you really shouldn't. You should just let it go to voicemail, pack up your laptop and go home. “What the bleep is this?” are the first words …

    LAWPRO defends lawyers: Lawyer owed no duty of care to non-client intermediary that paid out funds against client’s forged instrument

    26 Aug 2014, 9:53 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    LAWPRO defends a wide variety of cases in any given year. In almost 80 per cent of the claims files we handle, there is ultimately no finding of negligence against the lawyer that was the subject of a claim. Occasionally, our work on a lawyer’s behalf is made easier by having compelling facts on our […]

    Separation agreement scam using the name Paula Chue

    26 Aug 2014, 9:36 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    Two Ontario firms notified us that they received an email from the purported Paula Chue looking to retain them with regards to a collecting overdue payments resulting from a separation agreement. This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be […]

    How to Market Your Services

    26 Aug 2014, 4:00 am | From Attorney at Work | Fellows Blog

    You are a member of an organization that holds quarterly dinner meetings with a speaker. You look at your calendar and realize the next meeting is Wednesday night — drat! But, dutifully, you show up just in time to sit down for the meal, chitchat briefly with the people to your right and left before the speaker starts his address, and then sneak …

    Commercial debt collection scam using the names Gareth Richardon and Tec Electric Motors

    25 Aug 2014, 10:58 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    A California firm notified us that they received an email from the purported Gareth Richardon of Tec Electric Motors retain them with regards to a commercial debt collection. This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into wiring […]

    Business loan collection scam using the name Morgan Phillips

    25 Aug 2014, 10:43 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    Two Ontario lawyers notified us that they received an email from the purported Morgan Phillips looking to retain them with regards to a breach of a business loan agreement. This is a classic bad cheque scam that presents as legal matter requiring the assistance of a lawyer. In this scam lawyers will be duped into […]

    Recent Technology News and Developments for 2014

    Get your technology news update here. Recent Technology News and Developments for 2014 is my column for the August "Back to School" issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal. I cover lots of tech developments with some serious and some not-so-serious...

    How to Get New Clients

    25 Aug 2014, 4:00 am | From Attorney at Work | Fellows Blog

    Everyone knows business development should be part of every day’s to-do list. Still, it’s the rare lawyer who hasn’t experienced the sudden sinking feeling that comes when you’ve just finished your last client work and don’t know where the next is coming from. When it happens to you, don't panic. While renewing your commitment to all the …

    Meet Your New Lawyer, IBM Watson

    24 Aug 2014, 1:35 pm | From Prism Legal | Fellows Blog

    Will IBM Watson be your new lawyer? Perhaps someday. For now, I tackle an easier question: what role can Watson play in Big Law? I speculate here so welcome comments and corrections. Last week at the International Legal Technology Association annual conference  an IBM Watson senior manager presented to an invitation-only meeting of Global …

    A global market reacts

    24 Aug 2014, 3:17 am | From LawBiz® Blog | Fellows Blog

    As we begin to look at how the profession will change in 2015 and beyond, we must look at the Australian market. Here, large accounting firms are  adding major law practice components to their stable of professionals. In at least two instances, more than 100 lawyers were engaged by accounting firms. Multi-disciplinary connections are back … Continue …

    The Winning Equation: (Service + Marketing) = Brand Awareness

    It’s a common (and perhaps vain) misconception among marketing and business development professionals that we are the true purveyors of brand, when the truth is that we don’t create brand at all. Brand is built based on culture, attitude, service and the quality of that service. As professional marketers, we are responsible for creating awareness …

    Is it Time for Office 365?

    22 Aug 2014, 1:00 pm | From The Last Word | Fellows Blog

    As more and more firms decide it’s time to upgrade their current version of Microsoft Office, they’re confronted with the decision of whether or not to move to Office 365. Thankfully, Microsoft Office 365 for Lawyers: A Practical Guide to Options and Implementation by Ben Schorr has come along just in time to help with […]

    Resolutions to avoid doing things that annoy clients the most

    22 Aug 2014, 7:00 am | From "AvoidAClaim" Blog | Fellows Blog

    Clients will, understandably, get upset if they are treated badly or confronted with surprises. Make sure you appreciate how your words, actions, or inactions can annoy or even distress your clients. Here are some resolutions you can make to avoid doing the most common things lawyers do that annoy clients: I will promptly return phone […]

    LawBiz® Legal Pad: Tips for Increased Revenue

    21 Aug 2014, 7:00 am | From LawBiz® Blog | Fellows Blog

    Ed offers 5 ways to increase your law firm’s revenue. 1. Emphasize collections. 2. Hire lateral lawyers to meet specific demands, a new practice area, a new need. 3. Leverage technology. 4. Create a cooperative compensation model that emphasizes the law firm as an institution. 5. Outsource functions that are better done by others. Delegate… Continue …

    Start the Year off Right

    21 Aug 2014, 6:00 am | From Thoughtful Legal Management | Fellows Blog

    ♫ All of these lines across my face Tell you the story of who I am So many stories of where I’ve been And how I got to where I am But these stories don’t mean anything When you’ve got no one to tell them to It’s true… I was made for you Oh yeah, well [...]

    Reading Online News Items (2014 Edition)

    How many times do you see "Visit my blog!", "We have great news articles online here" or "See our website for more"? How often do you actually follow up just to see what is there? My guess is the honest...

    UMass Law’s ‘Justice Bridge’ Pairs New Lawyers with Needy Clients

    19 Aug 2014, 9:41 am | From Robert Ambrogi's LawSites | Fellows Blog

    The University of Massachusetts School of Law has launched what it is calling an incubator designed to help new lawyers start their careers while serving modest-income clients who might not otherwise afford a lawyer. Justice Bridge is described as a legal access center and law practice incubator that will help enable new lawyers to deliver high-quality …

    Why law firms need R&D investment

    19 Aug 2014, 8:01 am | From Law21 | Fellows Blog

    Lawyers hardly ever talk about research and development. We might be the only major industry or professional sector that fails to do so. Last year, total spending on R&D by the world’s 1,000 largest companies was about $638 billion, according to the Strategy& 2013 Global Innovation 1000 Study. The 10 companies that spent the most on R&D (from …

    Where does a golfer go to retire?

    19 Aug 2014, 7:15 am | From LawBiz® Blog | Fellows Blog

    At some point, you will say, “What kind of life do I want to live?”  In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (Thursday, August 14, 2014), a retired “workaholic” entrepreneur said “’You cannot not have a plan when you retire.’” He turned to retirement; though he didn’t plan it that way, he traded … Continue Reading

    Microsoft Launches Document Management System for Legal

    18 Aug 2014, 2:32 pm | From Robert Ambrogi's LawSites | Fellows Blog

    At the ILTA annual conference in Nashville today, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of a preview version of a new document management and collaboration platform designed for law firms and legal departments. Called Matter Center for Office 365, it works with Office 365 and allows legal professionals to securely find, organize and collaborate on …

    Another App from the ‘Hackcess’ Winner

    18 Aug 2014, 7:00 am | From Robert Ambrogi's LawSites | Fellows Blog

    I recently reported here about the ABA Journal’s Hackcess to Justice, the first-ever hackathon held during an ABA annual meeting. First prize went to William Palin, a Massachusetts lawyer. Over the course of the two-day event, he created PaperHealth, an iOS app that provides a quick and easy way to create a legally binding health care proxy or …