Category Archives: Ultimate Guides

7 Simple Steps To Become A Freelance Lawyer

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:

  • Calendaring
  • Document management
  • Invoicing
  • Billing
  • Payroll
  • Time tracking

See a complete review of the best accounting software for lawyers.

Step 04: Network

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:

  • Free service promotion
  • Improves your website’s SEO
  • Make connections with prospective clients
  • Build a credible reputation online

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.

Law Firm Partner Rank Overview

What is the difference between a “Partner”, “Executive Partner”, and “Managing Partner” in a law firm?

Law firms can be organized in a variety of ways. You can be a solo-practitioner and work alone or you can have a team of lawyers working as partners.

If you’re thinking about creating a partnership, there are many types of partnerships to choose from.

In this article, let’s examine the benefits and ky features of a law firm partner, law firm executive partner and a law firm managing partner.

What Does “Making Partner” Mean?

First, let’s take a look at the meaning of “making partner.”

If you haven’t started your own law firm and you are not already a partner, you may likely be considered as an employee or associate for a law firm. In this position, you wouldn’t have ownership of the law firm but you would be permitted to practice law.

Starting as an associate or an employee of a law firm is a great way for fresh graduates and inexperienced lawyers to learn the ropes and become acquainted with the world of law. Your time will be spent training and you won’t be providing any “billable” hours.

When you’re ready to make the transition into a partnership, this is when you’ll earn a higher salary, become a partial owner of the firm, take on greater responsibilities and liabilities, and also receive a portion of the firm’s profits.

The structure of any partnership will vary depending on how it is incorporated and you can learn more about that in Starting A Law Firm.

Law Firm Partner

Joining a starting your own law firm or joining as a partner will immediately place more work, responsibility and liability on your career. The skills and experiences you acquired as an associate can now be put into practice at a high frequency and a much greater pay bracket.

In regards to compensation, partners can be paid in a variety of ways. You may receive a salary or receive a more common method of withdrawal from a pool of profits. Other methods can include earnings that are based entirely on the clients you secured and provided legal services for yourself.

When becoming a partner for a law firm you will receive a well-written contractual agreement outlining all the terms and conditions of your partnership. Inside this contract may be things like:

  • Required capital contributions
  • Amount of profit a partner can draw and how often each receive it
  • Salary and payment schedule
  • Penalties for leaving the partnership
  • Partnership authority
  • Clauses defining death and disability
  • Procedures to resolve disputes between partners
  • Descriptions of roles, responsibilities, and accounting information

Law firm partnerships requires delicate consideration, strategic negotiations, and careful decision making. Think of joining a partnership as getting married for a certain period of time. You’ll want to know exactly who you are going to be partnered with, how they operate, what they believe in and most importantly the “marriage” rules that will influence your practice for years to come.

If joining a partnership is in your best interest, you may want to consider becoming an executive partner or a managing partner at a law firm.

Law Firm Executive Partner

As an executive partner at a law firm, you’ll take on many a distinct role in leadership and take on many of the major decisions that affect the fate and future or a law firm.

Executive partner’s require extensive insight which will support the growth of the law firm’s objectives and goals.

The responsibilities of an executive director include the overall management strategy, financial management, social accountability, workplace compliance, etc. The executive partner will be dedicated toward preserving and promoting the way the firm practices law and makes critical decisions regarding. The scope of work focuses primarily on short and long term operational decision. In comparison, a managing partner will be dedicated  toward high level management decisions and strategic issues.

Executive partners take on most of the administrative duties in the firm to ensure that operations run smoothly. They also perform functions in accordance to the principles and rules the firm has in place. The executive partner will often be elected from a committee managing partners and other high positioned investors in the law firm.

If you’re being considered as an executive partner of a law firm or seeking this position, the overall success of the firm will be entirely up to you.

Law Firm Managing Partner

Before becoming an executive partner at a law firm, it may be in your best interest to become a managing partner.

Managing partners for a law firm are responsible for the overall operations of the firm. This includes delegating responsibilities to attorneys, secretaries, firm executives, paralegals and other employees at the firm.

Managing partners, much like executive partners, can be responsible for developing the strategies and defining the goals for the long-term success of the law firm.

Decisions regarding the cases the law firm will take on and which clients the firm will represent is one of the roles of a managing partner. They will also be required to ensure compliance with professional standards while following government laws and regulations.

Here’s a detailed list of skills required from a managing partner:

  • Financial planning and strategy
  • Legal compliance
  • Client relations
  • Decision making
  • Strong verbal communication
  • Strong written communication
  • Delegating tasks
  • Improving operations and processes
  • Legal website design
  • Profitability management

Becoming a managing partner takes you away from the legal caseloads and into the back-end operations of the law firm. The workload is significantly greater and the responsibilities differ than a partner at a law firm.

To summarize the job description of a managing partner, they focus on the relationship side of the law firm and how to effective serve their clients.

Top 7 Benefits of Being A Solo Practitioner

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 (see lawyer’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.

Best Facebook Advertising Agencies 2018

Digital advertising is quickly becoming the most important brand awareness tool for small and medium-sized businesses across the globe. But finding the best Facebook advertising agencies to represent your brand isn’t easy, hence this guide! Together we’ll look at how you should go about hiring an agency, as well as recommending five that we think are outstanding.

Facebook Advertising Agency Rankings

RankAgencyLocationMinimum Budget
1Voy MediaNew York, NY$5,000
2OrionCKBWalpole, MA$5,000
3CIBOSan Francisco, CA$5,000
4Lyfe MarketingAtlanta, GA$5,000
5Sprague MediaPortland, OR$5,000

Choosing a Facebook Advertising Agency

While there are some stand-out agencies, no one company is going to be the right fit for every business owner. Instead, it’s important that you learn how to search through the pile to find the perfect agency for you. This search involves weeding out those with red flags and asking the right questions, don’t worry, we’ll show you the ropes!

How to Choose an Agency

Once you’ve decided that you need a Facebook advertising agency to take your marketing to the next level you should find a list of companies to search through. These can either be local or international, depending on whether you think it’s important to have face-to-face contact, or not.

The first thing you’ll want to consider when hiring an agency is any red flags. Perhaps it’s pessimistic, but rather than searching for the benefits of a company; it’s quicker to look for faults and rule those companies out. Obvious red flags include; guaranteed results, bargain prices, lack of contact information, a low-quality website and packages rather than a bespoke approach.

After you’ve pruned the garbage, you’ll be left with a more realistic set of options. From there you can consider factors like their locality, pricing, previous work examples and their responsiveness to your messages. It’s always wise to contact all of the companies to ask for a quote and a prospectus up front so that you’re aware of their typical pricing structure and past work.

Although the cost isn’t the be all and end all, it’s vital that you’re getting value for your money and comparing the quote to their previous work is a fantastic estimate of this potential value. With all the quotes in hand, examples of their previous work and experience communicating with their employees, you’ll be in a great position to decide which agency is right for you and your brand.

Why Should You Hire a Facebook Advertising Agency?

Agencies aren’t the only game in town. After all, it’s possible for you to hire a freelancer or to bring an employee in-house who can manage your Facebook advertising campaigns for you. So, why should you bother to hire an agency?

By managing campaigns for tens or hundreds of different companies at once, an agency has the scale and resources that they need to test extensively and create fantastic images and copy for your ads. What separates one ad manager from another is their data and the way that they can manipulate it to learn from it.

With thousands of previous campaigns, agencies have millions of data points, giving them a unique insight into the best practices for running Facebook advertising campaigns. This data gives them a head start and can help them to generate better results for you than a freelancer with less experience might be able to.

Do You Need a Huge Budget?

A common misconception among companies looking to scale advertising campaigns is that you need a huge budget to work with an agency and that small and medium-sized businesses can only afford freelancers. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Many agencies are willing to work with clients of all budgets; it’s only the biggest outfits that reserve themselves for international brands.

The types of company that would be ideal for an SMB to work with tend to have flexible budget requirements, especially for advertising campaigns that will continue for months or years to come. As long as you’re willing to spend hundreds or thousands, rather than tens, of dollars each month, there’s an agency out there for you.

Facebook Advertising Agency Rankings

Voy Media

Voy Media, founded in 2015 by Kevin Urrutia and Wilson Lin, is a stand-out agency that has successfully managed Facebook advertising campaigns for countless small and medium-sized businesses across the country. As a boutique agency, you get the intimacy that you want, often talking directly to one of the founders who can explain to you what they are doing and why it’s beneficial to your business.

As well as offering Facebook ad campaign management and setup, they also complete audience research consultations for their clients. Voy Media believes in telling a story through your advertising and to do this, they need to understand your audience better, which they can do through detailed and scientific research.

Whether you are interested in Facebook ads, Instagram, retargeting e-commerce visitors or mobile advertising, Voy Media handles it all with their talented team of experienced campaign managers. Unlike many of their competitors, they offer a scaling pricing system based on the amount of money you spend on ads each month, rather than a flat fee.

Working with businesses spending as little as $2,000 each month on advertising, they charge between 10% and 20% of your monthly ad spend per month. Your Voy Media dedicated account manager and the team will work on your Facebook and Instagram ads, as well as audience retargeting, creative creation, copywriting and overall ad strategy.

As far as boutique Facebook advertising campaign agencies go, Voy Media is a stand-out choice because of their reputation for success, diligent attention to detail and fantastic customer service. For small to medium-sized businesses that need a helping hand to take their ad return to the next level, Voy Media is a tremendous choice.

Pros

  • Dedicated account manager
  • No setup fee
  • Full-service Facebook advertising agency
  • Known for getting results

Cons

  • Bi-weekly reporting for most customers
  • Smaller staff

OrionCKB

OrionCKB has been known for years as one of the premier social media advertising agencies for medium and enterprise level businesses who need a hands-off solution for their Facebook and Instagram paid to advertise. Recently acquired by Elite SEM, they are now a powerhouse of search and social media paid to advertise that uses a data-driven approach to generate an outstanding ROI for their customers.

Based out of Massachusetts, OrionCKB is a big agency with a boutique family feel that gives their clients the best of both worlds. After joining forces with Elite SEM they have more resources than ever before, but by acting separately, they still get to employ the focus and determination that has made them famous.

They’ve worked with household names such as Hallmark eCards and Zipcar, which gives you some insight into how powerful their team is and the results that they are capable of. Many of this medium to enterprise companies have in-house advertising teams, but they choose to use OrionCKB as an extension of their staff because they provide stellar results and sophisticated strategy.

OrionCKB has a strict process that they’ve refined over many years of leading the industry forward with new tactics and incredible conversion rates. Starting with strategy, they develop long-term plans that they believe will drive down-funnel KPI’s and show a solid ROI. Their team focuses on placement and ad optimization, ensuring optimum performance.

But they don’t just tweak existing campaigns, they create brand new creatives and copy that they can use to test new ad types without your design team having to lift a finger. After all the hard work is done they present their clients with a deep analysis including trends to test and optimize against, rather than a bland report that offers little to you or your team.

Pros

  • Extensive resources at their disposal
  • Dedicated and experienced team
  • Constantly testing new ideas
  • Focused on KPI’s and ROI

Cons

  • Part of a larger corporate brand
  • Work primarily with larger clients

CIBO

CIBO is an integrated brand experience agency that believes in the game-changing power than a brand experience can have on a customer. Rather than working solely on paid advertising campaigns, CIBO is a complete agency that has worked with some of the biggest names in the world including Subaru, Anki, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Tesla.

They believe that digital marketing today is very different to how it was in the nineties and even the early two thousand’s. Rather than focusing on simple messages in huge quantities, they believe in guiding customers through a brand experience from their first awareness event through multiple purchases and even sharing the brand with their friends.

Working with enterprise level clients in every industry imaginable, CIBO has a broad range of experience in optimizing online advertising campaigns for direct ROI as well as overall brand awareness, reputation, and impact. For many enterprise clients, the gold isn’t in direct conversions, it’s in spreading awareness or altering their reputation even among those who may never be customers, but whom may speak to others who could become customers.

Pros

  • Very experienced team
  • Full brand experience agency
  • Work with leading brands
  • Huge amounts of data

Cons

  • Not specialized in Facebook advertising
  • Less focus on direct conversions

Lyfe Marketing

Lyfe Marketing is a boutique social media management company focused on offering social media advertising, search engine optimization and website design services. Working primarily with small and medium-sized businesses in the United States, Lyfe recognizes that ROI is vital for their clients who have little interest in brand awareness and more focus on generating direct revenue.

Their social media advertising services allow their customers to leverage the most cost-effective advertising method available today and with a specialized team, they can deliver tangible results. Their work involves optimizing existing campaigns for decreased cost and increased conversion rates, as well as creating new ads which could potentially deliver superior results or bring in new clients.

As a relatively small and niche agency, they have the flexibility to work closely with their customers to provide bespoke solutions to complex problems. With an experienced social media manager dedicated to an account, Lyfe Marketing gets a greater insight into what makes your audience tick.

Pros

  • Bespoke solutions
  • Flexible and small team
  • Focused on tangible results
  • Specialized in social media

Cons

  • Lack the resources of larger agencies
  • Setup fees

Sprague Media

Sprague Media is a comparatively tiny agency that works with niche players in small and medium-sized markets, but their small size is more than made up for by their versatility, speed of execution and flexibility. While working with a renowned and larger agency brings in greater resources, it often loses you the people hours and dedication that a smaller agency like Sprague Media brings to the table.

Boasting 654% ROI in 3-months for a pest control client, it’s evident that Sprague Media knows how to get results on even small budgets. Their process is modeled on larger agencies that have been around for decades – they start by spreading brand awareness, they engage your target audience, and then finally they make the “ask” or sell.

Based out of Portland, Sprague Media is entirely focused on digital paid advertising. This focus gives them the ability to become complete experts in their craft, while other agencies offering a broad range of services often struggle to offer any at a world-class level.

Pros

  • Complete focus on paid advertising
  • Small and nimble team
  • Proven results

Cons

  • Lack the resources of larger agencies
  • Less dedicated admin and account staff

Conclusion

Digital advertising is quickly becoming the most important method of marketing for companies both small and large. Google AdWords is leading that charge, but Facebook is close behind, and with an unmatched ability to target specific audiences with detailed specifications, Facebook is the ideal advertising channel.

Finding the right agency to manage your Facebook advertising campaign isn’t simple, but it is extraordinarily important. Choosing the wrong team could cost you time and money, which is why we’ve specifically recommended five companies that have generated proven results for their clients at a reasonable cost.