We all need New Clients....Here are some tips

According to a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters Solo and Small Law Firm group, the biggest challenge for solo and small firm law practices is acquiring new clients. Here are some tips for getting new clients.

1. Network, Network, Network! Attend conferences and networking events. Join a bar association, professional organization or committee. Reach out to other lawyers, but also connect with non-lawyers who work in the same field as you. Let your family, friends and acquaintances know about your practice and specialties. Besides networking in person, be sure to network online too. Do whatever you can to get the word out about your practice.

2. Establish and Maintain an Online Presence Establish a professional website for your law practice. Create a social media account on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Avvo. Continually update and participate in social media like contributing to Avvo forums or posting tweets about legal matters. Start a legal blog that provides helpful information your target audience is interested in. You can link your blog posts to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account.

3. Referrals Maintain relationships with past clients and inform them of all the services your law practice provides. Referrals can also come from other attorneys. Attorneys who work in a shared office space can recommend potential clients. Sharing an office space with other attorneys provides many benefits like a strong attorney network, shared resources (printers, wi-fi, conference rooms etc.), reduced rent and a focused work environment.

4. Karma is Real Just because a particular client isn't a good fit for your practice doesn't mean they're not a good fit for someone else's. Don't be afraid to refer a client you wouldn't normally take to other practices. Who knows, maybe other attorneys just met with someone that would benefit more from your area of expertise. Source: http://www.lawsitesblog.com/2016/07/exclusive-survey-results-small-firms-greatest-challenges-theyre-address.html 

Creative Attorney Space Sharing Arrangements

With the road paved for sharing office space, attorneys seek options for finding suitable space with great amenities and a place for exchanging expertise with other like-minded professionals. A typical sublease may be feasible, allowing attorneys the avoidance of "dark space" for an extended period of time; however, other space sharing arrangements are available. While subleasing law office space means space that has been leased by a tenant and is being offered for lease back to the market by the tenant with the lease obligation, sometimes a sublease is not the answer. Got Law Space? At least be thoughtful about it. Sharing law space is a great way to cut costs. Creative lawyers are approaching law firms and groups of lawyers already sharing space and cutting that pie of office space in various pieces which represent benefits for the law firm and the mobile attorney. By presenting space sharing proposals that cater exactly to the needs of the attorney seeking space, it is a win/win situation. Perhaps an attorney only needs a conference room to meet with clients or conduct attorney team discussions. 

Instead of seeking virtual office space from generic office suites, attorneys are approaching other attorneys with law offices located nearby clients or their home. And those attorneys receiving those creative space sharing arrangements who are business minded are accepting those proposals - after satisfactory due diligence of course. It's good for you; it's good for me. Atlanta office vacancy still exists and Atlanta lawyers, as well as lawyers in nine other states are posting and listing empty office space on www.lawspacematch.com. Lawyers should be flexible in providing office sharing arrangements as long as they are comfortable with the lawyers sharing conference rooms and standing at the copy machine. Sharing law space means finding a good match. Resources are shared: whether an actual office is subleased or a conference room once a month is provided. Further benefits include: networking, networking, networking, which is a fruit of this synergy. There is always the potential client referral coming from that attorney using the conference room to an attorney granting law space who specializes in an area of law. Or vice versa. Also, costs are reduced: creative attorneys may offer an a la carte approach to the needed services sought for the mobile attorney or a flat rate per week or month. It is a no lose situation.

The mission of www.lawspacematch.com is to assist the legal profession by creating a web site targeted for attorneys in transition and law firms with empty office space. Immediate opportunities for attorneys desiring relocation may be found with criteria-based custom searches or views by zip codes. It's simple. And its FREE to post or search for law space. Law firms post available office space; attorneys search and find space while simultaneously posting their professional profiles on our site. www.LawSpaceMatch.com is a matching site like no other and benefits both the law firms and the attorneys by directly connecting these two parties. See Also: The Business of Law, Law Firms with Unused Offices,

Job Outsourcing: What Does it Mean for the Legal Profession?

"Outsourcing" is not a term with which I am particularly familiar. The word is tossed around as something that takes jobs away from Americans, as companies take advantage of cheap labor prices in other countries. I have always associated this phenomenon with industries such as computer technology and automotive manufacturing. When I heard of law firms practicing outsourcing, I was baffled to say the least. And the most intriguing fact is that this technique is not a new development.

After finding an article in the New York Times 2010 archive reporting on legal outsourcing, I was curious to know just how long this practice has been in use. It turns out, the earliest occurrence of legal outsourcing dates back to the mid-nineties. Considering all the backlash industrial outsourcing has received, it is surprising to see that legal outsourcing has not only stayed, but actually has grown. For the firms there is a practical and economical reason for sending certain jobs overseas and it is the same reason that drives many other industries abroad--labor is cheaper. Why spend 200 dollars an hour for an employee performing basic research when you can spend half that abroad? Or, as the website CPA Global puts it, "when [lawyers] are free to focus on the big things, they can produce even greater results." CPA Global posits that with the removal of menial tasks, lawyers can truly work to the best of their ability. This sounds like a good thing. Who doesn't want their lawyer to have a clear mind when the time comes for trial? But as an undergraduate, this is not good news. Many of the jobs that are sent to countries like India are those that normally go to entry-level lawyers and law students just getting their feet wet. This is sadly just more bad news to consider along with the decline in jobs for law school graduates. How is a student supposed to find work when that work is suddenly being shipped elsewhere? Well, there really isn't cause to worry, yet.

Legal outsourcing is still a rather small niche. But some very good advice can be found in an article posted by Merrick Pastore in April on LawSpaceMatch.com. The article impresses upon all up-and-coming lawyers the importance of networking. When a firm hires a lawyer from another country, they are a faceless and possibly nameless being. An American law student on the other hand certainly doesn't have to be. Networking allows employers to see potential and gauge drive of legal hopefuls. By showing a little tenacity, it is possible to convince others that you are worth the greater paycheck. Sources: http://www.cpaglobal.com/legal_services_outsourcing/ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/business/global/05legal.html?pagewanted=2 Contributed By: Meg R. DeFrancesco See Also: The Pre-Law Outlook, Advice on Summer Jobs: Both for Now and in the Future, Should I Stay in School? Just Look at the Unemployment Rate

Lawyers Sharing Space - Benefits and Responsibilities

Atlanta lawyers are subleasing with other lawyers and entering into law space sharing arrangements. The Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct do not prohibit attorneys from sharing office space. With law firms downsizing, the empty law office space entices new lawyers into a sublet deal. Know the benefits and responsibilities.

Benefits of law space sharing include:

(i) the occasional consult or assisting with certain legal issues which may arise;

(ii) reduction of overhead costs; and

(iii) potential referrals for legal work in each lawyers' area of practice.

While lawyers seek to share rent, copier costs, internet costs, legal research expenses, lawyers must use extra care about maintaining the confidences and secrets of clients. For instance, if the lawyers sharing law space retain a joint receptionist who performs legal tasks, she or he should be advised to maintain confidentiality of the clients and keep files for the clients in a separate work area. Ethical issues can be triggered by sloppy administrative practices. All confidential information gained in the professional relations with a client, unless the client consents after consultation are required by the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 1.6) to be protected. The duty of confidentiality shall continue after the client-lawyer relationship has terminated (Rule 1.6(e)). So the files must be kept separate even after the case or matter is completed.

The bottom line: lawyers or law firms should not fail to take adequate measures to protect the client's confidential information of each space-sharing lawyer. Lawyers who are dual professionals also must make clear to the public the separate nature of their legal and other businesses, and should take measures to protect client confidentiality.

The dual professional may be required to keep separate phone numbers, letterhead, books, records, and files. The lawyer should take special care to keep separate the provision of law-related and legal services in order to minimize the risk that the client/customer will assume that the law-related services are legal services. (See Georgia Rule 5.7, comment (8)).

Each state may have a specific position regarding the dual professional practicing in one office. For instance, Colorado takes a stronger view, stating that it is easier to avoid confusion if the second occupation is not conducted from the legal office. The basis for Colorado's opinion is that risks such as improper solicitation are increased when one office is used. Whatever the commissions ultimately decide, space-sharing is an important concern for many lawyers and can be maneuvered easily if thoughtful steps are taken prior to conducting the business of law. Lawyers should always remember that the essence of the Rules of Professional Conduct is based on communication with the clients.

Notes: See Also: You Can't Run a Law Practice from a Coffee Shop, Atlanta Lawyers Sublease Space, The Need for Law Space Match, Law Firms with Unused Offices

Atlanta's March Unemployment Report Offers Hope for the Region

The unemployed in Atlanta may have finally breathed a small sigh of relief upon seeing the city's March unemployment figures this week. With little variation over the last 12 months, the unemployment rate for Atlanta has been hovering between 9.7% and 10.4%. February's rate sat at 10.2% and the March figure posted a marked improvement at 9.8 %. Metro Atlanta, as one of the country's largest metropolitan areas, continues to be hard hit by the recession with more than 260,000 unemployed. In February this year, Atlanta was the only metro area among the nation's top 12 metropolitan regions to show a year over year net loss of jobs.

With a real estate market that continues to decline and an increase in gas and food prices, this week's unemployment report provided a bit of good news that Atlanta really needs. The improvement translates to 8,600 jobs that were added last month, many within the hospitality, leisure and health care fields. While much of this hiring is temporary, as hotels and restaurants start to staff up for the summer season, some permanent tech jobs were added. In fact, the need for computer network designers increased by over 11% over last year and wireless telecom jobs grew by over 7%. While these statistics are encouraging, despite posting improved earnings figures, some of Atlanta's larger corporations like Coca-Cola and UPS have yet to make any hiring announcements. Atlanta's residential and commercial real estate values also lag behind the national average. Home prices in the metro area fell by 5.8% between February 2010 and 2011. Together with Detroit, Las Vegas and Cleveland, Atlanta's home values are still below 2000 levels. Overbuilding in the construction industry at the beginning of the recession hurt Atlanta more than most cities around the country. The glut in commercial real estate was made worse by job losses in the financial and legal sectors.

Workforce reductions at larger institutions in these sectors created less income for property owners and caused many commercial buildings to go into foreclosure. Many institutions closed their doors, but the companies that did survive found ways to augment declining revenue. Atlanta's legal firms that survived the initial economic downturn, for example, found ways to fill vacant office space after headcount reductions.

Newly freed up Atlanta law space provided an opportunity for cash strapped independent law practitioners in need of office space. In 2010, Elaine M. Russell found a way to help law firms with open office space and solo law practitioners by creating www.LawSpaceMatch.com. This free service matches lawyers seeking to sublease law space with unoccupied office space at compatible law firms around the country. Elaine M. Russell is a corporate and business attorney representing clients throughout Georgia. Elaine's office is located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. Notes: Taken from: Jobless rate slide fuels wary optimism

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