Being a solo practitioner comes with added obstacles and challenges that established law firms may not experience. From office administration to employee management to client intake, there are many tasks that must be performed in order for a legal service to succeed.
This article will focus on the importance of lawyer websites and why having one would benefit a solo lawyer.
Here’s a quick overview of everything this solo lawyer’s guide will cover:
Getting a website
Finding web design ideas
Starting a blog
Promoting the website
Improving the website’s performance
Reasons Solo Lawyers Need A Website
Solo lawyers have the ability to choose their own hours, select who they work with, and decide which cases they want to work on. While this may sound appealing at first, the additional work required to run a law firm by yourself can take a considerable amount of extra time.
Here are a few benefits solo lawyers can get with their website:
Advertise Legal Services.
Find New Clients
Establish a Brand / Reputation.
Share Professional Legal Knowledge
There are some DIY website builders or if you don’t have the time to build a website yourself, you can hire a professional developer.
Website Design for Solo Lawyers
Although a website should provide useful information, the design and functionality can affect whether a visitor will use your legal services or search somewhere else.
Most visitors coming to any website will be searching for the information they need right away. If your solo lawyer website takes too long to load, has an unattractive design, or is confusing to navigate, expect visitors to leave before ever inquiring about your practice.
Designing a website with your prospective clients in mind will have greater benefits in the long term. Here are a few tips to guide you toward a good website for your solo service:
Choose A Good Design. The aesthetics of your solo lawyer website is important. Consider the look and feel of your website. Ask yourself, does it showcase your professionalism? Expertise?
Don’t Confuse Visitors. When visitors come to your website, keep the message clear and make your pages easy to navigate. Nothing is more frustrating to someone online than landing on a website and not knowing what to do or where to go.
Offer Quality Content. While it may be useful to have a website featuring your office hours and contact information, you can improve your website’s performance by adding a blog and providing helpful information.
Have A CTA. You need a Call To Action on your website. This could be an onscreen pop-up requesting an email or your contact number in large font that offers the visitor a free consultation if the contact you today.
When you discuss your website with a web designer, remember to focus on the website’s function while paying attention to the overall aesthetic and design. To get more ideas for you website design, check out 2017’s best lawyer websites or 2018’s best law firm websites.
To create a successful lawyer blog, you’ll want to consider the keywords people are using in search engines. For example, if you’re a solo lawyer practicing divorce law in California, you’ll want to write an article with similar words inside. Keep reading to learn how keywords in your website can improve its performance.
Promoting Your Legal Services
In order for a solo lawyer website to serve its purpose, finding new clients, it is going to need visitors. Paid promotions can be an effective method toward promoting your legal services and finding your next client.
Google uses competitive keywords to provide ads on the first page of their results to people making searches related your selected words. Facebook offers this same feature, however, it has an even more powerful tool for targeting the perfect audience.
Depending on your budget and goals, Google PPC and Facebook Ads can have different results. For more information about which one you should use to promote your website, go to Google PPC for Lawyers or Facebook Ads for Lawyers.
Improving Your Website’s Performance
For alternatives to paid promotions, you can make a few modifications to your website to improve the performance. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method of making your website better recognized by search engines which presents your website to more people.
As mentioned before, having a blog is one way to improve your SEO. Blogs allow you to add various keyword rich pages to your website which can improve the likelihood of your website being discovered.
Other methods of improving your solo lawyer website’s SEO includes:
Lawyers tend to enjoy a well-earned career after law school accredited investing years in continuing legal education and training as an associate. While the path from law student to a successful lawyer will be different for each person pursuing law, there are numerous similarities in lawyer’s working conditions.
However, the work a lawyer provides is not exactly seasonal. Instead, they may experience spikes in the intake of clients and increasing caseloads. During this time, these lawyers may experience greater levels of stress, longer work hours, and higher pay.
In some cases, lawyers may have to provide 24/7 on-call access. Depending on the demands of the case, clients may require contact with their lawyers to help handle legal obligations in their particular situation. Offering 24/7 access to a lawyer is common for high-profile civil and criminal cases, and not typically provided by most firms.
However, in order for some law firms to remain competitive, there are 24/7 services that provides access to lawyers at any time of the day. This is particularly useful property for law students and for intaking new clients who may call an office for information when it is urgent for them to find an answer. There is a list of outsourcing solutions for lawyers that allows law firms to have round the clock access.
Lawyers are expected to have strong interpersonal skills since they will be working with clients dealing with a wide range of emotional and legal issues and personal situations.
Clients coming into an office may be angry, unhappy, or emotional upset because of their legal situation. Depending on how a lawyer communicates with their clients, it could make the difference between another successful case in civil law or an unfortunate pursuit of malpractice.
Having the social skills are critical for a lawyer to maintain their private legal practice as well. Lawyers will spend a significant amount of time communicating with their clients. They will use the telephone, e-mail, memos, letters, and other forms of communications to rely on information to their clients and other legal professionals.
Expectations and Responsibilities
Lawyers have demanding working conditions requiring attention to details, precision with communications and writing skills, and attentive decision making. If there’s an error in a lawyers judgment or action, it could result in delays and improper rulings in the courtroom.
Lawyers are greatly responsible for the outcome of their client’s case, which ultimately affects their lives and reputations. In some cases, lawyers are solely responsible for the decisions they make which can have an overall impact on a whole constitutional law firm. If firm’s don’t agree with their lawyer’s decision making or if it jeopardizes the profitability and ethics of environmental lawyers in a firm, lawyer’s can lose their jobs.
The workload for lawyers requires intensive research legal writing and investigation. Lawyers are expected to perform the same mental tasks in and out of the office. They may also have to follow a dress code.
In The Courtroom
When a lawyer goes to court, they serve as the representative of federal government for their client; they provide advice to other lawyers advise their clients; they explain the legal rights, obligations, and appropriate actions; they are an advocate of law and assert their client’s position; they negotiate terms and ensure an honest outcome; they evaluate evidence and structure compelling arguments; they write reports and summaries of the outcomes of their client’s legal affairs.
Lawyers going to court must act professionally and provide prompt support to their clients. In these situations, tensions can be high because rulings in criminal law and civil cases can completely alter a client’s life. While a lawyer may serve as a beacon of hope for their clients, they must also adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct outlined by the American Bar Association (ABA) and protect themselves from being sued from malpractice.
Lawyers experience a significant amount of competition throughout their career. It begins with they attend law school, competing to enter some of the best law schools in the country. Those who get into those many law schools have a greater chance of landing a job at a high-paying firm.
If a lawyer does get hired as an associate in patent law alone, they must learn their trade while also proving useful to the firm. If an associate is offered to become a partner, they not only receive more legal work which provides more money, but they also hold greater responsibility regarding the profitability of lawyers work for the firm.
How to restore balance to your work-life as a lawyer
It may be easier to manage legal hours and be well-balanced, but it make a lawyer’s working conditions more difficult. Here are several ways legal professionals may benefit from longer employment hours.
As a lawyer, it can be challenging to maintain a balance between work and personal life, but it is essential for your overall well-being and long-term success. Here are some tips to restore balance to your work-life as a lawyer:
Set Boundaries: It’s essential to set clear boundaries between your work and personal life. Create a schedule that allows you to have dedicated time for work, as well as personal activities such as exercise, hobbies, or spending time with family and friends.
Prioritize: Make a list of your priorities, both professional and personal. Focus on the most critical tasks and delegate or outsource some of the less critical ones to free up your time.
Learn to Say No: Don’t feel guilty about saying no to additional work or commitments that may interfere with your work-life balance. It’s essential to learn to prioritize and protect your time.
Take Breaks: It’s essential to take breaks throughout the day to recharge and avoid burnout. Take a walk, grab lunch with a friend, or engage in another activity that helps you relax and recharge.
Unplug: Make a conscious effort to disconnect from work-related communication when you’re not working. Turn off email notifications, and set aside specific times for checking and responding to emails and messages.
Seek Support: It’s essential to have a support system, whether it’s family, friends, or a mentor. Share your concerns and challenges with them, and seek their advice and support.
By following these tips, you can restore balance to your work-life as a lawyer and maintain your overall well-being and long-term success practice law yourself.
Is being a lawyer a stressful job?
Yes, being a lawyer can be a stressful job. Lawyers often have to deal with high-pressure situations, strict deadlines, long hours, and heavy workloads, which can contribute to stress and burnout.
In addition, the nature of legal work often involves dealing with conflicts over legal ethics, making difficult decisions, and representing clients in challenging situations, which can also be emotionally draining.
Furthermore, the legal profession can be highly competitive, and lawyers are often under pressure to meet billable hour targets and deliver results for clients, which can add to the stress.
However, there are ways to manage stress in the legal profession, such as setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, seeking support from colleagues, and practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques. It’s important to recognize the potential for stress in the legal profession and take proactive steps to manage it.
Could this the future of legal services? A future of lawyers on demand which allows people to choose from a pool of legal talent, at affordable rates, whenever legal advice is needed.
Although the traditions in law run deep, there is a trending new opportunity for those pursuing a legal career. Instead of working at a law firm, working insane hours, and having a portion of your earnings going into the owners’ pockets, you can become a freelance lawyer, working on demand.
Will Lawyers Quit Working At Firms?
Law firms dedicate considerable time and resources training their associates toward full-fledged lawyers. The hours can be long and additional work may be completed outside of office hours.
Some freelance lawyers may opt to take a few months off to travel and pursue other lifestyles. Creating a work-life balance is a lucrative choice for young adults seeking to enjoy their adulthood even while developing their career in law.
Are All Freelance Lawyers Qualified?
While it can be easy to distinguish the reputation of a law firm, some prospective clients may be hesitant to work with freelance lawyers. Not knowing whether a lawyer is fresh out of school or was let go from a firm for malpractice may defer people from choosing freelancers.
However, in most cases, freelance lawyers are those that have had experience working at a firm and choose to take their career in law down a different path. Experiences will certainly vary from lawyer to lawyer, however, there are certain standards that all lawyers must follow in order to practice law.
Freelancer lawyers have the opportunity to be more selective with the caseloads and time management. These lawyers can maintain a high level of quality for their services by focusing on providing exceptional client experiences in order to attain future work and referrals.
Benefits of Freelancing
Take a look at how both lawyers and clients can benefit from freelancing:
Higher earning potential
Offer higher value work
Work on more unique clients and cases
Build expertise in the desired niche
Access to lawyers on demand
Reduce overhead costs
Cost-effective alternative to in-house lawyers
Ability to hire experts in a specific area
Freelancing lawyers have the ability to offer convenient services for short-term and occasional clients. It offers clients an alternative to expensive lawyer fees from a reputable law firm while maintaining the quality of service.
Many law firms are also recognizing the benefits of hiring freelance lawyers on a case-by-case scenario. Law firms can reduce their overhead costs by avoiding fees for health plans, holiday pay, and maternity leave.
Freelance Lawyers vs. Solo Practitioners
It would be wrong to assume that solo practitioners of law are the same as freelance lawyers. In most cases, the difference between the two includes the following:
Clients. Solo practitioners often work from an office and offer legal advice to their clients. Often, freelance lawyers do not provide any form of legal advice unless working on cases with other lawyers, law firms or administrative legal departments.
Hours. For a sole practitioner, working hours can be long and unforgiving. It is common for lawyers to send invoices for 40 to 50 hours worth of work even though they required an additional 5 to 15 hours after hours. Freelancers have much more freedom and can plan in advance which days to take off and enjoy for themselves.
Type of Work. Since freelancer lawyers have the freedom and flexibility to define their services and choose their clients, they can find themselves working for unique and challenging clients. Since freelancers offer more of the time to companies and other law firms, there tend to be fewer worries about dealing with emotionally taxing non-lawyer clients. Lawyers seeking to work more directly with the law and reduce the amount of emotionally draining counseling-like experiences with clients would certainly prefer freelancing.
Flexibility. Solo practitioner typically works from an office. This requires them to purchase office equipment, hire assistants or clerks, and maintain their office space. Freelance lawyers often don’t have this. Instead, freelance lawyers can use a range of locations and technologies to meet and connect with their clients.
Choosing to become either a freelance lawyer or a solo practitioner comes down to who you are as a lawyer. If you know how to manage your time and wish to have extra hours for yourself, freelancing is the way to go. In contrast, if you’re the type of person who enjoys a structured lifestyle that is motivated by a high-stress working style, focus on becoming a solo practitioner.
Freelance Platforms for Lawyers
There are a variety of online sources providing freelance lawyers access to prospective clients. Axiom, Vario, Lawyers on Demand provide unique matches for clients seeking flexible lawyers for their situations.
Axiom – The main feature that Axiom offers is a platform for freelance lawyers to create a profile and showcase their legal services to prospective clients. They offer temporary in-house services to clients who can hand-pick their own lawyers. Axiom currently has over 1200+ lawyers available provide services for real estate, litigation, intellectual property, employment and benefits, derivatives, finance and more. Axiom also offers global reach to assist with international businesses and clients.
Vario – This freelancing platform for lawyers offers flexible legal support for law firms, in-house companies, and individual clients seeking support. They focus on alleviating their client’s stress, reduce costs, and provide measurable results. Vario understands that the world is changing and remote work has become a staple in today’s working environments. They work directly with lawyers to uncover exactly what a lawyer wants to do and how to do it.
Lawyers on Demand – Here you’ll find services dedicated to those who want an in-house team or hired help at a law firm. All freelancers at Lawyers on Demand are carefully screened for quality and talent. They work with lawyers ranging in all areas of specialization to provide access to legal support for anyone looking for a lawyer. As of now, there are over 600 lawyers and consultants available to support prospective clients.
If you enter a finely furnished office or go inside a courtroom, these are the typical places where lawyers work. However, aside from the actual places that lawyers perform their legal services, where do lawyers work?
Let’s explore a few of the places where lawyers can get hired after graduating law school.
Lawyers can work at one of the following three levels of government:
Depending on where the lawyer works, there will be varying roles and responsibilities. Government lawyers may be one of the following:
State attorney generals
Lawyers working for the government can work for almost every government agency that exists. From Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency to the IRS, lawyers have plenty of career opportunities with the various government agencies.
After working at the firm for a number of years, an associate may be considered for partnership. Becoming a partner comes with considerable more responsibility while becoming a partial owner of intellectual property within the firm.
Average Salary for Lawyers: $135,830
In-house attorneys are those that are employed by a single client. The clients are typically large corporations requiring a go-to lawyer to be available for various in-house legal requirements. Many companies have their own legal department handling various other legal issues and situations the company faces. These in-house lawyers may be responsible for the following:
Addressing any of the company’s employment issues
Handling litigations with another law firm if the company is sued
Acting as a lobbyist to influence legislation in favor of the company
Working for a company or large corporation typically offers a higher salary and more flexibility with their time than other lawyers who work for themselves or at a firm they practice law for. Find an in-house lawyer position may occur when a company continues to hire a lawyer from a firm and after building a relationship they offer a permanent position.
Average Salary for Legal Services in the Alcohol Industry: $179,950
Private Practice (Solo Practitioners)
Some lawyers may choose to start their own business after being law school graduates obtaining a few years of experience. Instead of becoming a partner at a firm, they start their own or become a solo practitioner.
Private practice is where many lawyers work and those who become solo practitioners tend to have significantly greater job responsibilities. In order for a solo lawyer to survive, they must perform their own marketing of their legal services and advise clients. To find clients, some lawyers may get a website, start a blog, or use paid advertising methods.
Lawyers often bill their clients at an hourly rate or in increments of minutes (i.e. 10 minutes at a time). It is the lawyer’s responsibility to accurately track the time they provide to their clients in order to invoice them correctly.
Average Hourly Rate for Lawyers: $56.81
Public Interest Lawyers
Legal-aid groups, which tend to be private, nonprofit agencies, offer legal services to disadvantaged people. Lawyers and law firms found here aim to help poor people and other minorities with limited access to legal services.
The civil and criminal cases that public interest lawyers (PBLs) focus on include:
Occasionally, these lawyers may represent clients who seek to change laws to improve society as a whole. While public interest lawyers are a vital resource to help people, the salary for these lawyers is minimal. Nonprofit organizations often struggle to maintain funding to assist people in need. This is why these organizations provide internships to students and those who recently graduated law school to offer hands-on legal experiences.
Median Entry-level Salaries for PBLs: less than $43,000
These lawyers (and also experienced lawyers seeking a break from their profession) can teach at law schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. Alternatively, lawyers who are practicing can pick up a side job as a teacher and publish their own personal research related to law and legal ethics.
Judicial clerkships provide law graduates with a chance to receive valuable experience which can help them find a position at a higher-paying firm. In some places, permanent positions may be available for clerks.
Lawyers have to determine the legal responsibilities of their clients. Generally speaking, the client will look at the scenario he narrates and identify facts to be cited in legal documents. The legal department then assesses and analyzes the current laws, rulings, and regulations for clients. Those companies inform the client of their rights and the right of redress for breaches. In certain cases, a lawyer may look through evidence to determine liability to the client and determine the right action.
How does one decide what type of lawyer to become?
How do people attract lawyers? Why are you doing so much work? How are people represented? Can we create societal impact through this work? How can we get involved? How would you describe the ideal professional life? How are job prospects compared to other law types? Tell us about your favorite class at law school? Usually lawyers enter law school admission test the legal field in private reasons.
Public Interest Lawyers
Legal-aid organizations generally are nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to the privileged. The lawyers listed in this section aim to provide assistance to minorities who do not have a legal system. Occasionally these lawyers seek changes in law to improve societal conditions. Although public interests lawyers are vital for helping people, their wages are small. Non-profit organizations struggle with maintaining the necessary funds to help those in need. Hence these institutions provide internships for students completing law studies in a safe environment.
Trending everywhere is an increase of the technology tools being used at the workplace. These changes occur swiftly and are meant to make jobs easier or more efficient.
In the world of law, there’s no exception. Even lawyers are gaining access to more clever tech tools to make their lives better. However, you won’t have to worry about upgrading your phone or downloading hundreds of new features and struggle to try to figure things out.
If you’re like most lawyers, technology has a few standard features and that’s all you need. Well, wouldn’t you like to discover the true potential that technology can provide you and your legal services?
Let’s take a look at a few of the best tech tools for lawyers which will help your legal practice in the 21st century.
1. Research Tools
If you’re spending endless hours researching the old way (i.e. in a law library), you may want to try these advanced research tools. If you want to try powerful but affordable research, check out Ravel Law or Casetext:
Ravel Law is a resourceful legal search tool that allows lawyers to search legal data, analyze results, and create understandable visualizations. Ravel Law obtains all their data from Harvard Law Library. Use Ravel Law to put new information into practice.
Casetext is another provider of legal information and offers free services to law students and pro bono lawyers only, otherwise, it’s a subscription-based service. Casetext’s unique contextual legal research technology, CARA AI, automates key legal research, arming lawyers with the highest quality research possible, ultimately allowing firms to spend time on higher-value, billable work — and avoid missing key precedents or decisions. Consider CARA as you’re very own, digital assistant.
Lawyers with a website can really benefit by implementing a live chat system on their websites. This useful tech development is becoming increasingly popular in legal industry as it allows owners of a website to engage directly with visitors.
If you’re thinking about putting together a powerful Facebook Ads campaign, having live chat ready to go can potentially boost client intake.
One thing to keep in mind with using this technology on a lawyer’s website is the American Bar Association’s Ethics and Regulations regarding online marketing.
3. Accounting Software
Accounting software is a great tech choice for lawyers. There is a wide range of service providers available and they’re focused on providing the tech solutions just for lawyers. Here are a few of the things your accounting software can do for you and your firm:
Although some accounting software programs offer additional storage, you may want a dedicated cloud provider to store your data. Cloud storage allows for data to be stored on servers away from your computer.
This can provide you access to important files and information while you’re on the go and your mobile device, even on your cell phone. Dropbox and Google Drive are two common and easy to use save files and documents.
However, you may be concerned about the security of your client’s data. One thing to consider is that as a lawyer, putting all your client intake forms and sensitive information on cloud storage could lead to it getting hacked. It is a lawyer’s responsibility to safeguard their client’s personal and sensitive information.
If you do decide to use a cloud storage to save your legal documents off your computer, try setting up two-step authentication.
Getting a virtual office for each client portal your law firm is an effective use of technology for your practice. Depending on the area you specialize, you can receive a team of dedicated receptionists who can understand and use appropriate legal language.
What software do law firms use for practice management?
The software integrates with countless software applications to make law practice management easier. Compare software management platforms and prioritize software that is relevant for your practice. For PI plaintiffs, it is necessary to have personal injury practice management software like CloudLex which allows you to quickly include personal injury information. CloudLex also offers a variety of interesting features including the following:
Lack of internal communications cost business owners $420,000 in annual losses. Communication tools help employees communicate with customers.
61% of attorneys say capturing bills on their time is a difficult job for the law firm. Sometimes invoice minutes can be lost in a hurry when switching between matters and a phone call. If an application is attempting to track logged hours using email or calendar events retroactively, it may result in an incorrect schedule. In an attempt for resolution this problem attorneys have turned to software for timekeeping. 80% of legal professionals have legal time-tracking and productivity tools that can reduce the burden of work.
Online file storage
When working on a remote basis online file storage is essential for a legal practice and is easy to find. It’s even incredibly common for attorneys to use cloud computing as their primary storage solution for their business data. Check for online storage that can be accessed easily from anywhere in the world. Dropbox is probably the most common document storage application on the market today.
Law firms are likely to receive free and cheap communications services. Many business communication software developers designed their business tools mostly for immediate use. Slack’s features are popular, like chat, task manager and reminders. It is also easy to understand for beginners. Microsoft Teams offers lawyers another opportunity within the Microsoft ecosystem.
Automated Billing and Invoicing Software
The ability of law firms to generate invoices is key to their financial success. Sadly, these tasks can become incredibly expensive. According to the study, 73 percent of attorneys said that their firms struggle with pay. 80% said firm profit was a major problem. Legal Invoice Software automates legal invoice processing, including time-tracking and flat fee entry. Sending Bills to clients is simple using a single click. Afterwards, it will be shown if a user has viewed or done something on an invoice.
Case Management Software
In a safe environment you will have a higher probability of success. It is time for the lost paperwork, it’s a waste. The Case Manager is an easy to learn tool. Developed for a centralised system, it provides a real-time data base with proactive information analysis. You still use chat functions to keep in touch with the team and customers. Many of these tools have backups and customer help for those who have concerns. The best case management application is PracticePanther. It streamlined everything to suit you.
Legal Payments Software
Law offices accepting online payments are paid a third of the time if they are not. Learn the best ways to make your legal practice pay. It sounds complicated, but it does not for me. Efficient payment processing tools simplify payment. How should we evaluate our lawyer pay bill software?
Legal Citation Generator
You must use legal sources to give evidence and present legal papers in court. Legal Citation Generator is reliable and easy to use for finding references to legal documents. It helps you save time by obtaining references and making them more accessible. This tool provides links to government websites. The links to this document are easy. Law students and law professionals alike benefit from it. Pros at Law may examine codes and regulations for a legal matter and add citations to documents submitted for trial.
Virtual receptionist service
When someone misses an emailed phone call, it means that they’ll lose their business. Virtual reception services like Ruby eliminate calls that are not answered by the user. It helps customers receive better services and reduces the time spent on contacting employees in-house.
Mobile apps can increase your productivity by giving you the freedom to work anywhere—a requirement in 2022. How are mobile apps used in legal practice?
Time tracking and billing solutions
A timely tracking and billing system is vital to maximizing the profits. Using software that monitors time manually and handles billing isn’t going anywhere. If you don’t have the tools you need to manage time and bills, you should look into your legal software. Clio Manage includes time and task management, expense monitoring and billing functionality. If you don’t currently own any practice management software then please see our review list.
The process and processing of documents are vital components for success at an established law firm profitability. Document scanning technology can save time by simply taking a few steps. Many scanners are not physically scanners but they can take pictures directly off your smartphone. This software also allows you to save and upload documents in a central place. Do you have a hard time with moving materials and programs? Let’s discuss this. The software was created with the aim of reducing the workload of law offices. This program uses cloud storage for sharing, updating, and organizing material. The automatic indexing system is very useful for finding important data within the constraints of time.
Electronic signatures can be easily coordinated allowing less time for human mistakes. It makes the law process faster and easier for lawyers to handle, and reduces paper costs. Although electronic signing does not always work, electronic signing is legally binding as long as it meets the correct criteria. In other cases, certain countries require the signature of the documents such as wills. Tech helps in simplify e-signatures.
Integration With Legal Practice Management Software
It can help you streamline the billing and collection of your business software. Law Payments enables law firms to integrate easily into MyCase, reducing administrative burdens potential clients. After completing tracking and creating an invoice in Mycase, clients pay bills using LawPay payment processing software. The bill is reflected as paid on mycase’s dashboard and ensures smooth, consistent oversight.
Legal research tools
High-quality law studies are vital to the success of your business. The new legal library provides easy-to-use legal information for you. It will enable you to stay up to date and do legal research quickly. Fastcase has among the largest law databases on the Internet. With fastcase integrated into Clio, you can easily get documents like statutes, laws, or constitutions. Effective research in law is not necessarily expensive. These articles cover some of the best legal research tools available online.
Secure Video Conferencing Software
More lawyers offer remote or hybrid options to their employees. Video programs improve access to information by making clients work wherever they need it. In addition, you can contact lawyers via phone or chat. You may even write the call for further analysis or obtain transcriptions to refer to later. High-quality software helps reduce the chance that a call may be lost. Those who like the possibility of having more people to share their experiences with video conferences should use Zoom. Many business owners consider this platform an ideal platform for quick meeting conveniences. The total number of callers will vary from 1200. Lawyerer is an online service for legal practitioners looking for encrypted, end to end encryption back-to-end documents.
Client intake and CRM
CRM solutions like Clio Grow assist companies with the coordination and communication processes of client portals, which are performed before clients are introduced. The new service allows firms to offer new clients the ability to make their first online appointment easier via the online form. The 2020 legal trend report demonstrated that Client Orientation – CRM – Software is beneficial even in the remote office.
Cloud-Based Document Management
COVID-19 altered legal practice forever. Many team members have adopted collaborative software tools to improve productivity across varying teams based on their remote work. Almost half of the legal workforce today uses software to manage their firms’ files. MyCase provides an efficient legal and document management software platform. It is updated instantly on desktop and laptop computers so that everybody is always aware of the latest version.
You might think the purpose of your lawyer website is to provide information about your law firm’s legal services or a place where people can request a consultation. While these may be the primary objectives, there are a few things you must do before the phones start ringing.
From a digital marketing point of view, lead generation is a popular term you should understand. When you’re looking for potential clients for your firm, driving the right traffic to your website is the first step then turning those visitors into clients is the next.
If you’ve been wondering how to get more leads at your law firm, perhaps this will help you out.
Traffic refers to the number of visitors to your website which can either be real people or bots. You can see this if your website connected to a tool like Google Analytics. Once installed, you’ll be able to track both web visitors and the number of page visits.
Lead Generation is the process of curating or collecting prospective client’s contact information and taking them as clients.
Landing/Squeeze Page can be used to send web traffic to a specific web page to offer valuable content in exchange for their contact information. Alternatively, you can offer a special promotion (i.e. free consultation) which can only be found on this page.
Sales Funnel is a series of steps that takes leads through the process of becoming a new client at your firm. From a lawyer’s perspective, you use various strategies to market and bring in new clients (i.e. drip marketing).
Conversion Optimization is a process of increasing the percentage of visitors to your website and converting them into a new client.
Perhaps you can start to see that there are various angles you can take when it comes to marketing your law firm’s website. The essentials include web traffic to generate leads and a landing page to collect them. As well, you’ll have to perform ongoing site analysis to find new ways to turn more visitors into clients at your firm (maybe changing some of the colors on your website will work).
This will likely be an ongoing process for your online marketing strategy. In the meantime, let’s explore how you can improve you lead generation at your law firm.
More Leads. More Clients.
When you’re considering a lead generation strategy for your law firm, you want to ask yourself these kinds of questions:
By addressing these questions, you can start to develop your own methods to finding clients that you prefer to work with. Remember, this is your business which means you ultimately decide which types of clients you choose to work with or not.
What Kind of Clients Do You Want?
Let’s start here. Do you even know what kind of clients you prefer working with?
You probably don’t enjoy taking on clients that add more stress and more work than is needed. Perhaps if you’re in a desperate situation, you may accept these clients because you need the cash. But, you know if you continue doing so, you’re going to burn out.
Instead, take a moment to determine who you enjoy working with and what specific cases you handle best.
If you’re depending on the internet to find almost all of your clients, you have to be prepared that people are going to be “shopping around” for the lowest rates. Nonetheless, that’s not to say you can’t find quality clients online, it’ll just take a bit of effort and testing to find.
Now, before you keep reading, ask yourself this: was there ever a client you would rather not work with?
Where Will You Find Your Clients?
Your prospective clients are likely a few clicks away from stepping into your office to get their legal struggles solved.
You should be aware that search engines receive a lot of queries from people looking for solutions to their legal problems. Some common search entries may be:
[Lawyer Type] + [Location]
[Lawyer Type] + Fees
Cheap/Affordable Lawyers + [Location]
Often, you can design your website in a way to attract these searcher to your website. This is the process of SEO and you can find more information about that kind of strategy for your law firm here.
Knowing where your clients are spending much of their time online can be difficult if you’re not familiar with the web. However, social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), are great places to start targeting specific groups of people who may be in need of your legal expertise.
For the solo lawyer doing all the marketing yourself, you may want to consider these marketing ideas coming next (these ideas also apply to lawyers and law firms of any size).
How Will You Attract Those Clients?
Are you familiar with the term bounce rate? It wasn’t defined above however it refers to the amount of people who visit your website then leave right away.
This happens because the content or information on your website and landing pages aren’t fulfilling the need that people were looking for.
In order to attract more clients to your firm, you’ll have to test a few different strategies to see what works and discard what doesn’t work from your marketing methods. Here’s a few strategies you can consider to start generating more leads:
Strategy #1: Compelling Landing Pages
If you’re running a PPC campaign, you’ll want to make sure your marketing dollars are getting you the biggest return possible.
The best way to ensure you don’t waste all your money is making sure the keywords you use in your ads is congruent with the message on your landing page.
If you think of your website in terms of a sales funnel, consider offering a free consultation. As you run your ads, target the immediate needs of people thinking about divorce, those recently in a car accident, or a new business in need of copyright protection.
You should understand the fundamentals of keyword research to know which words people are using to serve better ads. As well, you should create ads that not only look good but remain consistent to the overall message.
Then, when people start are arriving to your landing page, use a strong and compelling message that gets them to sign up to an email list, send a message to your firm, or to call you right away.
Strategy #2: Helpful Videos
Are you Camera Shy? Hopefully, not.
Offering a helpful video, especially with your expertise in your area of practice, can allow you to make stronger connections and build better trust online.
Let’s face it, a few words on a screen may not be the icing on the cake when it comes to choosing a person who’s going to help a dire situation or prevent someone from going to jail.
Instead, videos allow you to reveal your personality and send a direct message to those considering a lawyer in their community. Take a look at this lawyer who takes a camera to his office and capturing his entire day:
Strategy #3: Offer Free Information
You’ll see this strategy used a lot of online services. They create a free piece of valuable content, host it on their website, then give it away for free in exchange for someone’s contact information.
As a lawyer, you know there’s all kind of questions people have about their legal situations. For example:
Those going through divorce want to know what rights they have, the risks involved, and the possible outcomes to their situation if they and their spouse can’t come to an agreement.
In the business world, copyright infringement can ruin a business. People want to know how they can protect their creative intelligence and what kind of legal action they can take if their ideas are stolen.
Some people experiencing a traumatic event may not know what actions to take in their situation.
You can then follow the same idea from above where you use the emails collected to send more content, offers, and information about your legal services.
Quick Warning About Lead Generation
If you ever consider hiring someone to help with your lead generation, there are a few things you should consider before you do. These services may offer pay-per-lead or pay-per-click vendors. However, you have to watch out because you can get a lot of leads (i.e. emails, phone numbers, etc.) but they may not be interested in your business.
In case you want to go ahead and use these services, consider these lawyer specific pay-per-lead services:
Please do your own due diligence before using any of these services. We do not endorse nor receive payment from these services. These are just a few of the available PPC and PPL services you can use for your firm. Results will very and should always be measured for cost effectiveness.
If you plan on using search engines to lead new clients to your legal services you’ll want to know the latest trends. Having all the latest data and information about what people are searching for on the internet is the key factor for any business offering their services online. Luckily, Google Trends offers a tool that does that.
Understanding the data surrounding search data allows for an effective marketing strategy to emerge. The behaviors of consumers are constantly changing and adapting. Search data reveals new insights about your clients, competitors, and industry.
Google Trends reveals the frequency (or popularity) of a search-term being entered compared to the total search volume across various regions of the world. Using this tool, you will be able to see the trend of a search term across time. You can also look at search data for in real-time, too.
Science Direct studied the usage of big data and found that notable search queries were performed for statistics, policy and law. This big data can be used to make informed marketing decisions for your law firm.
In addition to marketing, Google trends can:
Analyze the interest of search users related to your area of practice
Forecast legal issues that require immediate attention
Acquire a diverse set of information from various sources
Access raw search data related to your area of law
Having a better understanding of how people are using Google, especially in terms of people dealing with their legal questions, puts your law firm in a position where it can solve their problems.
How to Use Google Trends
Getting started with Google Trends is simple and the best part is it’s free to use. On the main page, you can browse trending stories or explore topics using the search bar.
To start your own research and analysis of big search data go to Explore and enter your search term or topic.
Before hitting enter, you may want to adjust a few of the settings to obtain search trends related to your practice and your area. You can make adjustments to:
Choose your country or anywhere else in the world.
Choose from past hour, 4 days, 7 day, 30 days, 90 day, 12 months, 5 years, or from 2008.
Choose a category based on your area of practice (i.e. an personal injury lawyer may choose Autos & Vehicles).
Search type. Choose from News, Web, Image, Google Shopping, or YouTube.
How Lawyers Can Use Google Trends
If you’re wondering why traffic to your attorney website is declining, Google trends can help you reveal why keywords which ranked well before may no longer bring in new visitors.
However, SEO experts can spend hours creating a strategy from a deep analysis of Google trends. Here’s a few ways your law firm can use Google Trends:
1. You can use the search bar to explore general topics like “practice area + lawyer” or “law related search term” keywords (i.e. divorce lawyer or divorce in New York).The first screen you’ll see is Interest Over Time which shows the popularity of those keywords over a certain period of time.
When you add additional search terms you can better understand the overall search demands related to your area of practice. The peaks and dips show trends throughout the year which can guide you toward when and what you publish on your blog.
2. Next, you can see where each search words and being used throughout the country. When you browse over each state and you will see the interest based on each search query.
After selecting one of the states, you can get more detailed results of trends based on metro locations.
3. At the state level, you can start to see some specific search queries being made throughout the state. This feature is useful to make decisions about opening an office in a location where law-related terms are being searched the most.
You can see that the search term Divorce has high interest in Bakersfield. This could be an ideal location to open an office because of the high search demand.
From the state level, you can go even deeper to see where and how popular a search term is being made. However, if there is not enough data you will see a notification. You can try using a more general search term to obtain more information.
4. Try searching YouTube trends. Not everyone is using Google’s search engine to find answers to their problems. YouTube is another great source to analyze trends and perhaps find ideas for your own advice or news related video channel.
5. Use Trending Search to find the latest news and searches trending right now. You can find this by navigating to the menu bar on the left. Trending searches is a great way to get ideas for your content. If there’s a popular news item or topic that’s related to your law firm, consider writing an opinion piece or offer your perspective on the situation. Doing so can put your law firm’s website into by spinning current events toward your legal services.
If you want to get notifications to your inbox as-it-happens, each day, or each month, you can click the “+” button to subscribe. When you regularly update your blog with fresh content, this sends a signal to Google and other search engines that your website is active and providing value. Knowing the trends can help you adjust your blog content toward an audience with a specific search demand.
Ready to Use Google Trends?
Remember, Google Trends is showing you what is or has been popular on their networks. Lawyers can use this information to:
Discover which keywords (or search queries) are most popular
Find related keywords that are becoming popular
Compare law related keywords that are gaining or decreasing in popularity
Identify geographic locations where keywords are used
While you can use this to create your content and social media posts, there are better and more accurate tools you can use for SEO.
The old days of listing your law firm in the local newspaper may not be entirely dead, but there are now many effective and cost efficient ways to market legal services. From ads that cost you per click to clever tricks to drive traffic to your attorney website, here’s a list of digital marketing tools even lawyers can use.
Notice: some of the marketing tools on this list may not be specific for legal services, however, these are popular tools used by digital marketers.
1. Lawyer Website. This had to be at the top of the list. If you don’t have a website for your law firm or legal services, you won’t be able to take advantage of the rest of the tools on this list.
2. Law Blog. Starting thinking of a law blogas a tool to attract potential clients to your law firm. You can write about trending topics or provide valuable information about your area of practice.
7. Canva. Here’s a place to get creative elements, such as graphic designs, logos, posters, flyers, and more for free. Use this to attract more prospective clients from your Facebook ads.
8. Visually. If you want to offer a stunning infographic explaining the increasing rates of divorce throughout America, try Visually. Here you can get great ideas and images to create incredible online content.
9. Lexicata. This CRM (Customer Response Manager) is made specifically for lawyers. It helps you with client intake and managing your messaging system to deliver to the perfect message at the perfect time.
10. SEMRush. If you’re serious about your SEO and want a premium tool to dig deeper into popular search terms, use SEMRush. They also provide strategy ideas, content ideas, and technical SEO solutions to help your firm’s SEO methods gain traction.
12. Facebook Ads. Alternatively, you can tap into the millions of people who are actively using Facebook. Lawyers can use Facebook Ads to target specific people, locations, and other detailed demographics.
13. Facebook Audience Insights. Perhaps you should do a bit of research on your target audience before setting up your ads. Facebook Audience Insights gives you a detailed look at the types of people using Facebook, it’s perfect for understanding the types of clients you can help the most.
14. Medium. In addition to your attorney blog, you should try this popular platform where people share stories that matter. Who knows, you may be the guru of law your country needs.
15. Ahrefs Blog. For those lawyers with a curiosity for the way to web works, Ahrefs Blog offers incredible insight toward SEO and online strategy.
21. Ad-Roll. Re-targeting is a method of featuring your ads throughout the internet after someone visited your site or saw your ad in a different location. With Ad-Roll, you can tap into their vast network and feature your legal services in your region.
22. Sizmek. Advertising is all about impressions and Sizmek focuses on making the most out of the impressions you get while saving you ad dollars. They use a data-focused approach to serving up and managing your law firm’s ad campaign.
23. Vimeo. Does your law firm offer video content? An alternative to publishing all your videos on YouTube, you can use Vimeo to share your content and reach more viewers.
24. Unbounce. Instead of sending web traffic to your website you can use Unbounce to create landing pages. Here you can design a strong message that tells potential clients why your legal expertise is the best in town.
25. VWO. Marketers understand the internet in terms of conversion optimization. This means the traffic you send to your website has a greater chance of purchasing a product (or becoming a new client). With VWO, you can get detailed analytics and test variations of your lawyer website, content, or call to actions to achieve the best results.
26. Google Analytics. This free analytics tool gives lawyer a basic overview of the traffic coming to their website, from what source, and more. Setting up Google Analytics requires an account then adding a small piece of code to your website.
27. Facebook Analytics. Does your law firms use Facebook? If so, setting up your Facebook Analytics will give you additional insight to optimize the journey from your Facebook Page to your law firm’s office.
28. IFTTT. Is this you? After you write a beautiful blog post you publish it, then share it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and any other place you can find that will accept your link. Well, with IFTTT you can automate that process and save a significant amount of your time.
29. Feedly. You can use Feedly to create an aggregate of news channels and offer them on your website. If you’re a personal injury lawyer, you can add blogs and other news sources related to accidents and incidents in your community.
31. ColorZilla. If you’ve ever seen a color on the internet and wanted to know what it was you can use ColorZilla to get you the code.
32. Evernote. You likely keep your office organized and you can use Evernote to help with your computer related tasks. However, as a lawyer, you may want to keep confidential information off this platform and stick to more secure apps for lawyers.
33. Calendly. Looking for a simple solution to schedule new intakes directly from your website. Calendy lets you manage what times you are available which can be particularly resourceful if you want to offer a free 15-minute consultation by phone.
35. Chat.io. When visitors come to your website having a live chat button in the bottom right corner can help turn questioning visitors into new inquiries. Chat.io offers an easy to install lawyer chat on your website which can be monitored by your or your staff.
37. PageSpeed Insights. Here’s yet another resourceful Google tool that allows you to measure your site speed and receive suggestion on how to improve it. Remember, a website with a faster load time improves the likelihood they’ll stick around for it to load and contact the firm.
38. SimilarWeb. Have you ever wondered why your competitor’s law site is doing so much better than yours? With SimilarWeb you can figure out their online strategy by gaining an inside look at their content and keywords.
Although lawyers fight to protect their client’s interests, it is equally important to protect themselves from legal malpractice. Lawyer-client communication is one of the biggest factors that lead to situations where clients turn on their lawyers. Others include time management and not meeting deadlines.
Regardless of the reasons behind the claim, there are a few things lawyers can do to avoid legal malpractice.
Require a retainer. To avoid losing funds request money in advance for your services (you can set up an automated accounting system to remind you when your trust fund is running low). Whenever a client fails to replenish the retainer, stop working. Your services are based on the hours you put in for the client which they have to pay for. By establishing this strict guideline, it holds you accountable for your services and reduces problems with collecting payments later on.
Have a written contract. When you’re consulting a new client, be sure to provide them with your core services in writing. Include in this document information about your retainer, terms of service, and clearly define what you are obligated to do under the retainment.
Document diligently. While it will be impossible to document every detail regarding your matter, putting a consistent effort toward documenting your interactions with clients can reduce legal consequences should your client sue. Letters may be effective, however having emails, notes, and documents with time-entries can be most effective. If you’re providing advice regarding serious issues due to drastic situations, you may want to consider recording this information. If for any reasons a client confuses your words and questions what you said, you can look back on your documentation to provide clarity and avoid malpractice.
Get to know your client. This point should be number 1: know who your clients are. If you’ve established your law firm as a limited liability company (LLC) you’ll have to clearly distinguish between your responsibilities, your interactions with your client, and the relationship with the firm. You may have to state in clear terms that you are only a representative of the firm and what that means between you and your client.
Never miss a deadline. For new lawyers, they can be most challenging if you underestimate your workflow and time management. Setting realistic deadlines and completing tasks ahead of schedule can avoid conflicts with your clients. Remember, when you deliver earlier than the client expects, the results tend to lead to a satisfied client.
Avoid suing your clients for fees. Although you may have the documentation and support to provide a claim against your client, pushing a lawsuit on a client to collect fees can backfire. If you sure your client, they’ll likely review their own documentation and experience then find a way to countersue for malpractice (i.e. implying that was the reason they stopped paying in the first place). Even if you are insured, some insurance policies are exempted from protecting you from malpractice claims if you are suing your clients for missed fees.
Refer clients to others. It can be tempting to take on clients in an area you are not familiar with if you are experiencing financial pressures. The best thing to do is to build your network and refer such clients to close connections to avoid misrepresenting a case that may be too much to handle. In the long run, building relations with other lawyers and firms can lead to referred clients coming back to you.
Understand the ethical rules. This applies especially to conducting online marketing and other web related tasks. The ABA has ethical rules that all lawyers are expected to follow. While the rules themselves may not be black and white, understanding what you can and cannot do online can help you avoid problems should sensitive information be leaked or clients have a bad experience with some of your outsourced legal staff.
Connect with your client. It is important to know your client, especially when detailing the contract for your services, but it is just as important to build rapport. Are you operating a profession or running a business? While it can be enticing to provide legal services to earn a salary, there comes a line between working for money and working for people. If your clients are just a means of making money to enjoy your lavish, rich lifestyle, it shouldn’t be a surprise that malpractice lawsuits continue to come in.
Get malpractice insurance. In the worst case scenario, having malpractice insurance can protect you. Malpractice insurance policies vary from provider to provide so you should review carefully the terms and protective benefits before choosing the right policy. Here’s more information about malpractice insurance for lawyers.
These are just 10 points to avoid malpractice at your law firm. If your focus is providing exceptional legal services, build connected relationships with your clients, while providing fair fees, getting sued should be the least of your worries.
Imagine having a solution to writing out the same forms, again and again. For lawyers manually inputting information, legal document software may be a new way forward.
Legal document software provides lawyers with the ability to accurately and quickly create legal paperwork. Automation in the legal world may seem like a frightening future. However, when you can save time on redundant tasks, greater opportunities for the firm can be found.
What is Legal Document Software
Legal document software is a modern approach to improving efficiency and workflow at the office. By reducing the workload, lawyers can focus on reducing costs, saving time, and keeping their clients happy. Don’t be confused with legal management software, as this focused primarily on creating important legal materials.
Legal document software provides lawyers with a variety of templates that can be branded, designed, and customized for every client’s need. Templates allow lawyer’s and their assistants to complete tasks in much less time.
Functions of Legal Document Software
Aside from the obvious time-saving benefits of having ready-to-use documents, legal document software provides the following functions:
Document Scanner Tools. If you have to scan your documents, you can easily upload into the program and convert them into PDFs and images to send to clients.
PDF Tools. Since PDFs are a common document format lawyers send to clients, the PDF Tools allow editing, modifying, and adding signatures to legal documents.
Automation Tools. There are certain parts of documents that must be added to every document. By creating a template in advance, these elements can be added to a legal document to save time.
Data Control. Saving and organizing files are easily managed. You can also ensure that newer versions and updates never override previous versions to reuse them again if needed.
Integration Tools. If you have a CRM service or want to send documents directly to your client’s emails, the integration tools allow you to connect your accounts.
Legal Signature Integration. Some legal document software can be used with digital signature tools to create legally binding documents for computers or mobile devices.
Legal Document SoftwarePrecautions
Just as you secure your legal documents in locked cabinets and safe locations, you must consider the safety and security of your digital documents. Failing to keep your legal documents safe can lead to some serious legal consequences. Protecting your digital documents from hackers and theft must be a top priority.
To combat comprised data, legal document software offers a range of solutions to ensure you legal documents remain safe. Some may use a two-step authentication (i.e. providing a password and a pin code on your phone) or require a direct portal through a secure channel.
When deciding on which legal document software to purchase, you’ll want to consider whether to have a cloud-based storage or on-premise storage.
Cloud-based storage offers a secure server from the service provider to save and access data. Going back to the previous point, you should check with the service provider to ensure that your data is encrypted, has back-ups, and high-grade security.
These cloud-based products are offered via subscription license. You will be expected to pay a recurring monthly fee, or if available, a reduced annual rate. This may seem like an appealing choice as the fees are much less in the beginning.
On-premise storage allows you to manage and store documents directly on your devices. You own the software, instead of subscribing month-to-month, and you may require your own IT support. Keeping your data on private servers and away from your own laptop can prevent a situation where your computer malfunction and all data is lost.
Examples of Legal Document Software
MyCase offers cloud-based document solutions to improve communications with clients and minimize daily legal tasks. It features an intuitive form filling tool with task automation. They also provide solutions for organizing case documents, sending encrypted messages to clients, the one-click firm generated reports, billing solutions (i.e. invoicing and payment collection), and calendaring.
Pricing is just $39 per month for their cloud-based subscription. You can also try MyCase free for 30 days.
Abacus Law provides case management and document automation software. This is a cloud-based service with AES 256-bit encryption. With applications for androids and iOs, you can even access documents from your smartphone. In addition to their automation services, Abacus Law offers a full suite of useful tools such as email management, analytics software, and accounting software.
You’ll have to contact their sales department for a quote or schedule a time to see a demo.
TimeSolv has not only document management solutions and automation but also other tools to manage many aspects of your firm. Their document automation software allows you to create custom files unique to each customer while reducing the workload with custom templates.
They have a sliding pricing scale, depending on the size of your firm, with the starting price being $34.95 per month/timekeeper. You can also try it free for 30 days.
PracticePanther offer legal document solutions for small sized law firms. Their focus is to cut costs and save time for lawyers. They also offer a suite of services such as 1-click invoicing, email integrations, CRM, chat applications, and trust accounting. They offer a secure cloud service following HIPAA compliance.
Their monthly plan starts at $59 per month with a 7-day free trial.