As you step into the courtroom, you’ll want to put your best foot forward. Your appearance strikes an immediate impression and people are constantly looking you up and down as you move through the room.
A striking appearance can help you build an appearance of authority and your shoes are usually the first thing noticed.
When you’re out shopping for the best shoes for lawyers, here’s a few things to keep in mind.
Tips For Lawyers Shopping for Shoes
If you’re reading this, you’re may be in need of advice to shop for the perfect lawyer shoes. To get things started, depending on price to determine the quality of a shoe is not a smart option. Many designer brands, like Prada or Gucci, depend on their brand reputation to make a sale. While they may offer well-constructed shoes, the overall quality may not be suitable for you.
When you are taking a look at the lower-end of shoe prices, quality can vary significantly. To help you with your shoe shopping, here are a few guidelines to follow:
Soles: having real, genuine leather on the bottom of your shoe can improve longevity and comfort. When you’re browsing through high-cost shoes, be sure to check the material the sole is made of. Sometimes, shoe companies will use a synthetic leather or create a rubber material that seems like leather. These lower quality materials don’t last as long.
Stitching: don’t be fooled. There is a difference between how low-cost shoes and high-cost shoes are bound together. Shoes at a high price point will be delicately stitched together and often use a detailed pattern that is striking and aesthetic. Lower priced shoes tend to have each piece glued together with an illusion of stitching. This can lead to your shoes falling to pieces before the end of their first year.
Details: in the lower priced shoe range, you’ll find many shoe companies attempting to mask the markings of high-priced shoes. Instead of hand detailed designs in genuine leather shoes, you’ll find factory machine presses which may have details and miss prints in the final design. A common method of faking design is through injection molding which reduces the appeal of a shoe, especially for lawyers.
Leather Quality: avoid cheap leather shoes. It can be tempting for a lawyer to pick a cheap pair of shoes, especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, the factories in China producing many of the shoes being sold today are using cheap scraps of leather and gluing them together to produce high yields. In addition, these shoes will use lower quality, harder leather that will likely be stained to cover any imperfections. Over time, this kind of leather will crease and the imperfections will begin to shine through. Quality leather is often soft and develops a beautiful patina as it ages.
You don’t need a closet full of shoes to be a well-dressed lawyer. Keeping a simple, clean, yet classic appearance is all you need when heading to the office. To achieve that, all you need is black.
Black shoes are a universal standard when it comes to matching your suits to your footwear. It goes with everything and you won’t ever have to worry whether your new suit jacket, whether it is navy, charcoal, or black, will match your shoes.
One thing to keep in mind is that black won’t work with bright colored outfits. However, you are likely not going to be wearing a bright blue jacket into the courtrooms.
Because black shoes are the norm in the business world, it will be easy to find a pair of shoes that fits your budget.
5 Recommended Shoes for Lawyers
If you’re not sure which brands or styles you like, here are five recommendations to guide your shoe shopping.
Paul Evans Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford
While coming in at a high price, the Brando Semi-Brogue Oxford by Paul Evans offers a professional looking shoe for lawyers. It has a classic style with upper lacing and full-grain Italian leather. The Brogue pattern ingrained in the letter is what makes these shoes shine.
Florsheim Castellano Wingtip
The Chicago based company designing these shoes have been around since 1892. Not only do they offer a beautifully crafted for but it also comes at a fair price. If you’re looking for something with a little more elegance, this is the shoe you want.
Plain Toe Derbys by Dquared2
Here’s a simple yet powerful black shoe lawyers can wear in any situation. The Plain Toe Derbys by Dsquared2 is made with genuine black leather and use a simple lace style to tie it all together.
To Boot New York Finn Chelsea Boots
These professional looking leather boots are great for a lawyer on the go. The leather has a burnished finish with a soft calfskin upper. This shoe delivers confidence in any suit your wear.
Allen Edmonds Verona II Italian Loafer
If you’re looking for something more comfortable and relaxed, having a pair of loafers is a great alternative style of shoe for lawyers. The Allen Edwards Verona II features calfskin Italian leather and silver accessories to accentuate the style.
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.
Let’s explore how search data can influence your marketing decisions and the content you create for your law firm’s blog.
What is Google Trends?
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.
Lawyer’s need the right tools to provide their legal services anywhere they have to go. From the office appointments to courtroom appearances having a full suite of supplies will keep a lawyer equipped for any situation.
If you’re soon to be associate at a firm or just a polished lawyer looking for a few new tools for the “toolbox,” here you will discover what’s inside a lawyer’s briefcase.
Although smartphones can provide this solution, some old fashion lawyers may still carry around a recording device. Recorders are important to make notes, collect thoughts and record instructions. If you happen to be one of those lawyers using a cassette tape to record, upgrading to a digital device can save a lot of time.
If you’re required to collect evidence for a case, such as a car accident, having a digital camera is a must. There are many small and compact cameras that can fit inside a small inner compartment.
You could probably eliminate all the previous items on this list by just using a smartphone. Calculators, recorders, and even matter management software can reduce the weight in lawyer’s briefcase. However, there could be privacy concerns if you’re using your personal phone for your clients. Designating a phone for your law practice can be a smart idea.
Cellular Headphone Set
Cellular headsets are great to have when reception is bad and a client makes an urgent call. These take up little space, however, using a clip from the office to bundle the wires is a smart way to avoid untangle them each time you pull them out.
A lawyer’s briefcase is usually designed to perfectly fit a notebook computer. If you’re carrying around your client’s notes, matter, and also a computer, you may want to get a briefcase with a shoulder strap to reduce the load.
This may not be a common item found in a lawyer’s briefcase, but it can be useful if you’re always on the move. Having a USB scanner can put documents on your laptop whenever you need them. You can send priority documents to clients immediately after court hearings while waiting in the break room.
All lawyers require the stationary supplies to be functional for their job. Pens, pencils, notebooks, and other essentials can be stored in designated compartments for quick and easy use. Don’t forget to replenish your supplies whenever they run out.
Inside most briefcases, you’ll find a sleeve dedicated for loose papers and folders. Storing the necessary legal matter in these places not only protects the documents but can also keep them organized. However, if you’re caseload is very large, you may require a larger suitcase to handle the load.
A lawyer’s briefcase is more than just a bag full of tools to perform legal work. When going from the office to the courtroom, a briefcase provides a secure and safe way to transfer sensitive and private information. Having a briefcase with anti-theft features with tracking may be over the top, but in a worst-case scenario, you’d have no regrets.
One last thing to remember, especially if you’re using or own multiple briefcases, is to be sure to transfer the contents on one into the other. You may find yourself rushing out the door with the wrong briefcase and wonder why all your client files disappeared.
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.
3. Google Trends. When it comes to popular stories and search terms that create the most buzz, try Google Trends. You can find all the hottest words related to your law firm. You can also read this about Google Trends for Lawyers.
4. Google Keyword Planner. SEO is dependent on keywords. Once you know which words are trending, use Google Keyword Planner to find variations and other stats to influence the content you make on your blog.
5. BuzzSumo. Many digital marketers use BuzzSumo and can lawyers to find the best content across social media and search engines.
6. Google Webmasters. Putting your law firm’s website on Google Console allows you to debug any critical errors to your SEO or receive notifications should your site get hacked.
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.
11. Google Adwords. Once you have an understanding of the keyword your soon-to-be clients are using, start a Google Adwords campaign. You’ll be able to put your law firm’s services to the top of Google’s Search Engine.
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.
16. HubSpot Blog. This is a place where you’ll find many digital marketers turning to for internet marketing advice. Maybe you can find some fresh new ideas to market your law firm here.
17. Buffer Blog. If you’re a social media enthusiast, the Buffer Blog is best to read about the latest trends and gain new insights.
18. Adspresso Blog. Sometimes Facebook Ads can leave a dent in your marketing budget. If you check out Adspresso’s Blog, you learn a lot about setting up and succeeding with your ad campaigns.
19. WooBox. Do you offer a free consultation and want to share this with as many people as possible? WooBox helps you create all kinds of creative campaigns to marketing your law firm.
20. MailChimp. Email marketing is a common strategy to send information and content to past clients and newly acquired emails. MailChimp is a simple email automation tool that lawyers can use for their drip campaign.
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.
30. Scoop It. If you want to join a content network, join Scoop It. Here you can share your latest blog posts and write exclusive articles to drive new clients to your firm.
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.
34. Trello. If your law firm has a lot of lawyers and you want an efficient way of sending notes and making sure office related tasks are achieved on time, use Trello. Their platform lets you create “boards” with lists of tasks and to-do lists which can improve the workflow in your office.
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.
36. Screaming Frog. Sometimes a small improvement to your website can increase the amount of visitors. Screaming Frog is a free web auditor tool which can evaluate your law firm’s on-site SEO.
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.
When you’re law career begins, you may find yourself working at a law firm as an associate and provided with a base salary. Transitioning from employee to becoming a partner at a firm is a great leap.
The path from associate to partner at a law firm may not always be clearly defined. However, there are a few criteria that can assist you if you’re being considered or have been offered to become a partner at a law firm.
The Path to a Partner at a Law Firm
Firms hiring lawyers often choose the best they can find. Applicants from top law schools are recruited first with interviews being limited to specific schools only.
There is a chance of distinguishing yourself in another way, however, most candidates for law firm positions will be considered by pre-selected schools.
Upon hire, your career often starts as an associate. You will be working with a mentor to learn how to practice law. At this time, you will be paid a relatively high salary as the law firm is investing in you at their firm.
While law firms seek to find the best potential lawyers, not all make partner at their firm. Some may leave to start their own private practice or start a firm of their own after a few years with the firm. The path to becoming a partner can be long and take now take over ten years before it occurs.
Partner vs. Non-Partner
On becoming a partner at a law firm, you not only take on more responsibility but also receive an equity stake in the firm’s profits. This provides you access to draw profits to cover your bills and monthly expenses. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to take a larger share when profits are distributed.
This is the typical style of partnership, however, there is also the possibility of becoming a non-partner which does not give you an equity stake in the law firm. Law firms have been adopting varying styles of multi-tiered partnerships which provide increases in salaries (and responsibilities) instead of receiving a small percentage of the firm.
In some cases, law firms may have different types of partnerships available. For example, you can be able to become an executive or managing partner.
There are many factors that influence the structure of a law firm and how it establishes available partnerships. Depending on the size and growth of a firm, offering a non-partnership promotion may be more financially secure than offering equity stakes. Law firms can be an LLC or a corporation and their level of success can determine how much access to equity their rising associates may receive.
Cost of Making Partner
Becoming a partner may not come cheap. Law firms that offer a partnership with an equity stake will often ask for a “buy-in.” That amount varies for each firm, however, some of the top firm’s may require hundreds of thousands of dollars as a capital investment.
Law school is already an expensive investment and many lawyers take years to pay back their loans. If you’re one of the few being fast-tracked to a partnership, consider the capital that may be needed to partner-up.
The “base” capital investment is not the only expected cost new lawyers are expected to cover. Becoming partner means you will be responsible for the costs of benefits and additional income tax deductions.
Finally, some associates moving into a position of being a full-fledged lawyer may experience a shift in lifestyle. This too can come with a heavy price tag.
Putting the financial situation into perspective, law firms don’t want to see their selected partners making less than senior associates. Partners are carefully groomed into their position and law firm’s take precautions to choose them carefully.
Why “Buy-in” to a Partnership?
The capital required to “buy-in” to a partnership position is needed to make investments and expansions at the law firm. You may not have to contribute the full amount as some law firms allow for a contribution that is spread out over a couple years.
Firms may offer a loan structure which secures the capital while imposing a debt onto the partner. However, other firm’s may opt out of requesting “buy-in” capital to avoid paying out a partner who decides to leave after the first few years. Another approach may be to delay the required capital investment by a year so that new partners can develop their services and get into the flow of their new career.
Benefits to Becoming a Partner at a Law Firm
After years of law school and enduring the high-stress legal world as an associate, becoming a partner adds the following benefits to a career in law:
Equity stake in the law firm
Greater prestige and power
Disadvantages to Becoming a Partner at a Law Firm
While the increased pay and access to the firm’s profits may seem like a lucrative leap in your career, here’s a few things that may be disadvantageous:
May take years to the firm before being considered a partner
Greater liability (i.e. sued for malpractice or if the law firm goes bankrupt)
Having an effective SEO strategy for your law firm will not only keep you competitive but also give you access to more prospective clients. If you already reviewed our SEO Tips for Lawyers and advanced SEO methods, we put together any missing pieces to the SEO puzzle right here.
Ever wondered why certain websites appear on the front page of Google when you search, “Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida”?
This is made possible by SEO.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is simply increasing your visibility in search results. There are many different ways to improve your search rankings such as backlink building, decreasing website load time, and more.
If your website is currently found on the 27th page of Google’s search results implementing just a few of the ideas in this article could see a significant increase in your search rankings.
Keep in mind, getting your website ranked on the top pages takes consistent effort because there are likely other law firms competing for the same position. However, by implementing an SEO strategy for your law firm you can take advantage of getting free traffic from search engines.
SEO Strategy #1: Know Your Search Words
The first step to improve your website rankings in the search engines is to understand the words people are using in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines.
In a Google Consumer Survey, it was found that 96% of people use search engines to find legal advice. They also found that 74% of them would go to a lawyer’s website and take action.
This makes search words extremely important so that your law firm is discovered by people looking for your legal services.
How to Find Your Keywords
There are a few free and simple tools you can use to find the keywords being used in the search engines.
Tool #1: Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to find all the keywords people use which are related to your law firm. The insights you get from this tool includes keywords, ad group ideas, historical statistics, competition, keyword, trends, bidding and much more.
To use Google’s Keyword Planner, you need an AdWords account. Don’t worry, you won’t have to add your credit card or purchase any ads to use their free keyword planner.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google Keyword Planner, follow these steps to get started.
Step 1: After you sign in or sign up, you’ll arrive at the AdWord dashboard.
Step 2: Click on the tool icon in the top right corner.
Step 3: Select “Keyword Planner”.
Step 4: Enter your search terms.
Let’s use “Divorce Lawyer California” for our example.
The results show some important stats like Avg. Monthly Searches, Competition, and ad-related details.
You can use these results to put together keywords your web pages and blog content.
To improve the effectiveness and accuracy of your law firm’s keyword research, be sure to adjust the location and the date.
Adjusting the Location
Your law firm SEO strategy may be to attract more clients from your local area. To do this, you can use the location settings to find all the keywords being used from within your city or town.
Use the location search to be as specific or as general as you want.
Adjusting the Date
What if there were higher rates or accidents at certain times of the year? Or you’re a tax attorney and caseloads tend to increase at certain times of the year?
If adjust the date settings, you can see keywords that are used during certain seasons, recent searches, or an overview of keywords used throughout the year.
Even though Google’s Keyword Planner is meant as a guide for setting up your Google AdWords PPC, you can take advantage of the statistic for planning the keywords for your law firm’s SEO.
Tool #2: Keyword.io
Keyword.io allows you to find longtail and other related keywords. Longtail keywords are more detailed phrases (up to 3 words) which can be used to target a smaller demographic of people.
Instead of focusing all your effort on popular and competitive search terms, longtail keywords can be used to find prospective clients your competitors might be ignoring.
With Keyword.io, you can create a strategic list of keywords for any search engine including Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo.
You can use Keyword.io to research keywords for a PPC Campaign, SEO, or article writing (more about this later).
Let’s use the same search term from before, “Divorce Lawyer in California”:
With Keyword.io, you can see variations of how the keyword is being used in the search engines.
Combining these results with Google’s Keyword Planner, you can come up with a strong set of keywords to use for your law firm’s SEO strategy.
SEO Strategy #2: Write and Publish Quality Content
The purpose of your law firm’s website is to attract prospective clients. To achieve this, you should write and publish quality content.
Here are a few simple strategies to guide you toward effective SEO Content Strategy:
Publish only compelling and quality content. You want to make sure that what you publish is both unique and useful to the people reading it. Ask yourself this, what value does your content give readers?
Use keywords. You now know how to search for relevant and current keywords so put them into your content. Use different keywords for each piece of content you publish. This not only expands your reach but also prevents SEO issues with Google and other search engines.
Share on social media. You’ll soon learn how popularity is important to improve your SEO. Start by sharing your posts after they are published and encourage others to share them as well.
Keep your content fresh. When you are writing and publishing new content on your law firm’s blog, keep it fresh and up to date. Spend a few minutes researching current events and try to write something related to today’s trends.
Obtain backlinks. You’ll learn all about this in SEO Strategy #3.
Publish frequently. Don’t just publish one or two articles and think that’s enough. You have to publish frequently to remind the search engines that your site is live and your content is important.
To get started on your law firm’s SEO content strategy, you want to be optimizing content for discovery and conversion. This means using the keywords you found and writing in a way that turns website visitors into new clients.
Also, you also understand the intent of the search words being used in Google. If someone searches, “Divorce Lawyer Fees,” they are likely shopping around for the best prices. If that person chooses your website, which do you think would be more compelling?
Sample Content #1:
Our divorce lawyers fees start at $100 per hour. Contact us today for a consultation.
Sample Content #2:
We offer some of the lowest divorce lawyer fees in town. Contact us for a free consultation to get started.
Another example of keyword intent could be someone searching for, “My wife wants a divorce.” Here, the intent is for information, both emotionally and legally, that will help them handle their divorce. In this situation, you may not want to sell your service but instead, come across as a warm friend with helpful advice.
Remember this: when you write content for your law firm’s website, you should always put your audience first. Writing to satisfy the ever-changing algorithms of Google and other search engines could lead to a negative SEO. Instead, focus on providing quality content that comes from you and resonates with your current and prospective clients.
Implementing Longtail Keywords
Let’s take another look at the list of longtail keywords from before:
You’ll notice quite a few keyword phrases found that can be used to shape the type of content you create. Alternatively, if you’re out of ideas you can use this list of longtail keywords to write articles like:
7 Reasons Not To Get a Divorce in California Without a Lawyer
Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com
3 Simples Steps for Filing for Divorce Without a Lawyer
Creating Quality Content
You could have a blog talking about your thoughts and experiences as a lawyer or you could create content with a strategic plan and a specific goal.
Again, using the list of keywords you researched related to your law firm, you can create a long-term strategy to publish and share content related to the needs of your prospective clients.
For example, during the Christmas season, you may want to write a series on the consequences and outcomes of drinking and driving. Or, if you’re that divorce lawyer from California, you can write about divorce rates and actions to take if they’re considering divorce.
Take note of what Matt Cutts, Google’s software engineer, has said about creating content:
“You need to find some way to pull people in, to get them interested, to get them enticed to try to pick up whatever concept it is you want to explain. So I would argue, first and foremost, you need to explain it well, and then if you can manage to do that while talking about the science or being scientific, that’s great.”
SEO Content Calendar
Planning out your content in advance can make your marketing efforts significantly easier.
You should plan for one to two months in advance and prepare content that can be interlinked with each other. Interlinked content are pages linking to another page on your website (this adds SEO benefits and also keeps visitors on your website longer).
Once you have created an SEO content calendar, you can start to publish on your social media accounts, email newsletter and any other places you can think of. However, before you do, you should consider the best times to publish your content. Here’s what Hubspot recommends:
Facebook: 9 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm (with 1 pm getting the most shares) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
LinkedIn: 7-8 am, 12 pm, 5-6 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Instagram: 2 am, 8-9 am, and 5 pm on any day.
You’ll have to test your own content to see which times get you the most traffic and the best results. Ultimately, here’s a few tips to follow for your law firm’s SEO content calendar:
Post consistently (i.e. three times a week)
Use multiple social channels
Choose times that get the most engagement with your target audience
SEO Strategy #3: Build Your Backlinks
By now, you may notice that your law firm’s SEO strategy is quite complex. However, to keep things simple, the ultimate goal of SEO is to improve your popularity.
In order to boost your law firm’s “popularity” and get prospective clients coming to your website, you have to build backlinks from various online sources.
Search engines like google are looking for law firms with relevant and authority links pointing to its website. The way authority websites are measured is also based on the amount of traffic coming to that website.
Steps for Build More Backlinks
Building backlinks to your law firm’s website can be challenging. There are some methods you can try, but they could get you in a lot of trouble. For example, if you decided to purchase backlinks from an unreputable source, Google may put a penalty on your website which can block you from the search results.
To ensure your website doesn’t get blocked, here’s a few steps for building quality backlinks:
1. Publish quality content. If you’re producing great content that connects with the people who read it, there’s a great chance that they will share it with their friends and family. This is the best way to introduce your legal services to new people.
Take note of these blogs rated by the American Bar Association to be the best law blogs:
Verdict is a magazine blog provided by Justia (an online resource where you can sign up, add your website, and find prospective clients) which has a blog full of content on every aspect of the law.
Overlawyered is one of the oldest law blogs exploring the American legal system. Take a look at the bottom of this blog, notice the comment section? Here is a great way to contribute to the discussion and sometimes share a link your website:
2. Network and help others. Expecting people to link to you is unthinkable. You have to reach out to others and show off your expertise. You should join various forums and online groups to meet new people and offer help when you can. Here are some examples:
Quora is an active community of people asking and answering questions. After you set up an account for your law firm, you can search for relevant questions related to your legal services. Here’s an example using our California Divorce Lawyer:
If you had an article titled “Low-Cost Divorce Lawyer in California | YourLawFirm.com” you could insert a link into your answer. Quora is an authority website and not only can you use it to send new visitors to your website but it’s also effective for your backlinking efforts.
Reddit is a community of news enthusiast sharing and reading the top stories in America. Before you start sharing your content here, you should know that direct marketing is often frowned upon by its community members. There are various discussion boards where people are seeking answers to their problems, however, the website uses a rating system to rate anything posted and commented. So, be careful.
In this example, you can see that people are sharing their experiences getting or considering divorce in California. Here’s your chance to make direct connections with a potential client by offering content related to their situation and sharing your insights in a response.
When selecting which posts to comment, choose the ones with more points as these are receiving active engagement and interest.
LinkedIn Pulse is one of many social channels you can use to publish your content related to law firm’s blog. Here’s an example of a law firm using LinkedIn to share direct links to their blog:
LinkedIn may not be best place to find new clients but it’s a great way to build links and increase your website’s authority.
3. Become an online authority. If you’re publishing great content consistently, you can expect people to start writing and linking back to your website. You can’t expect your online authority to change overnight. By following the previous two steps and consistently engaging with people online, you can start to see more of your links getting shared online and you may even get featured on top news channels (links from these sources carry a significant authority that can boost your website’s search rankings).
Creating the perfect SEO strategy for your law firm starts with knowing which words prospective clients are searching online. Once you research these terms and create incredible content, you can start to share links to authority websites to grow your online presence and increase exposure to your legal services.
For a solo practitioner or a small law firm, setting up a virtual office at the office can make legal services run more effectively and efficiently.
A virtual office allows for lawyers to reduce their management and also their marketing efforts. This can help free up time to focus on client cases and other aspects of growing the firm.
If you’re thinking about setting up a virtual office, here are 5 steps to help you get started.
Step 1: Understand your needs
A virtual office can exist anywhere with the common belief that telephone operators from developing are taking calls and working the front desk.
In the legal world, having inexperienced and unprofessional telecommunication companies handle the intaking and scheduling of your prospective client’s can be both bad for your reputation and your business.
There are telecommunication services available that are dedicated to lawyers. They have trained staff that may even be specialized in your area of practice, such as criminal defense or family law.
Alternatives to using a telecommunication service are to add Live Chat to your law firm’s website. In this list of the best Live Chat services for lawyers, you can quickly and easily add a professional button to your website and interact any visitor.
Overall, there are various types of virtual office solutions. Here’s an overview of a few services virtual office service available to lawyers:
Customer Relation Management (CRMs)
Virtual offices allow you to automate and improve the efficiency of your daily routines at your firm. In addition, with technology trending toward mobile interactions, you can expect to find various solutions you can manage with your smartphone.
Step 2: Consider the Pros and Cons
Establishing your law firm into a virtual office comes with both benefits and disadvantages. If you’re sure this is the right decision for your firm, there must be substantial reasoning and benefits to do so. Here are some of the benefits a virtual office can include:
Effective client intaking
Operate your intaking 24/7/365
The disadvantages to a virtual office may be difficult to imagine. However, when considering the sensitive information that passes through a law firm, you may want to think twice before outsourcing work to those outside the office. Here are a few disadvantages to establishing a virtual office:
Using technology and outsourced solutions will always alleviate the workload at the office. However short-term benefits may have long-term consequences. Carefully evaluate which services are right for your legal practice.
Step 3: Measure costs
Cost reduction and savings are two major factors that influence the decision to establish a virtual office. Accounting software can provide invoices with the click of a button while tracking cash flow to make taxes easier. Virtual receptionists can handle inquiries at the office and schedule appointments for serious inquiries.
When selecting the services for your law firm, it’s best to shop around. The pricing and features offered with each will vary. There is a competitive market to provide solutions specifically for lawyers and each service will provide similar yet varying options.
If possible, you can start with a trial of their services which is usually free and does not require a credit card.
Step 4: Stick to your budget
When you sign up for virtual services you’ll be locked into a monthly or yearly billing cycle. You’ll have to determine your monthly costs accordingly and select the services that you feel will help your law firm yield the best returns.
There are services that stick to a monthly pricing plan and others that invoice you per client or lead they acquire. If you’re paying per lead, be sure that you are successfully converting those prospective leads into new clients. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your money.
Step 5: Analyze effectiveness
Even though you have spent a significant amount of time and money investing in potential virtual office solutions, it is best practice to analyze their effectiveness on a quarterly or yearly basis.
If you’re using a virtual receptionist, measure how many new clients they help you acquire per month. Determine whether their services are providing you an improvement to your legal services or simply using up your budget.
Here are a few points to analyze with your law firm’s virtual office services:
How many clients does it yield
How much time is being saved
How are much are costs being reduced
How many issues have occurred
How often is tech support needed
The ease of installation for more virtual office services may reduce the hassle of finding a talented staff to hire at your firm, taking the time to develop in-house employees can sometimes be worth the effort.
In-house staff can reduce headaches of spending hours on a phone with support teams that may or may not be able to resolve your problems right away. Also, training staff can establish to long-term employees which understand the process of how your law firm functions and can lead to better performance than outsourced solutions.
These 5 steps are just a guideline if you’re thinking about turning your law firm into a virtual office. For solo-practitioners, reducing the number of administrative tasks may be the best option to improve efficiency and effectiveness of your legal services. If you’re looking for the best virtual solutions, check out these law firm management software.
If you’re looking for a change in your law career that provides more freedom and flexibility, becoming a freelance lawyer could be it.
Life at a law firm isn’t for everyone. The working hours are long, the caseloads are stressful, and the working environments may not meet your ideals. Becoming a freelance lawyer allows you to choose which client projects to work on and who are your colleagues.
There’s no doubt that being a freelance lawyer has benefits. If this is the direction you want your legal career to take, keep reading to learn a few simple steps to get started.
Step 01: Decide Your Legal Services
The first thing freelance lawyers should do is decide what legal services they are going to provide their clients. At a law firm, associates and fellow lawyers must choose a single area to focus their practice. For a freelance lawyer, there’s a bit more flexibility.
When shifting your legal career toward freelance, it’s best to do some research before taking the plunge. If you decide to provide legal services in an area that is uncommon in your region, you can expect to go out of business pretty quickly.
Choosing the right area that has a steady demand will keep you in business longer as well as provide you with stimulating cases on the job.
Step 02: Register Your Services
Depending on your personal goals, you have complete control over the destiny of your legal profession. Once you have an idea of what you want to practice, the next step is to begin the legal steps to register your service.
Will you be a sole proprietorship? A limited liability company? Or, a corporation?
Understanding the differences between the three can help determine how you wish to operate your freelance legal services.
Step 03: Administrative Tasks
With your legal services registered, you’ll need other important elements to organize and maintain your administrative responsibilities. You may need a separate bank account for billing and tax-related purposes.
If you plan on working completely on your own and without the support of any legal assistants, consider using lawyer accounting software. Not only do these program help automate repetitive administrative tasks, they can also be used for the following:
Once you have laid the foundation for your freelance legal services, you can share your new service with your network.
Traditional lawyers working at a law firm tend to target individuals and other businesses for work. The clients you’ll often find as a freelance lawyer will typically come from other lawyers and law firms.
If you have a large list of contacts, this is the best place to start searching for business.
Alternatively, you can set up accounts on social networking websites to begin expanding your personal network. If you don’t have one already, LinkedIn is one of the leading social networking websites for all professionals. Other sites to network with lawyers and in-house job opportunities can be found here:
If you want to join a social networking website rising in popularity check out Foxwordy. At Foxwordy, you can reach out and connect with other lawyers and contribute toward various projects in the legal industry.
Finally, if you haven’t done so already, you should join your local bar association and participate in as many local events as possible.
Step 05: Get a Website
Freelance lawyers with a website can offer a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Lawyer websites are a great way to showcase your services and allow for prospective clients to discover what you do.
Your website can feature some of your past legal projects and highlight your area of expertise.
If you decide to get a website, it is also important to understand how to use it in a way to benefit your business. If you’re on a tight budget, performing these local SEO methods can help more people find your services.
Or, if you some money to spend, you can try advertising your services using Google PPC or Facebook Ads. Both advertising choices have their own set of benefits and features.
Step 06: Start a Blog
Are you an expert in a particular area of law and want to share your knowledge with others? Starting a blog is a great way for freelance lawyers to make more connections with prospective clients.
If you’re unsure about the benefits of blogging about law, here are a few:
It will take a bit of time and commitment for a blog to become a successful marketing tool. However, with these tips for lawyers who blog, you can get ahead of your competition.
Step 07: Be Patient
Becoming a successful freelance lawyer is not going to occur overnight If you decide to take this path in your legal career remember that it is going to require strategic planning, time, dedication, and most importantly patience.
Keep in mind that your legal services are much like a business and like all business, there is a chance of failing. The beginning will be some of the toughest moments until the momentum builds and your reputation spreads amongst your community.
Thinking about starting your own law firm instead of being a freelancer? Give this a read.
Whether practice big law and you’re looking for a break or you’re junior associate searching for your career path, becoming a solo practitioner comes with some unique perks.
Solo practitioners are considered to be private lawyers who work for them self at their own office or remotely. Typically, these lawyers handle almost all of the responsibilities required for their legal services and may occasionally hire legal assistance (i.e. clerks) for support.
If you’re considering your career path in law, here are 7 benefits of being a solo practitioner.
1. Complete Control
Since solo practitioners work for themselves, they’ll have more control over the direction of their service as a business. Not only should a solo practitioner be a great lawyer, but they should also have a strong sense of business as well.
Having control over the destiny of your legal services allows you to decide which client cases you take on and which ones you don’t. There will no longer be a need to seek approval before making a decision that affects a law firm. Instead, every decision you make will have a direct impact on your legal services as a business.
2. Diverse Clients
Working as a solo practitioner can allow for a greater diversity of client experiences. For example, lawyers who work at a firm and have been told to focus on criminal cases associated with violent crimes may not be able to specialize also in property crimes. In some cases, violent crimes and property crimes can overlap. Solo practitioners can have a greater flexibility in the areas which they practice.
If you’re the kind of person that enjoys new challenges in their work, being a solo practitioner offers just that. You can gain experience discovering which cases and legal situations you are more interested in and can later tailor your legal services to areas you are more interested and dedicated.
3. Cost Effective
There is a significant difference in cost of operations between big law firms and solo practitioners. Big law firms tend to have higher bills which cover rental expenses, staff, benefits, and more. Solo practitioners on the other hand usually operate out of a small office and may have few to no staff at all.
In regards to staffing, if you’re a solo practitioner that really wants to save, there are various lawyer software which makes operating your legal business more efficient and cost-effective. If you want to improve your intaking, you can hire a virtual receptionist or place some live chat on your website. Or, if you need something to manage your taxes and ensure invoices are sent out there are accounting software programs specifically for lawyers.
4. Benefits for Clients
Not only are there great benefits for being a solo practitioner but also for their clients. By reducing the overhead costs, solo practitioners can cut the total costs of their legal fees. In situations where a client may have to hire their lawyer for a longer amount of time can allow for more time and resources to be dedicated to a case.
One of the biggest influencing factors which affect someone’s decision to hire a lawyer is a price. If you’re able to cut your operating cost while providing legal services at a competitive price, you may be able to take on more clients. This can be very strategic for new lawyers searching for their first clients to get their name out there.
5. Work Environment
When you have the ability to design your work environment it can lead to a happier and more productive work environment. Solo practitioners have complete control over their working conditions. From the office space to the office supplies, everything is decided and designed by the lawyer in charge.
Creating the perfect office environment may come out of your own budget, but this will be the foundation of your legal services. Working from a place that suits your style and quality of service can set a strong first impression with your clients.
6. Custom Work Hours
Custom hours if often one of the most rewarding benefits for solo practitioners. Working at a firm, big or small, can create a high demand for a lawyer’s time both after hours and in the off-season.
By gaining more flexibility over your legal services, you can choose just how much, or how little, you want to work. If you want to take time off for vacationing or to attend a conference to further your professional development, you can. For those who have a family, being a solo practitioner allows for more time at home.
Having more time to focus on your legal services can also lead to better quality work. You can create strong marketing campaigns to find prospective clients that need your service. Or, if you have a website you can dedicate any extra time toward developing a blog and sharing your legal expertise to more people (seelawyer’s with a blog).
7. Higher ROI
The choice of becoming a solo practitioner may have a greater risk but it also involves greater reward. To emphasize the importance of having strong business skills, solo practitioners can work harder and see a high net gain.
If you’re working at a law firm, you may take on more client cases yet your salary stays the same. As a solo practitioner, the profitability of your legal practice will be based on your ability to find clients and handle their legal needs successfully.
We already know that if your law practice isn’t present online, you’re depriving yourself and your potential clients from finding you. A good website is one of the best ways for a broad range of clients to find your services, learn about what you do, and most importantly, get in contact with you. This is essential when considering that even way back in 2013, 76 percent of consumers used online resources when looking for an attorney.
Once your site has convinced a visitor that you can handle their needs, they’ll want to contact you. The methods and devices people use to access the Internet have changed significantly according to iLawyerMarketing’s study. They asked participants what devices they’re most likely to use when searching the internet for law firms, and overwhelmingly, the most common answer was smartphones, followed by a combination of smartphones and a desktop or laptop computer—this means making sure that your website works just as well from a mobile device as it does from a personal computer.
The value of traffic from phone calls can’t be understated: A Google-commissioned survey performed by Ipsos asked which phase of decision-making is most likely to involve a phone call to a business. Findings here are critical to how your law firm designs an online experience: 65 percent of respondents said they’re most likely to call during the research phase, and 68 percent said they’re most likely to call once they’re ready to purchase. Lucky for you—we’ve compiled 3 easy ways to use the phone to your advantage.
Make Your Contact Information Impossible to Miss
According to the 2014 U.S Consumer Legal Needs Survey, 74 percent of those who begin a search for an attorney online end up contacting via phone, so making your phone number clearly accessible is everything. Therefore, it’s a good practice to add a phone number at the bottom of every page on your website, as well as at the end of certain passages of text. When a visitor is finished reading, they’re immediately faced with a phone number they can easily call. This Tallahassee law firm’s website does a good job:
The office’s address and phone number immediately follows the text, which itself includes a link to their contact form.
They also feature their phone number at the bottom and top of every webpage, in addition to a separate “Contact Us” tab. With even a quick scroll through their site, you know the information you’d need to contact them is available with just about zero effort required to find it.
The same Google survey referenced above found that 72 percent of those who search for local professional services are “extremely likely” or “very likely” to call a business if a phone number is accessible directly from search engine results. This means ensuring that your website works smoothly from a mobile device is paramount—especially since they’ll likely be contacting you from the same device they used to find your website.
Now they’ve looked through your site, found your contact information, and they’re ready to call—there’s even a decent chance they’re ready to do business. Do you have a telephone system in place that can make sure every caller’s voice is heard? Any attorney knows they spend a lot of time fielding phone calls; they might even have a receptionist or someone else do it for them. But what about when you’re out of the office?
You can’t exactly answer a potential client’s call from a courtroom or an appointment, which is why the right phone system is so important in converting interested leads into trusted clients. Cloud-based phone solutions are affordable and integrate easily into an existing desk phone system. They allow you to route calls to the proper destination using an auto attendant. (Press 1 for Billing, Press 2 for Dave) They can also be easily configured to route calls from one phone number (say, your office phone) to any other device (a personal mobile phone, house phone, or even an answering service) through Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, software. This means business calls are accessible from any device, regardless of where you are.
As Sam Glover of Lawyerist put it, your website is your business card. Except, of course, that it can hold a great deal more information and is far less likely to end up in the trash can outside of a Starbucks. The fact is, the majority of incoming clients will find you online, and creating an informative and effortless experience on your website puts you in the best possible position to gain new clients. All that’s left is to make sure you answer.
Julian de Sevilla is a Marketing Specialist at Tresta, a cloud-based phone system for businesses. He manages the company’s social media accounts and writes about a range of topics regarding communication and technology on Tresta’s blog.